Geva presents “The Niceties”


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Fireworks explode when a conversation escalates between a student and professor in “The Niceties” on stage at Geva Theatre through November 17.

The stars of the powerful play Jordan Baker, who plays professor Janine Bosko, and Cindy de la Cruz, who plays student Zoe Reed, discussed the play Friday during News 8 at Noon.

“It’s a play that’s been written by Eleanor Burgess,” said Baker. “She was a history major at Yale and she was influenced by a real-life event that happened at Yale University in 2015. We’re being directed by Nicole A. Watson, a wonderful director. It’s my first time with her. The play basically takes place at an elite Eastern college. It’s a professor and a student. The students turned in a history paper. It’s about a history class. And over the course of talking about that paper – which seemed like sort of a mundane, benign kind of conversation – what starts to happen is a disagreement between the professor and the student about the course of American history.”

Cruz said the differences which emerge between the characters can be seen around us today. “It’s very relevant to the news that’s going on right now. I think my character’s Zoe, really believes that the history that we’re taught isn’t the history that we ought to be taught. And so her argument is really around that, sort of challenging her professor, challenging society, challenging academia – just trying to put forth a different point of view.”

Baker noted, “Yes, we are nice. Yes, we are mean and nasty sometimes and then we just go whacko nuts, crazy,” adding, “I think every night will feel like opening night to us because the language is very, very difficult.”

For tickets to see the raw emotion pour out on stage, call (585) 232-GEVA or visit the Geva Theatre website.

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