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Apprentice Players Production: FIVE FOR ONE-An Evening of Five One Act Plays

An evening of five one-act plays, under the billing of “Five For One,” comprises the annual fall performances by the SUNY Orange Apprentice Players this November in Orange Hall Theatre on the College’s Middletown campus.

The student productions will showcase “Poor Shem” by Gregory Hischak, “Rules of Comedy” by Patricia Cotter, “Comfort Inn" by Rinne Groff, and "Absolution" and "Art of Negotiation" by Brian C. Petti. Under the direction of Petti and David Cohen, the plays will enjoy a six-show run during the weekends of Nov. 11-13 and 18-20.  Evening performances on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12 and 18-19 will begin at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees on Nov. 13 and 20 set for 3 p.m. There will be a “talk back” with actors and directors immediately following the Saturday, Nov. 12 performance. 

“Comfort Inn” revolves around a sleep study from the point of view of the scientists, and takes place on the top floor of a Comfort Inn. Sylvie, a sleep technician, is checking in with the patients for the night before the sleep study gets started. Groff provides an amusing evening of laughs as we learn about the patients and technicians who are involved in the study.

A featured play at the Humana Festival 2014 (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville), “Poor Shem” will delight any office worker who has boldly confronted the mysteries of the copy machine and faced the terror of: “paper jam-8 1/2 x 11 bypass tray.” (At least it isn’t the toner!)

“Rules of Comedy” is another thought-provoking theatrical gem. Caroline is really not funny, yet she finds herself taking a stand-up comedy class from Guy, a slightly bitter stand-up comedian. Somewhere while learning “the four rules of comedy,” they accidentally discover the rules to life.

The evening of one-act plays is capped off with two plays by local playwright Petti. His work has appeared in numerous Off-Off Broadway venues and has enjoyed many regional productions. “Absolution” takes the audience to a dystopian “Office of Absolution” where all transgressions are forgiven by filing the correct paperwork. “Absolution” is set in the future with a glassy-eyed Central interviewing a disturbed Citizen who seeks to be absolved for some terrible sin for which she is never given the chance to confess. It is a chilling satire on humanity that has lost its way.

“Art of Negotiation” takes place in a political meeting room where a Representative of a powerful country is enlisting the aid of a foreign Colonel. In a cheery voice, the Representative tells the Colonel his country must be destroyed. After the initial shock of this statement, the Colonel realizes he must somehow re-forge a relationship with the Representative for the sake of his country's future. 

This transportive collection of plays is a must-see for anyone seeking original, vibrant and ambitious theater. The cast includes Christina Polichetti, Olivia Cohen, Jessica Rifflard, Jay Smith, Tavia Dean, Axcell Sabillon, Jason Garfinkel, Joe Polichetti, Michelle Conklin, Shane Keller and John Vidunas.

Ticket prices are $12, general admission; $8, senior citizens, faculty and alumni; $4, students; and free for active duty military personnel. Student tickets are only available at the box office. All other tickets may be purchased online at (click the events link on the home page and follow to online ticketing). For group prices (10 or more) call (845) 341-4790. There is a $2.50 surcharge for each ticket purchased online. Tickets purchased online may be printed at home or picked up at the box office. The box office opens one hour before curtain time. Content may not be suitable for young children. All children must have a ticket to enter the theatre. Cash, check or credit cards accepted.

For more information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4790. For updates on all cultural and artistic events at SUNY Orange, visit “The Arts at SUNY Orange” Facebook page at Orange Hall Theatre, located in Orange Hall, is universally accessible. Parking is available in the College parking lot at the intersection of Wawayanda and Grandview avenues.

Event date, time and location.

Terry Sandford
Arts & Communication Department