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CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF LITERATURE

Teacher ManA TRIBUTE TO RECENTLY DECEASED AUTHOR FRANK MCCOURT (1930-2009) FEATURING A STAGE PERFORMANCE OF “TEACHER MAN”

NYS Writers Institute, October 13, 2009
7:30 p.m. American Place Theatre Performance | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
7:00 p.m. Pre-performance tribute to Frank McCourt



CALENDAR LISTING:

In tribute to the memory of Frank McCourt (1930-2009), UAlbany’s Performing Arts Center and the New York State Writers Institute present American Place Theatre’s theatrical adaptation of Frank McCourt’s 2005 memoir, “Teacher Man,” about his long career as a high school English teacher, on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus.  There will also be a pre-performance tribute at 7:00 p.m. featuring video clips of McCourt and reminiscences by William Kennedy, who was a longtime friend of the author. Tickets are $15 general public; seniors and UAlbany staff $12; students $10. Contact the PAC box office at (518) 442-3997 or tickets@albany.edu. The event is open to the public, and sponsored by the Performing Arts Center and New York State Writers Institute

PROFILE
To honor the memory of Frank McCourt (1930-2009), UAlbany’s Performing Arts Center and the New York State Writers Institute present American Place Theatre’s theatrical adaptation of Frank McCourt’s 2005 memoir, “Teacher Man,” about his long career as a high school English teacher. There will also be a pre-performance tribute featuring video clips of McCourt and reminiscences by William Kennedy, who was a longtime friend of the author.

Teacher Man Book CoverThe stage adaptation brings to life McCourt’s witty and heartbreakingly honest memoir of the trials, triumphs and surprises McCourt faced in public high schools around New York City during his 30 year career as a teacher. “I thought I was teaching. I was learning,” the Pulitzer Prize winner says as he and his students take us on a journey laced with humor and fueled by a heart of unlimited circumference.

The play was adapted by Wynn Handman, winner of the Obie Award for Sustained Achievement, and the Rosetta LeNoire Award of the Actor’s Equity Association for his contribution to the “universality of the human experience in American theatre.” The one-man show stars Irish actor Michael McMonagle.

McCourt served as advisory board member to American Place Theatre, an organization committed to producing high quality new work by  American writers and to pursuing pluralism and diversity in all its endeavors. The stage adaptation of “Teacher Man” is an outgrowth of the theatre’s Literature to Life program, a performance-based literacy program that presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of significant American literary works.

In April of 2008, with McCourt in attendance, “Teacher Man” was performed for an audience of over 500 public school teachers at NYU’s Skirball Theatre in NYC as part of American Place Theatre’s Annual “Literature To Life” Gala.

Frank McCourt, one of the master storytellers of American literature, received the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for “Angela’s Ashes” (1996), a memoir of his impoverished Irish boyhood. Other books include “‘Tis” (1999), a memoir of his immigration experience in America, and “Angela and the Baby Jesus” (2007), a children’s book.

Renowned for his irreverent charm and self-effacing wit, McCourt first became a literary star at the age of 66, after establishing himself as a dedicated and beloved English teacher at McKee Vocational High School in Staten Island, Seward Park High School on the Lower East Side, and Manhattan’s famous, fiercely competitive Stuyvesant High School.

McCourt visited the Writers Institute in 1996 and 2006 as part of the Visiting Writers Series, and served as the keynote speaker of the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) international conference in Albany under the Writers Institute’s sponsorship in 1999.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.