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An evening of live storytelling in an idyllic Hudson River Valley barn


Dave King.JPG

Pictured: Columbia County author Dave King
On July 10th, Ancram Opera House brings Crystal Radio Sessions Upstate to The Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park in Hillsdale, NY for an evening of live storytelling under the stars. The in-person event will feature actor Thomas L. Rothaker reading author Dave King’s O. Henry Award-winning story, “The Stamp Collector” about a phone call, a hospital patient, an alluring fifth of scotch and a pensione in Venice. Its themes are kindness, longing and the galling inequities of love.
Crystal Radio Sessions Upstate, the local outpost of the New York City reading series, showcases the poetry, fiction, personal essays and creative non-fiction of established and emerging writers from the Hudson Valley. The series is curated by Ashley Mayne.

Dave King earned a BFA in Painting and Film from Cooper Union. For ten years, he painted and participated in the brief East Village art scene of the 1980’s. During that time, he worked as a florist, a bartender, a travel agent and a mechanicals artist, and drove a cab for four years before co-founding a small painting firm specializing in murals and residential trompe-l’oeil. At forty, King returned to school and earned an MFA in Writing from Columbia University, where he wrote both fiction and poetry. His debut novel, The Ha-Ha, was a national bestseller and a finalist for Book of the Month Club’s Best Literary Fiction Award and the Quill Foundation’s award for Best Debut Fiction. King’s poems, stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The Village Voice and Fence and in the Italian literary journal Nuovi Argomenti. A new novel, The Beast and Beauty, is in the bag, as is a memoir, Bad Dog. King’s current project is a pair of novellas tentatively titled Childhood / Maturity. He teaches at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Curator Ashley Mayne’s work has appeared in Post Road, Fence, Juked, Peripheries, Blight Podcast, and elsewhere. She is one of the creators of Crystal Radio and edits fiction at Fence.

Thomas L. Rothacker is an actor, director, dramaturg and playwright and has worked extensively Off and Off-Off Broadway. Tom has acted, directed and produced at theatres such as The Tank, Theatre for the New City, Theatre Row, The Kraine, American Theatre of Actors and the Looking Glass.  Tom is also an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at CUNY Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY.  He teaches courses such as Theatre History, Intro to Theatre, Play Analysis and Acting I.  Research and pedagogical interests included movement-based and generated training for the beginning actor, many aspects of theatre history, and the Dramaturg as a voice in the rehearsal room.  Tom serves as a Regional Co-Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region 1.  MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, MA in Educational Theatre from New York University, BFA in Acting from Long Island University, C.W. Post.

The one-night-only event will be held on Saturday July 10 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.ancramoperahouse.org.

Ancram Opera House in southern Columbia County is an intimate showcase for fresh, contemporary work by visionary theater and musical artists. For more information on the 2021 summer season and announcements on upcoming events, visit www.ancramoperahouse.org.

CRYSTAL RADIO SESSIONS UPSTATE: Saturday, July 10 at 7:00pm

Tickets are $25

Location: The Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park

116 Old Rte 22, Hillsdale, NY 12529