SUNY Potsdam Hosts Pendragon's 'The Last 5 Years' & 'Shipwrecked'


Pendragon Theatre’s production of “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment” will be offered at SUNY Potsdam on Sept. 29 and 30.

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Theatre and Dance will host upcoming performances of Pendragon Theatre’s “The Last Five Years” and “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment.” The plays will feature SUNY Potsdam students and alumni.

“The Last Five Years” will be presented on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 27 and 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the College Theater in Satterlee Hall. “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment,” by Donald Margulies, will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m., also in the College Theater.

“The Last Five Years” is an intimate musical, told in a unique and unconventional way. Two young New Yorkers fall in and out of love over the course of five years. It’s an old story told in a new way: Her story starts at the end of their relationship; his begins on the day they met. Mackenzie Barmen, a SUNY Potsdam theatre and theatre education double major, plays Catherine, and Brandon Patterson, a SUNY Potsdam theatre graduate, plays Jamie.

“The Last Five Years” won a Drama Desk Award for best music and best lyrics. Critics have speculated that composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown is the next Sondheim. His musical style draws on a number of musical genres, including pop, jazz, classical, klezmer, Latin, rock and folk.

“Shipwrecked! An Entertainment” tells the tale of the real life Louis de Rougemont and his incredible 30-year adventure in the Australian outback after being lost at sea. The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Marguiles created a colorful, fanciful canvas with the play, which the New York Times labeled “a theatrical pop-up book.”

When asked if he had a particular “aesthetic” in mind, Marguiles replied: “It gets everyone to play again. People who maybe have lost that sense of play and have forgotten how enjoyable it could be to just imagine things. That was my objective.”

Bob Pettee plays Louis de Rougement, the Victorian adventurer and yarn spinner. Mackenzie Barmen and Tyler Nye play multiple characters, including children, society gossips, aborigines, scientists and Bruno, the dog.

Karen Kirkham, Pendragon’s incoming executive and artistic director, directs the highly imaginative productions. She continues her long time collaboration with award winning set designer, Tijana Bjelajac. Alexis Foster, costume designer at SUNY Potsdam, will outfit all of the characters. Pendragon’s current technical director and succeeding managing director, David Zwierankin, who was SUNY Potsdam’s first theatre education graduate, is the lighting designer.

Ticketing services for this event are provided by the Community Performance Series Box Office. Tickets are available by calling (315) 267-2277 or visiting The prices are $12 for general admission, $10 for SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff or senior citizens and $5 for students and youth.  If you pre-order tickets to both productions by Sept. 26, you will save $2.

Pendragon Theatre, the Adirondack’s only year-round professional theatre company, receives funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam’s arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.