Baltimore Waltz Opens Buffalo State College Theater Season

Love and Adventure Before Reality Sets In

Posted: October 2, 2007
Buffalo State College in conjunction with Casting Hall Productions opens its 2007 - 2008 theater season with a production of the dark comedy Baltimore Waltz by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel, beginning Oct. 4 on campus in the Flexible Theatre, Donald Savage Building.

The play is the story of woman's fantasy trip through Europe as her brother dies of AIDS in a Baltimore Hospital. It is based on the playwright's personal experience with her beloved brother, Carl. In the surreal journey of the play, the sister has a fatal disease, the fictitious Acquired Toilet Disease (ATD). Sister and brother take off for Europe in search of a cure. On the way, they find adventure and quick sex as they look for a quack doctor in Vienna and continually encounter the Third Man (as in Carol Reed's famous movie with Orson Welles).

"The play is a Valentine to her brother," said Donn Youngstrom, associate professor, Theater, Buffalo State College, who directs the performance. "The fantasy adventure through Europe, which is all in the mind of the lead character, and the social satire are her way of coping with grief and helplessness."

The entire cast consists of three actors. Mara Westerling, a senior, is Anna. Carl is played by Sean O'Connell, a senior. And, the Third Man is Nick Dostal, a junior.

In keeping with the small cast and 80-minute performance, the stage is divided into three spare sets with lighting and music providing changes in mood and sense of place. "The Flexible Theatre is perfect for this play," commented Youngstrom. "It is small with seating on all four sides, which provides a very intimate experience."

Performances are Oct. 4 - 6 and 11 - 13 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. Saturday performances on Oct. 6 and 13. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $6 for Buffalo State students and $8 for Buffalo State faculty and staff. Admission is free for all high school students and teachers with ID. Adult themes and language. Casting Hall Productions is funded by USG through the mandatory student activity fee. For more information, call (716) 878-3005.

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