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Bill Lyons, Photo by Jennifer BarnetteSTAGE ADAPTATION OF THE CLASSIC STORY COLLECTION ABOUT THE VIETNAM WAR, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, TO BE PERFORMED

NYS Writers Institute, November 7, 2012
American Place Theatre
7:30 p.m. Performance | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center,
Uptown Campus

CALENDAR LISTING:
A stage adaptation of Tim O’Brien’s classic collection of interrelated stories about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried (1990), will be performed at 7:30 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME], Wednesday, November 7, 2012 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, the New York State Writers Institute and The Big Read program led by the Albany City School District through the Albany Fund for Education and the Albany Public Library. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in Partnership with Arts Midwest. Admission is $15 general public; $12 seniors, faculty/staff; and $10 students. Box Office: (518) 442-3997; tickets@albany.edu

PROFILE
Tim O’Brien
served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970 with a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. His masterwork of contemporary literature, The Things They Carried (1990) about the Vietnam War is taken from book to stage by American Place Theatre, the award-winning New York City based company. The verbatim adaptation of this compassionate tale of the American soldier includes five short stories from the book, including “The Rainy River” and “The Man I Killed.” With original cello music as underscoring, the audience plays witness to the complex issues of war and the universal struggle of the soldier.

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 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 was adapted and directed by Wynn Handman, the company’s founder and Artistic Director, recipient of a 1999 Obie for Sustained Achievement and the Lucille Lortel Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The performer is Billy Lyons who also stars in American Place Theatre’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.” A graduate in acting from Ithaca College, Lyons previously starred in “The Laramie Project,” “Die Fledermaus,” and “The Cherry Orchard” at Ithaca College, and in “The American Dream” performed by the Icarus Theatre Ensemble in Ithaca, NY. Lyons currently studies at the Wynn Handman Studio and serves as Mr. Handman’s studio assistant.

A finalist for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Things They Carried is widely regarded as one of the great classics of fiction about war in general. An accessible introduction to the traumas of war, the book is also an extremely popular choice for school-wide, college-wide and city-wide reading projects. O’Brien received the National Book Award in 1979 for Going After Cacciato, a novel that is also set in Vietnam. His other novels include In the Lake of the Woods (1994), which was named the best novel of 1994 by Time, and July July (2002).

The play is presented by the Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the New York State Writers Institute, as part of the NYS Presenters Network Presenter-Artist Partnership Project, with support from the NYS Council on the Arts, a state agency. Support is also provided by University Auxiliary Services and Holiday Inn Express. This performance is part of The Big Read program led by the Albany City School District through the Albany Fund for Education and the Albany Public Library. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in Partnership with Arts Midwest.

Admission is $15 general public; $12 seniors & faculty/staff; and $10 students. For additional information, contact the box office at (518) 442-3997 or tickets@albany.edu .