Stage & Stanza

Stage & Stanza Honors Dr. Mars Hill &. James Baldwin

by Allan Warren / CC BY-SA

by El-Wise Norisett



Stage & Stanza continues on Thursday, August 27th at 7:00 p.m. with a conversation about Dr. Mars Hill. Dr. Hill was an Architectural Engineer, professor at University at Albany, community activist and author of The Moaner’s Bench, a poignant novel about an African American man’s search for healing and truth. Our second honoree is the iconic James Baldwin, whose impact on the literary and global community is legendary, the program will focus on specific aspects of his illustrious and formidable work.

The evening will have a cast from the Capital Region community which includes local area actors and business owners who will deliver staged readings of Hill and Baldwin’s work.  The evening’s conversation will again be hosted by Carol Durant, an author, actor and playwright, most recently with the Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York, and the Theatre Institute Managing Director and Associate Professor of Theater, David Baecker.

James Baldwin was a celebrated American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist whose works explore themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class and who influenced some of the major political movements towards social change in America. Albany’s Dr. Mars Hill was a professor and black activist who published his first novel at 75.

WHERE: Virtual Event via Zoom
HOW: Event is free, but registration is required. Register by emailing [email protected] for Zoom link. Suggested donation $5.
WHO: Theater Institute at Sage, Opalka Gallery, and Carol Durant


About Stage & Stanza

Carol Durant is a poet, author, playwright and event host. She is an actor and stage manager most recently with the Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York. She has a M.A in Africana Studies from University at Albany. She is the founder and host of Outliers Poetry Brunch, which is a monthly poetry brunch at Eden Cafe in Loudonville and online. She is a longstanding board member of Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar. Durant’s newest book is Cold Pressed and Just Brewed Poetry. Her first book, Whole Phat and Gluten Free Poetry was published in 2017. Her play, Center of Lying Down was recently cast and performed on Zoom by Quarantine e-Theater, as a wildly successful fundraiser for Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York.

David Baecker is Managing Director of the Theatre Institute at Sage and Associate Professor of Theatre at Russell Sage College. He is also a communications coach with the New York State Defenders Association. Locally, he has directed readings and/or productions for Saratoga Shakespeare Company, the Rensselaer County Historical Society, Troy Foundry Theatre, Theater Voices, and the New York State Theatre Institute. Baecker has an M.F.A. in Acting from Florida State University and a B.A. in Theatre from Washington University in St. Louis.

Theatre Institute at Sage. Established in February of 2011, the Theatre Institute at Sage is dedicated to providing quality live theatre and arts-in-education programming to Capital Region youth, educators and residents. The Institute also provides opportunities for Russell Sage students as performers, technicians and teachers.