A Rising Playwright Takes on Challenging Issues

The Binghamton University Theatre Department presents Kirsten Greenidge’s play ‘Baltimore’. Director Godfrey Simmons joins us to talk about this drama that explores the fallout of a racial incident on a college campus that prides itself on having gotten “past racism”.

Three One-Act Plays by Tennessee Williams

Know Theatre presents three rarely-performed plays by Tennessee Williams: ’27 Wagons Full of Cotton’, ‘The Pretty Trap’, and ‘Interior: Panic’. Director Tim Gleason talks about the poetry of Tennessee Williams’ dialogue and how these plays pull back the curtain to reveal more about Williams’ craft of creating characters.

Kitchen Theatre Presents ‘Brahman/i’

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Kitchen Theatre presents Aditi Brennan Kapil’s ‘Brahman/i’. We hear from actor Aila Peck about her character in this creative telling of the life of this individual who may or may not be a Hindu deity. “Kitchen Theatre Company transforms into a comedy club featuring a very unusual and completely hilarious stand-up routine in the second play of our season. Meet, B or  Brahman/i, a boy/girl from Athens, Georgia who explores everything from his/her/their Indian heritage to history, mythology, gender roles, and horrifying middle school experiences, with the assistance of J, electric bass playing side-kick.  

 

Photo credit: Kitchen Theatre

Binghamton University Presents Amy Herzog’s ‘Belleville’

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Binghamton University Theatre Department presents Amy Herzog’s thriller ‘Belleville’. Director Anne Brady talks about this 2013 Drama Desk Award-winning play, having her actors learn appropriate accents, and the very detailed set. Because it’s a thriller we try not to give away too many plot points. http://wskg.org/audio/belleville.mp3

 

Photo credit: Marcus Newton for Binghamton University

'Storm Country' is a New Kind of Theatre Experience

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The Cherry Arts presents an audio walking play, ‘Storm Country’. Based on the novel ‘Tess of the Storm Country’ story set in Ithaca by Ithaca author Grace Miller White it tells the story of squatters living in the swamp that is now the Ithaca waterfront. Director Samuel Buggeln tells us how an audio walking play works, and how reconstruction of the waterfront will make it impossible to do this play again in the same location. http://wskg.org/audio/storm.mp3

 

Photo credit: The Cherry Arts

Franklin Stage Company Presents 'Magdalen'

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The Franklin Stage Company welcomes actress Erin Layton in her play ‘Magdalen’ about the Magdalen Laundries of Ireland.  She and director/collaborator Julie Kline talk about the journey from the shock of learning about the Magdalen Laundries to crafting a one-woman play that gives voices to the many characters involved in those tragic circumstances. http://wskg.org/audio/magdalen.mp3

 

Photo credit: Erin Layton

Franklin Stage Presents 'Cry Havoc'

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The Franklin Stage Company presents three performances of Stephan Wolfert’s one-man show ‘Cry Havoc’, which tells of Wolfert’s own war-time experiences,  and then trying to fit back into civilian life, illuminated with the words of characters from Shakespeare. “Stephan Wolfert recounts his own experiences of military service, weaving his personal narrative with lines from some of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches. Wolfert proposes that the military recruits citizens and trains them to kill, but asks what does the “de-cruit” process look like? How do civilians and Veterans re-learn to live together?” http://wskg.org/audio/cryhavoc.mp3

 

Photo credit: Franklin Stage Company

Know Theatre Presents Edward Albee's 'The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?'

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Binghamton’s Know Theatre presents ‘The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?’ Edward Albee’s 2002 comedy/drama mines ancient Greek tragedy for a play about the modern world testing its boundaries of toleration. Artistic Director Tim Gleason and actor Jarel Davidow talk about the process of finding all of the hidden references Albee has thrown into the play which make it, by turns, hilarious and then terrifying. http://wskg.org/audio/goat.mp3

 

Photo credit: Kat D’Andrea for Know Theatre

Know Theatre Presents 'An Evening with Edward Allan Baker'

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Know Theatre is presenting three one-act plays by Edward Allan Baker. ‘Dolores’ and ‘Up, Down, Strange, Charmed, Beauty, and Truth’ are intense studies of modern issues, while ‘Mafia on Prozac’ is a dark comedy. Director Tim Gleason tells about meeting the playwright, and how this triple bill came to be. http://wskg.org/audio/bakerknow.mp3

Two Weeks Left for Students to Enter Radio Drama Contest

Wikipedia reminds us that radio drama first appeared in the 1920s and quickly rose in popularity. In the 1940s, it was a leading form of popular entertainment for children and adults; and one they often enjoyed together. The invention of the television stunted this popularity, but radio dramas have continued to be produced over the past 90 years. What will happen if we combine the creative writing of students and teachers with the audio technology of 2017? (Something awesome, we think!)
Teachers and students: Create a script for a 15-minute radio drama that will air on WSKG Radio!

Elmira College Students Premiere 'Aide et Reconfort'

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The Arnot Art Museum hosts the premiere of a new play, ‘Aide et Reconfort’ by Elmira College professor John J. Kelly.  The title is a reference to French citizens who were suspected of giving “aid and comfort” to the Nazi forces occupying France, and how the French Resistance dealt with them.  We hear from Professor Kelly about his historical research to write this play, and also from actor Sophie Poost, a sociology and anthropology major, whose studies inform her role as a member of the Resistance. http://wskg.org/audio/aide.mp3

 

Photo credit:Elmira College

The BU Theatre Department Presents 'A Lie of the Mind'

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The Binghamton University Theatre Department presents Sam Shepard’s drama ‘A Lie of the Mind’ in five performances in the Watters Theatre of the Fine Arts Building on the Binghamton University campus. Director Anne Brady talks about Sam Shepherds autobiographical connection to the play and working with young actors playing complex characters. The production contains adult content and is not suitable for young audiences. http://wskg.org/audio/shepherd.mp3

 

Photo credit: Binghamton University Theatre Department

The Civic Ensemble of Ithaca Performs an Encore

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The Civic Ensemble of Ithaca is bringing back their production of Athol Fugard’s play ‘My Children! My Africa!’ Director Melanie Dreyer-Lude talks about the play and her cast. “The great South African playwright Athol Fugard confronts the tragedy of apartheid in this compelling tale set in a segregated township in 1984. In the face of increasing racial tension, a humble and humane black teacher attempts to persuade his best (and most charismatic) student that education, not violence, is the answer to South Africa’s problems. Fugard’s play resonates deeply with the increasing influence of the Black Lives Matter movement challenging the old guard of the Civil Rights movement and with ongoing debates over racial inequality in American public schools.”

Did You Miss the Latest Episode of 'Mercy Street'? Watch it Now!

Based on real events, PBS’s new Civil War drama Mercy Street follows a diverse and colorful cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — and brings to life the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War. Get caught up on Season 2 below and watch new episodes Sundays at 8PM on WSKG TV. Watch Season 2 | Episode 4

Watch Season 2 | Episode 3

Watch new episodes Sundays at 8PM on WSKG TV.

Know Theatre Presents 'Of the Fields, Lately'

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Know Theatre of Binghamton is presenting David French’s play ‘Of the Fields, Lately’. David French is held in the same esteem in Canada as Tennessee Williams is in the United States.  His cycle of plays about the Mercer family is presented with great regularity there.  Tim Gleason talks about his role in the play. We also get him to reluctantly tell about a recent award he received. http://wskg.org/audio/0206fields.mp3

 

Photo credit: Know Theatre

'Birds of East Africa' Land in Ithaca

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The Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca is presenting a world premiere.  Playwright Wendy Dann, a long-time associate of Kitchen Theatre, has written a new play, ‘Birds of East Africa’. She and Artistic Director Rachel Lampert talk about the joys and challenges of presenting a new play that deals with creating a new family after a life-changing event. http://wskg.org/audio/africa.mp3

 

Photo credit: Andy Morffew via Flickr

Spare Productions Present 'No Exit'

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Spare Productions is making a big departure from their succession of musicals with Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential drama ‘No Exit’. Originally written in French with the title ‘Huis Clos’, this version has been translated into English by Paul Bowles.  Kassidy Shea, playing Ines, and Marisa Valent, not only playing Estelle but also the producer, talk about about the decision to break from musicals to produce this deep and serious play while on a break from their university studies. http://wskg.org/audio/noexit.mp3

 

Photo credit: Spare Productions

The Cardboard Alley Players Present ‘The Nether’

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The Cardboard Alley Players of Hartwick College are presenting Jennifer Haley’s futuristic play ‘The Nether’.  The play explore a possible future for the internet, as people are allowed to enter into virtual reality and act out their fantasies. A young police woman investigates a particularly disturbing corner of this new and improved internet to see if these fantasies constitute criminal activity.  The Cardboard Alley Players are a relatively new group on the Hartwick College campus.  We hear from the director and the technical director. http://wskg.org/audio/nethermix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Cardboard Alley Players

The Cardboard Alley Players Present 'The Nether'

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The Cardboard Alley Players of Hartwick College are presenting Jennifer Haley’s futuristic play ‘The Nether’.  The play explore a possible future for the internet, as people are allowed to enter into virtual reality and act out their fantasies. A young police woman investigates a particularly disturbing corner of this new and improved internet to see if these fantasies constitute criminal activity.  The Cardboard Alley Players are a relatively new group on the Hartwick College campus.  We hear from the director and the technical director. http://wskg.org/audio/nethermix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Cardboard Alley Players

History Repeats itself in a Major Drama

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Ti-Ahwaga Community Players present Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. http://tiahwaga.com/  It’s a retelling of the story of the Salem Witch Trials, but it is famously a metaphor for the McCarthy Hearings during the Red Scare of the 1950’s that pulled Miller himself into its vortex.  We hear about the history of the play, and the historical events the play is based on from director James Osborne. “Based on the infamous witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts, from 1692 to 1693, a deeply tragic yet captivating thriller emerges as a social and psychological play. Through the unfolding action of the events, situations arise that brings with it hysteria and a definite us or them mentality. This captivating 1949 Pulitzer Prize winning play maintains its relevancy to modern day events by demonstrating the electrifying intensity that is born out of the ideology of paranoia and mayhem.

A Musician Caught Between Art and Politics is Forced to Explain his Actions

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Chenango River Theatre is presenting Ronald Harwood’s play ‘Taking Sides’. Wilhelm Furtwängler was the best conductor of his time.  Unfortunately that time included Nazi Germany and World War II.  He remained in Germany, an ardent opponent of the Nazis, insulated by his great fame, and useful as a propaganda tool.  Yet, after the war, his actions were judged suspect. ‘Taking Sides’ explores the interrogations he experienced. Actor James Wetzel talks about playing the American Major charged with forcing Furtwängler to admit that he willingly collaborated with the Nazis. http://wskg.org/audio/sidesmix.mp3

 

Photo Credit: iClassical.com via Flickr

 

 

A Play Written in 1964 Remains Relevant Decades Later

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Know Theatre is presenting ‘Dutchman’ written by Amiri Baraka when he was still known as LeRoi Jones.  It was written in 1964, but its relevance has not paled over the years, highlighting issues of today that remain overlooked and unresolved since then.  A professional African-American man and an aggressive white woman with enigmatic motives meet in a subway car and interact in seemingly unexpected ways, but it’s a dance whose steps are pre-ordained. Director Tim Gleason talks about the themes of the play. Actors Caitlin McNichol and Kymel Yard give us a look inside these very complicated characters. http://www.wskg.org/audio/dutchmix.mp3

 

Photo Credit: Kat D’Andrea for Know Theatre

 

 

Two Actors Play All the Parts

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The Franklin Stage Company presents Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in a version adapted for two actors.  Director Daniel Swern has had experience adapting Shakespeare in unusual ways to bring new immediacy to the sometimes disturbing themes of the play, and new playfulness to the comic scenes. “In this arresting two-hander adaptation, two strangers discover the text of William Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Armed with costumes and books-in-hand, what starts as a game turns into a confrontation of personal prejudice and reconciliation with our past. A stunning and innovative feat from director Dan Swern of New Brunswick, New Jersey’s Smugbug Productions.”  

 

Photo credit: Franklin Stage Company

 

 

Hangar Theatre Presents a Love Story Across Time

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Hangar Theatre presents Nick Payne’s ‘Constellations’.  It’s a love story across time, or rather, across different threads of time, between a beekeeper and a quantum physicist. We meet the two actors, Makela Spielman and Robert Ross Parker. http://wskg.org/audio/constellmix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Fulla T via Flickr

 

 

Hamlet's Ophelia Steps to the Front of the Stage in Franklin

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The Franklin Stage Company present ‘The Ophelia Project’ this weekend.  In Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ she is the victim of Hamlet’s feigned madness and a reason for her brother Laertes to challenge Hamlet to a duel.  In operatic treatments she gives the composer an excuse to write a mad scene. But what is she really about? Soprano Cree Carrico and director Christopher Mirto present a musical exploration of this familiar, yet enigmatic character. http://wskg.org/audio/ophelia.mp3

 

Photo credit: Franklin Stage Company

The Homecoming Players Revive a Favorite Play

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The Homecoming Players are presenting Arthur Bicknell’s play ‘Dotty’.  The play is back by popular demand and involves a writer who has fallen on hard times and is dealing with the dementia of her mother, who was a much more successful writer.  Things have never been easy between them, but time is forcing Dotty to come to terms with their problems quickly.  We hear from the director, Rachel Hockett. http://wskg.org/audio/dottymix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Homecoming Players

Chekhov's 'Three Sisters' Speak for Themselves at Franklin Stage

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The Artistic Director of the Franklin Stage Company, Carmela Marner, admits that having been an only child, she has always been fascinated with Chekhov’s play ‘The Three Sisters’. Over the past year Marner has been paring down Chekhov’s multi-character play into a story told by only those three sisters.  The result is ‘We 3’. http://wskg.org/audio/we3mix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Franklin Stage Company

A Drama Examines an Artist's Definition Of Success

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Know Theatre presents Donald Margulies’ play ‘Sight Unseen’.  Jeff Tagliaferro plays an artist so successful that collectors pay up front for paintings he has yet to begin. But he feels that the well of inspiration is running dry, so he visits the former girlfriend (Amoreena Wade) who was his Muse when he started becoming famous.  She is married now to a stable, but unexciting husband (Tim Gleason) and the battle lines are set. http://wskg.org/audio/sightunseen.mp3

 

Photo credit: Know Theatre

Actors Tell the Stories of Vietnam Veterans

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‘I Was There in ’67” is a play that consists of monologues from 10 Vietnam Veterans, collected and edited by playwright Judith Present.  It is being presented in one performance this weekend. Actor Foster Daniels talks about his character and the interactions he has had with some of the men who really were there. http://wskg.org/audio/present67.mp3

 

Photo credit: Bernt Rostad via Flickr

Chenango River Theatre Opens its Season with a Warm-Hearted Comedy

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Chenango River Theatre is presenting Bruce Graham’s comedy ‘Stella and Lou’.  Three people meet in a bar in South Philadelphia and contemplate the changes in their lives and how to deal with those changes. Brigitt Markusfeld and Dan Mian talk about this heart-warming comedy, and their acting profession. http://wskg.org/audio/stellamix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Chenango River Theatre

A Southern Gothic Play Comes to Ithaca

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The Homecoming Players present Beth Henley’s southern gothic play, ‘Crimes of the Heart’. A Pulitzer Prize winner, it presents three sisters who couldn’t be more different, until tragedy brings them together. It’s a heart-warming and hilarious play performed as readers’ theatre at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca. http://www.wskg.org/audio/crimesmix.mp3

 

Photo credit: A. Strakey via Flickr

Unusual Casting Shows the Universality of Shakespeare

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The Binghamton University Theatre Department is presenting Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. In this case, the Prince of Denmark is portrayed by a woman, Danielle Nigro, and we hear from her about how Hamlet’s struggles transcend gender.  We also meet fight director Jamie Cheatham, an alumnus of Binghamton University, who now specializes in stage combat. http://wskg.org/audio/hamletmix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Sheep purple via Flickr

Young Writers Get Together in a Play at Know Theatre

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Know Theatre is presenting Theresa Rebeck’s play ‘Seminar’.  The battle lines are drawn when a group of young writers hire a famous novelist to help them improve their work. Director Tim Gleason and actor Joanna Patchett talk about the issues these writers are dealing with, and the issues their idolized instructor is dealing with himself. http://wskg.org/audio/seminarmix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Know Theatre

A Son's Play Recollects his Father's Life through Letters

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Dalton Trumbo was a well-known screenwriter, but he was called in to testify in the Red Scare and name names of other screenwriters who had been members of the Communist Party.  He was found in contempt of Congress and was blacklisted, but managed to not only continue his craft, but excel in it.  Bill Gorman and Chris Nickerson star in ‘Trumbo: Red, White, and Blacklisted’, a play based on Trumbo’s letters produced by Southern Tier Actors Read. For tickets, 607/729-1959. http://wskg.org/audio/redwhitemix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Kate Murray; Studio 271.

Memories of a Summer in Ireland Come to Life at BU

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Binghamton University Theatre Department is presenting Brian Friel’s award-winning play ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’.  It’s a time of change between the two World Wars, and those changes are finally coming to rural Ireland. The changes are viewed as a hazy memory by the son of one a group of five sisters. Director Elizabeth Mozer tells us about this beautiful play about joy and family in the midst of hard and uncertain times. http://wskg.org/audio/lughnasmix.mp3

 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Cohen, Binghamton University

New Plays From Around The Country Staged by Darkhorse Dramatists

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Over two hundred plays were submitted to Darkhorse Dramatists from playwrights around the nation for their festival of new plays, ‘WRITE from the Heart, Plays on Love’. The seven finalist plays will be presented at the Cider Mill Playhouse.  Artistic Director Tony Yajko talks about the process of selecting and staging the plays. http://wskg.org/audio/darkhorsemix.mp3

 

Photo credit: Darkhorse Dramatists

Tri-Cities Opera Presents Two One-Act Operas by Menotti and Bernstein

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Gian-Carlo Menotti’s comedy ‘The Telephone’ and Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ are presented in the round in the Tri-Cities Opera Center, 315 Clinton Street in Binghamton in four performances this weekend. Stage Director Carleen Graham and conductor Warren Jones talk about this innovative production. http://wskg.org/audio/tahiti2.mp3

 

Photo credit: Bunn Hill Photo and Randy Cummings

A Gender-bending Cult Musical Comes to Hartwick College

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Director Nathan Skethway and actor James Canal join forces to present the cult musical ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ at Harwick College.  It’s almost 20 years since this musical premiered, but the themes are still challenging and more timely than ever. And, as a two-actor show, it’s a real challenge for the performers. http://wskg.org/audio/hedwigmix2.mp3

 

Photo credit: ldhren via Flickr

 

The Generation Gap and the Challenges on Both Sides are Explored in a Drama at Know Theatre

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After a traffic violation, a judge renders a decision, but which party is being punished: the young driver with lots to do in his demanding career, or the widower who has next to nothing to do?  Know Theatre Actors Bernie Sheredy and Josh Sedelmeyer, along with director Tim Gleason, talk about Jeff Baron’s ‘Visiting Mr. Green’. It’s a play with themes so universal that it has been performed in many languages in over 40 nations.  

 

Photo credit: THE Holy Hand Grenade via Flickr

Join Us For a 'Mercy Street' Exclusive Sneak Peek

UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE REACHED CAPACITY at our preview screening of MERCY STREET on January 7th at 6PM at WSKG Studios in Vestal. However, you can still watch the show’s premiere January 17, at 10PM on WSKG TV. Based on true stories, MERCY STREET takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of a distinctive cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — realizing the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He5ncAPB82M

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, MERCY STREET follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; MARY PHINNEY, (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and EMMA GREEN, (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army Hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria is now the melting pot of the region, filled with soldiers, civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded fighting men from both sides, runaway slaves, prostitutes, speculators and spies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5XOW0PTmKY

The intersection of North and South within the confines of a small occupied town creates a rich world that is chaotic, conflicted, corrupt, dynamic and even hopeful — a cauldron within which these characters strive, fight, love, laugh, betray, sacrifice and, at times, act like scoundrels.

"A Christmas Carol" moves through the Phelps Mansion Museum

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Dickens’ A Christmas Carol makes itself at home as the audience follows the play from room to room in the Phelps Mansion Museum, now decorated for Christmas. Chris Nickerson plays Ebeneezer Scrooge, along with Jan DeAngelo as Jacob Marley, Joe Bardales as Bob Cratchit, and Judy McMahon, Mickey Ray, Nick DeLucia as the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Adam Ackerman and Matthew Beach will be featured as Tiny Tim. http://wskg.org/audio/phelpschristmasmix.mp3

Photo courtesy of Joshua B

We have received notification that performances are now sold out.  

 

A drama explores a controversial issue

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Author Jack Gilroy and director Judy McMahon talk about the first area reading of the play The Predator.  After years as a teacher, Gilroy has begun writing novels and plays. Coming from a military family, he explores issues around drone warfare.  Judy McMahon brings her dramatic expertise and actors from Southern Tier Actors Read for a reading and discussion of this play.  The performace will be at the Unitarian Universalist church next to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. http://wskg.org/audio/predatormix.mp3

Photo provided; KAZ Vorpal via Flickr

Theatre Incognita performs in a new venue.

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Ithaca’s Theatre Incognita is performing Sam Shepherd’s Fool for Love in a new venue, Circus Culture, Press Bay Alley in Ithaca. Director Ross Haarstad talks about this drama of confrontation that takes place on the edge of the Mojave Desert. http://wskg.org/audio/foolovemix.mp3

Photo courtesy TheRealMichaelMoore via Flickr

Lauren Gunderson's "I and You" comes to the Kitchen Theatre

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Director Emily Jackson talks about Lauren Gunderson’s play I and You, now onstage at the Kitchen Theatre.  Two teenagers work together on a project; it’s a premise the author said shouldn’t work, but it’s a probing and funny look at teenagers, their battles, and their search for meaning and being. http://wskg.org/audio/iandyoumix.mp3

 

 

Photo provided

 

 

A comedy of manners (without the manners) opens Binghamton University's theatre season

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Yasmina Reza’s dark comedy The God of Carnage is the next play presented by the Theatre Department of Binghamton University. Director Tom Kremer and one of the four actors, Tom Mackin,  talk about the two civilized and well-off couples who meet to solve a dispute between their two sons, and their descent into behavior that would make a ten-year-old blush.  The play was originally written in French, but has quickly been translated into many languages for successful productions. http://www.wskg.org/audio/carnagemix.mp3

 

 

Ti-Ahwaga Community Players stage Harper Lee's classic story

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Ti-Ahwaga Community Players present a stage version of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s novel that was turned into a memorable film.  The play centers on the trial and how the father, Atticus Finch, and his daughter, Scout, support each other during a difficult time. American History professor Joseph Crespino has said, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.” We hear from the actors playing father and daughter, Greg Fusare and Nadia Murphy. http://wskg.org/audio/mockingbirdmix.mp3

 

Photo courtesy Russ Baker via Ti-Ahwaga Community Players