Written by John Bielenberg
Based on a novel by John Gardner
November 13-14, 20-21, 8:00pm
November 22 at 2:00pm
Anderson Center Chamber Hall
Binghamton University Campus
$18 General Admission
$16 Faculty, Staff and Senior Citizens
Call 607-777-ARTS (2787) for tickets and information.
The Binghamton University Department of Theatre stages October Light in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Anderson Center, based on one of novelist John Gardner's masterworks and adapted by John Bielenberg.
The penniless widow of a once-wealthy dentist, Sally Abbot now lives in the Vermont farmhouse of her older brother, James Page. The play uses the turbulent siblings as a stepping-off point from which it expands upon the lives of their extended families, and the rural community that surrounds them. It also engages larger issues of how liberals and conservatives define themselves, and considers those moments when life transcends all their arguments.
From John Bielenberg, Playwright and Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Theatre:
"October Light is being included as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts because it was the first production to be presented in the new facility in the fall of 1985 (although the official opening of the Center occurred several months later).
The play was originally written to honor the memory of novelist John Gardner, who, at the time of his death in 1982, directed the Creative Writing program at Binghamton University. When a festival honoring Gardner was being planned, I was asked if the Department of Theatre, which I then chaired, would be interested in reviving its production of The Sunlight Dialogues, a play I had recently adapted from another Gardner novel – too recently, in fact, to warrant a revival. I countered with the suggestion that I dramatize a different book for the festival, one for which I had a particular fondness.
My offer was accepted and October Light premiered in the fall of 1984, directed, then as now, by Tom Kremer. It was so well received that when we were looking for a play to open our very next Theatre Department season – and "unofficially," the Anderson Center – we chose to bring back October Light – as we do now, a quarter century later."
This revival will be directed by Tom Kremer, who directed the original production in 1984 and cast member and local actor, Bill Gorman, who last played the character of Sam Frost, will now be playing James Page. Tom Kremer would like to dedicate this production of October Light to the memory of Richard G. Smith, who created the role of James Page in the 1984 production.
The design team includes John Bielenberg (Scenic design), John E. Vestal (Lighting design), Carolyn Walker (Costume design), and Craig Saeger (Sound design). The cast includes Rachel Borbas (Margie Thomas), Anne Brady (Sally Page Abbott), Alex Cosick (Dicky Hicks), Bill Gorman (James Page), Kerrin Hawkins (Ginny Hicks), Thomas McElhenney (Reverend Lane Walker), RJ McGhee (Fr. Rafe Hernandez), Judy McMahon (Estelle Parks), David Melissaratos (Bill Partridge), Sandy Monachino (Sam Frost), Suzan Perry (Ruth Thomas), Mitch Tiffany (Ed Thomas), Matthew Van Vorst (Lewis Hicks), Ben Williamson (Terrence Parks). Matthew Grenier is Asst. Lighting Designer, Jessica Farr is Costume Designer, Becca Lou Herbert is the Production Stage Manager, with Jordan Bleach, Kaylin Hawkins, and Katie Pierce as Assistant Stage Managers.