Teachers, faculty, community members and a student will grace the stage in Krinovitz Recital Hall tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. to perform “Emeritus 2015.” The play, written by Ann Tracy, a distinguished English professor and lecturer of the Honors Program at Plattsburgh State, is set in a nursing facility for retired college personnel.
Tracy was inspired by the many years her mother spent in a nursing home.
“I saw a lot of weird stuff,” Tracy said.
The academic satire is a combination of things she saw in the nursing home and jokes about professors.
“It’s always fun making fun of your own profession,” Tracy said.
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The play was first performed four years ago, and both viewings were sold out. Tracy said this time approximately half of the cast is different. She simply asked her friends and colleagues to participate. She knew the people and the characters, so she just thought about who would be a good fit for each role.
“I would audition them in my head,” Tracy said. PSUC faculty participating this year include: James Armstrong, a distinguished professor of anthropology; Kathy Lavoie, a biology professor; Tim Hartnett, an associate librarian and an adjunct music lecturer and Lisa Lewis, an adjunct English lecturer.
Armstrong takes on the role as a janitor. This is his second time performing in the play.
A former janitor himself, Armstrong said: “It’s the perfect role for me. I don’t even have to act.”
The only student who has a role in the play is Celeste Pajotte, a senior studying English language arts who acts as Chelsea, an intern at the facility.
“My character is a terrible person,” Pajotte said. “She’s so funny, but she hates old people, and it’s lovely because she says all these things that I would never say—ever.”
Pajotte said that over time, Chelsea sees past the old people’s wrinkles and realizes they are people, too and learns to let them influence her life by the end.
Armstrong said he thinks the play is about aging, and students would really learn something from it. He said the play touched him because it shows that college professors really love their job—at least he does.
Tickets can be bought at the door or at tickets.plattsburgh.edu. General admission tickets are $5, and student tickets are $2.
Email Amanda Velez at firstname.lastname@example.org