'Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' to open April 25

A teacher’s dedication takes the spotlight when the SUNY Oswego theatre department stages “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” opening April 25 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

“Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life,” intones Brodie, played by Lucaya Luckey-Bethany.

The story takes audiences to a private girls’ school during the 1930s in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Brodie does not care whether her charges know their history or arithmetic, “as long as they have an appreciation of the finer things:  art, Franco, proper care of the complexion, Caesar, Mussolini, Verdi and, in fact, of all things Italian,” she explains in the darkly comic play.

“Thematically, the play’s setting has obvious relevance for an academic community, where the student/teacher and teacher/teacher relationships always aspire, but quite often fail, to achieve the desired level of professional interaction and conduct,” said director Jerry Bradley, a visiting professor of theatre at SUNY Oswego.

The story is adapted for the stage by Jay Presson Allen from Muriel Spark’s bestselling novel. The New York Times labeled Brodie as “one of the funniest and most sinister characters in modern fiction.”

SUNY Oswego’s production includes the design team of faculty members Kitty Macey, Joe Rial and Steve Shull in costume, scenery and sound design, respectively. Student designers include Heather Berg on lighting and Abby Jenkins as co-costume designer. Students Suzayn Mackenzie and Megan Myerov are stage managers for the production.

In addition to Luckey-Bethany, the cast includes Christy Pronto as Miss MacKay, Trevor Franklin as Teddy Lloyd, Allison Kleber as Jenny, Sara Weiler as Monica, Megan McGarvey as Sandy, Nicole Arbes as Mary MacGregor, Jessica Weiss as Emily Carstairs, Alaina Parness as Patricia; Andrea Heilig as Louise, Christine Duval as Rose, Katie Ahearn as Clara, Amanda Acobes as Vanessa, Gloria McAndrew as Zoe, Caitlin Hankinson as Maggie and Nathaniel Angstrom as Gordon Lowther.

A free preview of selected scenes from the play will take place during Quest, the annual daylong symposium dedicated to the scholarly and creative pursuits of SUNY Oswego’s faculty and students, at 11:15 a.m. in Hewitt Union’s Bell Auditorium, together with a talk on female sexuality as it relates to the play by Dr. Andrew Smiler of the college’s psychology department.

A full preview performance will take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre, with all seats priced at $5. 

Additional 8 p.m. public performances will take place April 25, 26 and 28, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, April 29. Tickets cost $12 ($10 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students).

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

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CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097

(Posted: Mar 28, 2007)