Office of Public Affairs

(315) 312-2265


Aug. 27, 2003


CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097


ONE-ACT PLAY TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THEATRE STUDENTS

    OSWEGO -- An original short play will serve as a fund-raiser for SUNY Oswego theatre students when "I Kiss the Ring of the Bearded Lady" unfolds in Tyler Hall's lab theatre at 6 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 14.
 
   Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre at Oswego, penned the dark comedy, which made its debut in 1988 in a program of three one-act plays by local writers as part of the Oswego Players 50th anniversary season. Students Michael Climek and Zach Levin play the leads.

    "When Michael asked to read some short plays that I'd written, in hopes of directing something, 'I Kiss the Ring' was one of the plays I gave him," Cole said. "He wanted to act in it instead, and I offered to direct it. Another cast member was found and rehearsals have taken place over the summer so that we could present it in the second week of classes."

    Cole enjoyed the chance to bring the play out of mothballs. "The characters in this play found their way into two more plays, so I do have a particular affection for them," he said. "It's been exhilarating to work on this particular piece again, after so many years."

    The play takes place in a single setting, in the run-down home of Arnie, located in a city much the size of Oswego. Arnie (Climek) and his friend Omar (Levin) have ventured into serious criminal territory and must face the consequences of their actions. Their jittery, nervous relationship erupts into violence when an unexpected visitor arrives and challenges their notion of reality, Cole said.

    "As they debate the relative merits of everything from lima beans to Tammy Wynette to diet soda, time runs out for an important phone call that must be made," Cole said.

    "The play examines the lethal elements of friendship as two characters attempt to feed a desperate hunger for wealth, recognition and family," he adds. "Yes, it's a comedy. With some eerie overtones."

    Cole's writing credits include "Poe/Play," about Edgar Allan Poe, which was performed in London in November 1996, as part of the Second London One-Person Play Festival at the Etcetera Theatre. Cole performed earlier versions of "Poe/Play" in New York City at Home for Contemporary Theatre and Art, as well as in Syracuse, Binghamton, Baltimore, throughout Central New York, and in Kyoto, Japan. With Rosemarie Imhoff, he co-authored "Champion Bold," based on the life of Oswego Town native Dr. Mary E. Walker, the only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    "I Kiss the Ring of the Bearded Lady," with admission priced at $2 per person, is a fund-raiser for Oswego students attending the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival next January.

    "We've been involved with the KCACTF for almost 10 years now," Cole said. "The regional festival offers opportunities for theatre students from colleges in five Northeastern states to view plays, participate in workshops and have their acting and design work evaluated."

    For more information or reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.

- END -

Two friends have an anxious moment in this rehearsal scene for 'I Kiss the Ring of the Bearded Lady'

ANXIOUS MOMENT -- Omar (Zach Levin, right) listens to a mysterious voice on a tape while Arnie (Michael Climak) tries to shut it off in this rehearsal scene from the original short play "I Kiss the Ring of the Bearded Lady," which will be performed at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 and 14 in Tyler Hall's lab theatre at SUNY Oswego. Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre at Oswego, wrote the dark comedy. The $2 admission fee will raise funds for students attending the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival next January. For more information or reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.


News Releases Main Page | Public Affairs Main Page | SUNY Oswego Home