Staller Center for the Arts, now celebrating its 25th Anniversary as Long Island’s premier performance center for arts, culture and entertainment, welcomed Bill Cosby to the Stony Brook University campus as the star attraction of its March 8 Gala event.
One of the most beloved and respected comedians of all time, Cosby brought his famous wit and hilarious outlook on life and family to the Staller Center stage for a sold-out celebration.
In the 1960s, Bill Cosby’s stand-up act was a coast-to-coast sensation, spawning a string of hilarious, best-selling and award-winning comedy albums. His role on TV’s I Spy made him the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic series, breaking television’s racial barrier. In the 1980s, he again rocked the television world with the The Cosby Show, a gentle, whimsical and hugely successful series that single-handedly revived the family sitcom.
Staller Center for the Arts, named in memory of Max and Mary Staller, offers a wide variety of world class performances from September through May and presents the Stony Brook Film Festival every July. Over 50 professional performances, as well as approximately 450 events generated by the departments of Art, Theater Arts, and Music, are part of the Staller Center season and are supplemented by those outside presenters such as the Seiskaya Ballet, which presents The Nutcracker.
Since opening in 1978, Staller Center for the Arts has presented an ever-expanding schedule of live music, dance, theatre, and fine art exhibitions in its five theaters and 5,000 square foot University Art Gallery. In 1994, the center introduced 35mm film presentations in the Main Stage Theater, complete with Long Island’s largest screen and a Dolby sound system. In 2013 the center introduced Digital Cinema Projection and remains at the forefront of projection presentation. The Fall and Spring Semester Film Series, and the Stony Brook Film Festival bring campus and community the best in art, foreign and popular films. The Main Stage theater seats approximately 1,050, the Recital Hall seats 380, and the three “black box” theaters have a seating capacity from 75 to 225.
Many individuals and corporations provide generous financial contributions that enable the center to present world renowned entertainers at reasonable prices.