CG: CURSE ON SUMMIT ROCK to Play in Central Park, 7/29 (City Guide Magazine)


CG: CURSE ON SUMMIT ROCK to Play in Central Park, 7/29

July 23, 2012 - by NYC News Desk

The next performance of CURSE ON SUMMIT ROCK will be next Sunday, July 29 at 3 PM on Summit Rock in Central Park. (Take the B or C line to 81st St.; enter the Park at 81st St and go North.) Curse on Summit Rock is a children's musical for ages 6 to 12. It teaches about protecting the Park and the environment.

With slapstick (borrowed from Plautus), audience participation and seven new songs, the play is very entertaining. For more information, please visit our website

Curse on Summit Rock is set on the highest point in Central Park and will be performed in situ and al fresco on the natural stage on Central Park’s Summit Rock. It’s about a developer who wants to build a candy store in the Park and how his plans to destroy the park are cleverly foiled by Park activists. The play uses comedy, slap-stick, music, song and audience participation.

The book was written by George Bistransin who learned about playwrighting from translating the classical Latin farces of Plautus and the well-made French plays of Scribe and LaBiche. His translations were produced through Theater Ludicrum, a non-profit theater company that presented Plautus for high school Latin students in Boston. He is President of the Village Playwrights, a group that reads scripts to help writers develop their plays.

The music is composed by Lawrence Fancelli. Lawrence is a business graduate of Università degli studi di Firenze and also holds an Audio Engineering diploma from Alchemea in London. He plays clarinet, bass and piano. Among his influences are Debussy and Chaplin, even though the latter had no formal musical training.

The Impact

What is the greatest work of art in New York City? Many people will respond that it’s Central Park. The Park wasn’t found the way it is. Nor did come about by accident. Every inch of it is man-made. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux with great thought and some say genius. There were, and still are, great pressures to change the original design and use the Park in ways that destroy its greatest value—that of providing urban dwellers with the psychological benefits country environment.

Through comedy and song Curse on Summit Rock teaches the Olmsted’s design principles—the so called seven S’s: sanitation, suitability, scenery, subordination, service, style and separation. It encourages activism and action—such as picking up litter. The play also shows that we can succeed in protecting the environment if we put aside our differences and work together. If you are a parent or educator who wants to impart values that encourage protecting the natural world, you will want to bring your charges to this play.

The play is engaging and entertaining for young children. There is direct address and audience participation. Actors go into the audience and it is the audience’s action that drives away the developer and protects the Park. The play is also entertaining to adults.

Other Ways You Can Help

Tell everyone you know (especially if they have children) about the performances. The dates are Sunday, July 15, July 29, August 12, August 26 and September 16 at 3 pm.




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