Robert Gross Writes with ‘Malice’ Aforethought – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Robert Gross Writes with ‘Malice’ Aforethought

Faculty member considers '90s thriller
(March 17, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.–Aaron Sorkin may be best known for the hit television series “The West Wing” but Robert Gross, director of theater at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, sees him in a slightly different light.

Gross studied Sorkin's 1993 thriller “Malice,” a neo-noir film renowned for its unique style. The movie, starring Nicole Kidman, Alec Baldwin and Bill Pullman, treated audiences to a mind-bending series of red herrings, plot twists and bizarre situations. Gross, who usually writes on the subject of theater, details how the film subtly manipulates clichéd plot devices to keep the audience on their toes. “It's something of a bizarre paper,” says Gross, “but then, it's something of a bizarre film.”

Gross holds a doctorate in comparative literature and theater from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is an experienced director, writer, teacher and playwright whose work has been featured by the Syracuse Contemporary Theatre and the Indiana Repertory Theatre among others. He has been the director of theater at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1987.

Gross' essay on Sorkin can be found in “Considering Aaron Sorkin: Essays on the Politics, Poetics and Sleight of Hand in the Films and Television Series,” edited by Thomas Fahy and published by McFarland Press earlier this year.

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