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January 31, 2013

SUNY Oneonta alumnus to return for performance

ONEONTA

The Apollo Music Club at State University College at Oneonta will present Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2, in the Hunt College Union Ballroom.

The show is free for SUNY Oneonta students and $5 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the Hunt Union or online at http://tickets.oneonta.edu.

The cast is made up of 21 SUNY Oneonta students, one Hartwick College student and one SUNY Oneonta alumnus, New York City-based musical theater actor, playwright and songwriter Omri Schein.

“I am thrilled to have a chance to direct Gilbert and Sullivan’s first true hit, and it is icing on the cake to be working with Omri Schein,” voice teacher and production director Colby Thomas of the SUNY Oneonta Music Department said in a media release from the college. “The students are benefiting enormously from working with such a professional actor. The challenge for all of us is to not laugh when Omri is on stage, which is extremely difficult! As the saying goes, ‘Dying is easy....comedy is hard,’ but you wouldn’t know that from watching Omri.”

A 2002 graduate of SUNY Oneonta’s Theatre program, Schein went on to earn a master’s in musical theater at San Diego State University. A character actor specializing in comic roles, he has performed most recently as Benjamin Cohen in Steve Martin’s adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s “The Underpants” at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, and as Eugene in a European tour of “Grease.” He is also co-founder and director of The Contemporary Traditionalists, a company focused on developing new musicals, and his original play, “Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist,” won an award for Best Musical at the 2012 West Village Musical Theatre Festival.

Schein has been on campus for three weeks as an artist-in-residence, working with students on “H.M.S. Pinafore” and rehearsing for his guest artist role as Sir Joseph Porter. He’ll return later this semester to help with a workshop production of his original play, “BED FELLAS,” which he describes as “a quirky, contemporary musical comedy about two men who are so bored with their lives in suburbia that they arrange to swap wives — without the wives knowing.”

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