Providence actor Barry Press will portray Berra in the one-act, one-man show. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom on URI’s Kingston campus. It is free and open to the public.
The play is part of this fall’s Honors Colloquium series, “Contemporary Sport: Healthy Pursuit or Obsession,” which is examining some of the most important issues relating to sport and society.
Berra joined the Yankees in 1942 and during his 19 years as a catcher he went to the World Series 14 times and won 10 championships. He was also a 15-time all star and was named American League MVP three times. After retiring from his duties as catcher, he continued his career as a manager and coach for both the Yankees and the New York Mets. In 1985, New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner dismissed Berra as manager early in the season; Berra adamantly refused to return to Yankee Stadium as long as Steinbrenner was in charge. In 1999, Steinbrenner offered Berra a public apology and an opportunity to throw out the first pitch of the season, to which Berra agreed. The show takes place in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse on the eve of that season’s opener.
Berra’s unique way of expressing himself is legendary. No other sports figure has as many entries in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. His famous phrases, which include, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over,” and “You can observe a lot by watching,” are incorporated in the production.
Barry Press has been an actor and director for more than 20 years. A graduate of Bates College and the Yale School of Drama, he has performed in off-Broadway productions at the Merrimack, Seattle, Yale, and Trinity Repertory theaters. He has taught at Princeton University, Rhode Island College, Merrimack College, and the College of the Holy Cross. Press is the artistic director and founder of Living Literature, a Rhode Island-based artistic and educational initiative that brings performances of literary works to schools around the region.
Major sponsors of the colloquium are The Providence Journal, Theta Chi Fraternity, URI Honors Program, URI President’s Office, Institute for International Sport, URI Office of the Provost, URI College of Arts and Sciences, URI College of Business Administration, and the URI Division of University Advancement.
Co-sponsors are the URI Department of Athletics, Multicultural Center, College of Nursing, College of Human Science and Services, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Affairs, and Women’s Studies Program.
For more information visit www.uri.edu/hc or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Honors Program at URI offers learning enrichment opportunities that broaden and enhance the undergraduate educational experience. The program features small classes, a nationally renowned honors colloquium, national scholarship advising, and in-depth study and research with select faculty mentors. URI students must maintain a minimum 3.2 grade-point average to continue participation.
Open access to the Honors Program continues for qualified students throughout their undergraduate years. About 900 URI students participate in the Honors Program. About 60 students are participating in the Honors Colloquium companion course this fall.