Life Imitates Art in ‘The Service Road’ Production at City Tech

January 28, 2013 | New York City College of Technology

Brooklyn, NY — Imagine working on a play about a mythical storm and waking up to the reality of Hurricane Sandy. It happened to the cast, crew and New York College of Technology (City Tech) students involved in the Adhesive Theater Project’s acclaimed production of The Service Road, which is being performed on campus January 11-February 2. The Adhesive Theater Project is a 2012-13 Artist in Residence at City Tech.

A nature guide attempts to find a lost child after a violent storm of mythic proportions hits Prospect Park in The Service Road, a 70-minute multi-media show written by Obie Award-winning playwright (Map of Virtue) Erin Courtney. The production features the introduction of a Japanese theatre-video puppet and a gravity defying set.

“The director, Meghan Finn, deftly strikes a balance between ingenious technology and Ms. Courtney’s intimate script, marshaling the two into a resonant and captivating whole. The play’s internal order, however surreal, feels entirely complete,” states The New York Times, in a January 24, 2013 review of the show.

Playwright Courtney examines what it means to be of service and the true nature of forgiveness in this work. The once peaceful service road where the nature guide gave tours turns strange and even savage as she searches for the lost child. On her quest, she meets the denizens of one of the few natural places left in a large city. The nature guide is a modern day Hercules — very strong, very loyal, a little thick — who is trying to do penance for a very bad thing she had done when she was out of her mind.

About 50 entertainment technology students were involved with the production of the show, with more than a dozen students running the show at each performance. Interviews with students involved in the production whose homes were devastated by Sandy can be viewed at http://youtu.be/cN0r-0Otc5Y. A donation jar at each performance collects money for City Tech students heavily impacted by the storm.

Several City Tech faculty members lent their expertise to the show. Professor Sue Brandt was the production manager and lighting designer; Professor John McCullough was responsible for the technical design and supervision of the student construction of the large, complex set; Professor John Huntington was responsible for the technical design and supervision of the audio/video systems and the live sound design; and Adjunct Professor Cory Einbinder was the lead actor and props/puppet designer.

The last two performances of The Service Road will take place on Friday, February 1, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 2, at 2 p.m., in the Voorhees Theater of New York City College of Technology, 186 Jay Street, north of Tillary Street, Downtown Brooklyn; (800) 838-3006, adhesivetheater.com.