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Sarah Franek in The Glass CastleTHE GLASS CASTLE


NYS Writers Institute, October 20, 2010
7:30 p.m. Performance | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

7:00 p.m. Pre-performance Discussion

A new stage adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ bestselling memoir, “The Glass Castle” (2005),will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 20, 2010 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 afterward. 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; [email protected].

“The Glass Castle”
is a one-person theatrical adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ “New York Times” bestselling memoir of survival and resiliency told through the eyes of a young girl. In this saga of the nomadic and dysfunctional Walls family— led by charismatic father Rex and artist mother Rose— the author and her siblings are often left to fend for themselves as the family’s precarious lifestyle necessitates frequently doing “the skedaddle.” Despite their hardships, the children continue to believe in Dad’s vision of a better life in the future— a fabulous home, a “glass castle.”

The one-woman 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. Previous works staged at UAlbany by American Place Theatre have included 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 show is performed by Sarah Franek and directed by Wynn Handman, the company’s 88-year-old Artistic Director, a winner of a 1999 Obie for Sustained Achievement and the 1993 Lucille Lortell Lifetime Achievement of the League of Off-Broadway Theatres. 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.

“Kirkus Reviews” said of the memoir, “Walls’s journalistic bare-bones style makes for a chilling, wrenching, incredible testimony of childhood neglect. A pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, thoroughly American story.” “People” magazine said, “Walls has joined the company of writers such as Mary Karr and Frank McCourt who have been able to transform their sad memories into fine art.” Honors include the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Christopher Award, and the Books for Better Living Award. On the “New York Times” Best Seller list for nearly two years, the book is now being adapted as a film by Paramount.

Walls has served as the gossip columnist for msnbc.com since 1999, and served formerly as the gossip columnist for “New York” magazine and “Esquire.”

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 additional information, contact the box office at (518) 442-3997 or [email protected] .

American Place Theatre will return to the UAlbany Performing Arts Center in the spring for performances of Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize winner, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” on March 24 and 25, 2011.