SUNY Cortland’s impressive theatrical productions will resume in a renovated Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre, although slightly later than the anticipated spring opening mentioned in the fall edition of Columns.
The theater is ready for spring semester concerts but backstage work was necessary before a full theatrical production could be mounted. Because of those complications, “Brigadoon,” the musical that opened the theater in 1967, will be pushed back to the fall.
The technical staff’s move-in was delayed by roughly six weeks while ground floor storage space was made available. Ultimately, that behind-the-scenes work pushed back the anticipated “Brigadoon” performance.
“I think waiting until next fall will only allow us to do a better production of ‘Brigadoon,’” said David Neal, a SUNY Cortland professor and chair of the College’s Performing Arts Department. “I think that in the long run it’ll be a good thing for the production.
“We are very excited to be able to feature this new space for alumni.”
The fall edition of Columns also reported that a special reception would welcome back alumni and friends of the College who share an attachment to the performing arts. That celebration still will take place this fall as part of a gala opening of the main theater.
“We’re looking at the months in between as a celebration of the re-opening of Dowd, culminating in the gala production of ‘Brigadoon,’” Neal said.
In the meantime, SUNY Cortland students will deliver the College’s annual spring musical, Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” based on the novella by Voltaire. It takes place in Old Main Brown Auditorium from Friday, April 4, to Sunday, April 6, and Friday, April 11, to Sunday, April 13. Bernstein’s score to the comic masterpiece is sure to showcase the vocal talents of the College’s musical theatre majors.
The Dowd Fine Arts Center reopened its doors to spring semester classes after a nearly two-year renovation and is slated to host a series of performances both in and outside the main theater.
“Even though (the main theater) is not able to be used until next semester for theatrical productions, it will be open for concerts this semester,” Neal said. “We’re excited about the enhanced acoustics in that space.”
Dowd Fine Arts Center spring semester events include:
• “The Crucible,” the famous play by Arthur Miller based on the Salem witch trials, runs from Thursday, Feb. 20, to Sunday, Feb. 23, in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre.
• The College Community Orchestra highlights the work of Viennese composers Tuesday, April 22, in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre.
• The College Singers offer a concert version of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Sweeny Todd” Sunday, April 27, in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre.
• A dance demonstration is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre.
• A Choral Union concert takes place Tuesday, May 6, in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre.
Additionally, the building space that served primarily as a rehearsal room for orchestra in the past was enhanced acoustically to also host student recitals. Dowd Fine Arts Center, Room 110 will host student recitals Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26, as well as the College’s “Wednesday at 4” recital series Feb, 26, March 26, April 23 and April 30.
“The improvements are great so far,” Neal said. “I think everybody’s very happy and we’re looking forward to the same experiences with a new theater.”