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Nov. 8, 2000
 
'AMERICAN BEAUTY' SCREENWRITER
PENS OSWEGO STUDENT HONORS PLAY
OSWEGO -- The Academy Award-winning writer of "American Beauty" wrote "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress," the next production by Oswego State's theatre department, to be presented at the Oswego Players' Frances Marion Brown Theatre at Fort Ontario.
Previewing Nov. 14, the play will run through Nov. 19, starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Because of renovations in Tyler Hall, the annual student honors production had to be relocated. The entire production will be directed, designed and produced by students.
Academy Award-winning writer Alan Ball has the distinction of writing for all three entertainment mediums -- theatre, film and television -- over a 20-year career span. Series contributions to "Grace Under Fire" and "Cybill," as well as his very own sitcom creation, "Oh, Grow Up," are among his television credits.
His stage credits include "Cherokee County," "Frostproof," "The Two Mrs. Trumps," "Power Lunch," "Bachelor Holiday," "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" and "The Amazing Adventures of Tense Guy."
His only screenplay, "American Beauty," won five Oscars at the 72nd annual Academy Awards. The surprise front-runner led all contenders with eight nominations and took home the golden statue in categories for best picture, director, screenplay, actor and cinematography.
Ball garnered the Writers Guild Award for "Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen." His rise to prominence with the dark comedy has left many observers delighted and stunned.
"I've always been interested in conflicted characters," Ball said in a recent interview. "People struggling with things internally. People who are trying to live an authentic life in an inauthentic world. Stories about people trying to connect with each other, stories about people realizing what's really important in their lives as opposed to what they thought was important, stories about people finding bravery within themselves."
This interest in conflicted characters runs true to theme throughout his works and helped to shape the award-winning screenplay.
Conflicted characters adorn Ball's chaotic comedy "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress."
Five disillusioned bridesmaids gather in an upstairs bedroom to commiserate. The reception being held outside on the lawn is not nearly as juicy as the goings on in the bride's sister's bedroom. With scathing barbs and ruminations on sex, life and morality, there is hardly a subject pertinent to women that is left unmentioned, from abortion to sexual molestation.
Tickets for the student honors production are $8 for adults and $7 for seniors and students. Preview tickets are $4. Early reservations are recommended, as seating is limited and unreserved.
For reservations, call Tyler box office at 312-2141 or e-mail tylerbxo@oswego.edu.
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