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Minor Theater Festival

Hamilton and Kirkland alumni marked the closing of Minor Theater during Reunions '14 with main stage productions, alumni showcase performances, Kirkland plays, alumni colleges and a clown procession from Minor Theater to the new Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts.

Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Nancy L. Ford
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
Photo: Claudette Ferrone
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Mainstage Performances in Minor Theater

Richard Nelson '72
Richard Nelson '72 in his dorm room at Hamilton, 1972

"What I Did on My Summer Vacation" from Roots in Water
by Richard Nelson '72 (see a video of 2014 Tolles Lecture presented by Nelson) 
Director: Melanie Sutherland K'79
Cast: Brad Fleischer '00, Lisa Schreiner Goss '94 and Chelsea D'Aprile '09

... Roots in Water is a series of 12 short plays, ranging from five to 15 minutes in length.  Richard Nelson calls the plays "a fragmented portrait of a generation" -- his generation, the "baby boom" children of the 1950s who came to adulthood in post-Vietnam America. The drama spans the years 1976 to 1988. The plays focus on a disparate set of characters including a Vietnam pilot, former anti-war campaigners, teachers, politicians, and lawyers.  Radio Times

"A tapestry of American society."
—Sheridan Morley, The Sunday Telegraph

"Something of the spareness and the ability to set up slow-burning trains for thought which mark out Raymond Carver's short stories"
—Robert Hanks, The Independent

 

Harry Kondoleon '77
Harry Kondoleon '77
Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise
by Harry Kondoleon '77
Director: Dustin Helmer '99
Cast: Gillian Smith-Esposito '04, Sarah Schol '06, Andrew Scully '97 and Justin Tyler '01

...A comic soap opera about urban sophisticates, it’s one of those crazy, Joe Ortonesque plays in which the characters say and do the outrageous things most people think of but never actually say and do – that’s how Kondoleon can squeeze so much material into a feverish 45 minutes...
— Don Shewey, “Playing Around,” Soho News

...Kondoleon had a very special contempt for long “family argument” plays where the on-stage brawling was less interesting than the fights you have in your own home. ...the theatrics in Kondoleon’s play Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise should eclipse your own domestics... by about a million watts...
— Chris Boyd, Melbourne Herald Sun

 

Summer
by Barbara Wiechmann '83
Director: Barbara Wiechmann '83
Cast: Ray Dooley '75 and Margaret Klenck K'75

Summary: An elderly couple argue bitterly over differing versions of the story of their marriage. In the end the back and forth rhythms of their quarrel transform into a kind of love song.

 


A Near Fatal Epiphany
by Sara Carlson '06, winner of the Minor Theater Festival Play Competition
Director: Shannon Fitzsimons '05
Cast: Shayna Schmidt '12, Nick Fesette '09, Ryan Serhant '06 and  Hanah Fazio '10

Summary: While "a rebound girl" is sleeping soundly in his bed, Benjamin imagines a conversation with his ex-girlfriend, Katherine. Should Benjamin call Katherine this late at night? Is someone sleeping in her bed too?

Alumni Showcase Performances

Schedule

Friday, 2.p.m.
McEwen Courtyard
"We love the noun!" conceived and performed by Curt Confer ’02

A 10-minute piece that is “a series of playful gestures and actions celebrating American  rituals and obsessions.”

 
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
List 106
Kirkland Echoes: Short Plays Inspired by the Kirkland Experience

Join your friends for this one hour reading of six super-short, funny and thoughtful plays conceived, commissioned, and directed by Melanie Sutherland K’79, curated by Elisabeth Horwitt K’73, and written by Nancy Dafoe K’74, Nicole Dafoe ’04, Elisabeth Horwitt K’73, Gwyn O’Gara K’73, Susan Shopmaker K’78, Constance Stellas K’72, Zan Tewksbury K’80, and Lars Nielsen ’77. Four of these plays appear in Lost Orchard, edited by Jo Pitkin K’78.

Actors include: Curt Confer ’02, Chelsea D’Aprile ’09, Ray Dooley ’75, Hanah Fazio ’10, Brad Fleischer ’00, Dustin Helmer ’99, Elisabeth Horwitt K’73, Margaret Klenck K’75, Alison McLaughlin ’11, Jim Peskin ’74, Shayna Schmidt ’12, Gillian Smith-Esposito ’04, Constance Stellas K’72, Justin Tyler ’01 and Barbara Wiechmann ’83.

 
Friday, 9 p.m.
List 104
"Family Play"
Written by Nick Fesette ’09, directed by Randi Rivera ’08,
Performed by Chelsea D'Aprile ’09, Nick Fesette ’09, Alison McLaughlin ’11, Sarah Schol ’06 and William Welles ’08

A love story between a girl and a boy's family. Dermot introduces Tabitha to his boisterous  father, chirping mother, and mentally unstable sister, who is chained to the dining room  floor. To Dermot's horror, Tabitha and his family fall in romantic love, which has tragic  consequences. In a neurotic deluge of words, "Family Play" examines what family means,  and experiments with the musical limits of theatrical language.

 

Friday, 10:30 p.m.
Kirner-Johnson Commons
"The Irresponsible Girl's Guide to Dating" written and performed by Meg Swertlow ’04

Meg doesn’t know how to date. Just before turning 30, she realizes she has never done it  before, so decides to try her hand at it. For one year Meg goes on magical dates with secret  Scientologists and tiny Italian reality stars (think Tila Tequila's a Shot at Love). She even  flies to rural Oregon for a date with a stranger. While taking this crash course on dating to  meet her true love, Meg ends up finding something more important: herself.

 
​Saturday, 1 p.m.
McEwen Courtyard
"We love the noun!" conceived and performed by Curt Confer ’02

A 10-minute piece that is “a series of playful gestures and actions celebrating American  rituals and obsessions.”


Saturday, 2 p.m.
List 104

Join us for three lively showcases:

  • "The Night Letter" written by Lars Nielsen ’77, performed by Shea Crockett ’15 and Lily Johnston ’16
    A one-night stand after a poetry reading turns into something more, but not without  vulnerability, betrayal, and an unknown future.
     
  • "Saving Everything" and "Sunday Morning" written, choreographed, and performed by Vanessa Paige '88
    "Saving Everything" is the story of the unusual way in which Vanessa became a mother.
    "Sunday Morning" is dedicated to the memory of Irfan Malik ‘88 and David Jones ‘88.

 

  • "The Miss Woman Pageant" conceived by Hanah Fazio ’10, performed by Hanah Fazio ’10, Tori Haller ’10, Jordyn Taylor ’12 and Shayna Schmidt ’12
    An interactive performance art piece performed in the style of Theater of the Oppressed  developed by Augusto Boal. The piece asks the audience to participate in the play as  Spectators and in the sociopolitical dialogue as SpectActors.
Saturday, 4 p.m.
The Rock Swing
  • "The Big Ha Ha in the Sky" conceived and performed by Romina Memoli Amador ’09, Sara Bert Carlson ‘06, and Shannon Enders ‘07

Alumni Colleges

Fools’ Forge: A Clown Workshop

Inspired by Federico Fellini’s i Clowns, FOOLS’ FORGE served as preparation for the “clown funeral procession” celebrating the “death” of Minor Theater and the opening of the new performing arts building. Through an exploration of clown logic and physicality, participants created unique clown characters that used to perform during the funeral procession.

Retrospective Exhibition

Hamilton and Kirkland theater-related memorabilia was on display during Reunions '14 and will be preserved in the Hamilton College Archives.

Cupola