Teachers' forum to accompany 'Prime of Miss Jean Brodie'

teacher with studentsA discussion of teaching will accompany the upcoming SUNY Oswego production of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.”

The power of teachers in the classroom and how they choose to impart it drive the storyline of the play and will serve as a centerpoint of discussion at a teachers’ forum immediately following the 2 p.m. performance Sunday, April 29.

“I have dedicated, sacrificed my life to this profession!” declares teacher Jean Brodie in the dark comedy, opening April 25 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Commanding the classroom as if it were a naval ship, Brodie demands perfection of her charges at a girls’ school in Scotland during the 1930s. 

The script is “a tightly written, witty and clever piece to direct,” said director Jerry Bradley, visiting professor of theatre at SUNY Oswego. The play is based on the novel by renowned author Muriel Spark and adapted for the stage by Jay Presson Allen. 

In Spark’s writing, “evil is never far away, violence is a regular visitor and death is a constant companion,” the New York Times observed. “Her themes were generally serious but nearly always handled with a feather-light touch.”

Bradley said the engaging nature of the script and the subject material make it a great selection for a college campus as well as for those involved in education.

“The characters are all identifiable and sympathetic, whether you agree with their behavior or not,” Bradley said. “The story gives rise to debate, is engaging and perhaps shockingly unfolded.”

Bradley will team with Barbara Garii of SUNY Oswego’s curriculum and instruction department, Andrew Smiler of the psychology department and theatre department dramaturge Jessica Hester to provide the teachers’ forum in Room 102 of Tyler Hall on April 29 immediately after the matinee performance. 

The admission-free forum is open to all, but “targeted at those who teach grades seven to 12,” said Bradley. Issues will include the appropriate boundaries in teacher-student relationships, the role of the teacher as mentor, ethics in the classroom and the changing power structure of women in education.

Additional 8 p.m. public performances take place April 25, 26 and 28, with the 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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PHOTO CAPTION: Chalk talk—In “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” the title character (Lucaya Luckey-Bethany) teaches the finer things in life to her young charges, including, from left, Monica (Sara Weiler), Sandy (Megan McGarvey), Mary McGregor (Nicole Arbes) and Jenny (Allison Kleber). The SUNY Oswego theatre production will open April 25 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097

(Posted: Apr 10, 2007)