“Finger Lakes Photo/Plays” are based on the model created by the Actors Theatre, in which volunteers create a play inspired by a local photograph taken by a local photographer. The tradition began in 2001, when the Actors Theatre of Louisville gave playwrights a copy of Lee Friedlander’s photograph “Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, 1969,” and challenged them to write a play. The result was an unexpected and engaging portrait of life in their city.
HWS Chief Photographer Kevin Colton will provide this year’s selection. He will reveal the photo to participants exactly 24 hours before their performance. Colton has been a photographer in the Finger Lakes Region for 36 years. His work has earned a wide-range of honors and awards, including a Gold Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
“My art means something different to everyone who looks at it,” says Colton. “I’m excited to see what stories my photograph inspires these writers to come up with.”
Several staff, faculty and students will participate in the event. Including, James McCorkle, Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Ingrid Keenan, Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning as playwrights; Kathleen Fowkes ’18, Thomas Perry ’19 and Cynthia Williams, Professor of Dance as directors; Taylor Gorycki ’18 as stage manager; Anika Hanson ‘18, Gretty Hollister ’20, Isabel Ingram ’19, Phoebe MacCurrach ’18, Livvy Milne ’18, Sariah Robert ’21, Veronica Rogers ’20, Grace Ruble ’19, Patrick Wolber ’18, Kevin Johnson, Buildings and Grounds staff member, Maggie Werner, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, Susanne McNally, Professor of History, Emily Fisher, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Joe Rusinko, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Carrie Massey, staff member and Kelly Walker, resident sound designer and instructor of Sound Design for the Theatre Department as actors.
Geneva native and accomplished playwright Charlotte Rahn-Lee will also participate in the production.
Rahn-Lee is a New York based playwright, whose plays have been produced by Speranza Theatre Company where they premiered at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and the Sam French Off-Broadway short play festival. She is a member of the Uncut Pages Theater Company.
The performance is open to the public. Tickets are not required but donations will be accepted at the door that will go directly to the Smith Center for the Arts. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. Additionally, audience members and participants will have the opportunity to purchase prints of the photograph that inspired the event.