AUBURN, NY — Cayuga Community College’s student theater troupe, Harlequin Productions, will tackle one of their toughest plays in several years with this semester’s production.
After several semesters of comedies or lighter dramas, Harlequin Productions will hit the stage this fall with “The Texas Tower Project,” by John R. Arco. Described as a docudrama, the play focuses on survivors of the 1966 shootings at the University of Texas and their memories of the traumatic event.
Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. October 27-29 and November 3-5. Performances will be held at the Black Box Theater on the Auburn campus in Cayuga. Tickets are available for purchase at the door.
Harlequin Productions director Bob Frame said the script uses the survivors’ own words, gathered from interviews and police statements, to tell their stories. The storyline focuses on the survivors, not the shooter, and does not mention the shooter’s name to avoid drawing attention to him.
“The play is not a narrative, moment-by-moment description of what happened that day. Instead, it tells the day from each character’s perspective using their own words, memories and emotions that he experienced,” Frame said. “That’s why it’s described as a docudrama. It uses the actual words and emotions of survivors, but places those memories in a dramatic setting.
Frame was looking for a script that would challenge its cast to learn new techniques, and he thinks “The Texas Tower Project” will do just that. With over 30 characters in the play, each cast member will handle multiple roles and work with a dialect coach to capture the proper delivery.
The cast of 10 handled the challenges well, Frame said, especially since the play is so different from their previous roles.
“It’s a completely different learning experience for a lot of our actors. Those roles were real people, not comedy characters, so there’s an added responsibility here,” he said. does a great job of preparing to be different people on stage.”
The cast includes Hope Azzam, Dylan Bianco, Adam Birtwell, Alexis Fredette, Tessa Higgins, Carmen Liberatore, Mary Nila, Kadrian Rossbach, Kyleigh Walton and Grace Wiseman.
Harlequin’s performance of “The Texas Tower Project” will be the play’s world premiere. The company has already performed a work by Arco in 2008, a comedy-mystery called “Dead Men Don’t Itch”.
For more information on Harlequin Productions, visit https://www.cayuga-cc.edu/students/student-life/harlequin/.
About Cayuga Community College
Founded in 1953, Cayuga Community College is one of 64 accredited institutions that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Cayuga offers open access and an affordable gateway to higher education, with courses and degree programs offered at campuses in Auburn and Fulton, NY and online. Cayuga Community College provides a strong liberal arts foundation for further education and career preparation. The College also responds to identified community needs through targeted training and personal enrichment programs. By supporting academic excellence in a supportive learning environment, the College, a careful steward of human and fiscal resources, is a valuable asset to the development of our local, regional and global communities.
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