Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music announces the Youngstown premiere of “Sarah’s Song,” an original musical narrative by part time Dana faculty member Suzanne Rouse Rudnytsky, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, in Bliss Recital Hall on the YSU campus.
The performance, which is free and open to the public, is autobiographical and will be done in concert version in two acts with two performers, one of whom will read the monologues while the other sings. Leslie Chain and Rudnytsky are the performers. Roman Rudnytsky, recently retired from the Dana School of Music faculty after 39 years, and Suzanne’s husband, is the featured pianist on the 1972 recording of the Liszt Etude used in the production.
Rudnytsky wrote “Sarah’s Song” as her autobiography, which includes 15 original songs.
“The script took six months to write while the songs were written over a 30-year period, but the emotions and experiences expressed in both took a lifetime of hard-won honesty to create,” she said. “I am Sarah and Sarah is me; once you know one, you know the other with naked, unadorned truth.”
Rudnytsky was born and raised a dairy farmer’s daughter in upstate New York, near Vermont. She quickly discovered she excelled in singing and often performed old time country with her father as well as folk music in the local coffee houses. But she loved musical theater most and from the mountaintop was often heard singing hit songs from the popular musicals of the day such as “Sound of Music,” “Carousel” and “Oklahoma.”
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music from the Boston Conservatory of Music, and a master’s degree in Music from YSU, where classical vocal music became her focus. Following her marriage to, Roman, she focused on opera, art songs and sacred music, often in recital with her husband.
Good friend and long-time colleague Leslie Chain, who experienced some of “Sarah’s Song” in real time, is a collaborating artist who will read the monologues corresponding to the songs, which Rudnytsky will sing. Chain was the first American playwright/director/actress invited to Stanislavsky’s estate, in Liubimovka, Russia, to The International Young Dramatists’ Festival, for a reading of her first play, “Kiss Kiss.” Chain,” then performed “Kiss Kiss” in several theatres in America, including at YSU.
Chain earned a bachelor’s degree in Music and Foreign Languages from YSU and a master’s degree in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) from New York University. Her theater career began at the Youngstown Playhouse and Kenley Players followed by stints in many major cities. She worked on the original production of “La Cage aux Folles” and had guest shots on “Who’s The Boss?,” “Tales From The Darkside,” “Gone, But Not Forgotten,” and featured roles in Indie film, The Private Worlds Of Sophie & Bernie Schwartz, among others.
Parking is available in the Wick Avenue deck for a nominal fee. More information is available by calling the Dana School of Music at 330-941-3636 or emailing Rudnytsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.