The Theatre Department production program is growing!
Like any other performing arts organization, the Theatre Department at Binghamton University is always looking for ways to do more. Binghamton University's campus is crawling with talent, and it's important to seize opportunities to get more students involved in productions. This semester, the Theatre Department chose to add two faculty-directed studio shows, one of which features a guest director. Adding shows provides not only additional performance opportunities, but can also engage more students interested in the design and technical side of theater and entertainment.
The Theatre Department invited Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. to be the guest director for the first faculty studio show, Smart People, by Lydia R. Diamond. Simmons is the artistic director of Civic Ensemble, senior lecturer of acting at Cornell's Department of Performing and Media Arts, and has previously taught acting at Binghamton University. Smart People will be performed in Studio B/Gruber Theater in the Fine Arts Building March 9–11. Smart People boldly addresses normalized discrimination in the realms of race, gender and class in social and professional settings. Simmons, cast members and students will host feedback sessions after select performances with the goal of fostering discussions ignited by audiences' reaction to the production.
For the past three years, the Theatre Department has been building a new degree program reflecting long-standing student interest in musical theater. A curriculum for a BFA in musical theater is in the process of being approved by the Binghamton University Faculty Senate, hopefully in the coming academic year. The Theatre Department currently offers courses that will be required in the future curriculum, so students will not be behind on requirements should approval arrive in a student's junior or even senior year. To make this program serve as many students as possible, adding an additional musical to the production season is essential. New faculty member David Wynen will be directing and choreographing students in The World Goes 'Round, providing more opportunities for students to act, sing and dance. Wynen, an internationally known expert in musical theater and dance, recently joined the faculty at Binghamton University after serving as program leader and senior lecturer of music theatre at Ballarat University, Australia.
More about the spring Mainstage productions
The spring 2018 production season begins with David Ives' adaptation of The Liar, a 17th-century comedy in modern verse, which in short means that audiences need not be familiar with language from centuries ago. This fresh adaptation of the 17th-century comedy is mischievous, romantic and delightfully intricate. What happens when someone who can't tell the truth meets someone who can't tell a lie? Only the audience knows! Laugh yourself silly watching this masterful mix of falsehoods that somehow bloom into truths. The Liar, directed by Professor Tom Kremer, performing in Watters Theater and opening at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23.
Faculty member Elizabeth Mozer is debuting her original production of Castle on the Hill at 8 p.m. Friday, April 27, in Watters Theater. Castle on the Hill is the culmination of Mozer's years of research on life at the former Binghamton State Hospital — achieved through multiple visits to said castle, and former asylum residents, as well as interviews with the residents' families and the castle's staff. Mozer created, conceived and performed the precursor of this production, her one-woman show The Asylum Project, on select college campuses as well as professional theaters around New York. Castle on the Hill adds more stories to those of people who went to this historic landmark to heal, to help others heal or just to find their way in this place that has sparked the curiosity of all who encounter its spirit.
Tickets to all theatre productions can be purchased at the Anderson Center Box Office, by phone 607-777-ARTS or online