by Bill Batson
The history of the Elmwood Playhouse is so extensive they have their own historian. Mike Gnazzo holds that job, and a slew of others. In his primary role as Lighting Designer, Gnazzo animates and enhances the action on the stage. As historian, he sheds light on the activities of a volunteer theater company that has been staging plays in Nyack since 1947.
“A Lesson Before Dying,” is on stage through April 8. The Earnest J. Gaines play takes place in the Jim Crow South of 1940, telling the story of a 21-year-old black field worker, wrongfully accused and convicted of killing a white man and sentenced to death. On Fri., March 31, there will be a special talk-back following the performance exploring issues of mass-incarceration in the United States with the cast, experts and activists.