Students learn while staging comedy '[sic]'

imageAs Election Night unfolded and a nation turned its eyes toward who would lead the country for the next four years, a small group of SUNY Oswego students toiled in the lower level of Tyler Hall with a different focus: putting together a comedy that would open in two weeks.

While classmates watched and waited for election returns, the cast and crew of the annual student honors theatre production, “[sic],” worked toward the show’s Nov. 17 opening in Tyler Hall’s lab theatre. With only a four-week production schedule, every minute counted.

Before production work began, director Ryan Oliver explained that he had put creative people he trusted into roles on the stage and behind the scenes. Halfway through the process, he was happy with the results.

“We got through blocking in a week and a half,” Oliver, a senior theatre major from Troy, said of developing where characters would stand, sit or move. “Now we’re going through characterization. We’re bringing to life what’s unsaid in the text and giving it meaning.”

Stage manager Maya Pacio, a senior theatre major from Elbridge, is one of Oliver’s key crew members. “I have to keep track of all of the designers to make sure they are on their budgets and things are running smoothly,” she explained. During shows, she will give actors their cues.

This is the first time Pacio has stage managed since high school, and she is learning a lot about coordinating a whole production in such a short time frame and the teamwork involved to do it successfully.

“Things are coming together really nicely. There are a few bugs to work out here and there, but it’s coming along as expected,” Pacio said. “You just have to take deep breaths a couple of times and chug along.”

As actors started arriving and Pacio looked into details for the night’s rehearsal in the lab theatre, sound designer Matt Boudreau sat next door in the green room looking over several sheets of paper.

“The whole semester has been a learning experience,” said Boudreau, who just added a theatre major to his English writing arts major. The senior from Auburn served as assistant sound designer for the previous production, “Infinity’s House,” then ran sound for the campus performance of folk dance troupe Quetzalli. “Whenever I had a free moment, I was knee-deep into ‘[sic],’ getting things done,” he said.

His duties include developing a soundtrack of songs from the 1980s and 1990s, when the thirtysomething characters would have grown up. He also prepares ambient sounds like telephones, door buzzers and a cat.

“I’ve worked in sound before, but I’ve never put together a whole show on my own,” Boudreau said. “Ryan lets the designers take the ball and run with it. Because of the nature of this the show, you have to allow this creativity, and he’s been doing a great job with it.”

The production will preview at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, with all seats $5. The preview will feature an interactive post-show talkback with Associate Provost Rhonda Mandel of the psychology department and Robert O’Connor of the English writing arts department.

The run will continue with 8 p.m. curtain times Nov. 17 to 20, wrapping with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee Nov. 21. Tickets cost $10 ($9 for senior citizens and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students).

For information or reservations, contact Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

- END -

PHOTO CAPTION: ‘[sic]’ scene—SUNY Oswego students, from bottom left, Brian Heyman, Steve Mazzoccone and Samantha Mason rehearse a scene from the contemporary comedy “[sic].” Cast and crew members have been working hard with only four weeks to prepare for the annual student honors theatre production, which will open Nov. 17 in Tyler Hall’s lab theatre.

(Posted: Nov 03, 2004)