November 8, 2012

Actors give dramatic readings of famous literature


---- — PLATTSBURGH — The North Country gets a hearing of dramatic reading at its finest with Symphony Space’s “All Write” tonight at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Three stage-and-screen actors — Charlotte Ortiz Colavin, Dawn Akemi Saito and Kevin Craig West — will perform dramatic readings of the works of famous authors in Krinovitz Recital Hall on campus.

Colavin portrayed Lorraine Cirrilo on “The Sopranos,” Sheila Fields on “The West Wing” and Principal Rosa Suarez on “Without A Trace.” 

Saito is a performance artist, writer and Butoh performer. Her multidisciplinary works include “Knock on the Sky,” “A Face of Our Own” and “Blood Cherries.”

West, MoBetta Films founder, is also a director and award-wining filmmaker. He pulled triple duty — actor/producer/director on the upcoming releases “UnCivil Liberties” and “Get a Grip.”

“It’s the same model as ‘Selected Shorts,’” Nathalie Thill, executive director of the Adirondack Center for Writing, said of tonight’s performances.

“Madeline Cohen is the producer. She’s been at Symphony Space forever. ‘All Write’ is a spin-off of ‘Selected Shorts,’ where they work with adult-literacy students by providing writing workshops and mentoring them in the writing process.”

Students submit their work, and selected work is performed by actors in a dramatic reading.

The Adirondack Center for Writing partnered with Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County and Literacy Volunteers of Essex and Franklin Counties to provide the “All Write” experience to local adult-literacy students.

“All winter long, they will be working on their writing, and they will submit their work and send it to Symphony Space. Actors will come back up in the spring to perform the work of the adult-literacy students in an open performance,” Thill said.

Tonight’s program is a regular performance featuring the works of famous authors.

“It’s the first stage to showcase it for the general public, so the literacy students can see what it’s like to have work read by actors. It’s an amazing experience,” Thill said.

This is the first time Symphony Space has offered “All Write” outside of New York City.

“I worked really hard to have them choose to work with us,” Thill said. “I had to do a lot of preliminary work and research. They have never done it before. I had to make sure it was as easy as possible. I’m deeply proud of it.”

Not only is Symphony Space’s outreach to the North Country a rare occurrence, it’s a great performance for the general audience.

“It will develop into a very meaningful writing program for adult-literacy students, their families and community,” Thill said. “I can’t wait to hear their work in the spring.”

Email Robin Caudell:

IF YOU GO WHAT: Symphony Space's "All Write," from the producers of "Selected Shorts." WHEN: 7 tonight. WHERE: Krinovitz Recital Hall, Hawkins Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh. ADMISSION: Free.