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Skidmore Theater Presents: The Penelopiad

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Holy shit.

Holy shit.

Tickets are currently available for the Skidmore Theater Department‘s spring black box production, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad. Directed by Emily Moler ’15, The Penelopiad opens Friday, Feb. 27th and runs until March 4th.

In a splendid contemporary twist on The Odyssey, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give a voice to Penelope, wife of Odysseus, and to her twelve maids. In this dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is unsettling. With wit and verve, drawing on the story-telling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, Atwood gives Penelope new life and reality–and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.

Reservations are a must, as the show will most definitely sell out. Tickets are $8 for students/seniors and $12 for general admission. Contact the Box Office at 518-580-5439 or boxoffice@skidmore.edu for ticket information, or just check out the “Get Tickets” page to directly purchase tickets.

The spring black box production is always directed by a student, so if you’re looking for some fresh theater that isn’t produced by some old fart, get your reservations now and support one of your peers who’s actually doing shit and making something cool.

What’s So Important About Comfest Anyways? Oh, Yeah, All This Stuff

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Shouts Out Garrett Evans

In 1990, Skidmore student and Ad-Lib David Miner hit on something really very special: he invited a bunch of other comedy-addicted college kids to jump around on the JKB stage and try to make people laugh. Twenty-five years later, the National College Comedy Festival has outlasted the Soviet Union, the Macarena, two and a half Bush administrations, and the college careers of nearly everyone who helped make it what it is today.

If that’s not an argument for staying power, I don’t know what is.

As we triumphantly break the quarter-century mark, it’s hard not to marvel at all the benchmarks: Comfest is now old enough to rent a car anywhere in America without presenting a valid credit card. Comfest is four years more senior than either of its producers. In its two and a half decades, the festival has seen some serious comedy heavyweights come through in their formative years. Pre-hip-hop career Donald Glover performed on the Skidmore stage several years back, as did Chris Himes, a producer on SNL. Mr. Miner has since gone on to produce 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Despite his success, he keeps in regular contact with the festival’s producers each year. It is, as they say, his baby.

But Comfest is less about the people who’ve moved through its gates and more about the ones still standing underneath them, right now, this time around. Comfest means your A-game, and nothing less. This is hallowed ground, and the performers we bring rarely fail to treat it as such. I’ve seen elaborately choreographed dance numbers, improvised acrobatic tumbling routines, and once, a full-body paper mache Ring-wraith costume. The energy that student groups bring to Comfest is palpable. There’s no greater height of anticipation than standing in the narrow backstage hallway of JKB as the group just before you runs offstage, offering high-fives and congratulations as they slip past you, and all the way you’re revving to go.

This could not happen anywhere but Skidmore. Having been to a number of other schools for visiting shows, and spoken with comedians who come to Skidmore from far-flung locales, I have learned that we are uniquely blessed when it comes to our audience. A comedy show at a given school may struggle to bring in forty people. A comedy show at Skidmore fills an entire auditorium with receptive, savvy comedy fans who seem to love the craft of it as much as we do. In an art form where the audience is the medium, there’s no greater gift a performer could ask for.

So, here we are. The big two-five. XXV. The Twenty-Fifth Annual National College Comedy Festival. Comfest 25. A festival that’s grown over the past two and a half decades into the holy grail of amateur comedy, a feast for the funny-bone. Now, as always, on the stage that made it what it is today. I think I speak for all our fellow comedians when I say we couldn’t be happier, Skidmore, so thanks for everything.

Live. From New York. It’s—

Oh. Sorry. That’s the other guys.

-Luke Conley, Co-Director of ComFest 2014

Skidmore Theater Presents: Back Country Crimes

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

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Skidmore Theatre Department’s main stage production of Back Country Crimes debuts this Friday.

Synopsis: 

BACK COUNTY CRIMES is the story of a small rural town, as told by the town’s family doctor. It’s a poetic tale of forbidden love affairs, sordid murders, tragic misunderstandings, and comic endeavors, similar to Thornton Wilder’s OUR TOWN but with an edge. Playwright Lanie Robertson has a savvy sense of black comedy, setting the play “in the little town of Duty in the county known as Love.” Music and singing fill the play, as a gallery of characters move through compellingly tragic, or caustically comic vignettes. As the town doctor’s memories come to life in front of us, we are shown a tapestry of the best and worst of humanity. In the end we are left with a haunting affirmation of life, ready to embrace the themes of ‘duty’ and ‘love’ with new understanding.

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Skidmore Theater Presents: Almost, Maine

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Cute!

This weekend, John Cariani’s romantic-comedy Almost, Maine will be performed by members of the Theater Department as part of the annual Black Box series. The play will be directed by Larry Opitz.

“On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend – almost – in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.”

It’s like Love, Actually but in the woods. According to the Times’ review of the Broadway production, “susceptible hearts may be set to tingling at his tales of love lost and found, but for those of us with a limited tolerance for his fanciful conceits, ‘Almost, Maine’ may leave the cloying aftertaste of an overly sweetened Sno-Kone.” Take from that what you will.

Tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $12 for general admission. Seats can be reserved by calling  518-580-5439 or emailing boxoffice@skidmore.edu.

Friday October 19, 8pm
Saturday October 20, 8pm
Sunday October 21, 2pm

@ JKB

(via Facebook)

Theater Dept. Presents: Passion Play

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Gee, that guy looks a little cross

In case you missed the first run before Thanksgiving break, award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play is back tomorrow night, for an additional four performances. Presented by the Skidmore Theater Department, Passion Play is a “bold, funny and poignant expression of the intersection of religion and politics:”

The play takes us behind the scenes of three communities in different eras of time who are attempting to stage the death of Christ. Charles Isherwood, writing in The New York Times, notes, “The travails of performing in the ancient Christian drama of the title are a recurring theme in Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, an epic-length but light-spirited romp through several centuries of religious pageantry, individual morality and global politics. <Scope>

Performances at the JKB Theater are on December 1, 2, and 3, all starting at 7:30pm. There will also be a Sunday matinee performance on December 4 starting at 2pm. Tickets are $8 for students and senior citizens, and $12 for the general public. For reservations, call the SkidmoreTheater Box Office at (518) 580-5439 or email boxoffice@skidmore.edu.

 

‘The Women’ Returns To JKB

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
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hey look! skidmore students acting out a play on the stage

If you forgot to see the Skidmore production of Claire Booth-Luce’s The Women before Thanksgiving you’re in luck because the fine production will return to the stage this week. The curtains rise Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and there will be a Sunday matinee at 2pm. To reserve tickets call 518-580-5439 or email boxoffice@skidmore.edu.
(fbook)

Theater Dept. Presents Ruhl’s Eurydice

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

The Skidmore Theater Department is proud to present Sarah Ruhl’s critically acclaimed play, Eurydice, which will open Friday, Oct. 23, at Skidmore for seven performances in JKB’s Black Box.

Eurydice is a re-imagining of the classing Orpheus myth that became an off-Broadway hit in 2007 “Eurydice has been widely praised for its bold and compassionate takes on love and death, its witty and poetic language, and a quirky set featuring “a raining elevator, a water pump, some rusty exposed pipes, an abstracted River of Forgetfulness, an old-fashioned glow-in-the-dark globe,” according to Ruhl’s stage directions.”

Ever since the Latin poet Ovid told the tale 2,000 years ago in Metamorphoses, the myth has been all about Orpheus, the gifted musician whose beloved Eurydice dies suddenly and is swept into the underworld. He follows her there, singing so beautifully that he is allowed to lead her out of Hades, only to lose her again at the last moment, when he can’t resist glancing back at her. The classical myth has inspired numerous retellings, including operas by Haydn and Glass, poetry from Dante to Auden, and films such as Black Orpheus and Jean Cocteau’s Orphee.
Ruhl’s innovative retelling focuses on Eurydice, whose entry into the underworld shears her away from her lover but tenderly reunites her with her deceased father. When Orpheus descends to bring her back to life, she is torn between husband and father, between the pain of living and the sweetness of forgetting. As New York Times critic Charles Isherwood said, “Eurydice evokes the discombobulating experience of grief and loss, the desperate need to move on and the overwhelming desire never to let go — to turn and look back just one more time.” Skidmore director Anderson chose the play for its courage in treating profound topics “in a funny, sharp, and refreshing way that honors the traditions of Greek theater and gives us new insights into being human.” <Scope>

Productions of Eurydice will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights Oct. 23 and 24, 29, 30, and 31, and at 2 p.m. Sundays Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for senior citizens and Students. Seating is limited; reservations are strongly suggested. Call 518-580-5439 for information and reservations.