Sparse theatre set places focus on characters

cast photoThose watching “Honor and the River,” this year’s SUNY Oswego student honors production, will have to watch for character changes more than set changes.

That’s because the sparse set in Tyler Hall’s lab theatre has only a few pieces, some of which play multiple roles, director Kevin Hollenbeck said. The play will open Nov. 19.

A single racing rowboat, in which characters Eliot (Knate Roy) and Honor (Keegan Bushey) interact, is the principal piece of scenery, yet it transforms for different scenes.

“At each different level, it represents a different object,” Hollenbeck noted. “It also becomes a dining room table, a bathtub and a bed, in addition to the rowing scull which is the main set piece.”

Without elaborate scenery, the focus in the intimate setting is even more on the characters. The play suggests more than it states and “leaves a lot up to the imagination, which is always good,” the director said.

A small cast—which also includes Eliot’s mother, Wawa (Ariel Marcus), and Honor’s father, Alcestis (Ryan Santiago)—means audiences can focus even more on characters, their interactions and their transformations, said Hollenbeck, a senior double major in theatre and cinema and screen studies from Stockbridge.

Hollenbeck provides additional behind-the-scenes insights through the Oswego student blog project at

“Honor and the River” will preview at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, with all seats $5.

The production will have 8 p.m. curtains Nov. 19 to 22, wrapping with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee Nov. 23. Tickets for the regular run cost $12 ($10 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students). The play is suggested for those 16 years of age or older.

For information or reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

- END -

PHOTO CAPTION: Families snapshot—SUNY Oswego’s student honors production “Honor and the River” features a small cast (from left), father and son Alcestis (Ryan Santiago) and Honor (Keegan Bushey) and son and mother Eliot (Knate Roy) and Wawa (Ariel Marcus). When Eliot and Honor are thrown together for a rowing assignment, and their widowed parents start dating, they find themselves in an increasingly complex relationship. The production will open Nov. 19 in Tyler Hall’s lab theatre.

(Posted: Nov 05, 2008)