Interdisciplinary cooperation to stage 'New Voices'

participants meetingRehearsals are under way for “New Voices,” the joint effort of SUNY Oswego’s English writing arts program and theatre department that has been showcasing student talent for more than a decade.

The event—which will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, in Tyler Hall’s lab theatre—offers student writers, directors and actors the opportunity to present new material through staged readings. The performances will be free and open to the public.

A panel of faculty selects six 10-minute, student-written plays, and each work is assigned a student director from the theatre department.

“It’s really about collaborative creativity,” explained student coordinator Steve Mazzoccone.

The goal of “New Voices” is to allow for an educational theatre experience that benefits aspiring playwrights, actors and directors alike. This means that, unlike traditional theatre, the playwrights are heavily involved in the rehearsal process, creating a constructive, open forum of feedback that allows individuals to reflect and build upon their contribution to the work as a whole, said Mazzoccone, a senior double major in English and theatre.

“It’s really cool as a director to be able to ask the playwright questions. It helps to present a really clear vision of what’s going on,” said Mazzoccone, who directs one of this year’s plays. “And as an actor, you have so much support from the director and playwright that you can really focus on the text.”

For some participants, “New Voices” serves as an introduction to the world of theatre—providing playwrights with their first opportunity to stage their work, directors a shot at visualizing a text and actors the chance to take the stage. Mazzoccone first became involved with the event as an actor his freshman year.

“It was my first performance in the theatre department,” he said. “I met a lot of people and learned a lot about the process of theatre.”

Mazzoccone also sees “New Voices” as an opportunity for audiences to realize the potential of Oswego’s student writers. “It’s a great showcase for the talent that is in our English program,” he said. “That’s what makes it so unique.”

The 12th annual “New Voices” will feature “Inconceivable” by Jennifer Tulip, directed by Jacob Hess; “Careful What You Believe” by Keith Shampine, directed by Mazzoccone; “Untitled” by Kristen Guzzo, directed by Trevor Franklin; “Snapped” by Brian Phares, directed by Megan Myerov; “A Prolonged Wait” by Adam Sweeney, directed by Megan McGarvey; and “Wake” by Ryan Garney, also directed by McGarvey.

For more information, call Brad Korbesmeyer of SUNY Oswego’s English writing arts program at 312-2625.

- END -

(Posted: Mar 02, 2006)