For Immediate Release
September 22, 2016
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Brockport Theatre Season Features a Premiere and Other New Works
Good Kids and Your Wings Have Eyes Written Specifically for College Actors; Festival of Ten Celebrates its Tenth Edition
Brockport, NY – College theatre departments are seldom able to present plays that have been written within the last two years, no less offer world premieres. This year, the Department of Theatre and Music Studies at The College at Brockport will accomplish both of these occurrences not once, but three times. Naomi Iizuka’s Good Kids, which was the first play to come out of the Big Ten Theatre Consortium New Play Initiative in 2014, will launch the Brockport theatre season when it opens on Friday, October 7, 2016, at 7:30 pm in the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage, 180 Holley Street, on the Brockport campus. Tickets are $17/General, $12/Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $9/Students. They are available online at fineartstix.brockport.edu, by phone at (585) 395-2787, or at the Tower Fine Arts Center box office.
Iizuka’s play, with its ripped-from-the-headlines story of sexual assault amongst a group of high school friends, examines how social media can affect people’s perceptions and, often, legal outcomes. With the Duke, Columbia, Steubenville, Brock Turner, and other cases still part of the nation’s consciousness, the play should be eye-opening not only for the millennials at its core, but the parents of those young adults, as well.
The Consortium came together to foster works that would be written by women, as well as seeing to it that each play would include a substantial number of roles for female actors. By working directly with students, the playwrights are able to conceive characters who are closer to the actors’ actual ages, while also finding the pulse of college campuses. As her conversations with the students deepened, and the subject of a sexual assault and its aftermath arose as a potential plot for the drama, Iizuka noticed that it was “something that they very much want to talk about, and do something about… You don’t solve a problem like sexual assault with anything other than a deep shift in attitude, and a deep shift in attitude happens by conversations that occur in dorm rooms, parties and rehearsal halls.”
Having its world premiere at Brockport this fall, Micheline Auger’s Your Wings Have Eyes is the result of this year’s Farm Theatre College Collaboration Project in which three separate colleges have students confer with a playwright, under the sponsorship of the Off-Broadway based theatre company. The resulting play receives performances at the three schools while being refined for publishing and future productions. Since Auger’s drama was written with the input of Brockport students, the campus’ connection with the piece is that much more personal and immediate, and the play will be a centerpiece for a campus-wide week of events focusing on social impact and social injustice, sponsored by the Brockport Student Government.
Your Wings Have Eyes takes place on a college campus, where boys and girls mature into men and women. But as they grow up, they face the realities of a world that deals with each gender differently, sometimes with substantial consequences. Female and male characters ponder whether there are moral responsibilities inherent in being someone’s friend, and when – or if – being the witness to an assault supersedes that relationship, or any unspoken “bro code.” Frank Kuhn, professor and interim chair of the Department of Theatre and Music Studies, has been instrumental in getting Brockport to participate in the Collaboration with the Farm Theatre. He has facilitated Skype sessions between the students and the playwright as well as a face-to-face meeting in New York City of all the involved parties. He sums up the Project’s process by saying that “playwright Micheline Auger was asked to write about how gender influences behavior among young people, and she has crafted a tale of youth, trust, betrayal, fear, and self-realization.” There will be three performances of Your Wings Have Eyes on Friday, November 11, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, November 12, at 2 and 7:30 pm, in the Tower Fine Arts Center Black Box Theatre.
Completing the department’s trifecta of brand new theatrical works being performed this season is the tenth biennial edition of the Festival of Ten, a program of ten 10-minute plays, which will commence performances on February 24, 2017, in the Tower Mainstage. The featured selections are culled from an international search that typically garners approximately 400 submissions. Whether these brief plays tug at your heartstrings or tickle your funny bone, one thing is certain: If you are not enjoying the play you are seeing, wait 10 minutes and you can have a totally different experience. Not unlike Rochester’s weather.
Performances of Good Kids will take place on October 7, 8, 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 pm. There is also a 2 pm matinee on Sunday, October 9, which will be ASL interpreted for the hearing impaired. Performances of Your Wings Have Eyes will take place on November 11 at 7:30 pm and November 12 at 2 and 7:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online at fineartstix.brockport.edu, by phone at (585) 395-2787, or at the Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office, 180 Holley Street, Brockport.
More information on the 2016-17 Fine Arts Series at The College at Brockport can be found at www.brockport.edu/academics/fine_arts or on Facebook.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu