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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoONE-MAN SHOW BASED ON PULITZER WINNING NOVEL, THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO BY JUNOT DÍAZ, TO BE STAGED

NYS Writers Institute, March 24, 2011
7:30 p.m. Performance | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

CALENDAR LISTING:
A new stage adaptation of Junot Díaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007),will be performed at 7:30 p.m.  Thursday, March 24, 2011 in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. The performance will be complemented by a discussion with a teaching artist prior to the show at 7 p.m. and again after the show. A production of American Place Theatre, a performance-based literacy program, the event is sponsored by the Performing Arts Center and the New York State Writers Institute. Admission is $15 general public; $12 seniors & faculty/staff; $10 students. Box Office: (518) 442-3997; tickets@albany.edu.

PROFILE
American Place Theatre will present a one-person theatrical adaptation of Junot Díaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007). An overweight, self-described “ghetto nerd,” growing up in New Jersey, Oscar is obsessed with science fiction, fantasy novels, comic books, and role-playing games. At the same time, he seeks to escape the “fukú” (family curse) that has plagued his Dominican-American family for generations.

Elvis NolascoThe one-man play is a production of American Place Theatre’s “Literature to Life” series, a literacy program that presents professionally staged adaptations of American literary works. The show is adapted and directed by Elise Thoron, the company’s Associate Artistic Director. Previous works staged at UAlbany by American Place Theatre have included Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle, Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, and Sherman Alexie’s Flight.

The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with a pre-performance discussion led by a member of American Place Theatre and will conclude with a post-performance discussion immediately following the show. The show is performed by Elvis Nolasco whose acting credits include the film I Like It Like That (1994) with Lauren Valez and Rita Moreno; Spike Lee’s Clockers (1995); In Search of a Dream (1997), the first all-Spanish film sanctioned by the Screen Actors Guild; and Steven Soderbergh’s Che: Part One (2008). He has guest-starred on several television series including Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Law & Order SVU, and Third Watch. He will star in the ITVS mini-scifi film White, about the effects of global warming in New York City, due to air on PBS in April 2011.

Elvis NolascoJunot Díaz’s bestselling novel Oscar Wao (2007) achieved international acclaim and has become a standard text in university literature courses nationwide. Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times said, “Funny, street-smart and keenly observed.... An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose.... A book that decisively establishes [Díaz] as one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices.” Lev Grossman of Time magazine called it, “Astoundingly great.... an immigrant-family saga for people who don’t read immigrant-family sagas.”

Widely acknowledged as one of the major voices of Latino literature, Junot Díaz was a guest of the Writers Institute early in his career (April 1997). His previous book was the short story collection, Drown (1996). On the basis of that book, Newsweek named him one of the ten “New Faces” of 1996.

The play is presented by the Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the New York State Writers Institute. Admission is $15 general public; $12 seniors & faculty/staff; and $10 students. For tickets and additional information, contact the PAC box office at (518) 442-3997 or tickets@albany.edu .