Mint Theater Company Spring Benefit: Light Falling by Teresa Deevy
Monday April 11th, 2011 at The Players Club Volume VIII , Issue 3 February, 2011
Mint Theater’s spring benefit will be held at the Players Club on Monday, April 11. The evening will feature a reading of Teresa Deevy’s brilliant one-act play, Light Falling, her last ever to be produced. Never published, the play will be seen for the first time in 50 years, using a typescript rescued from the Deevy family home in Ireland last spring by director Jonathan Bank.
Light Falling is a polished gem, exquisitely beautiful and refined. It is the story of a great love endangered by carelessness. “In this play,” writes John Jordan, one of Ireland’s greatest critics, “Deevy began to work in the field of pure, unexplicated, poetic statement.” Teresa Deevy has been described by the Irish Times as “one of the most undeservedly neglected and significant Irish playwrights of the 20th century”. When Mint launched the Deevy Project earlier this season with Wife to James Whelan, she was virtually unknown. Thanks to the work of the Mint, Wife to James Whelan has been acclaimed in New York, written about both here and abroad and will receive its London premiere this April. Next summer the Deevy Project will continue with the American premiere of Temporal Powers, last seen in 1937. The project will culminate with the publication of Deevy’s Collected Works. It is therefore fitting that the centerpiece of this year’s benefit will be a staged reading of Light Falling, Deevy’s last produced play and an extraordinary testament to her talent. Proceeds from this year’s event will support the Teresa Deevy Project, one of the Mint’s most significant undertakings ever. Please join us for what promises to be a very special evening. In 1888, Edwin Booth, America’s pre-eminent Shakespearean actor, and 15 other incorporators, founded The Players. Modeled after London’s famed Garrick Club, The Players was the first American “gentleman’s club” of its kind. The Players, located in a Greek Revival townhouse facing historic Gramercy Park, is also home to the Hampden-Booth Theater Library, reflecting Booth’s express wish to create “a library relating especially to the history of the American stage and the preservation of pictures, bills of the play, photographs, and curiosities connected with such history...”.
The Players Club 16 Gramercy Park South
The Players continues to preserve its heritage by remaining a repository of both American and British theater history, memorabilia, and theatrical artifacts. Visitors can view one of the finest collections of theatrical art extant. Theatrical memorabilia like rare playbills from the 19th and 20th centuries, the Savonarola chair used by John Barrymore when playing Hamlet and Mark Twain’s pool cue are also on display.
A LITTLE JOURNEY by Rachel Crothers Directed by Jackson Gay May 12th- July10th
“A big adventure of the soul” New York Herald Ten strangers on a train take the ride of their lives in A Little Journey by Rachel Crothers (author of Susan and God, seen at the Mint in 2006). This heartfelt human comedy, one of Crothers’ best, was nominated for the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1918.
Achieving that “simple human feeling” was Crothers’ goal. She was inspired to write the play while riding on a train, struck by how travel “brought together such characters as I required.” She wrote in the New York World:
“A compelling human story of love and sorrow” was how the Washington Post greeted the play, which, in the grand tradition of travelogues, showcases an eccentric and charming array of passengers: There’s the auburntopped lady from New York, excruciatingly funny in her ultra-sophistication and yet human. There are two young college lads, awkward, yet lovable. There’s the sweet young girl, traveling with her deaf grandma; there is the self-centered plutocrat who travels in the drawing room; there is a mother—an unmarried mother; and there are Jim West, the big-hearted Westerner, and Julie Rutherford, the girl who finds real life after having been hedged about and bound by conventions and traditions.
This Little Journey happens somewhere every day, and it means merely a bundle of humanity tied together by circumstances, each part of the bundle struggling to keep itself free and separate by the force of its own tremendous ego, but finally melted into a common whole by forces stronger than selfishness. A Little Journey ran for 252 performances on Broadway, transferring from the Little Theater to the Vanderbilt during its run. The New York Herald reported audiences were so moved they lingered in their seats afterward “to cling to the men and women of Miss Crothers’ imagination as one would hold onto friends.”
After Broadway, A Little Journey toured the country, makJulie’s down on her luck, and Jim (“the big-hearted West- ing notable stops in Washington and Chicago. In 1927, erner”) is a lonely rancher who’s survived his own trou- it was made into a silent film (now lost) starring Harry bled life journey. Jim falls in love, but Julie sinks deeper Carey, Billy Haines, and Claire Windsor. A handful of A B O U T T H E P L AY W R I G H T b y h e a t h e r j . v i o l a n t i into despair…until a dangerous detour gives them an amateur and stock productions followed in the 1920’s unexpected chance at happiness. and 1930’s, but then the train stopped….and A Little “A simple moving story deftly and very convincingly told” Journey hasn’t been seen since. wrote John Corbin in the New York Times, while in the New York World, Charles Darnton deemed the play “by far the finest play Miss Crothers has written” praising its “simple human feeling.”
Hop on board for what the New York Herald called “a big adventure of the soul”….performances start May 12th.
P L AY W R I G H T
Rachel Crothers (1878-1958) was among America’s most successful and produced playwrights during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Nearly 30 of her plays opened on Broadway between 1906 and 1937. “Although it rare now to find anyone who has heard of her,” wrote the New York Times in 1980, “Miss Crothers at the apex of her career was a symbol of success in the commercial theater.” Mint audiences, of course, will recall Crothers’ play Susan and God from 2006. Named one of that year’s Top Ten productions by the Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout called Susan and God “a major event, a pitch-perfect production of a play whose subject matter is so modern in flavor in could have been written last week.” Crothers’ first Broadway success was with the melodrama The Three Of Us in 1906. While more sensational than her later work, The Three of Us hinted at Crothers’ interest in strong women characters and social concerns. Her best work would recast the Euro-
b y H e a t h e r J. V i o l a n t i socialite discovers the difference between public façade and personal faith while reconciling with her husband and daughter. Crothers directed her own work. Her consistently high standards helped professionalize the role of director in American theater. She was also a dedicated philanthropist. She helped found many important charities, including the American Theater Wing for War Relief (established 1940), which evolved into today’s American Theater Wing.
Mint Theater production of Susan and God
pean “problem play” in a distinctly American idiom, with richly-drawn characters and sparkling dialogue. A Man’s World (1910), heralded by one New York critic as the “first great American play,” followed a young woman’s struggle to establish an artistic career while raising an adopted son. Nice People (1921) examined the flapper phenomenon through the eyes of three young women and provided Katharine Cornell and Tallulah Bankhead with their first important roles. In Susan and God (1937), a
By the late 1940’s, Crothers’ comedies fell out of fashion. She continued writing, but she did not produce any of her new plays, preferring to focus on her charity work. She died in her sleep on July 5, 1958. The Times wrote in her obituary: She was as skillful as she was prolific: when she was at her best she was the season’s toast…. Miss Crothers mixed an enormous amount of common sense with smooth craftsmanship and a rare knowledge of and faith in human nature.
TEMPORAL POWERS by Teresa Deevy Directed by Jonathan Bank August 4th through October 2nd Mint re-introduced Teresa Deevy to the world with our production of her brilliant play WIFE TO JAMES WHELAN. This coming summer we will bring you another remarkable play from this wonderful Irish writer. TEMPORAL POWERS shared first-prize in the Abbey Theatre’s New Play competition in 1932. The judges called it “strikingly original and of fine literary quality” and The Irish Times described it as “one of the most thoughtful works seen for some time at the Abbey;” it is a play “that sends the audience home with food for thought.”
in an abandoned ruin and discover a large sum of money hidden in the walls. This buried treasure represents either salvation or ruin. “Her characters are drawn from Irish life,” writes the Irish Independent, “yet throughout the performance we are haunted by the feeling of some unfamiliar quality in the atmosphere. Miss Deevy knows her people, that is obvious, but the angle from which she The play tells the story of Michael and his wife Min on the regards them is unusual. It is not distortion, but rather day they are evicted from their home. They take shelter that sublime quality in the artist, originality.”
New Seats at the Mint! At long last you can now sit back and enjoy Mint productions in comfort and style! Our beautiful new seats offer LIMITED opportunities to commemorate your support for the Mint with an engraved plaque featuring your name or honoring a loved one. Any location: $350 per seat. Specific location: $500 per seat. Two seats, specific location: $750 Pledge now and pay later. Secure your seat- with a pledge, payable any time before September 30th, 2011 (10% deposit required).All gifts are fully-tax-deductible and will support the Mint Theater. Please fill out and mail or fax (212.977.5211) the order form on the backpage.Or call us at 212.315.0231 to discuss the location and availability of your favorite seats. *Naming a seat does not include reserving that particular seat for performances. All requests will be subject to availability.
Thank You to our many wonderful friends who have already joined our campaign! RESERVED SEATS Jonathan Bank & Katie Firth (E 1-2-3) Rose-Marie Boller & Webb Turner (A 7-8) Leslie (Hoban) Blake (A 11-12) Ann Butera (D 8) Robin Chase (A 3) Jon Clark (A 6) Frank & Claudia Deutchmann (B 7-8) Cory & Bob Donnalley (D 9-10) Ruth Friendly (A 4) James & Julia Hall (C 7-8) Judith & John LaRosa (B 1-2) Doreen Morales (A 1-2)
H. Schlesinger (A 10 Kathryn Swintek (D 6-7) Larry Sullivan (C 1) ANY SEAT
Linda Alster Barbara Austin Judith Barlow Linda Calandra Judith Eschweiler H. Read Evans Barbara Fleischman Phyllis Freed
Agnes & Emilio Gautier Patrica Joseph Peter Judd Joan Kedzoira Joe Lombardi Susan & Joel Mindel George Morfogen Barbara Schoetzau Zachary & Susan Shimer Rob Sinacore Katherine & Dennis Swanson
EnrichMINT Events: A Little Journey Our schedule for events in May is still in formation, but here a few speakers whose dates have been confirmed. Other speakers will be added, check our website for updates. May 14th, after the matinee Zoe Corell
Saturday May 21st, after the matinee Sharon Friedman
Corell has been a professor of theater and literature for many years. She received her PhD in Dramatic Literature, History, and Criticism from CUNY’s Graduate Center where she wrote her dissertation on Rachel Crothers, and attended London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Sharon Friedman is an Associate Professor at N.Y.U. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of literary and dramatic criticism, feminist criticism, theories of adaptation, and critical writing across the curriculum. Her publications include “Feminism as Theme in Twentieth-Century American Women’s Drama” in American Studies.
May 15th, after the matinee Judith Barlow Judith E. Barlow recently retired from the University at Albany, SUNY, where she was a Professor of English for thirty-five years as well as a member of the Women’s Studies faculty. She is the author of “Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O’Neill Plays” and editor of “Plays By American Women, 1900-1930”, “Plays By American Women, 1930-1960”, and “Women Writers of the Provincetown Players: A Collection of Short Works”. Judith has been a visiting professor at Sofia University in Bulgaria and Nankai University in China, and has lectured widely on modern drama.
May 22nd, after the matinee Brenda Murphy Brenda Murphy is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, where she has taught since 1989, following fourteen years as a faculty member and administrator at St. Lawrence University. She is the editor of “The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights” (1999).
DID YOU KNOW? Video recordings of some of our EnrichMint Events are now available for viewing on your computer? Visit our website: http://www.minttheater.org/onstage/special.html
W H AT T H E P U B L I C W A N T S c l o s e s M a r c h 1 3 t h ! D o n ’ t M i s s i t !
Spring Benefit: Light Falling by Teresa Deevy Monday April 11th, 2011 at The Players Club $25,000 Table of 10: VIP tour of Players Club & private pre-show reception, best seats for dinner with artists at your table, reading of Light Falling, post-show dessert with the cast, invitation to afternoon rehearsal; 4 tickets to opening of Temporal Powers, dinner for two with Artistic Director $10,000 Table of 8: VIP tour & reception, premium seating for dinner, reading, dessert with cast, & 4 tickets to opening of Temporal Powers $5,000 Table of 8: VIP tour & reception, premium seating for dinner, reading, dessert with cast, & 2 tickets to opening of Temporal Powers $2,500: VIP tour & reception, premium seating for dinner, reading, dessert with cast, & 2 tickets to opening of Temporal Powers $1,000: VIP tour & reception, prime seating for dinner, reading, & dessert with cast $500: Dinner, reading, & dessert with cast $250: Reading & dessert with cast
What the Public wants
by Arnold Bennett, directed by Matthew Arbour
$49.50 tickets through Mar. 13th (with code PC49) NOW! On Stage
a Little journey
by Rachel Crothers
by Teresa Deevy
directed by Jackson Gay Performances begin May 12th, 2011
$40 tickets May 12-June 19 (code MINT40) $55 for performances June 21-July 10.
Tues., Wed., Thurs. 7pm Friday & Saturday 8pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm
directed by Jonathan Bank
Performances begin August 4th, 2011
$40 tickets Aug 4-Sept.11 (code MINT40) $55 for performances Sept. 13-Oct 2nd
Cheap tix You don’t have to be a cheapskate to appreciate a bargain, especially these days. Mint Theater Company is now offering a limited number of seats for every performance at half-price ($27.50). If you like to know where you’ll be sitting, this isn’t for you: “You pays your money and you takes your chances.” Cheap Tix must be ordered in advance. box office:
12-6pm Monday thru Friday by mail or in person: 311 W. 43rd St, Ste 307 New York, NY 10036
(212) 315-0231 by fax: (212) 977-5211 online: www.minttheater.org no service charges for first-priority club members!
ORDER FORM Please fill out and mail this form to: 311 W. 43rd St. NY, NY 10036. Feel free to give us a call at (212) 315-0231 if you have any questions! Spring Benefit: LIGHT FALLING by Teresa Deevy at the Players Club DATE
Apr. 11, 2011
What the Public Wants by Arnold Bennett (now-March 13th) DATE
# OF TICKETS
A Little Journey by Rachel Crothers (May 12th-July 10th) DATE
# OF TICKETS
PRICE ($27.50/40/$55) SUBTOTAL
Temporal Powers by Teresa Deevy (Aug. 4-Oct. 2nd) DATE
# OF TICKETS
NEW SEATS! (we will contact you about plaque specifics) Specific Location/ Any
$350/ $500 / $750 =
*I would also like to include a tax-deductable donation to the Mint Theater Did you know that you can help the long-term future of the Mint Theater? Planned gifts help to secure our ability to continue producing the great work you have seen here. Call (212) 315-0231 for more information on estate-planning and other long-term giving options.
grand TOTAL =
FINAL CHECK OUT Enclosed is a check made payable to The Mint Theater Please charge my Visa / MC / AmEx / Discover Name________________________________ Address_______________________________ CC#: _______________ - _______________ - _______________ - _______________ Exp: _______ / _______ Security Code: _____________ Signature: ______________________________________________________________ Phone: (________) _______________ Email: _____________________________________
first priority club Dear Friends, This issue of your First-Priority Newsletter is packed with information about upcoming events. Our “lead story” is the announcement of our Annual Benefit for April 11th at the historic Players Club on Gramercy Park. This year’s event will be dedicated to the Teresa Deevy Project and will feature a reading of her last produced play, a brilliant and insightful oneact play entitled Light Falling. The Players Club is the perfect venue for our event; I’m really looking forward to celebrating with you on the 11th. If you enjoyed Wife to James Whelan, I know you won’t want to miss this night. And if you missed Wife…that’s all the more reason to make sure that you don’t miss Light Falling!
The next production at the Mint will begin in May. A Little Journey by Rachel Crothers is a warm and wise adventure—the play is set on board a train! I’m pleased to inform you that Roger Hanna who did such a fine job designing the sets for What the Public Wants is back for A Little Journey. I don’t yet know how Roger is going to get the interior of a Pullman Car onto our stage—but I’m looking forward to finding out! Speaking of What the Public Wants, if you haven’t yet seen it, you only have a few more weeks to see this great show, until March 13th. It’s a terrific production of another very timely and entertaining play—please don’t miss it! Jonathan
first priority club news www.minttheater.org (212) 315-0231 311 West 43rd Street, Suite # 307 New York, NY 10036