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

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

The April lineup will feature the poetry of Chase Twitchell and Walt Whitman, as well as actor Mel England’s unique perspective on the environment and global warming. In addition, the art work of SUNY Orange students will be on display in Orange Hall Gallery throughout the month.

The College will hold the final screening of its Spring semester film series, showing “The Subject Was Roses” on April 14. Both Twitchell and England will conduct master classes in conjunction with their appearances at SUNY Orange.

Below is the April calendar of events.


Orange Hall Gallery and Orange Hall Gallery Loft
April 2 to May 1
Orange Hall Galleries
"start|stop|re.wind" ~ 5th Annual Student Art show
Mike Marquez, curator, organizer
Reception: Monday, April 6, 3 to 5 p.m.; music by students Kelsey Byrne, Carlton Jay and Joy Zelada

Thursday, April 2
2-4 p.m.
Orange Hall Theatre
“Creating a Play” by playwright/actor Mel England, a workshop/master class
Admission: free and open to the public
Sponsored by the Arts and Communication Department

Wednesday, April 22
Gilman Center for International Education
“The Secret Life of Poetry” by Chase Twichell, poet

Wednesday, April 22
7 p.m.
Morrison Hall Mansion
“An Adirondack Poet–Chase Twichell” -- a Reading of her original works

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, April 14
7 p.m.
Assembly Room 221, Newburgh Campus
“The Subject Was Roses “
Introduced by Frank D. Gilroy

Friday, April 3
8 p.m.
Orange Hall Theater
“Swimming with the Polar Bears”
one man confronts his powerlessness: a play about the environment and sustainability by playwright/actor: Mel England
Admission: $5 for adults/senior citizens/alumni/faculty/staff; free for all students; group rates available

In a funny, poignant, and devastatingly personal look at the dangers of global warming, playwright/actor Mel England returns to 'one-man land' with his new Swimming to the Polar Bears. Exploring the parallels between contemporary life, ancient Eskimo mythology, and the horrifying threat of the loss of an endangered species and in the tradition of Spalding Gray, England's monologue reveals his personal story, using his own battles with extinction -- from overcoming cancer to surviving childhood abuse -- as a backdrop for larger questions of how we all can survive on our precious planet. England's fantastical journey brings Polar Bears to life -- and in the process, we find out how we are all “Swimming with the Polar Bears.”

Mel England was a Tisch School of the Arts Trustee Scholar at NYU’s BFA Acting Program, who also studied with Stella Adler, Terry Schreiber, and with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company at the British American Theatre Institute. He starred in the NY premiere of Israel Horovitz's one-man play about September 11, Three Weeks After Paradise at the Cherry Lane as well as Orange Hall Theatre in 2002. He also performed in his own one-man show Navajo Memoirs at the NY Fringe and Los Angeles. Off-Broadway he's appeared at the Pearl Theatre in Hecuba, Misanthrope (understudy) and Marriage (understudy). He's the recipient of the NY Fringe Festival’s “Best Acting Ensemble Award” for Lucky Man, and “Best Play of the Year” in Denver for the Regional Premiere of A Shayba Naudel. He has been a part of several original New York productions, including Midsummer Night’s Dream in Washington Square, Honeysuckles, developed for television by FOX, and King of Connecticut with Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Orange Hall is located at the corner of Wawayanda and Grandview Avenues, Middletown, NY on the campus of SUNY Orange which ADA compliant. Tickets are available at the Shepard Student Center Student Activities (on South St at East Conklin Ave.) from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and in the box office in Orange Hall starting at 7 p.m. the evening of the performance.

Tuesday, April 7
6 p.m.
Assembly Room 221, Newburgh Campus
“Unlaunch’d Voices: An Evening with Walt Whitman” with actor Stephen Collins
sponsored by New York State funding acquired by Senator William J. Larkin Jr.
Admission: $4 for adults/senior citizens/alumni; free for faculty/staff/all students; group rates available

Walt Whitman comes to SUNY Orange’s Newburgh campus in the person of Stephen Collins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7 in the one-man play “Unlaunch'd Voices: An Evening with Walt Whitman.”

The play opens with the elderly Whitman on the evening of his seventieth birthday. The audience is a visitor in his room as he prepares for his birthday celebration. Whitman begins to reminisce and to question his success as a man and a poet. He remembers a mystical experience he had in his thirty-seventh year that inspired him to write poetry. During the telling, Whitman transforms into his young vibrant self and we begin to traces back the experiences that led to the creation of Leaves Of Grass, his lifetime work. The play was conceived and is performed by Stephen Collins, written and directed by Micheal Keamy. Through the play, the audience learns about Whitman’s humanity, his individuality and his inestimable contribution to the modem form of poetry--free verse.

Collins has devoted the last dozen years of his life to the performance of this play. He has received rave reviews both for his performance and fluency with the poetry as well as his uncanny physical similarity to Walt Whitman. The performance is being sponsored by New York State funding acquired by Senator William J. Larkin Jr. who did so in order that more cultural events could be brought to Newburgh.


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.

Ralph Sevush, JD and Roland Tec, MMus will speak about the role of the Guild in contemporary theatrical practice as well as the history of the 88 year old association. The audience is invited to ask questions on the subject of the Guild. Sevush, a lawyer and Executive Director of Business Affairs at the Dramatists Guild, has been with the Guild since 1997, advising over 6,000 playwrights, lyricists, and composers writing for the stage. Tec has a master’s in Music Theory and has worked in film, theatre and opera as a director, producer, writer, and composer. Presently, he is Director of Membership at the Dramatists Guild.

It is the mission of the Dramatists Guild to “ensure that the voice of the playwright will continue to be heard loudly, clearly, and without compromise.” In other words, the Guild is “dedicated to protecting, informing, and promoting the interests of dramatists everywhere.”

This lecture presentation is the fifth and last in the Professional Theatre in America mini-series within the Lyceum Lecture Series.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940