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Academia runs amok in ‘There is a Happiness That Morning Is’

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September 7, 2018 01:13 am

CATSKILL — An inappropriately public display of affection upends the lives of two William Blake scholars in Mickle Maher’s raucous celebration of art, ardor, and academia in “There is a Happiness That Morning Is,” coming to Catskill’s Bridge Street Theatre for eight performances.

The show will run Thursdays through Sundays from Sept.1 6-6.

For nearly 20 years, two professors at a crumbling liberal arts college in rural New England have been carrying on a clandestine love affair while simultaneously lecturing on the poetry of William Blake – he on “Songs of Innocence,” she on “Songs of Experience.” But their classes today are going to be particularly challenging.

Last night, while conducting an impromptu al fresco lecture on the college quad, the pair became so carried away while reading Blake aloud that they threw off their clothes and made mad, passionate love in full view of all their students as well as the school’s puritanical president. Now, desperate to salvage both their careers and their love, they must convince a scandalized campus community that this “public showing” was the apotheosis of Blakean ecstasy, or else suffer the consequences.

Oh, and did we mention that the play is written, like Blake’s poems, almost entirely in rhymed couplets? This is one set of lectures no student (or audience) would want to miss.

Bridge Street Theatre’s production of this word-drunk romp features Molly Parker Myers as Professor Ellen Parker, Brian Petti as Professor Bernard Barrow, and Steven Patterson as President Dean. The play is directed and designed by Bridge Street Theatre Artistic Director John Sowle and features a song composed especially for this production by Catskill’s Frank Cuthbert.

“There is a Happiness That Morning is” will be presented Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from Sept. 6-16 on the Bridge Street Theatre Mainstage, located at 44 West Bridge St. in the village of Catskill.

The Thursday, Sept. 6 preview and the Sunday, Sept. 9 matinee are both “Pay-What-You-Will” performances (“Pay-What-You-Will” tickets are available only at the door prior to the performance and are subject to availability).

Advance tickets are available for $22 online at thereisahappiness.BrownPaperTickets.com or by calling 800-838-3006. Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to each performance (on a space available basis) for $25. Students ages 21 and under are always $10. For more details, visit the theatre online at BridgeSt.org.