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PLAY TIME If you’d like to brush up on your Shakespeare, hearken to a Greek chorus, or get an early glimpse of future theater clas- sics (to say nothing of budding stage and screen profession- als), queue up for tickets to Skidmore’s Theater Department shows. Students train rigorously and offer fully developed productions each term.

This fall the department cleverly paired a mainstage pro - duction of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Doug Seldin ’08, with a Black Box studio performance of John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, billed as a “delightful midwinter night’s dream.” As always, both involved students in every aspect of production, from box office to lighting and costumes. A good friend to Saratoga theater lovers—and to Skidmore, with which it frequently shares actors, directors, and props—is Home Made Theater. The resident company in the state park’s historic Spa Little Theater puts on four polished shows each year with volunteer artists and tiny budgets. Theater professor Alma Becker and English professor Victor Cahn, HMT veterans, both worked on Noises Off, which Cahn calls “the most chal- lenging and rewarding production I was involved with.” Cahn has also appeared in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and his own Sherlock Solo. He loves the “wonderful house to work in” and the company’s high standards. Caffe Lena’s 45-seat theater has launched careers and nur- tured acting troupes, Home Made Theater among them. It’s a favored spot for small-cast shows such as Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, staged by the Local Actors Guild of Sarato- ga and Harmony Productions. Home stage for the guild is the Dee Sarno Theater at the Saratoga County Arts Center, where recent performances have included Avenue Q, Nunsense II, and Chicago.

Summer brings in a whole new cast of characters. Watch for 56 SCOPE WINTER 2013

theater offerings as part of SaratogaArtsFest 2013. Opera Sara - toga, the former Lake George Opera now in residence at the Spa Little Theater, celebrates its 52nd season this summer with Lucia di Lammermoor and HMS Pinafore. And what’s summer without theater in the open air? Each year the professionals in the Sara - toga Shakespeare Company draw large and adoring crowds to Congress Park. Last year’s Miami-based Twelfth Night brought down the house, and the 2011 Merchant of Venice starred Skid- more theater professor Lary Opitz as what the Albany Times Union called “a Shylock for the ages.” Shakespeare in the park is free, family-friendly, accessible, and perhaps closest to the theater experience of the Bard’s day. This summer it promises a rollicking Merry Wives of Windsor. Draw nigh. Stage buffs of tomorrow are being nurtured by the Saratoga

Children’s Theatre. Last summer’s teenage campers staged 13: The Musical and The Music Man, both in Skidmore’s Bernhard Theater, while younger kids tackled Winnie the Pooh, Willy Wonka, and The Jungle Book at St. Peter’s School. This fall the young thespians performed The Little Mermaid Jr. in the Sara - toga Music Hall atop City Hall. Back at Skidmore there’s the boundary-pushing work of SITI, the renowned Suzuki-inspired ensemble. Its summer Skidmore residencies train performers from around the world in physical discipline, movement, and improvisation. Last summer the company collaborated with the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company to create A Meditation on “The Rite of Spring.”

Meanwhile, don’t miss Skidmore’s spring productions: Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando (Feb. 28 –March 6), directed by Kathryn Rickman ’16 and Jeremy Ohringer ’16, and Sweeney Todd (April 12–21), directed by theater professor Carolyn Anderson. Cur- tain going up! —KG


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