Hartwick Welcomes NYC Fringe Winner for One-Man Comedy “Dolls”

May 10, 2010

Hartwick College will present Michael Phillis in his one-man play, Dolls, on Tuesday, May 11, and Wednesday, May 12, at 8 p.m. in the Lab Theatre, Bresee Hall, on the College campus.

An Encore Award Winner at Fringe NYC Festival last year, Dolls is the story of a man's life as seen through the eyes of the dolls he has collected from adolescence to old age. The comedy begins on the day after Christmas (also known as Orientation Day for toys) and a group of freshly unboxed dolls (the audience) awakes in a new home-the colorful and unpredictable world of Frank's Collection. During their Orientation Day tour, the new arrivals meet a diverse array of doll characters that includes an unstable porcelain Southern belle, an openly gay action figure, an embittered Barbie knock-off, and a reclusive wedding-cake figurine. As the story of Frank's life unfolds, playwright/performer Phillis creates a unique and utterly original world full of unforgettable characters.

Dolls has received audience and critical acclaim wherever it has been performed. Time Out New York gave Dolls four stars, while the Bay Area Reporter called Dolls "a magical solo show… that encompass[es] the entire human experience in just 70 minutes, and without a single human character ever uttering a word." said, "I haven't seen such a smart, funny, beautiful, fresh and touching one-man show in a while… A brilliant performer, a wonderful text, strong direction, a powerful message-what else is there?" BeyondChron called the show a "smart, classy and funny out-of-this-world comedy."

"Michael Phillis is a talented, hilarious, and insightful performer who brings 100 percent to everything he does," said Marc Shaw, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Hartwick. "With Dolls, Michael continues to explore personal identity in a fast-paced, funny, and inventive fashion. I've known Michael since he was a freshman in my fundamentals of acting class at the University of California-so to see him grow into a professional actor known around the country is wholly satisfying (but not surprising) to me."

The play will be performed twice: Tuesday, May 11 and Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. The performance on May 11 is free to those with a Hartwick College ID, or $5 admission to the general public. The performance on May 12 is $5 general admission for all. The performance is sponsored by Hartwick College's Department of English and Theatre Arts, Alpha Psi Omega, the Women and Gender Studies Program, the U.S. Ethnic Studies Program and the Faculty Gender Issues Committee.

For reservations call 607-431-4CAP (4227) or visit For more information about the performance and Michael Phillis, visit

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030