Joseph Vitale, executive director of Advancement and Planning and president of the Foundation at County College of Morris (CCM), recently had his play Murrow
performed at the college, offering students, faculty and staff an insightful and historical perspective on one of journalism’s leading broadcasters.
The performance of Murrow
was videotaped by the CCM Media Center and is now available on the college’s YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/o5rcerwphvs
Playing the role of Murrow was Joseph J. Menino, whose credits include Daylight Precision
(Theater for the New City); Don Juan in Hell
, Agamemnon Home
, Iphigenia at aulis
, No Exit
, An Enemy of the People
, Anouilh’s Antigone
(Phoenix Theater Ensemble); Comedy of Errors
(NY Classical Theater); Bruno Hauptmann Kissed My Forehead
(Abingdon Theater); Woyzeck
(Axis Theater); Three Sisters
(Boomerang Theater Company); The Odd Couple
(Gallery Players); and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
The play was directed by Bob Angelini, who has worked in theater, both as an actor and director, for more than 30 years. His New York acting credits include The Bones Venture
(Man in Wheelchair), T-Tyme Productions; Bella’s Dream
(Ronny), Going-To-Tahiti Productions; and The Fourth State of Matter
(Detective), Theater for the New City. His awards for directing include Best Director/Drama for The Laramie Project
(Count Basie Award, NJ) and Best Director/Musical for Cats
(Count Basie Award, NJ).
“I’ve always been fascinated by the life and career of Murrow,” said Vitale. “He was present at the birth of radio and then television news broadcasting and set the standard for honesty and integrity in reporting.”
In writing the play, Vitale conducted extensive research into the life of Murrow including interviews with Murrow’s wife, Janet Murrow, and Fred Friendly and David Schoenbrun.
Murrow’s broadcasting career started with a series of radio broadcasts during World War II, including his first live on-the-scene news report from Vienna before the arrival of Hitler. His other significant broadcasts included a special televised report on Senator Joseph McCarthy and the senator’s accusations of disloyalty and treason that were made without proper regard for evidence. That broadcast, which used excerpts from McCarthy’s own speeches, ended up contributing to the senator’s political downfall.
Along with his responsibilities at CCM, Vitale also is a noted playwright. He was a semi-finalist for the 2012 Eugene O’Neill Theater/National Playwrights Conference. Included among the plays he has written are The Fourth State of Matter
, which was performed at the Theater for the New City in New York; Feet First
and Clear Air Turbulence
, which were semi-finalists for best play at one-act festivals at the Hudson Guild and Barrow Group theaters in New York; and Executive Washroom
, a finalist for best play at the 2012 one-act festival at the Manhattan Repertory Theater. His plays have also been produced by The Theater Project in Maplewood, NJ. He is a graduate of Rutgers and Columbia universities and studied at the HB Studio in New York. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Theater Project Playwrights Workshop.
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Photo: Joseph Vitale, executive director of Advancement and Planning and president of the Foundation at County College of Morris, recently had his play Murrow performed at the college, offering students, faculty and staff an insightful and historical perspective on one of journalism’s leading broadcasters.