A play by William Harris “I Was Sitting on My Patio This guy appeared I Thought I Was hallucinating”

Authored by Kasey Correll

An Image presented by MaryMount Manahattan College that features a review by William Harris dated June 9 1977 on the play “I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating”

This object is a review of the play “I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating” (Harris, 1977). Mr. William Harris reviewed this play for the SoHo Weekly News in June 9, 1977, at the Cherry Lane Theatre. He was a famous writer and well known “contributor to The New York Times on dance and theater” (Harris, 2000, par 3). I selected this object for my AS-L project because it shows the beginning of a new type of play that Mr. Robert Wilson produced. It also represents the Vincentian core value of excellence, because of Mr. Wilson’s drive to not give up.

The famous producer was Mr. Robert Wilson who also stared as one of the main actors. He created this production in order to shape new way that plays are viewed, and believed he should take charge of one of the main roles in his play. This action would ensure that his audience would understand the message he was trying to provide, if he was able fully express it himself. Mr. Wilson wanted to show his dream through his play and also show his audience a new form of entertainment. When a producer is first forming a play they usually begin with forming the plot, characters, or dialogue. However, Mr. Wilson was interested in focusing on the setting first for this particular play, and his first ideas about the setting of the play were “I’ve had the idea for a long time of a room with lots of books, all placed neatly on shelves, and something slicing through the shelves. There is a telephone, and a telephone wire. There is a scrim or gauze over the front of the stage, and images are sometimes projected on it” (Kostelanetz, 1977, par 2).

This particular play was different than past plays Robert Wilson produced, simply because he wanted “to get rid of all the theatrical furniture” (Harris, 2000, par 7). This reasoning was referring to how his play’s setting contains zero dancing, little music, and only one small movie screen feed from a backstage projector. The setting was created without any distracting theatrical furniture, so the viewing audience would be able to focus on the vision and the importance of his Mr. Wilson’s play.

This review of Mr. Wilson’s play was a great object because it strongly reflects Vincentian core value of excellence of St. John’s University. This was Mr. Wilson’s first production that was the beginning of many ideas, on how to perform new ways plays were presented and portrayed. Even though theatrical critics including Mr. William Harris reviewed the play as not impressive and dreadfully boring, Mr. Wilson still had the drive and passion to continue creating plays in a different way. He took the criticism from the reviews about his play, learned from his mistakes and began to produce more productions that followed the different style. This particular play was the beginning of what influenced and created what American theater productions became to be, instead of script heavy European theater performances.

References

Barnes, Clive. 1977. “Patio Is Staged at Cherry Lane; One Must Suspend All Disbelief: Archives.” The New York Times, (May 23, 1977), https://www.nytimes.com/1977/05/23/archives/patio-is-staged-at-cherry-lane-one-must-suspend-all-disbelief.html

Cherry Lane Theater. n.d. “History: Mainstage History.” Accessed March 11, 2019, http://www.cherrylanetheatre.org/history/.

Gilbert, Ruth ed. 1977. “In and around town: A Critical Guide to Entertainment in the New York Area.” New York Magazine 10, no 23 (June 6, 1977): 21. https://books.google.com/books?id=QeQCAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=I+Was+Sitting+on+my+Patio+This+Guy+Appeared+I+Thought+I+Was+Hallucinating+William+OR+Harris&source= .

Kostelanetz, Richard. 1977. “Robert Wilson Builds a New Play: Archives.” The New York Times. (May 8, 1977), https://www.nytimes.com/1977/05/08/archives/robert-wilson-builds-a-new-play-robert-wilson-builds-a-new-play.html

 The New York Times. 2000. “William Harris Writer, 49: Archives.” (July 29, 2000). https://www.nytimes.com/2000/07/29/arts/william-harris-writer-49.html.

Wilson, Robert. 1979. “I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating.” Performing Arts Journal 4, no. 1/2 (May, 1979): 200-18. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4623775.

Higher Education Opportunity Program: A Chance to Achieve Greatness

Authored by William Gorley

An early HEOP brochure utilized by MMC

An undated, early promotional and educational brochure utilized by Marymount Manhattan College to advocate their involvement with the Higher Education Opportunity Program. (Known formally as the Community Leadership Program at Marymount Manhattan College).

Prior to the late 1960’s, higher education in America was reserved for the affluent, bright and well connected. A trend that would continue until a visionary upstate New York politician stepped up to lead a campaign that would provide the underprivileged and underrepresented a chance to achieve greatness. Arthur O. Eve, a member of the NYS Assembly (1967-2003) and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly (1979-2013) representing districts in Buffalo NY (NYSED.gov 2019). Eve took notice of the plight faced by the underprivileged, especially the youth and proposed legislation that would become known as the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) (NYSED.gov 2019).

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Upward Bound: Propelling Veterans to Their Futures at Farmingdale University

Authored by Julianne Odin

A press release announcing the formation of an outreach program for veterans at the Agricultural and Technical College at Farmingdale. The release notes the College’s particular interest in serving “academically disadvantaged” veterans and describes the remedial program of study that would be made available to them.

No discussion of post-World War II American history would be complete without a description of veterans’ education benefits, which allowed for unprecedented societal advancement by individuals who served their country. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, education benefits had become inextricably tied to military service, forever altering Americans’ perceptions of the nature of military service and citizenship (Boulton 2014). This development is largely due to Vietnam War veterans, a greater percentage of whom took advantage of the educational benefits available to them than their World War II and Korean War counterparts (Arminio, Kudo Grabosky, and Lang 2014, 12).

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Lasagna Dinner: From Tradition to Community

Authored by Victor Otero

Taken during the first Lasagna Dinner, a Holy Rosary annual fundraiser, this photograph shows the parish women who came up with the idea, left to right: Pat Bennet, Mary R. Catucci, Eleanor Eisman, Anita Segreti, Mary G., and Rosalie Pappano.

Italian immigrants into the United States represented ethnic/regional and job entitlements. The immigrants originated from different parts of Italy and worked in specific fields and job titles in the native nation. During the period from 1880 to 1915, millions of Italians migrated out of Italy into the US. While in America, the immigrants faced numerous challenges. The immigrants did not understand the English language and had little formal education; therefore, they were forced to take low wage manual labor jobs (Connell 2019). As a result, they were often taken advantage of by the intermediaries who served as go-betweens between them and the potential bosses. Most Italians saw the US as a place that could offer jobs that the unskilled and uneducated Italians peasants like they could do. 

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Farmingdale’s First Director Fights Famine Overseas Through Agriculture

Authored by Kimberly Simmons

Furrow
A page from the August 1921 edition of the student publication The Furrow, featuring article “Bon Voyage, Director Johnson!” At the time of its writing, Johnson had recently embarked on a humanitarian journey to the Near East.

The Furrow was a student publication (1916-1921) of the New York State Institute of Applied Agriculture, currently Farmingdale State College. The digitized item selected here is an article from the August 1921 edition, titled “Bon Voyage, Director Johnson!” (1921). Here we are informed of the journey of the Institute’s first director, Albert A. Johnson, who had recently set out to regions of the Near East that were in the throes of famine.

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Immigration and the Catholic Church

Authored by Megan Maye

Caulfield, Brian. 1996. “A Missionary Again.” The Staten Island Advance, August 17, 1996.

Pictured above is Brian Caulfield’s article, “A Missionary Again,” which discusses Silvano Tomasi’s episcopal ordination.


Cultural differences and inadequate understandings between immigrants and the United States has been an issue in the country for many years. The number of immigrants who come to the United States has increased annually (Segal and Mayadas 2005, 564), most likely causing growing concern between both parties.


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Dance Genesis: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Syvilla Fort

Authored by Reba Weatherford

The outside of the program for the concert honoring Syvilla Fort.

On November 3, 1975 the Black Theater Alliance held a concert in the Majestic Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College titled Dance Genesis: Three Generations Salute Syvilla Fort. Syvilla Fort, and influential choreographer and dance teacher, has been described as “an important figure in American dance” (Bocek 2016, 14) and as a “just plain good person” (McDonagh 1975, 34). The concert was hosted by choreographer Alvin Ailey and performer Harry Belafonte, both former students of Fort. Syvilla Fort herself was also in attendance. Continue reading

Norwegian Rosemaling: A Folk Art for Beautification and Sustenance

Authored By Gail Hedstrom

Rosemale painting

Cheese Box Cover, circa 1850, Rosemaling painting in the Telemark style on the cover of a round wooden cheese box, 17.5” x 3.25” (44.45 x 8.255 cm), Grant County Historical Society, Elbow Lake, MN, Photograph by Gail M. Hedstrom. Courtesy of Grant County Historical Society and Museum.

Nearly one million people emigrated from Norway to the United States between 1820 and 1920. The reasons for migration included economic hardship, difficulty raising crops, dissatisfaction with the government, and concern regarding religious freedom. During this time, the United States of America was inviting people to homestead the unsettled Midwest. Inexpensive land and a fresh start presented an opportunity that many could not resist (Blegen 1931). Those making the journey used trunks and chests, to carry personal belongings. Often the trunks and chests were adorned with rosemaling (Stoughton Historical Society 2019).  Continue reading

The Music Project at Marymount Manhattan College: An Opportunity for Greater Success

Authored by John Blodgett


This is an image of the program for the 1976 fall concert series for the Music Project, which would be held at the Marymount Manhattan College Theatre. It describes the numerous songs that will be played at the show, the order of the songs, and the members of the Music Project.

During the Fall 1976 semester Marymount Manhattan College differentiated from its growing dance, and theatre programs to introduce a concert series that brought classical music to New York City. Marymount Manhattan College was a religious college, and is a college that prides itself on diversity as its mission statement states, “Faithful to the vision of its founders, Marymount Manhattan has a long history of reaching out to diverse populations in need of higher education”(Marymount Manhattan College, n.d.). The Music Project was a key program in its promotion of Marymount Manhattan College’s goal to provide opportunities for diverse and underrepresented people. As the Music Project consisted of a group of musicians from across the world, and provided an opportunity for these musicians to start their careers.

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Aviation at Farmingdale State College: Bringing the World a Little Closer

Authored by Michael J. Krasnoff

Farmingdale State University of New York

Taken of an unnamed student at Farmingdale State University’s Engineering Technology program. This photo does more than portray a student and a plane, it is a living document of Farmingdale State University as a pioneer in creating a post-World War II college level aviation program that was previously only offered in vocational schools.

World War II played a major role in the evolution of the workforce. “The war left an altered economy that demanded a workforce whose education and training needed to be more technical in nature” (Cavaioli 2012, 139).

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