Early Serling play gets a staged reading

Heidi Weeks, Jim Hull

By George Basler

The night of Jan. 12, 1955, was one that changed Rod Serling’s life.

On that night, his teleplay, “Patterns,” appeared on the Kraft Television Theatre during what is  now called “the Golden Age” of live television. The play, which focuses on psychological bloodletting in the corporate boardroom, was an immediate smash hit and won Serling the first of his six Emmy Awards, said Larry Kassan, director of special projects for the Binghamton City School District and founder and director of the Rod Serling Video Festival.

Almost overnight, Serling, who grew up in Binghamton, went from being a struggling writer to a hot commodity in the television world. He would follow up the success a year later with another Emmy Award-winning drama, “Requiem for the Heavyweight,” and would be on his way to a stellar, two decade-long writing career, tragically cut shot by a heart attack in 1975.

Audiences will get a chance to view Serling’s early success this Thursday and Friday (Oct. 11 and 12) when the Rod Serling Video Festival and Southern Tier Actors Read present a staged reading of “Patterns” in Binghamton High School’s Black Box Theatre. Both performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

Gorman adds gravitas to BHS production of ‘Our Town’

By Barb Van Atta

In the hours before the curtain rises Friday night (Nov. 18) at the Helen Foley Theatre, eager Our Town cast members will be getting into character, getting into costumes and, with the help of makeup technicians, getting older – all except for the performer playing the pivotal role of the Stage Manager. The lines of age and the graying hair don’t have to be painted on Bill Gorman, the longtime Cider Mill Playhouse actor invited to join the Binghamton High School cast. Gorman first played the Stage Manager in the 1970s and gradually has grown into and refined his characterization, most recently performing the role about five years ago at the Cider Mill. He also directed a student production while a teacher at Vestal High School. Read the rest of this entry »

Freeman exhibit offers unusual gallery experience

Submitted by Bill Gorman

If you haven’t already seen the exhibit at the Cooperative Gallery this month — “Art, Money, Love: Jane Freeman 1871-1963 Paintings and Ephemera of a Working Artist” — don’t miss it! Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Last Friday’ reception set at Cooperative Gallery 213

Cooperative Gallery 213 invites the public to a closing reception for it’s latest photography exhibit, featuring Geof Gould’s “Impressions of China” and Bill Gorman’s “Impressions of Clouds.” Both photographers are well-known regional artists and longtime exhibiting members of the gallery. “Although we had a very successful First Friday Art Walk opening, we decided to have a ‘Last Friday’ closing reception to give people another chance to see the work and to give those who might have been away for the Labor Day weekend a chance to see the work and enjoy a reception with wine,cheese and other refreshments,” Gorman said.

The reception will begin at 5 p.m. Friday (Sept 24), giving people a chance to stop in after work, and will run to 9 pm. The Cooperative Gallery 213 is located in the heart of Artist’s Row at 213 State St., Binghamton.

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‘Not Dead Yet’ is alive and kicking

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

Just because the Parlor City Players’ “I’m Not Dead Yet” is about cranky old folks in a nursing home, don’t expect a G rating. The play, opening tonight (Thursday, June 17) at the Tri-Cities Opera Center in Binghamton, is definitely R-rated.

At Wednesday’s open final dress rehearsal, the timing needed a bit of tightening and a few lines needed locking in, but the two-act comedy was a rollicking, bumpy, risqué ride with a cast of fine Southern Tier actors. Local playwright Laura Cunningham’s hometown references – Channel 34 news, Robbie’s liquor store and a graduated senior community resembling any one of a half dozen Broome County facilities — delighted the audience. Read the rest of this entry »

Arts Council collectors walk the walk

With its second gallery show since moving downtown to 81 State St., Binghamton, last February, the Broome County Arts Council is advancing the idea that promoting the local arts is good, but BUYING art locally is both better and best. The exhibition “Collector’s Items — Making the Commitment” opened June 4 during the First Friday Art Walk and will run until July 2. Read the rest of this entry »