Meadville Tribune

September 11, 2013

Playshop Theatre opens 84th season with 'Bikeman'

Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — The Allegheny Playshop Theatre opens its 84th season with Thomas F. Flynn’s “Bikeman,” a staging of Flynn’s poems documenting his firsthand experience of Sept. 11, 2001. The show is directed by Mark Cosdon and will be presented in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Flynn was a writer and producer at CBS News for more than 25 years. On Sept. 11, 2001, Flynn rode his bike to the World Trade Center in order to begin filing reports from the site. Quickly, he moved from being a reporter and neutral observer standing apart from the event to a participant, survivor and defining chronicler of that fateful day. He later published “Bikeman: An Epic Poem,” an account of his experiences.

Cosdon and six students spent approximately a month developing the expressive language and gripping imagery of Flynn’s collection of poems. Using minimal physical staging, the storytellers guide the audience through Flynn’s experience. The production reaches back to the roots of drama, using a chorus of six performers to convey the story, which Cosdon describes as “a very moving and difficult piece that captures the terror and the humanity and the power of that day.”

Company members include seniors Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, Katie Beck, Maggie Boone and Duane Horton and juniors A.J. Long and Lee Scandinaro. The stage manager is junior Lee Ann Adelsheim. Costumes were designed by junior Greg Singer, and the lighting/scenic designer is faculty member Michael Mehler.

Flynn was a founding member of “48 Hours,” an investigative producer for the “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather” and a producer at “60 Minutes” for Steve Kroft. He currently writes and produces for “Dan Rather Reports” on cable broadcaster HDNet. Flynn is visiting several classrooms at Allegheny from Sept. 11 to 14 to engage Allegheny students in conversations about the field of journalism. He will also participate in a post-show discussion following Friday's performance.

Tickets for “Bikeman” are $10 for adults and $7.50 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Although admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, they are asked to make reservations.

More information or to order tickets: Call 332-3414.