For Immediate Release
November 8, 2012
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Brockport, NY – Stamp collecting is not usually viewed as a dangerous hobby, but when the stakes are raised by rare 19th-century issues from a tiny island nation, the results are indeed life threatening. Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius is a taut drama in which two half-sisters must determine what to do with the stamp collection they have inherited. The play will be produced by The College at Brockport’s Department of Theatre and Music Studies beginning on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:30 in the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage, 180 Holley Street, Brockport. Additional performances of Mauritius are December 1, 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30 pm. There is a matinee on Sunday, December 2, at 2 pm, which will be sign language interpreted. Tickets for Mauritius are $15, $10 (Seniors and College at Brockport Alumni, Faculty and Staff) and $8 (Students) and are available by calling (585) 395-2787 or at the Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office.
The New York Times called Mauritius “neatly structured and fleetly paced,” finding the dialogue “crackling with original life.” Similar to some of David Mamet’s plays, we find ourselves amongst some unsavory characters, though occasionally their compassion shines through. Rebeck (Broadway’s Seminar, TV’s Smash, NYPD Blue, Law and Order: Criminal Intent) threads not one but two cases of double crossing through her plot. One sister wants to retain their grandfather’s collection as it is, while the other could use the cash she would get by selling the stamps. Of course, she doesn’t realize the value of what she has inherited. And she is forced to come to grips with the fact that not all stamp dealers are legitimate businessmen.
As Gary Musante, the theatre department’s technical director and a longtime philatelist, puts it, “the two stars of the play are the 1847 one-penny and two-pence ‘post office’ stamps, printed in Mauritius.” The stamps, some of the earliest issued, are not errors, as has been thought, but the result of a very short run of each stamp before the words “post office” were replaced with the words “post paid.” In 1993, the “Bordeaux cover,” which included a set of the two cancelled stamps as well as two pristine, unused stamps and a set of reissues, was sold for approximately $4 million. -more- The theatre season at Brockport will continue with the eighth biannual Festival of Ten (March 1 – 3 and 7 – 9, 2013), which will feature the recent musings of ten playwrights during an evening of ten 10-minute plays. The season concludes with another contemporary play, The Fox on the Fairway (April 26 – 28 and May 2 – 4), Ken Ludwig’s (Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo) 2010 farce which skewers the tony country club set where snobs and golf tournaments prevail.
More information on the 2012-13 Fine Arts Series at The College at Brockport can be found at www.brockport.edu/finearts.
Photo: Photo 1: Kara Dudley appears as “Jackie,” who doesn’t know how to deal with the valuable stamp collection she has inherited, in Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius, being performed at The College at Brockport on November 30 – December 2 and December 6 – 8. Call (585) 395-2787 for tickets.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu
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