Oswego professors to stage original 'Evening' in Syracuse

Mark Cole and Rob AulerTwo SUNY Oswego professors will bring their original musical comedy, “An Evening with Alan and Lawrence,” to Studio 24 in Syracuse for 8 p.m. shows May 28 and 29.

Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre at Oswego, wrote the script and plays Lawrence, an eccentric unearther of little-known musical anecdotes. Robert Auler of the music faculty portrays Alan, a virtuoso pianist. Gerard Moses will direct the performance, which made its world premiere at SUNY Oswego in November.

“The play grew out of our desire to mix music and words in a new way,” Cole said. “The play unfolds in real time before the audience as Alan and Lawrence present their act; but as deep-seated jealousy surfaces between the characters, the performance takes a decidedly unnerving turn and a battle of wills ensues.”

It incorporates music by Felix Mendelssohn, Frederic Chopin and Franz Schubert, among others. “As I researched the possible connections to be found with various composer’s lives, a somewhat forgotten but intriguing personality emerged: Ferdinand Hiller,” Cole said. “He was a conductor, pianist and composer who lived through quite a bit of the 19th century and knew just about everyone in the world of music.”

Hiller’s friendship with Mendelssohn became an obsession that led him to pen a memoir based on Mendelssohn’s letters. “Hiller’s story serves as a catalyst for the betrayal that occurs in the play,” Cole noted. “Without giving too much away, the play also includes a decidedly eerie working out of one character’s plan for revenge.”

Auler is an award-winning concert pianist who earned the Young Keyboard Artists’ Association Piano Prize and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2004. In addition touring the United States and Europe playing classical music, Auler displays his jazz piano skills as a co-founder and member of the Oswego Jazz Project.

Cole’s many directing credits include recent productions of “The Torch Bearers” and “Twelfth Night” for SUNY Oswego’s theatre department. His “Poe/Play” has been produced in Oswego, New York City, Baltimore, Syracuse and at London’s Etcetera Theatre. His other scripts include “The Glass Coffin,” a ghost story he directed in 2007 for the theatre department.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to perform the show again in the intimate setting of Studio 24, which is where our director, Gerard Moses, teaches classes in performance.” Cole said. Studio 24 is located at 1824 Grant Blvd. in Syracuse.

Moses is a professional actor, director of theatre and opera, and professor emeritus of drama at Syracuse University where he taught and directed for 32 years. Moses has directed numerous college and community productions and currently runs workshops at Studio 24, a lab for actors, directors and writers.

The production is suggested for those 12 years of age or older.

Tickets cost $20 ($15 for senior citizens, $10 for students).

For information or reservations, contact SUNY Oswego’s Tyler box office at 312-2141 or tickets@oswego.edu, or visit tickets.oswego.edu.

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‘Evening’ entertainment—SUNY Oswego faculty members Mark Cole (left) and Robert Auler will present “An Evening with Alan and Lawrence” at 8 p.m. May 28 and 29 at Studio 24 in Syracuse. The musical comedy features Auler as piano virtuoso Alan, and Cole—who also wrote the play—as Lawrence, an eccentric collector of arcane musical anecdotes. For information or reservations, contact SUNY Oswego’s Tyler box office at 312-2141 or tickets@oswego.edu, or visit tickets.oswego.edu.

(Posted: May 07, 2009)