The SUNY Sullivan Theater Program Presents Blackdamp

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The SUNY Sullivan Theater Arts Program is proud to present Blackdamp, Bradley Diuguid’s eye-opening new play about a single mother struggling to make ends meet, raise her autistic son and protect her child from the secrets of his past. Set in a depressed Appalachian mining town, Blackdamp invites audiences to recognize similar economic hardships in their own communities and develop a greater understanding of poverty’s impact on autistic individuals.

Staged readings of Blackdamp take place November 10-14, Wednesday-Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. The play will be performed in SUNY Sullivan’s Seelig Theater, while simultaneously streaming live on YouTube. Masks are required for all campus visitors. Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 to the SUNY Sullivan Theater Program/Performing Arts Club. For further information, contact Jessica López-Barkl at jbarkl@sunysullivan.edu. For advance tickets, click here.

Blackdamp is directed by SUNY Sullivan Adjunct Professor Nick López and assistant directed by Brianna Worden, a founding member of New Visions Inclusive Performing Arts Company, an emerging theater company composed of theater artists that have been a part of SUNY Sullivan’s Theater Program. Blackdamp is one of several plays in SUNY Sullivan’s 2021-22 theater season to investigate the circumstances of the historically marginalized disability community and attempt to foreground people whose stories have been largely overlooked.

The SUNY Sullivan Theater Program is sensitive to the fact that representation is not enough if the stories of marginalized individuals are not represented in a thoughtful and authentic way. As a college in a county whose largest healthcare employer serves people with disabilities, SUNY Sullivan hopes to partner with regional organizations to provide an array of educational opportunities to demonstrate that art by and about people with disabilities is enriched and enhanced by the extraordinary circumstances of their lives.

Blackdamp synopsis
A story about Lauren Hines who is a single mother struggling to raise her autistic son, Dale, in a depressed Appalachian mining town. When Kristy, a local teenager, befriends Dale, she inadvertently draws out Lauren’s anxieties and develops confusing feelings about him. When the teenagers discover an abandoned mine, they also discover painful secrets about Dale’s past, uncover visions of his father’s ghost, and yearn to escape the town that is smothering them.

The 2021–22 SUNY Sullivan Theater season continues December 1 with World AIDS Day, a performance of scenes and songs dealing with HIV/AIDS. Curated and organized by Callie Reardon, Theater Arts alumni.

Other productions for the SUNY Sullivan Theater Program 2021–22 season include:

Rosemary with Ginger, by Edward Allan Baker, directed by Nick López (adjunct professor) February 4–5, 2021.
The Vagina Monologues, by Eve Ensler, coordinated by Jessica López-Barkl, Payton Powell (Theater Arts alumni), and Janine Grim Bukovinsky (Theater Arts alumni). February 11–12, 2022.
Next to Normal, book/lyrics by Brian Yorkey, music by Tom Kitt, directed by Nick López, music directed by Leon Hilfstein and Brandon Sparkman, featuring Jessica López-Barkl and Billy Steeves (Theater Arts alumni and Equity Actor). March 30–April 9, 2022. This play deals with bipolar disorder and will open on World Bipolar Day.
Thank You / I’m Sorry*, by Brianna Worden and Janna Walter. Music composed by Brandon Sparkman. Directed by Jessica López-Barkl. May 6–14, 2022. This play is the first play about Neurofibromatosis, and a world premiere opening during Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month. *World Premiere.

For more information, contact Jessica López-Barkl at jbarkl@sunysullivan.edu.

About the Artists:
Bradley Diuguid is an adjunct professor of theater and education at SUNY Sullivan and Marist College, as well as a program manager at the Hudson Valley Writing Project. He formerly served as the executive director of the CAS Arts Center, a multidisciplinary arts organization in rural Sullivan County, NY, and was the manager of education programs for Waterwell, a collaborative theater company in New York City, where he oversaw their intensive drama training program in partnership with the Professional Performing Arts School. He also worked in arts administration at Shadowland Stages, The Juilliard School, the American Repertory Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, and the Puppet Showplace Theater. As an educator, he taught classes and directed and devised shows with companies such as the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, NACL Theatre, and Premiere Stages, among others. Bradley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and Harvard University.

Nick López is an adjunct professor of theater and speech at SUNY Sullivan. He is an actor, director, designer, and cartoonist. He has performed and directed in New York, New Mexico, Washington State, and West Virginia. He has a BA in theater from the University of New Mexico and an MFA in performance from West Virginia University.

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November 4, 2021.