OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego’s student honors theater production “The Pillowman” will explore violence as a metaphor for power during its run in the Tyler Hall lab theater.
Student director Kelci Schlierf’s adaptation of the 2003 play will feature a preview performance at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 and will have 7:30 p.m. curtains from Nov. 30 through Dec. 3.
The final performance will begin at 2 p.m. on Dec. 4.
After reading “The Pillowman” two years ago, Schlierf, a senior theater major, knew it was the play she wanted to choose for her application for the honors production.
“In the American theater, roles that are truly violent and therefore truly powerful are often male,” Schlierf said. “For my concept, I’ve chosen to give these roles to female actors to give powerful actresses the opportunity to play powerful roles.”
“The Pillowman” is a drama written by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh which tells the tale of Katurian, a fiction writer living in a police state who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of bizarre incidents occurring in his town.
The main characters, who are males, will all be portrayed by females in Schlierf’s production. The student cast includes Sydney Lattenhauer as Katurian, Nicole Marlowe as Michal, Megan Hickey as Tupolski and Logan Rowe as Ariel. Ensemble cast members are Elsa Nieder, Libbie Wansink, Wyatt Gilbert and Sean Ryan.
Schlierf said she is working with the cast to help them figure out how to portray male characteristics and “stretch to their limits and beyond as far as characters they’ve had the opportunity to play before.”
“These characters are all very intense,” Schlierf said. “They have a lot going on emotionally and they’re very intelligent characters. They all have a lot of deeper underlying motivations for what they do, what they say, the decisions that they make.”
According to Schlierf, “The Pillowman” is a production that is very meaningful to her.
She is particularly interested in the theme of ending child abuse throughout the play.
“It’s an issue that means a great deal to me and something I feel very passionate about,” she said. “When I found a play that analyzed it in such an interesting and twisted sort of way, I was definitely drawn to it.”
Tickets for “The Pillowman” cost $15 ($7 for SUNY Oswego students), available at any SUNY Oswego box office, online at tickets.oswego.edu and by calling 315-312-2141.
Tickets for the Nov. 29 preview are $5.
Parking is included in the price of a ticket and is available in the employee and commuter lots in front of Culkin Hall and behind Hart and Funnelle residence halls.
Patrons needing assistance with accommodations should call 315-312-2141 in advance of the performance.