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Dead Man Walking' to be staged in Cazenovia

As part of the semester-long focus on issues surrounding the death penalty, Cazenovia College will present the Central New York premiere of "Dead Man Walking," adapted for the stage by Tim Robbins from the Academy Award winning movie starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

The production will have performances at the Catherine Cummings Theatre on Nov. 12, 13, 14, and Nov. 19, 20 and 21. Curtain times are 8 p.m. for the Friday and Saturday performances, and 2 p.m. for Sunday performances.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under. ($3 for Cazenovia College students.) Tickets will be available at Cazenovia Jewelry and by calling the Catherine Cummings Theatre Box Office at 655-STAR. Tickets will also be available at the door and seating is general admission. Doors will open one half hour prior to show time.

Call Colleen Prossner at 655-7238 for additional information.

The play is directed by David Lowenstein, artist in residence at Cazenovia College, and produced by Colleen Prossner, theatre manager at the Catherine Cummings theatre at Cazenovia College. Cast and crew are comprised of Cazenovia College students and area residents.

The play, written by Tim Robbins in 2002, is based on the experiences of Sister Helen Prejean as the spiritual advisor of a death row inmate at Angola prison. Rather than producing the play professionally, Robbins offered it to schools and colleges across the United States as part of a project designed to foster discourse and discussion about the death penalty. The project, titled The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project, is managed by the Death Penalty Discourse Center (dpdiscourse.org) where Prejean now bases her work.

The Cazenovia College discussion of the death penalty went far beyond the campus community when Prejean was the fall semester Reisman Lecturer, speaking to more than 800 people in Cazenovia.

"Broad discourse is especially important on the issue of the death penalty because executions take place as almost secret rituals behind prison walls with only a few witnesses, so most people are never going to get close to state killings - unless the arts take them there," she said.

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