Keuka College’s Spotlight Series will continue Thursday, Nov. 6 with a poetry reading by Melissa Balmain.
The reading, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.
Balmain, an adjunct instructor of English at the University of Rochester, earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. A humorist and journalist, Balmain recently became editor of Light, the country’s oldest journal of light verse, which she helped revive and bring online after 20 years in print. Her subjects have ranged from popular culture to parenthood to cattle ranchers to collies that surf.
Her first full-length poetry collection, Walking in on People, is the winner of the 2013 Able Muse Book Award. Her collection was selected by final judge X.J. Kennedy, who has also been part of the College’s Spotlight Series.
In Walking in on People, the serious is lightened with a generous serving of wit and humor, and the lighthearted is enriched with abundant wisdom. Subjects range from the current and hip (Facebook posts, online dating, layoffs, retail therapy, cell-phone apps, trans fat), to the traditional and time-tested (marriage, child-rearing, love, death), and includes such forms as the villanelle, ballad, triolet, nonce, and the sonnet.
Balmain’s poems have been published in such anthologies as The Iron Book of New Humorous Verse and Killer Verse, and in American Arts Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, Poetry Daily, the Spectator (UK), and the Washington Post. Her prose has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and Details, among others. She is a columnist for Success magazine and the author of a memoir, Just Us: Adventures of a Mother and Daughter.
Balmain has won national journalism honors and been a finalist for the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the X.J. Kennedy Parody Award.
A romantic comedy in three acts, Keuka College’s fall theatrical production, The Lady’s Not for Burning is set in the Middle Ages.
Written by Christopher Fry, the play reflects the world’s “exhaustion and despair” following World War II, with a war-weary soldier who wants to die, and an accused witch who wants to live. In form, it resembles Shakespeare’s pastoral comedies.
Directed by Professor of Theatre Mark Wenderlich, The Lady’s Not for Burning opens Friday, Oct. 17. The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Red Barn Theater, with additional performances Saturday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.
“There are some neat angles in this show, as the play is co-produced by the Penn Yan Theatre Co. (PYTCo.), the Division of Humanities and Fine Art, and the Arion Players Drama Club,” said Wenderlich. “Two town people are in the cast, and we also have two alumni and a staff member [in the production].”
Thomas Mendip, a discharged soldier, weary of the world and eager to leave it, comes to small town Cool Clary, announces he has committed murder and demands to be hanged. A philosophical humorist, Thomas is annoyed when the officials oppose his request, even believing he is not guilty of the crime he suggests. Shortly afterward, a young woman, Jennet, is brought before the mayor for witchcraft, but for some strange reason she has no wish to be put to death.
A dark comedy of rare wit and exulted language, Thomas tries, in his own way, to prove to the official how absurd it would be to refuse to hang a man who wants to be hanged, and at the same time to kill a woman who is not only guiltless, but doesn’t want to die. Jennet enjoys the banter, and soon sees the merit in Thomas the man.
The mayor’s family members, clerks and officials gather for an impending wedding and seem to be stuck with the dilemma of two uninvited people—who may or may not be hanged in the morning—who must be included in the pre-nuptial activities.
First produced in England, The Lady’s Not for Burning had a successful run in New York. It has proved, because of its delightful freshness, the dramatic thrust of its poetry, and the sheer high spirits with which the author has endowed his characters, a joy to producer and actor, as well as to the audience.
The New York Herald Tribune called it “a poetic fantasy of rare splendor and delight…a work of magical humor and deep beauty.”
The cast includes Ryan Gillotti (Richard), a senior American Sign Language-English interpreting major from Auburn; Alicia Brown (Alizon Elliot), a senior occupational science major from Kirkwood; Phil Atherlay (Nichols), a junior adolescent English/special education major from Deposit; Jake Banas (Chaplain), a senior English major from Delmar; and Caleigh Alterio ’14 (Jennet Jourdamaine), who is pursuing her degree in occupational therapy.
Justin Krog, program developer for the College’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), portrays Tappercoom. Penn Yan resident Brian Cobb ’08, M’11 will return to his alma mater to portray Thomas Mendip in the production. Cobb teaches English at Penn Yan Academy. Logan Ackerly ’14 also returns to his alma mater and will portray Humphrey. Ackerly serves as an installation merchandiser at Hallmark Cards in the Greater New York City Area. John P. Christensen, reporter for the Penn Yan Chronicle Express portrays Hebble Tyson, mayor. Eileen Farrar, a Penn Yan resident who has worked with PYTCo., portrays Margaret.
Amelia Gonnella, a freshman clinical science major from Marcellus, serves as stage manager.
Tickets are $5 for Keuka College students, faculty, staff, and alumni; and $10 for the general public. Seating is limited. Tickets for The Lady’s not for Burning can be purchased in advance on instantseats.com, and are available at the box office.
The Keuka College Chorale, Band and the newly formed a capella group, QKAppella, will perform its annual spring concert Tuesday, April 29.
Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel.
The Chorale will sing a traditional Alleluia Canon and Old American Songs by Aaron Copland. The Band and Chorale will perform a set of Beatles songs, while QKAppella will present several popular solos and duets, according to Kelley Hamilton, music instructor and director of the chorale.
“Chung ‘Johnny’ Nguyen will sing a fabulous rendition of the Bruno Mars hit Just the Way You Are, said Hamilton. “The concert will also feature Jakiem Brown, who beat-boxes on several songs.”
According to Hamilton, the concert will flow between larger groups and soloists.
“We will combine some instrumental and vocals and the finale, Viva la Vida by Coldplay, will feature everyone,” said Hamilton. “Our new instrumental music instructor, Dr. Dave Chisholm, has arranged two Beatles’ pieces and the jazz classic, Caravan for the band. Dr. Chisholm is an amazingly talented jazz musician, professional composer, and arranger. It’s exciting for the students to be able to play new arrangements written by him.”
Formed at the beginning of the spring semester, QKAppella, which features 10 students, performed during Accepted Students Day earlier this month, and was “well received,” said Hamilton. “The students love this opportunity, and our new sound equipment is awesome.”
QKAppella will perform four more times during the semester, including Saturday, April 26 from 1-3 p.m. in the Phillips Lounge of Dahlstrom Student Center; Saturday, May 3 at 3 p.m. outside of Hegeman Hall; Saturday, May 10, at 12:15 p.m. in the Geiser Refectory; and Sunday, May 25, select students from Chorale and QKAppella will perform during Baccalaureate. The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. in Norton Chapel.
An additional performance will be Tuesday, May 6, as Chisholm, Hamilton, a jazz trio, and select Keuka College students will perform for the President’s Circle Dinner. The trio will play several jazz standards, and Hamilton will sing. In addition to Chisholm, who plays trumpet, the trio includes Fumi Tomita on bass and Alex Patrick on guitar.
A New York City native, Tomita has played at Carnegie Hall, was the bassist for the national tour of the Nat King Cole tribute Unforgettable, and is earning his doctorate at the Eastman School of Music.
Patrick, who is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music, has performed with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra, and has studied with guitarist Bob Sneider. A composer as well as a performer, Patrick received Penfield High School’s Charlie Cote Music Scholarship for composition and has had his works featured in Penfield High School concerts.
Keuka College’s Spotlight Series will continue with a reading by William Trowbridge, the Poet Laureate of Missouri, Tuesday, April 15.
Free and open to the public, the reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.
Trowbridge holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctoral degree in English from Vanderbilt University. In April 2012, he was appointed to a two-year term as Poet Laureate of Missouri.
Trowbridge has five collections of poetry, including Ship of Fool, The Complete Book of Kong, Flickers, O Paradise, and Enter Dark Stranger; and three chapbooks including The Packing House Cantata, The Four Seasons, and The Book of Kong.
A Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University, his poems have appeared in more than 30 anthologies, textbooks, and periodicals including Bouelvard, Colorado Review, Columbia, Crazyhorse, Gettysburg Review, The Georgia Review, New Letters, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Tar River Poetry, among others. Two of Trowbridges’s books consist of monologues delivered by King Kong.
Among his awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship, a Camber Press Poetry Chapbook Award, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, Yaddo, and The Anderson Center. Trowbridge served as an editor of The Laurel Review, one of the Midwest’s leading literary journals, for 18 years.
Now living in Lee’s Summit, Mo., Trowbridge teaches in the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA in writing program.
A look at two couples’ recent divorces in 1906 New York City society sets the scene for The New York Idea, the spring theatrical production at Keuka College.
The farce, written by Langdon Mitchell and updated by David Auburn, depicts the comedic entanglements of divorce while mixing in one visiting English lord smitten with the city’s easy way with matrimony.
Directed by Professor of Theatre Mark Wenderlich, The New York Idea opens Thursday, April 10. The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Red Barn Theater, with additional performances Friday, April 11-Saturday, April 12 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 13 at 7 p.m.
The plot follows Cynthia Karslake, a freewheeling young divorcee, who decides to settle down again into a much more stable relationship with the prominent Judge Philip Phillimore. Little does she know, however, that neither of their impetuous and unpredictable ex-spouses, nor her beloved race horse Cynthia K, is down for the count.
Cynthia’s impulsiveness has driven her ex-spouse, John, to near financial ruin—and, she fears, into the seductive arms of Vida, Phillimore’s vampish ex-wife. To complicate matters, both Cynthia and Vida find themselves attracted to a visiting English gentleman with a lordly estate and an eye for American beauty. In duly antic course, one couple reunites and one stays divorced, while both the old idea of a socially ‘suitable’ marriage and the superficial new “New York idea”—marry for a whim and leave the rest to the divorce court—get thoroughly kicked around. But will Cynthia and John realize that they truly belong together forever before Cynthia makes it to the altar?
Members of the cast include Kimberley Sweet (Mrs. Phillimore), a freshman adolescent mathematics major from Cuba; Michael Musolino Jr. (Sir Wilfred Cates-Darby), a freshman American Sign Language-English interpreting major from Durhamville; Sierra Lynch (Vida Phillimore), a senior psychology major from Watervliet; Caleigh Alterio (Cynthia Karslake), a senior occupational science major from Akron; Phil Atherlay (Sudley/Fiddler), a sophomore adolescent mathematics education major from Deposit; Alicia Brown (Jacqueline), a junior occupational science major from Kirkwood; and William Staub (Thomas), a freshman adolescent English major from Rochester. Justin Krog, program developer for the College’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), portrays Phillip Phillimore. Penn Yan resident Brian Cobb ’08, M’11 will return to his alma mater to portray Matthew Phillimore in the production. Cobb teaches English at Penn Yan Middle School. Pat Fegley, a Geneva resident who has worked with the Pennsylvania Yankee Theater Company (PYTCo), portrays John Karslake.
Members of the crew include Marissa Rogers, a freshman psychology major from Pompton Plains (stage manager); Danica Zielinski, a senior American Sign Language major from Congers (costume designer); Dan Roach (sound designer); and Trish Ralph (lighting designer).
Ralph is chair of the Department of Theatre and Music Studies and an associate professor of theatre at SUNY Brockport, while Roach has worked with the Eastman Opera, Geva Theatre and Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, among others.
The April 10 performance will benefit the cast members’ annual trip to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. All tickets are $7 and will be sold at the door. Tickets for the other three performances are $5 for Keuka College students, faculty, staff, and alumni; and $10 for the general public. Seating is limited.