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SU Drama’s New Play Development Program presents ‘The Meaning of Life and Other Useless Pieces of Information’ Nov. 9-11 and 16-18
SU Drama’s New Play Development Program presents ‘The Meaning of Life and Other Useless Pieces of Information’ Nov. 9-11 and 16-18November 06, 2007Erica Blustesblust@syr.edu
The Syracuse University Department of Drama’s New Play Development Program will present a workshop production of “The Meaning of Life and Other Useless Pieces of Information” by drama alumnus Matte O’Brien ’04 Nov. 9-11 and 16-18 in the Black Box Theatre at the SU Drama/Syracuse Stage theater complex, 820 E. Genesee St. Friday performances will be held at 8 p.m., Saturday performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday performances at 2 p.m. The production is free and open to the public; patrons should call 443-2102 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for seating availability. Afternoon performances will be followed by talk-back sessions with the cast and director Alan Souza ’89, also a drama alumnus.
“The Meaning of Life and Other Useless Pieces of Information” is the story of six young people who go from day to day trying to figure out their adult lives. In the play, O’Brien asks the profound question, “If life does have meaning beyond the immediate and discernible — does it even matter, or is the meaning of life actually just a useless piece of information?”
“I think ‘Meaning of Life’ is about what happens when you hit the real world,” says O’Brien, an accomplished actor and singer who lives in New York City. “It is one of the most stressful times in your life. All these things just come crashing down on you. You have no insurance, no job. I mean, these are things that are right out of my life.”
Souza and O’Brien have collaborated on workshopping the play, a crucial yet seldom-seen-by-the-public part of the playwriting process. In order to truly understand how a moment or character or scene will work, playwrights often need to see the play on stage. Souza and a group of student actors will actually stage “The Meaning of Life,” and O’Brien will attend rehearsals and performances, reworking and rewriting parts based on what he sees and hears.
“Matte is finding his voice while the students find theirs,” says Souza. “They’re premiering and realizing a new work. They’re creating these people. They haven’t been spoken yet.”
The performances will have only a minimal set, with no lighting or costumes. Actors will use only rough props. Audiences will have the rare and fascinating opportunity to watch not just a cast of characters grow and change, but a new work of drama as well.