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March 5, 2003
OSWEGO -- The collaboration of student playwrights, directors and actors will be on display during SUNY Oswego's 10th annual "New Voices" at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 15, and 8 p.m. Sunday, March 16, in Tyler Hall's lab theatre.
The event features staged readings of six 10-minute plays written, performed and directed by students. Admission is free.
The plays are "Halfback Blast-Off Tackle on Three" by Michael Climek, directed by Adele Basile; "Murder Roommate" by Scott Leiderman, directed by Sondra Tackett; "How to Handle a Woman" by Kenneth Nichols, directed by Eric C. Webb; "The Enlisted Men" by Louis Paduano, directed by Emma Ansah; "Sans Mask" by Geoffrey Pierce, directed by Erin Naughton; "Wakening," by Kristina Rusho, directed by Mandi Messina; and "Freudian Slips" by Adam Sweeney, directed by Kevin Keleher.
Brad Korbesmeyer, associate professor of English and director of writing arts, and Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre, created the program a decade ago to fill a creative void.
"There really wasn't an opportunity on campus to view the work of student playwrights," Korbesmeyer recalled. While student artists, actors and directors could all show their work, Korbesmeyer and Cole said they thought an avenue for playwrights would present a novel experience.
"What is different about playwriting is that the work doesn't really live until it has gone beyond the page," Korbesmeyer said. "Other creative works are complete when they have reached the page. In the theatre, getting the script from the page to the stage is a crucial element."
The collaboration gives theatre students the unusual opportunity to work on new plays, Korbesmeyer said. "There is a value in actors and directors knowing how to deal with a living, breathing writer," he said. "In this program, actors can really ask questions and bring up issues that will help in adapting the play. We want to encourage the development aspect."
The preparation is more valuable to the participants than the actual performance, Korbesmeyer observed. "It really is about the process," he said. "The readings are just the icing on the cake. The experience for everyone involved is really in the rehearsals and interaction."
Korbesmeyer noted that "New Voices" is a staged reading, not a full performance. "That's part of what is exciting about it," he said. The fact that the performance does not have any costumes or scenery "gives a feeling that it really is something new," he said.
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