SUNY Sullivan Announces New Plays

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The SUNY Sullivan Theater Program is proud to announce staged reading performances for THE COUNT PARTINUPLES / El Conde Partinuplés by Ana Caro Mallén, translated by Harley Erdman and THANK YOU / I’M SORRY by Brianna Worden and Janna Walter.

THE COUNT PARTINUPLÉS/El Conde Partinuplés and THANK YOU / I’M SORRY, directed by Jessica López-Barkl, Associate Professor of Theater and Speech/Theater Program Director at SUNY Sullivan.

We are excited to have plays that touch on the spirit of 1969 with shades of the Stonewall riots launching the LGTBIQ+ movement, Woodstock, the Vietnam War, Love/Peace, Racial Tension, Disability Awareness, the Cold War, and Identity.



Please Contact Jessica López-Barkl with any questions

THE COUNT PARTINUPLES / El Conde Partinuplés Synopsis

A twist on the Psyche and Cupid myth told through the particular perspective of a 17th Century Spanish Moor playwright.  In Ana Caro Mallén’s imaginative twist, the Empress of Constantinople finds a husband through the use of magic, creating an enchanted castle and hosting a supernatural banquet.  The Empress, pursued by several suitors (all princes), and only one will win her hand in marriage through a tournament.

Ana Caro Mallén, Playwright for THE COUNT PARTINUPLE / El Conde Partinuplés (from WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS OF EARLY MODERN SPAIN:

Ana Caro Mallén de Soto was born to a Morisco slave family at the end of the sixteenth century in Granada, Caro was about ten years old when she was baptized and legally adopted by Gabriel Caro de Mallén and Ana María de Torres in 1601.  Ana María and Gabriel had one son, Juan Caro before Ana María died.  Gabriel Caro then married Alfonsa de Loyola and had a second son, Juan Mallén.  The family moved to Seville so that Juan could complete his religious studies and become a friar.  Caro probably started her writing career around 1628 in Seville.  Records show that she received payment for two Corpus Christi auto sacramentales, entitled La puerta de la Macarena (THE GATE OF THE MACARENA, 1641) and La cuesta de Castilleja (The Hill of Castilleja, 1645), both lost.  She also lived in or at least visited Madrid, where her first brother, Juan Caro, lived and maintained connections to the court.  In Madrid, Caro had personal and literary relationships with some of the popular writers of the time, as we can see, for example, in her poetic production.  Evidence suggests she forged a friendship with the writer Maria de Zayas during her time in Madrid.  Among Caro’s poems composed for special occasions or events, there are compositions included in the preliminaries of Zayas’s first collection of short stories, praising her friend, as well as a poetic composition reporting the Buen Retiro celebrations in 1637.  Together they enjoyed the city’s literary circles and also attended (and participated in) academias, such as the one presided over by Francisco de Mendoza.  In addition to Caro’s plays and poetry, other works have survived.  These include a few reports (relaciones) about local celebrations and events.  As a playwright, Ana Caro composed auto sacramentales, of which we only know that the Loa sacramental for the Corpus Christi festivities of Seville was presented in 1639 and published that same year.  Her two known comedias were probably staged, but there are no records.  Valor, agravio y mujer (VALOR, OFFENSE WOMAN) survives today in a manuscript written in a seventeenth-century hand.  El conde Partinuplés (COUNT PARTINUPLES) was printed in an extant 1653 collection of comedias in which plays by Calderón de la Barca and Vélez de Guevara also appear.  Her last known publication is a sonnet published in a poetry compilation from Seville in 1646.  In this same year, a certain Marîa Ana Caro appears among the list of those who died from the plague in Seville’s Convent of the María Magdalena.  We still lack confirmation as to whether this is the same woman as our playwright, yet the expenses for this Ana Caro’s funeral were high, so she clearly enjoyed some wealth.  In accordance with funeral practices for plague victims, most of her belongings were burned.  Nonetheless, given Ana Caro’s extensive involvement in literary circles and numerous mentions of various texts, we remain hopeful that more of her work will be discovered some day.

Harley Erdman, translator for THE COUNT PARTINUPLE / El Conde Partinuplés:

Harley Erdman is a dramaturg, playwright, and scholar whose work focuses on adaptation and translation. His commissioned work as a translator of contemporary Latin American theater includes plays from Mexico, Nicaragua, and Chile. His Women Playwrights of Early Modern Spain (ITER, 2016) features his translations of ten plays, for the first time ever in English. It won the Josephine Roberts Award for best scholarly edition in the field of early modern women and gender. His translations of Tirso de Molina’s Jealous of Herself and Marta the Divine were published in 2012 in companion volumes by Aris & Phillips. With Susan Paun de García, he co-edited the anthology of essays, Remaking the Comedia (Tamesis, 2015). His most recent book project, a bilingual edition of Luis Vélez de Guevara’s La serrana de la Vera, was published by the University of Liverpool Press in 2019 and produced at UMass under the title Wild Thing. He is a winner of the Association for Hispanic Classic Theater’s Translation Prize.  Erdman has also published numerous articles on the history of Jewish representation on the American stage, as well as the book Staging the Jew (Rutgers, 1997). His article on the Yiddish play God of Vengeance won the Kahan Prize for Outstanding Essay (2000) from the American Society for Theater Research.  His dramatic writing projects focus on rebels and outsiders in local history. These include the opera librettos The Scarlet Professor (2017) and The Garden of Martyrs (2013), both with composer Eric Sawyer; The Captivation of Eunice Williams (2004), with composer Paul Kimper; as well as the screwball comedy Nobody’s Girl, which debuted at the Northampton Academy of Music in 2014. With colleague Gina Kaufmann and composer Aaron Jones, he is adapting Tirso de Molina’s original Don Juan play, The Trickster of Seville, into a new musical set on a contemporary college campus. The Scarlet Professor won the 2019 American Prize for composers of opera.  Erdman has taught in Scotland, El Salvador and Sri Lanka – in the latter country, as part of a 2016 Fulbright Fellowship. He also has received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts.  Erdman has served as Editor of the journal Theatre Topics

THANK YOU / I’M SORRY synopsis

A world premiere of a docu-drama about Neurobibromatosis and the journey of a daughter and mother through diagnosis, treatment(s), pain, love, and changes.

Janna Walter – playwright/performer biography

Janna Walter hails from Grahamsville, NY. She has been performing around Sullivan County and the NY area for over the 20 years, many of which were under the study and direction of Paul Austin of the Liberty Free Theatre.  This is Janna’s playwrighting debut and fourth performance with the SUNY Sullivan Performing Arts Program.  Past performances include: GIDION’S KNOT, WORKING, MARSHALL COUNTY LINE,  ROSEMARY WITH GINGER, WHY WE HAVE A BODY, DEATH OF BESSIE SMITH, and DELORES. Janna is a Maternal-Child Registered Nurse who cares for women and children of Sullivan County.  Janna has been advocating for her daughter, Brianna and all NEUROFIBROMATOSIS HEROES for 23 years. She has dedicated a lifetime to raising NF awareness and funds in the hope of finding a treatment and cure for this disorder that affects over 2.5 million people world-wide. Janna is the mother of 4 amazing children, including, Brianna, Brandon, Robert and Jayce. She would like to thank her husband, Daniel for his support, patience and most of all love.

Brianna Worden – playwright/performer biography

Brianna Worden – Former Miss Teen New York International, is a 23-year-old who graduated top 10% of her class from Boston University. She is excited to announce that she is the 2020 Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) National Ambassador. As the Ambassador and a Patient Advocate she is using her voice and her story to help find a cure for neurofibromatosis. She has addressed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) twice. She is a graduate from Tri-Valley High School. In high school Brianna took part in All County, NYSSMA and was a member of The Women’s Choir. She has also performed in many productions at SUNY Sullivan, such as, RAGTIME, MARSHALL COUNTY LINE, POLAROID STORIES, THE DUTCHMAN, and ASSASSINS, where she played the role of Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. Brianna has competed twice in the Region 1 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival also known as KCACTF for acting and singing. She is very excited to be performing this production. Brianna is honored and excited to have written this show with her mother, Janna Walter. Her mother is her hero. She hopes that you gain something positive from this production.