Acting Company Taps SUNY Oswego for Lead Role in National Project

The Acting Company has chosen SUNY Oswego as one of four lead institutions to participate in a new national performance and education initiative made up of colleges and universities, high schools and community organizations.

SUNY Oswego theater students work with crew from The Acting Company in February 2014 on the set shared by productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

SUNY Oswego theater students work with crew from The Acting Company in February 2014 on the set shared by productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Under the lead of SUNY Oswego, Arizona State University, Towson University and University of Missouri-Kansas City, each consortium will offer professional development opportunities with playwrights, actors, designers, directors and educators over the next three years.

Partnering with SUNY Oswego in the Northeastern consortium are Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Le Moyne College. They are among 26 schools taking part in four regions.

“We’re delighted that our partnering colleges have been selected to participate in this groundbreaking regional residency model,” said John Shaffer, director of Artswego Performing Arts Series. “Over three years, there will be many opportunities to support both theater education and a broad range of initiatives in the humanities. The energy comes from the intentional pairing of plays—one classic and the other newly commissioned.”

The new consortiums’ initial performance and educational activities focused on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and a new play by award-winning poet and playwright and a professor at Brown University, Marcus Gardley, based on the assassination of Malcolm X. The Acting Company commissioned the new play to launch the project.

“Race, religion, power, politics and rhetoric are central to both plays,” noted Margot Harley, co-founder and producer of The Acting Company. “Ian Belknap, our artistic director, chose this repertory to encourage faculty to examine the causes and repercussions of assassination from historical, political and philosophical perspectives.”

The new initiative is designed to forge long-term relationships among The Acting Company, colleges and communities-at-large.

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