'Trestle' student director has storyworthy journey

Lucaya Luckey-BethanySUNY Oswego senior theatre major Lucaya Luckey-Bethany will direct the college’s student honors production “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek,” which will open Nov. 13 in Tyler Hall’s lab theatre.

But Luckey-Bethany’s own journey from a theatrical family in Gardnerville, Nev., to directing a play on the shores of Lake Ontario is a story in itself.

“My family, especially my grandfather, was very involved in theatre,” she said. “My father was a prop master for Universal Studios for 30 years. When I was 5 years old, I told my mom I wanted to act.”

Luckey-Bethany was soon putting on little plays, forcing her younger brother to play a variety of roles. “Sometimes we just performed for my stuffed animals, which is just as well because the plays weren’t very good,” she recalled.

While she had good enough grades to go anywhere, Luckey-Bethany said her family didn’t have the finances. So she applied everywhere, including SUNY Oswego where her uncle attended.

“My father would tell stories of my Uncle Jimmy who attended SUNY Oswego,” she said. The legend goes that he was an Army Ranger who returned from Vietnam but couldn’t afford an increase in costs to live in the residence halls, so he just set up a tent on campus. “There were all these pictures of my Uncle Jimmy camped out in four feet of snow, having the time of his life.”

While other colleges’ theatre programs “wouldn’t let students work on a production until their senior year,” Luckey-Bethany was impressed with Oswego’s opportunities for freshmen. “I ended up getting a full-ride scholarship, and I love it,” she said.

“The opportunities granted by the department are monumental,” Luckey-Bethany explained. “It can sometimes be a trial by fire, but you really learn your stuff. The faculty have a quantitative amount of knowledge, and they are willing to share it.”

But despite being a self-described “drama geek” in high school, Luckey-Bethany started out as a journalism major at Oswego, then became a broadcasting major.

“When I went to college, I decided I want to get a respectable job,” she said. “But then I was cast in the first show I tried out for my freshman year, and I’ve been in every show save one ever since.” Most recently, she played the title role in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.”

“I finally realized if I’m spending all my time in Tyler Hall, why not make that my major,” Luckey-Bethany said. “I was initially concerned about making that my only pursuit. Now I’ve made that decision and never looked back.”

“The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” will preview at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, with all seats $5.

The production will have 8 p.m. curtains Nov. 14 to 17, wrapping up with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee Nov. 18. Tickets for the regular run cost $12 ($10 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students).

For information or reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or tickets@oswego.edu.

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CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097

(Posted: Oct 17, 2007)