Trips through time, place slated for theatre season

two actorsSUNY Oswego’s 2007-08 theatre season will take audiences from a Shakespearean world to 1930s small-town Americana to a repressive European household to the cabarets of 1920s Berlin.

The season will begin in October with William Shakespeare’s classic comedy “Twelfth Night, or What You Will.” “Disguise, mistaken identity, folly and retribution follow as the pretensions and illusions of love are examined in comic detail,” said Mark Cole, the play’s director and professor and chair of theatre at SUNY Oswego.

“As in all comedy, characters in ‘Twelfth Night’ are obsessive personalities, and live life to the extreme, whether that entails falling in love, looking for the next revel or exacting revenge,” Cole said. “It’s all done with an antic sense of abandon and good humor.” The play will run Oct. 10 to 14 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

Senior theatre major Lucaya Luckey-Bethany will direct “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek,” this year’s student honors production. Written by Naomi Wallace, a Kentucky playwright, the play is a coming-of-age story set in a small American town in the 1930s. Cole called the play “evocative and poetic.” “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” will run Nov. 14 to 18 in Tyler Hall’s Lab Theatre.

Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” peeks in on a seemingly ideal marriage that unspools quickly. “Ibsen was a daring dramatist and in this play, he exposes the repressive and deceptive nature of a marriage that is played at and never really lived,” Cole said. “Often theatre comforts an audience and offers an affirmation of beliefs, but ‘A Doll’s House’ was first produced to shock waves of protest in 1879.” Shows will take place Feb. 29 and March 1, 7, 8 and 9 in Waterman Theatre.

Oswego’s music and theatre departments will join forces for “Cabaret,” presented April 25 and 26 and May 2, 3 and 4. Directed and choreographed by Jonel Langenfeld-Rial with music direction by Todd Graber, the production is based on Christopher Isherwood’s “Berlin Stories.” The Tony Award-winning musical was first produced in 1966, made into an Oscar-winning film in 1972 and revived in 1998, winning another set of Tony Awards.

“This musical brought the heady and decadent world of late-1920s Berlin onto the musical stage and has become a modern classic,” Cole said. “The intense relationship between the idealistic American writer and the ‘divinely decadent’ singer Sally Bowles is played out against a world on the brink of political and social chaos.”

Additional productions this year will include a chamber theatre production of a new play, “The Glass Coffin,” co-sponsored with the music department. Written and directed by Cole with musical direction by Dr. Julie Pretzat of the college’s music department, this ghost story is based on two sources, Cole said. “One is an old Oswego story, circa 1900, and the other is a Grimm fairy tale.” Period music performed by the State Singers will be an integral part of the production, slated for Sunday, Dec. 2.

New Voices, co-sponsored with the English and creative writing department, will feature readings of six winners of Oswego’s student-written 10-minute play contest, April 5 and 6 in the lab theatre.

For ticket information on all productions or for reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

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PHOTO CAPTION: ‘House’ call—Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” the story of a wife’s decision that shocked 19th century Europe, is among the offerings for SUNY Oswego’s 2007-08 theatre season. Other productions will include William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” the student honors production “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” and the musical “Cabaret.” For more information, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

(Posted: Aug 08, 2007)