Artistic Associate Apprentices – Downstairs

The Dorset Theatre Festival is presenting Downstairs by Teresa Rebeck starring Tyne and Tim Daly from June 22 to July 8.  This is the first time the sister and brother have acted together. According to Sam Levit and Matt Kirby, Artistic Associate Apprentices at the Dorset Theatre Festival, Teresa Rebeck wrote Downstairs for the Dalys. We interviewed the two Artistic Associate Apprentices  to discover what it was that  they did and learned  they were dramaturgs.

What is a dramaturg you may wonder. One definition is  “a literary editor on the staff of a theater who consults with authors and edits texts.” Sam and Matt expanded on this and shared the varied aspects of their work. As you listen to them, you will  appreciate how much goes into creating the plays we enjoy as audiences.

Interview with Sam Levit and Matt Kirby Part 1

Interview with Sam Levit and Matt Kirby Part 2

Matt Kirby
Sam Levit

 

 

 

 

 

                             John Procaccino,  Tyne Daly and Tim Daly                                              

 

 

I And You – Chester Theatre Company

Chester Theatre Company has an impressive and intriguing line-up of plays for their 2017 season. Its motto, “Big Stories, Intimate Setting”  followed by  the sentence,  “Thought-provoking, contemporary theatre in the foothills of the Berkshires ” seems to be confirmed by the plays that are scheduled. The season starts  with I and You. a play by Lauren Gunderson who is currently one of the most produced playwrights in this country.

When we interviewed Kristen van Ginhoven, the play’s director, she explained I and You is about two high school students who are working on an assignment which is due the next day about Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. They discover a great deal about themselves while exploring the poem.  When we interviewed her, Kristin had not yet started rehearsals. She since has. The play opens on June 28. You can go the website to order tickets.

 

Paul Ponterelli as Anthony
Lilli Hokama as Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to her Kristen van Ginhoven discuss the play in greater depth.

Interview with Kristen van Ginhoven

Chester Theatre Company Website

 

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – Mac-Haydn Theatre

Musical theatre has a special magic. Musicals sweep you along as they tell stories through songs and dance. Emotions are intensified as the audience listens and watches. The Mac-Haydn Theatre is devoted to presenting musicals of all  kinds. Every two weeks they offer a different treat –  new and old favorites.

 

Located in Chatham, New York, the Mac-Haydn presents musicals in the round. The audience surrounds the  small stage which seems huge as the young dancers fill it with motion and sound. Each seat is a good one  The aisles, the theatre walls, are all part of the action. Bob and I were thrilled to  to talk to two of the principal players in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels  on opening night, Gabe Belyeu and Madison Stratton.  They were delightful and offered insight into Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and into musical theatre and what the experience is for the actors. A half hour later when we saw them, we barely recognized them, so fully had they  become their characters. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels runs until June 18. There are matinees as well as evening performances. Check out the other musicals that are coming up as well by clicking on the theatre’s website after listening to the actors.

Interview with Gabe Belyeu and Madison Stratton 

Mac-Haydn Theatre Website

Colin Pritchard, Gabe Belyeu and Madison Stratton
Colin Pritchard and Gabe Belyeu

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           Gabe Belyeu, Colin Pritchard, Steve Hassam
                                 Madison Stratton and Judith Wyatt

Weston Playhouse – 2017

The Weston Playhouse is starting its 81st season. This is amazing, but not surprising. Offering quality theatre leads to longevity. The variety of the company’s productions from musicals to classics to dramas and comedies has delighted audiences for these many years. Bob and I not only enjoy the productions, but we always look forward to talking with Steve Stettler, Resident Artistic Director about the company’s many offerings.  The Weston Playhouse not only serves its immediate community, but the larger community of playgoers from Vermont and other regions as well. Their many programs include  the Young Company and its children’s show which children of all ages should see. This year it is Really Rosie.  As each play opens, we will have interviews with those involved. Meanwhile Steve Stettler provides an overview of the season’s many activities. There is also more information about the various educational programs, as well as the productions, on the company’s website.

Before you go to the company’s website click on the  interview below to hear Steve talk about the season.

Interview with Steve Stettler Part 1

Interview with Steve Stettler Part 2

Weston Playhouse Website

Weston 101

Center for the Arts at Walker Farm

 

The Tarnation of Russell Colvin-Oliver Wadsworth

Oliver Wadsworth is an actor Bob and I enjoy watching perform. We also like to interview him. There is one performance we are particularly interested in seeing since we  heard  about it when we interviewed Oliver recently.  It is not one role, but several Oliver presents  in the play he has written, The Tarnation of Russell Colvin.  The story, based on  historical people and events, is told from a variety of characters’ perspectives. This theme of what is the truth and how do we know it seems particularly relevant at this time.

The Dorset Theatre Festival is starting its 40th season with the play as a special event, Thursday to Saturday June 8 -10 at 7:30 pm with a special 10 am matinee on Friday morning.  You can learn more about it by listening to our interview with Oliver by clicking below.  Then you can go to his website as well as the Dorset Theatre Festival’s.

Interview with Oliver Wadsworth

Link to Dorset Theatre Festival’s website

Link to Oliver Wadsworth’s website

Kunstler

When Bob and I saw Kunstler, our first impulse was to tell everyone we knew to be sure to see it. We still want to urge people to do so.  Each moment of this play is compelling as Jeff McCarthy brings vivid life to Kunstler, the rumpled, outspoken Civil Rights lawyer,  and his unique place in our country’s history. Jeffery Sweet, the playwright, has given McCarthy a wonderful canvas on which to portray the man who was involved in many landmark legal cases. Erin Roche plays the ambivalent student host to Kunstler’s lecture, representing the conflict on the campus about the lawyer. Her reactions, both silent and expressed, add to the intensity of the drama. After listening to our interview with Jeff McCarthy, click on the Barrington Stage website link to order tickets. The play  runs until June 10. Be sure to bring your friends, older children and/or grandchildren to see it.

Kunstler Interview-Jeff McCarthy                     

Barrington Stage web site

4000 Miles

Shakespeare and Company’s first production of the season is 4000 Miles, a contemporary play by Amy Herzog. It will be performed at the Elayne Bernstein Theatre from May 25 to July 16. Bob and I had the opportunity and the pleasure to interview the director Nicole Riccardi, and actors Greg Boover and Annette Miller while the play was  in rehearsal. Their insights into their characters and the social context from which the people emerge is enlightening as are  their comments about the language of the play. Glimpsing what goes into transforming a play on the page to reality on stage enriches our enjoyment of the performance.

Listen to what the actors and directors have to say by clicking below.

4000 Miles Interview

 

 

 

 

You can buy tickets by phone or through the company’s website

Shakespeare and Company