Polaroid Stories

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Polaroid Stories

Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:00pm

The SUNY Sullivan Theater Program is proud to announce performances of the Polaroid Stories and The Rover, by Naomi Iizuka and Aphra Behn, respectively. The production of Polaroid Stories will be directed by Nick López, adjunct professor of theater, and The Rover will be directed by Jessica López-Barkl, associate professor of theater and speech.

The two plays will perform in repertory in the Seelig Theater from April 11-21, 2019, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. The Rover will play April 11, 13, 19, and 21, and Polaroid Stories will play April 12, 14, 18, and 20.  Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 at the door.

This will be the third and fourth productions in the 2018-2019 Women Playwright’s Season, and highlights the first female professional playwright (Aphra Behn), and a play written by Latino/Asian-American playwright Naomi Iizuka that explores teen drug, homelessness, and prostitution culture through the lens of an updated version of Ovid’s Metomorphoses. The SUNY Sullivan Theater Program has chosen to produce a diverse array of plays written by women this year in order to highlight the fact that although female customers account for 65% of ticket revenue, only 39% of actors, 36% of directors, and 28% of writers of plays are women.


A visceral blend of classical mythology and real-life stories told by street kids, Naomi lizuka’s Polaroid Stories journeys into a dangerous world where myth-making fulfills a fierce need for transcendence, where storytelling has the power to transform a reality in which characters’ lives are continually threatened, devalued and effaced. Not all the stories these characters tell are true; some are lies, wild yams, clever deceits, baroque fabrications. But whether or not a homeless kid invents an incredible history for himself isn’t the point, explains diarist-of-the-street Jim Grimsley. “All these stories and lies add up to something like the truth.” Inspired in part by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Iizuka’s Polaroid Stories takes place on an abandoned pier on the outermost edge of a city, a way stop for dreamers, dealers and desperadoes, a no-man’s land where runaways seek camaraderie, refuge and escape. Serpentine routes from the street to the heart characterize the interactions in this spellbinding tale of young people pushed to society’s fringe. Informed, as well, by interviews with young prostitutes and street kids, Polaroid Stories conveys a whirlwind of psychic disturbance, confusion and longing. Like their mythic counterparts, these modem-day mortals are engulfed by needs that burn and consume. Their language mixes poetry and profanity, imbuing the play with lyricism and great theatrical force.

Please contact Ms. López-Barkl at jbarkl@sunysullivan.edu with any questions.