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Bite and Wit in a Flailing Moral Climate: New Paltz Theatre Presents Some Explicit Polaroids

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04/09/2001

NEW PALTZ -- An image from Some Explicit Polaroids is available on the web at http://hawk.newpaltz.edu/news/images/polaroids.html or by clicking here.

Some Explicit Polaroids, a new play by outspoken British playwright Mark Ravenhill, will be presented by the Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz April 19-22 in Parker Theatre. Some Explicit Polaroids is a political play that looks at the principles that people held twenty years ago and the absence of them now, and asks whether this is a loss or an improvement.

Ravenhill's play follows the fantastical journey of a former activist who is now a government employee, a disillusioned go-go dancer, a wealthy man with AIDS, a ruthless businessman, and an abused stripper, whose lives intersect through their relationship with Nick, recently paroled from prison for attempted murder. Theirs is a search to define love, honor, compassion and, most of all, the value of morality in a dead, disconnected world devoid of both future and past, where present exists only in the heart of the individual.

"Polaroids" is directed by SUNY New Paltz senior Joshua N Hsu, a directing major who recently learned that he has been accepted into the Graduate Program in Directing at University of California, Irvine. For Hsu, the play provides a religious metaphor in which rudderless characters search for the sense of purpose found in faith. Through fractured lives they share a journey, though they are not aware of the connection.

Hsu states "The characters are caught in a political morass: socialism versus capitalism, domestic abuse, AIDS, and HIV. And although these ideas retain a primary importance and influence, the true power of the work lies within each character's emotional journey. Trapped in a cycle of suffering, petty gratification, anger, success, and other fixations, the characters are forced to question their responsibility to themselves, to each other, and to society as a whole. This search for responsibility becomes more than a desire, it becomes a need."

"The process has been both surprising and delightful," Hsu continues. "Actors and designers alike have been willing to venture into unknown territory. The play is daring, risky, and confronts ideas that are by no means comfortable. In the end, we create a beautiful and hopeful vision of how we live today."

Some Explicit Polaroids is performed April 19-21 at 8:00 p.m. and April 22 at 2pm in Parker Theatre, SUNY New Paltz. All tickets are reserved and cost $12 general admission, $10 seniors and students. They are available by calling the McKenna Box Office at 845-257-3880, Monday through Friday, 10am - 4pm. Tickets may be purchased with cash, check, MasterCard and Visa.

The subject matter contained in Some Explicit Polaroids is intended for adult audiences.

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