University at Albany

News and Announcements

Press Release: “Fifth of July” by Lanford Wilson

November 10th-19th, 2011 at UAlbany
A veteran’s redemption, seen through the prism of the Vietnam War.
This production is paired with an exhibition of photographs of returning veterans from
the current war, from the book “War is Personal” by Eugene Richards.

Great playwriting encompasses timeless themes.  Lanford Wilson’s Broadway hit “Fifth of July” examined the plight of a returning veteran through the prism of the Vietnam War.  But with the current returning veterans’ unemployment far outweighing the national average of the jobless, and more veterans surviving war with severe injuries, this play has never been more relevant than to this generation.

U/Albany honors the memory of Lanford Wilson, who died last spring, with a revival of “Fifth of July,” one of a trilogy of plays centering on the Tally family in Lebanon, Missouri.  Wilson has often been regarded as the American Chekhov, writing comedic scenes with powerful underlying themes.  While the audience can laugh at some of the silliness of the generation of the seventies, they will not be able to ignore the struggle of the main character to come to terms with his life, which has been gravely altered by his injuries and memories of war.

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:30pm alumni Herb Newsome ’99 and Michael Rosenthal ’97 join forces to bring Freeman In Paris to UAlbany for a special presentation to support the Department of Theatre.   Freeman In Paris is a play that tells the story of a fictitious jazz musician born in the deep South who endures racial hatred and violence from an early age.  Through his music he finds acceptance as a human being in Paris.  Herb Newsome plays eight primary characters and five different instruments to tell a tale of hope and freedom.  Tickets--$4.00.
Freeman In Paris is written and performed by alumnus Herb Newsome ’99 andis Directed by alumnus Michael Rosenthal ’97. 
*At 3:00pm prior to the performance there will be a Panel Discussion with the artistic team of Freeman In Paris and members of The Standard Collective, an artist collective, in which Herb Newsome is a founding member.  The Panel will feature:
Herb Newsome ’99 (Actor/Writer/Director)
Michael Rosenthal ’97 (Playwright/Director/Teacher)
Joy Hooper (Actress/Acting Coach/Artistic Director of The Standard)
Nicoye Banks (Actor- "The Green Zone," "Brooklyn's Finest," "Law and Order")

The Panel Discussion is Free.

Eszter Szalczer, Associate Professor, Director of History, Literature and Criticism for Department of Theatre has recent publications in the following:

August Strindberg  (London: Routledge, 2010)

"Dramatist, theatre practitioner, novelist, and painter, August Strindberg’s diverse dramatic output embodied the modernist sensibility.
He was above all one of the most radical innovators of Western theatre.

This book provides an insightful assessment of Strindberg’s vital contribution to the dramatic arts, while placing his creative process and experimental approach within a wider cultural context. Eszter Szalczer explores Strindberg’s re-definition of drama as a fluid, constantly evolving form that profoundly influenced playwriting and theatrical production from the German Expressionists to the Theatre of the Absurd.
Key productions of Strindberg’s plays are analysed, examining his theatre as a living voice that continues to challenge audiences, critics, and even the most innovative directors.

August Strindberg provides an essential and accessible guide to the playwright’s work and illustrates the influence of his drama on our understanding of contemporary theatre."

Writing Daughters: August Strindberg's Other Voices (London: Norvik Press, 2008)

"In this book, Eszter Szalczer looks at a previously neglected aspect of August Strindberg's life and work: his daughters, both fictional and real, and their relationship to writing - both their father's and their own. In Strindberg's work, father- and daughter-figures often appear intertwined, and the daughters are often seen to be acting roles in their father's narratives. This study explores these roles in detail, and offers parallel readings of the father's stories and those of the daughters in order to create a dialogue between different perspectives. Such readings challenge the conventional authorial voice which singularly 'fathers' the text, and posits writing as a process that extends beyond the limits of the individual literary work. Writing turns into an ongoing dialogue as long as daughters keep being written, and daughters continue to write."

Marnie Andrews, an instructor with the Department of Theatre at SUNY/Albany, will have her poetry and a photograph she took of Lynn Redgrave published in October in the highly respected online photography magazine, Visura.    November 20th, she will be acting and directing in a benefit for the Hudson Opera House, in Hudson NY with Plays in Progress, a locally based development group. Her poetry with also be read in that benefit.

After completing her fall teaching, Marnie will play Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie" at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK.  Following that she will return to Oakhall School in Gainesville, FL where she has been hired to teach a workshop and to help develop an arts conservatory program.  April will find Marnie in Paris, France, singing with the NYC Master Chorale.  And on May 7th, she will return home to perform for the Hudson Valley Theatre Collective. 

Harold Gould died Saturday, September 11, 2010, at the age of 86.  Here is a link to the NY Times article:

As many of you know, Harold Gould graduated from UAlbany, and was a student and friend of Agnes Futterer.  He remained interested in, and supportive of, our Department throughout his life, even endowing a fund that has allowed us to bring in guest artists specializing in voice and heightened language.

More info on Harold Gould click on the link below

Professional theatre artists (and former SUNY Albany student and faculty member) Kristen van Ginhoven and Leigh Strimbeck founded WAM Theatre in 2009 in order to use theatre to benefit women and girls worldwide.

WAM Theatre’s philanthropic mission is two-fold. First, to create professional theatrical events by, with, for and about women and girls. Second, to donate a portion of the proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls.

WAM Theatre is based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Capital Region of New York State. If you are on Facebook, you can join WAM Theatre at