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Oct. 29, 2003

CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097


    OSWEGO -- Seeing the potential of a production unfold, and the opportunity to chart its course as a director, have Erin Naughton excited about directing the SUNY Oswego student honors production "Italian-American Reconciliation."
   John Patrick Shanley, who penned the Oscar-winning screenplay for "Moonstruck," wrote the comedy, which will open Nov. 19 in the Tyler Hall lab theatre on the SUNY Oswego campus.

    Until then, Naughton is enjoying the project's evolution. Her favorite part so far has been "when I say the littlest thing or give the littlest direction" and the actors respond to improve the production, she said. "It's not about self-satisfaction. It's because this production is so full of potential and exciting."

    Naughton, a senior from Rome with a double major in theatre and English, said she has "always gravitated toward theatre." Since seventh grade, Naughton has been active in community and school shows. Audiences may remember her as the title character of "The Diary of Anne Frank" at the college last spring.

    While her main interest is performing, Naughton applied for the opportunity to direct the student honors production because of the broader experience it would provide. "It's a really unique opportunity," she said. "It's a great resume thing. It's a great learning experience. Everybody has been great" -- cast, crew, mentors and professors. 

    Naughton cast the production earlier than usual, which meant assembling actors while the previous campus production, "The Importance of Being Earnest," was still playing.

    "Because it's a very monologue-heavy show, I wanted to give people who weren't in 'Earnest' a chance to have a script earlier, and those in 'Earnest' knew what was expected," she said.

    The number of monologues and two-person scenes reflect the dialogue-driven nature of the script. "Monologues are very dangerous things in a play," Naughton acknowledged. "If you don't capture why the author wrote this longer speech, you could lose the audience."

    She expressed confidence, however, that the quality of Shanley's writing and the skills of her performers should surmount this concern.

    The cast includes Ryan Powers as Aldo, Aaron Kicak as Huey, Sondra Tackett as Janice, Deva Holub as May and Meaghan Thaney as Teresa.

    In what Naughton terms "an interesting little twist," the director of last year's honors production -- Tackett, who directed "Little Footsteps" -- is a cast member this year. "It's nice because she's there if I need anything, but she also realizes that I need to make my own mistakes and learn from it in my own way," Naughton noted.

    The preview of "Italian-American Reconciliation" will take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, with all seats available for $5.

    The production will have 8 p.m. curtains Nov. 19 to 22, with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee Nov. 23. Tickets cost $10, $9 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students. For information or reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

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Student director Erin Naughton leads rehearsals of 'Italian-American Reconciliation'

PLOT DEVELOPING -- Erin Naughton (center), director of the SUNY Oswego student honors production "Italian-American Reconciliation," watches as Meaghan Thaney (left) and Deva Holub work on a scene during an early rehearsal. The comedy will open Nov. 19 in Tyler Hall's lab theatre. For information or reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

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