SUNY Potsdam students bring two plays to Pendragon Theatre stage Friday and Saturday

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SARANAC LAKE — Pendragon Theatre is hosting two evenings of performance pieces by SUNY Potsdam students.

“Slanguage” is a play that takes place around a subway ride in New York City, and will be presented on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 4 at 9 p.m.

The play was developed by Jo A. Bonney, who won the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction, and written by Universes Ensemble. It looks at culture and language of contemporary New York City and digs into many societal issues: poverty, family, drugs, racism and street violence.

The play involves many forms of music and dance — such as poetry, storytelling, rap, gospel, jazz riffs, bluesy laments and Spanish boleros. Slanguages is directed by SUNY Potsdam student Meikayla Thomany and features student actors, designers and stage managers.

“Shattering the Silence,” three original performance pieces, will be performed at 9 p.m. Friday, May 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4.

The plays were written by SUNY Potsdam seniors and theatre majors Ryan J. Hutchins, Jenna Clute and Reese Reed.

The three one-act plays are “Homage to the Unknown Friend/Homenaje a la Companera Desconocida,” “Ode to the beauty of pain” and “Transition.” “Transition,” written and performed by Mr. Reed, examines the modern struggles of a trans person with dysphoria. “Ode to the beauty of pain,” written by Ms. Clute, examines one young woman’s past, the troubles she has faced with mental health issues, her continuing struggles and her journey to find happiness. “Homage to the Unknown Friend/Homenaje a la Companera Desconocida,” written by Mr. Hutchins, is a discussion between a woman, who is jailed during the reign of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and God.

The student performances are part of The LoKo Arts Festival, a SUNY Potsdam event that “encompasses all forms of artistic expression, including interdisciplinary artistic events and activities and connects exploratory artists with students and adventurous audiences.”

The performances swap time slots each evening to give audiences the option of staying to see both or returning the next evening to have seen one and then the other in the earlier 7 p.m. or 9 p.m. time slot.

Admission is free with donations gratefully accepted.

Pendragon Theatre is located at 15 Brandy Brook Ave. Saranac Lake.

For more information, call 518-891-1854.