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Feb. 4, 2004


CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097


ADAPTATIONS OF TWO BRADBURY STORIES STAGED

    OSWEGO -- Two of Ray Bradbury's nostalgic and myth-filled short stories will come to life at SUNY Oswego's Waterman Theatre in director Mark Cole's original adaptation of "The Traveler and The April Witch," beginning Friday, Feb. 27. 

    The stories are from what could be considered Bradbury's early period of writing. "The Traveler" dates from 1945 (first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales) and "The April Witch" from 1952.

    "Many people are familiar with Bradbury's science fiction, like 'The Martian Chronicles' and the futuristic novel 'Farhenheit 451,'" said Cole, a professor and chair of theatre at SUNY Oswego "'The Traveler' and 'The April Witch' are closer in tone to his work in the novel 'Something Wicked This Way Comes.'"

    Bradbury tells of a family, the Elliotts, who on the surface look like their neighbors and blend in with the life of a Middle American town. But the Elliotts possess supernatural powers including an ability to travel psychically into all manner of living things.

    "The stories explore the awkwardness of growing up, the desire of an adolescent to gain attention from a parent and the need to experience love as well as the tension and violence that results from suspicion and betrayal," Cole said.

    "Imagine 'Our Town' by way of 'The Twilight Zone,' and that gives some sense of the tone of these tales," he added. "What Bradbury does so well here, as he does in so many stories, is make the strange (a family with supernatural powers) familiar and the familiar (a kiss, falling in love) strange."

    The play also showcases the design work of theatre faculty Joseph Rial  (scene design) and Kitty Macey (costume design). Johan Godwaldt, technical director for the department, is the lighting designer.

    The cast includes Heather Berg as Cecy in "The April Witch"; Alissa LeMay as Cecy in "The Traveler"; Matthew Boudreau as Cecy's father; Samantha Mason as Cecy's mother; Phil Helmer as a sheriff; Brian Heyman as Bion Elliott; Zach Levin as Uncle Jonn; Mike Climek as Tom; Erin Naughton as Ann Leary; Alison Heitner as Mrs. Leary.

    Rachel Koes, Laura Pena, Ryan Powers, Steve Screws, Ryan Sprague and Meaghan Thaney are members of the ensemble.

    Choreography for "The April Witch" is by Cheryl-Wilkins Mitchell, and original music is composed by Julie Pretzat. Stage manager for the production is Meagan Nolan. Senior theatre major Megan Callanan is the technical director.

    A preview performance of "The Traveler and The April Witch" will be staged at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, with all seats priced at $5. The show will continue with 8 p.m. performances Feb. 27 and 28 and March 5 and 6 and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee March 7. Tickets for the main run cost $10, $9 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students.

    For reservations, call the Tyler box office at 312-2141.

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Rehearsal image for Bradbury adaptation

BRADBURY ADAPTED -- Tom (Mike Climek) tries to console Ann Leary (Erin Naughton, seated) as Cecy Elliott (Heather Berg) looks on in this rehearsal image for the upcoming SUNY Oswego theatre production "The Traveler and The April Witch." Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre at Oswego, adapted two of Ray Bradbury's science-fiction short stories to the stage. The production will have five performances between Feb. 27 and March 7. For information or reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.




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