SUNY Orange Student Production Slated for Six Performances on Orange Hall Theatre Stage

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The student production of “Cloud Nine” will enjoy a six-show run at Orange Hall Theatre this April as the SUNY Orange Apprentice Players have slated their spring performances for the weekends of April 12-14 and 19-21 on the College’s Middletown campus.

Evening performances, beginning at 8 p.m., will be held Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 and 19-20. Sunday matinee performances, on April 14 and 21, will begin at 3 p.m. “Cloud Nine” contains strong language and sexual situations and is recommended for mature audiences only.

Written by Caryl Churchill, “Cloud Nine” is an audacious sex comedy that wraps gender-bending characters and outrageous sexuality in thought-provoking satire. Political and sexual oppression are explored in a time-twisted structure: 100 years pass between acts set in British colonial Africa and modern London, with recurring characters aging a mere 25 years. Using symbolism, Cloud Nine is a metaphorical place of great joy or euphoria that came about after the International Cloud Atlas of 1896 gave the cumulonimbus cloud the number nine out of a list of 10.

When Churchill was creating “Cloud Nine,” she and the actors turned to their own lives for inspiration. They discovered that many of them were raised with social and sexual values that were so out of date they might have come from another century. Time might march on, but humans don’t necessarily change so quickly. Churchill's slowly aging characters drive this idea home. In the exhilarating, time-travelling world of “Cloud Nine” age, gender, race and sexuality are defined and redefined--always with comedic bravura, not to mention the occasional burst of song.

The first act, directed by Cabot Parsons, is set in the 19th century in an African country ruled by Britain, and Churchill satirizes the repressive nature of the Victorian family, the rigidity of narrowly prescribed gender roles, and the phenomenon whereby oppressed peoples in colonized countries take on the identity of the colonizers. Act one’s cast includes Raymond J. Otte, William Rittenhouse, Kevin Kenny, Karla Herrera, Emily Dykeman, Kelly Jane McAllen and Alan Moss.

Act two, directed by David Cohen, takes place in London 100 years later with mostly the same characters who have aged only 25 years. In this act, topics like women’s liberation, gay liberation, and the sexual revolution, all of which were prominent social movements in Britain as well as the United States in the 1970s, are explored. The Act two cast includes Sandra Aulet, Kyle G. Carlson, Shelly Kornher, Darren M. Blot, Samantha Gillespie, Joseph Polichetti and Tyreek J. Walrond.

Ticket prices are $14, general admission; $10, senior citizens, faculty and alumni; $4, students; and free for active duty military personnel. Tickets may be purchased online. For more information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4790. For updates on all cultural and artistic events at SUNY Orange, visit “The Arts at SUNY Orange” Facebook page.

Orange Hall Theatre, located in Orange Hall, is universally accessible. Parking is available in the College parking lot at the intersection of Wawayanda and Grandview avenues.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940