Office of Public Affairs
(315) 312-2265
Feb. 13, 2002
CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097
OSWEGO -- A pioneering type of improvisational theatre and its connection to SUNY Oswego's upcoming production will take center stage on an upcoming edition of "Public Interest" airing at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, on WRVO FM90.
Live acting scenes, poetry readings and guests in the studio and via telephone are among the elements planned.
Guests will include Keith Johnstone, author and creator of the critically acclaimed, interactive and improvisational Off-Broadway theatre piece "LifeGame"; Gary Izzo, who has helped popularize this form of entertainment through artistic management at Paramount Studios, Disney World and the Sterling Renaissance Festival; and Thomas Rhett Kee, director of the world premiere interactive improvisational play "The Beat and the City," which will highlight the poems of Allen Ginsberg and Denise Levertov, at SUNY Oswego. WRVO News Director Chris Ulanowski will host the live broadcast.
"People are aware of improvisation mainly through shows like 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' and Oswego's student troupe Shaun Cassidy Fan Club," said Kee, who is a visiting assistant professor in SUNY Oswego's theatre department. "But it is exceedingly rare for anyone to stage a full show based on actors improvising scenarios derived from deep character study."
"The Beat and the City" centers around an imaginary meeting of writers, poets and artists of the Beat Generation. Performers studied their real-life counterparts -- such as Ginsberg, Levertov, Neal Cassady and ruth weiss -- and improvise actions based on a loose scenario, Kee said.
Some of those students will perform improvised sketches and read poetry as part of the radio broadcast. "This marks a great opportunity for some of the students," Kee noted.
Ulanowski said the project appealed to WRVO, a local affiliate of National Public Radio, because it adds variety to the hour-long biweekly show.
"It has plenty of features that could make it exciting, engaging and entertaining," Ulanowski said. "It's a bit more complex than many editions of 'Public Interest,' but we're looking forward to a creative use of this format."
"The Beat and the City" will preview at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 in Tyler Hall's Waterman Theatre, with a run of 8 p.m. curtain times March 1, 2, 8 and 9 and a 2 p.m. matinee March 10. Reservations are available by calling 312-2141 or by e-mailing
The WRVO family of stations includes WRVO 89.9 in Oswego, WRVJ 91.7 in Watertown, WRVN 91.9 in Utica, WRVD 90.3 in Syracuse and WSUC 90.5 in Cortland. The station broadcasts on the Internet through its Web site,
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