Array of Lectures, Films and Exhibits Make for Diverse Schedule at SUNY Orange

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange’s Cultural Affairs calendar for March features an array of lectures, films and art exhibits, and offers something for nearly every cultural taste.

March lectures will touch on topics including, environmental issues, the history of American theatre, and the Dramatists Guild in the 21st Century. The Orange Hall Gallery and Loft are home to 100 paintings that comprise the North East Watercolor Society 2009 Member’s Show.

The College will also screen two films with strong Orange County ties, when “I, The Jury” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” hit the big screen on March 3 and 10, respectively. The screening of “I, The Jury” will take place on the College’s Newburgh campus and will be preceded by a reading by Paul Ellis of Mickey Spillane’s radio drama “The Night I Died.”

Below is the March calendar of events.


Orange Hall Gallery and Orange Hall Gallery Loft
through March 26
North East Watercolor Society Members' 2009 Show
Judge: Charles “Brandy” Brandenburg
Reception: Sunday, March 1, 1 to 4:15 p.m.
Demonstration by Charles “Brandy” Brandenburg, 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
Music provided by Joy Zelada, classical guitarist, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Awards presentation: 3:50 p.m.

This exhibit features 100 splendid works by 50 members of the North East Watercolor Society. The paintings are of top-notch quality and range from small to very large works that are transparent watercolor to opaque gouache, and realistic representational to somewhat abstract. A reception, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Sunday, March 1 from 1 to 4:15 p.m. This art event will open with music from 1 to 2:30 p.m. provided by Joy Zelada of Newburgh, a classical guitarist and SUNY Orange student. Many of the artists will be on hand. From 2:30 to 3:45 p.m., as part of the reception, an art demonstration will be given by Charles “Brandy” Brandenburg of Washington Township, N.J. He is also doubling as the show judge. Awards will be presented at 3:50 p.m. This year’s show co-chairs are Elaine Garvin of Warwick, Patricia Morgan of Newburgh, and Janet Campbell of Bloomingburg. Originally founded as the Orange County Watercolor Society, the group grew so rapidly in size and scope that its name was changed to the North East Watercolor Society and now has members from all over the United States and Canada.

FILMS (Admission: $2 general; free all students from any institution)

“Orange County Connections” Film Series (presented in cooperation with the Orange County Citizens Foundation)

Tuesday, March 3
7 p.m.
Newburgh Campus, Assembly Room 221
“I, The Jury “
Reading by Paul Ellis of a Mickey Spillane short story precedes movie at 6 p.m.

A dramatic reading of “The Night I Died” will be given by Paul Ellis at 6 p.m. Radio plays, also known as radio drama, are a form of audio storytelling broadcast on radio. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the story. Radio plays achieved widespread popularity within a decade of its initial development in the 1920s. By the 1940s, it was a leading international popular entertainment. With the advent of television in the 1950s, however, they lost some of its popularity. Paul Ellis is the producer/director of the Air Pirates Radio Theater. He is a resident of Sugar Loaf.

“I, the Jury” is a 1982 film based on the best selling detective novel of the same name by Mickey Spillane, who lived in Newburgh. The plot involves Private Eye Mike Hammer discovering that his best friend, Jack Williams, a one-armed detective, has been murdered. Hammer’s subsequent investigation has him become a one-man vigilante squad who seeks vengeance on the person responsible for Williams’ death. The film plot also contains elements not in the novel, such as government conspiracies and mind-control techniques by the CIA and the Mafia. The film initially received mixed reviews, and was criticized for having too much nudity and violence. Starring in the film are Armand Assante as Mike Hammer and Barbara Carrera as Dr. Charlotte Bennett. Assante has a residence in Blooming Grove.

Tuesday, March 10
7:15 p.m.
Harriman Hall, Room 111
“Yankee Doodle Dandy”
Introduction by Steve Harpst

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) is a biographical film about George M. Cohan who lived in Highland Mills. The actor-singer-dancer-playwright-songwriter-producer-theatre owner-director-choreographer was known as “The Man Who Owns Broadway.” Starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston and Richard Whorf, and featuring Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary DeCamp and Jeanne Cagney, the movie was written by Robert Buckner and Edmund Joseph, and directed by Michael Curtiz. This nostalgic, shamelessly-patriotic movie is considered to be one of Hollywood's greatest, grandest, and slickest musicals.

The film won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (James Cagney), Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Sound, Recording. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Walter Huston), Best Director, Best Film Editing for George Amy, Best Picture and Best Writing, Original Story. In 1993, Yankee Doodle Dandy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

The black and white film was the first computer-colorized film released by entrepreneur Ted Turner in 1985.

Steve Harpst, Student Activities Director, will introduce the film by giving background and additional information on its significance and its era.


Wednesday, March 4
“Cooling Mother Earth: New York’s Footprint in Nature, Then and Now” by Robert Spiegelman, Ph.D
(sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities)
Gilman Center for International Education
7 p.m.

“Are New Yorkers stewards of nature or lords of nature?” During this vivid lecture/multimedia presentation entitled “Cooling Mother Earth: New York’s Footprint in Nature, Then and Now,” Robert Spiegelman, Ph.D. probes the question by revisiting key moments in the Empire State’s development history—especially its Indian, infrastructure and conservation legacies. He then links them to today’s environmental crises. To find answers, Dr. Spiegelman unearths the hidden roots of New Yorkers’ conflicting views of nature, development and civilization–both then and now. Accordingly, the presentation highlights some key links among New York’s indigenous, development, and environmental histories. The first encounters of explorers and settlers with the Iroquois of central New York and the Delaware-Lenape of the Hudson Valley will be discussed. Robert Spiegelman received his Ph.D. in sociology from CUNY Graduate Center. He is President of Real-View Media, LLC. He is a sociologist, a multi-media artist, writer and college instructor and lives in New York City. This lecture, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities.

Wednesday, March 25
“The Shuberts Present: 108 Years of American Theatre,” by Reagan Fletcher, archivist
Orange Hall Theater
7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 31
“Geo-Thermal Heating & Cooling” by Warren Allmon, Ph.D.
Gilman Center for International Education
7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
“Writers 4 Writers: The Dramatists Guild in the 21st Century” by Gary Garrison, Ph.D., and Ralph Sevush, J.D.
Orange Hall Theater
7 p.m.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940