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2005-2006 EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH SPONSORS

General Operating and Multiple-Program Support In The Spotlight ($50,000 and above) Syracuse University Impresario Circle ($25,000 - $49,999) Central New York Community Foundation The Richard Mather Fund New York State Council on the Arts The Post-Standard Shubert Foundation Time Warner Cable Stage Benefactor ($20,000 - $24,999) The Gifford Foundation National Endowment for the Arts Major Underwriter ($15,000 - $19,999) Onondaga County Residence Inn by Marriott

Student Matinee Program Stage Sponsor ($5,000 - $7,499) National Grid Stage Manager ($1,000 - $2,499) Bruegger's Bakeries Golub Foundation / PriceChopper Target Patron ($100 - $299) Whelan & Curry Construction Services, Inc.

Character-in-the-Classroom Program Stage Partner ($2,500 - $4,999) Time Warner Cable Stage Manager ($1,000 - $2,499) Lockheed-Martin Employees Federated Fund Patron ($100 - $299) Wood, etc.

Bank of America Childrens Tour Major Underwriter ($15,000 - $19,999) Bank of America Stage Partner ($2,500 - $4,999) Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Lockheed Martin Employees Federated Fund Stage Manager ($1,000 - $2,499) Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Central New York Region Actors Circle ($300 - $499) Diamond & Theil Construction Co., Inc Wegmans Zeller Corporation

The JPMorgan Chase Young Playwrights Festival Stage Leader ($10,000 - $14,999) JPMorgan Chase Foundation Patron ($100 - $299) Full Cast Audio

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Syracuse Stage Season Study Guide

Theatre and Education

5

Theatre Etiquette and Frequently Asked Questions

6

Theater Basics

7

Lost In Yonkers

15

Bug

24

Sound of Music

33

The Real Thing

39

Intimate Apparel

45

Bad Dates

51

King Lear

59

The Fantasticks

Table of Contents

4

This study guide was written and compiled by: Victoria Abrash (sections of King Lear), Matthew Cornelius (The Real Thing), Alexia Crescenzi (Bad Dates), Margaret Mincks (Bug and Intimate Apparel), LaRonika Thomas (The Fantasticks) and with contributions from Lincoln Center Theater and The Studio Arena Theater (Buffalo).

- Nichole Gantshar and Lauren Unbekant, editors

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Theatre and Education "Theatre brings life to life." — Zelda Fichandler

world. Then artists come along and discover it the same way all over again."

Syracuse Stage

— Eudora Welty

When the first cave dweller got up to tell a story, theatre began. Almost every culture has some sort of live performance tradition to tell stories. Television and film may have diminished the desire for access to theatre, but they have not diminished the importance. Live theatre gives each audience member an opportunity to connect with the performers in a way he or she never could with Tom Cruise or Lindsay Lohan. The emotions can be more intense because the events are happening right in front of the audience. Ultimately, there is a fundamental difference in the psychological responses aroused by electronic media and theatre because the former presents pictures of events whereas the latter performs the actual events in what amounts to the same space as that occupied by the audience. This difference results in one unique characteristic of theatre: its ability to offer intense sensory experience through the simultaneous presence of live actors and audience. "The sole substitute for an experience which we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature." -- Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn Pedagogically, theatre can be used in a variety of ways. In many respects the teacher in the classroom is much like the actor onstage - with an audience (hopefully attentive), a script (lesson plan), props and set (classroom setting and teaching tools). The environment of the teaching experience can change day to day, and can be impacted by weather, mood, outside events - in other words, each day is a unique, active, sensory occurrence, just like a play. From this perspective all of what can be taught can be taught theatrically, whether it is having young children creating a pretend bank to learn about money, to older students acting out a scene from a play. Theatre provides an opportunity to teach, and any play provides an opportunity to teach more.

Bringing your students to productions at Syracuse Stage, and utilizing this study guide in teaching about the plays, fulfills elements of the New York State core requirements. We know that as educators you are the more qualified to determine how our plays and study guides blend with your lesson plans and teaching requirements. We hope that you find lots of possibilities to cover a variety of disciplines. As you bring your students to the shows, you might want them to examine not merely the thematic elements of the written word, but also how production elements explore these themes. Everything you see on this stage has been created specifically for this production - there are no standard sets for Lost in Yonkers, no codified method for presenting The Sound of Music, no rules for costuming The Real Thing. How, for example, will we represent the Alps in Sound of Music? How will the costumes differentiate between characters? Our designers meet with our directors months before rehearsals start, and shows are built to their specifications, which are in line with their vision of the work. In our detailed study guides for our school shows, we will try to give you some previews of this process, but you might want to explore discussing all of the design elements with your students as a way of opening the door to the production they will be seeing. You probably know all of the elements that make up a show, but to recap: Sets Props Choreography

Costumes Sound Music

Lights Painting Casting

And of course, the one thing that is vitally necessary for any piece to be theatre: AN AUDIENCE Without this last, most important element, the theatre ceases to be. Welcome to Syracuse Stage's Educational Outreach Programs.

"Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the

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Questions and Answers and theatre etiquette as well...

When should we arrive? We recommend you arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Student matinees begin promptly at 10:30 am - we do not hold the curtain. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the Management. Where do we get off the bus? Busses not staying should load and unload on East Genesee Street. Bus parking is available along East Genesee Street at the bagged meters. Parking at bagged meters is for busses only cars will be ticketed. Please do not park in the Centro Bus Stop. You may exit the bus, but have your group stay together in the lobby.

Is there someplace we can snack or eat? When possible, soda and snacks will be available for sale during intermission, at a cost of $1.00 (exact change appreciated.) Food is not allowed in the auditorium. Where are the restrooms? There are restrooms in the main lobby. We ask that students use the facilities before the show and during intermission only and not get up during the show.

What is the audience’s role?

What can be brought into the auditorium? We do not allow backpacks, cameras, walkmans, recording devices, food or chewing gum. We do not have storage facilities for these items so it is best if these are left at school or on the bus.

A performance needs an audience. It is as much a part of the theater event as our actors, our designers, our technicians and crew. Each playwright asks you to come into the world he or she has created — but this world is different than television or movies. The actors need your responses — your laughter, your applause — but as you can imagine such things as conversations, cell phones, beepers and other distractions will disrupt the world that is being created. If any student becomes disruptive to the point of interference with the performers or other audience members, a chaperon will be asked to remove that student.

May we take pictures? Taking photographs or recording the performance is illegal, disruptive to other audience members and dangerous to the actors. All cam-

If you play your part well, the actors can play their parts well and you both will enjoy the

Where do we sit? Will we have tickets? There are no tickets - ushers will direct you to the seats. Students will be asked to fill in the rows and not move around once seated. We request that teachers and chaperones distribute themselves throughout the students and not sit together. Remember, we have to seat 500 people as quickly as possible, so your help in seating is greatly appreciated.

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T

eachers: please speak with your students about the role of the audience in watching a live performance. Following are answers to some commonly asked questions that you might want to share with your students, and some helpful suggestions to make the day more enjoyable.

eras and recording devices are prohibited and will be confiscated.


Elements of Theatre Theatre usually engages other art disciplines including Writing, Visual/Design, Music and Dance or Movement.

S y r a c Suys er aSctuasgSet a g e

Character Who? - Who are the characters in the play and what is their relationship to each other. Plot/Story What? - What is the story line - What happened before the play started? What do the characters want? What happens next? Setting Where? Where does the story take place? This influences design concepts and actors’ actions. Characters move and behave according to their environment. Time When? Time consists of Historical (period in history), Time of Year/Season and Time of day, which influences design concepts and actors’ actions.

Character Relationship Conflict/Resolution Action Plot/Story Setting Time Improvisation Non-verbal communication Staging Realism/Naturalism Visual Composition Metaphor Language Tone Pattern Repetition Emotion Point of View Humor

In the next column are some possible elements for further classroom exploration when investigating a piece of theatre.

Creating questions for exploration Creating an open-ended question using an element for exploration, otherwise known as a “Line of Inquiry,” can help students make discoveries about a piece of theatre and its relevance to their own lives. A Line of Inquiry is also useful for Kinesthetic Activities — (on your feet exercises). Examples of Lines of Inquiry : 1. How does an actors’ exploration of physical space define the type of character he/she is portraying? (Think of ways in which your students could explore this physically.) 2. How might a director/actor create a sense of realism or believable behavior on stage? 3. How does an actor’s use of physical action help to define the setting or time period of the play? 4. How does a set designer use metaphoric scenic elements to enhance the meaning of the play?

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James A. Clark Producing Director

Robert Moss Artistic Director

PRESENTS

NEIL SIMON’S Lost in Yonkers

SCENIC DESIGN

DIRECTED BY

COSTUME DESIGN

Michael Schweikardt

Robert Moss

Georgia Lee

LIGHTING DESIGN

SOUND DESIGN

Jason Read

Jonathan Herter

SEASON SPONSORS

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A Crazy World

SyracusStage Lost in Yonkers

Who’s Who in Lost in Yonkers Jay and Arty, who are present in virtually every scene, are essentially catalysts for the actions of others. As children, however, Jay and Arty have less power than the older characters to make the kinds of significant decisions that determine the direction of the plot. They function more as observers than as initiators of events, absorbing information about life by watching what the adults do while themselves doing relatively little. Jay and Arty are the students in the classroom of the Kurnitz family. Grandma can be summed up by this quote: “You don’t survive in dis vorld vitout being like steel,” she tells her family. Bella is the opposite of her mother. Where Grandma is cold and withdrawn, Bella longs for emotional and physical connection with others. Gert springs to intense, if limited, life through a single fearful image provided by her brother, Louie: Gert used to talk in her sleep and Mom heard her one night sayin' things she didn't like so Gert didn't get supper that week. Until she learned to sleep holdin' her breath. Eddie: Spurned by his mother for being too soft, and for allowing his dead wife to turn him against her. In asking for help, he commits a violation of Grandma’s cardinal rule of human relations. Louie: Unlike Eddie and Bella, Louie is a match for his mother. He has become his mother’s most apt pupil, surviving as a gangster by the exercise of caution, ruthlessness and detachment.

Plot Summary A crisis in the family of Jay and Arty - the two young protagonists whose predicament is described in the title - begins the play. Jay and Arty's mother died, and their father, Eddie, was left with large medical bills. To pay them, he's borrowed money from a loan shark. His only hope of paying his debt is to take a high paying, war-related job selling scrap iron that requires him to travel. That means he must leave them behind in the cramped apartment above the family candy store, with his mother, the formidable Grandma Kurnitz. As the play begins, the three visit his mother to beg her to take the boys into her home. As Eddie and his mother argue, the boys’ discussion introduces us to the rest of the crazy clan, Uncle Louie and Aunts Bella and Gert, Jay guesses that Aunt Bella's mind is "closed for repairs" as a result of repeated whacks on the head from Grandma's cane. As the boys settle in more crises ensue. Bella falls in love with Johnnie, the head usher in a movie theater. She dreams they want to get married and open a restaurant with some of the money Grandma has hidden in the apartment. Uncle Louie adds to the chaos as he comes to his mother's house to hide from some criminals.

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A Glance at a Career Neil Simon’s plays Rose's Dilemma, 2004

Awards 1991 Tony Award Best Play Lost in Yonkers [winner]

Lost in Yonkers

Sketches, 1952 Catch a Star, 1955, written with Danny Simon New Faces of 1956, 1956 written with Danny Simon Heidi, 1959 music by written with William Friedberg, music by Clay Warnick, from novel by Johanna Spyri Adventures of Marco Polo, written with William Friedberg, music by Clay Warnick and Mel Pahl, 1959 Come Blow Your Horn, 1960 Little Me, 1962, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, from novel by Patrick Dennis Nobody Loves me, 1962 Barefoot in the Park, 1963 The Odd Couple, 1965 The Star Spangled Girl, 1966 Sweet Charity, 1966 music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, from screenplay Nights of Cabiria by Federico Fellini and Others Promises, Promises, 1968, music and lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, from screenplay The Apartment by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond Plaza Suite, 1969 Last of the Red-Hot Lovers, 1969 The Gingerbread Lady, 1970 Prisoner of Second Avenue, 1971 The Sunshine Boys, 1972 The Good Doctor, 1973 music by Peter Link, lyrics by Simon, based on stories by Chekov God's Favorite, 1974 California Suite, 1976 Chapter Two, 1977 They're Playing Our Song, 1978, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Carol Bayer Sager I Ought to be in Pictures, 1980 Fools, 1981 Brighton Beach Memoirs, 1983 Actors and Actresses, 1983 Biloxi Blues, 1984 (Tony Award best play 1985) Odd Couple, female version, 1986 Broadway Bound, 1986 Rumors, 1988 Jake's Women, 1990 Lost in Yonkers, 1991 The Goodbye Girl, 1992, musical Laughter on the 23rd Floor, 1993 London Suite, 1994 Proposals, 1998 (published 1987)

1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Lost in Yonkers [winner] 1987 Tony Award Best Play Broadway Bound [nominee] 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Broadway Bound [nominee] 1985 Tony Award Best Play Biloxi Blues [winner] 1979 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical They're Playing Our Song [nominee] 1978 Tony Award Best Play Chapter Two [nominee] 1974 Tony Award Best Original Score The Good Doctor [nominee] 1973 Tony Award Best Play The Sunshine Boys [nominee] 1972 Tony Award Best Play The Prisoner of Second Avenue [nominee] 1970 Tony Award Best Play continued

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Neil Simon Meet the playwright

Lost in Yonkers

N

eil Simon is the world’s most suc cessful playwright. He has had dozens of plays and nearly as many major motion pictures produced. He has been showered with more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer, and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultane ously. His plays have been produced in dozens of languages, and have been blockbuster hits from Beijing to Moscow. His true success, however, is in his unique way of exposing something real in the American spirit.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers [nominee] 1969 Tony Award Best Musical Promises, Promises [nominee] 1968 Tony Award Best Play Plaza Suite [nominee] 1966 Tony Award Best Musical Sweet Charity [nominee]

Born in the Bronx on July 4, 1927, Marvin Neil Simon grew up in Manhattan and for a short time attended NYU and the University of Denver. His most significant writing job came in the early 1950s when he joined the staff of Your Show of Shows, a landmark live television comedy series. Sid Caesar’s hilariously cutting-edge program had some of the best comic minds in television working for it, including Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart, and Carl Reiner. "I knew," said Simon, "when I walked into Your Show of Shows, that this was the most talented group of writers that up until that time had ever been assembled together." By the 1960s, Simon had begun to concentrate on writing plays for Broadway. His first hit came in 1961 with Come Blow Your Horn and was soon after followed by the very successful comic romance Barefoot in the Park. Simon’s brother, Danny, who also worked on Your Show of Shows, played a major role in his writing. Eight and a half years older, Danny brought Simon into the business and had shown him the ropes. In fact, it was Danny who provided the inspiration for one of Simon’s most enduring hits. After his divorce, Danny moved in with another

1965 Tony Award Best Author (Play) The Odd Couple [winner] 1965 Tony Award Best Play The Odd Couple [nominee] 1964 Tony Award Best Play Barefoot in the Park [nominee] 1963 Tony Award Best Author of a Musical Little Me [nominee] 1963 Tony Award Best Musical Little Me [nominee]

divorced man, and this situation became the set-up for The Odd Couple (1966). Though Danny had begun writing the story himself, he reached a block and eventually handed it off to Simon who soon made it a continued on next page

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Neil Simon continued smash on Broadway. Starring Jack Lemon and Walter Mathau, the 1968 film version was equally successful and prompted a popular television series.

Throughout his four-decade career, Simon has drawn extensively on his own life and experience for materials for his plays. Many of his works take place in the working-class New York neighbor hoods he knew so well as a child. One of Simon’s great achievements has been the insightful representation of the social atmosphere of those times in New York. With his autobiographical trilogy, Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), Biloxi Blues (1985), and Broadway Bound (1986), Simon created a touching portrait of an individual, his fam ily, and the world around them. With these plays,

Neil Simon has for almost forty years invigorated the stage with touching stories and zany characters, but possibly his greatest contribution has been the ability to create humor from the lives and troubles of everyday people. Of Simon, actor Jack Lemon said, "Neil has the ability to write characters — even the leading characters that we’re supposed to root for — that are absolutely flawed. They have foibles. They have faults. But, they are human beings. They are not all bad or all good; they are people we know." www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/ database/simon_n.html —

Everyone thinks they can write a play; you just write down what happened to you. But the art of it is drawing from all the moments of your life. — Neil Simon

Production History Lost in Yonkers Richard Rodgers Theatre, 2/21/1991 - 1/3/1993 Preview: Feb 12, 1991 Total Previews: 11 Opening: Feb 21, 1991 Closing: Jan 3, 1993 Total Performances: 780

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Lost in Yonkers

By 1973, Simon was a major voice in contemporary comedy. But, that year he entered a low period in his life, when his wife of twenty years died. Some time later, he met the actress Marsha Mason, and they were married. His 1977 play, Chapter Two , dramatizes the grief of a newly remarried man trying to start over after his wife has died. Chapter Two was considered one of his finest works and he followed it with a musical, They’re Playing Our Song .

Simon found his greatest critical acclaim, and for his 1991 follow-up, Lost in Yonkers, Simon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.


Moments in History

SyracusStage Lost in Yonkers

The world in the early 1940s 1940 24% of American adults completed high school. William Saroyan's prize-winning drama, The Time of Your Life. Big bands dominate popular music. 5.5% of U.S. adult males, 3.8% of females have college diplomas. For phonograph recording, a single-groove stereo system is developed. Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, a novel of the Spanish Civil War. Fantasia introduces a kind of stereo sound to American movie goers. On Broadway, Rodgers and Hart, Pal Joey. Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, touches national nerve about race. U.S. gets first regular TV station, WNBT, New York; estimated 10,000 viewers. Bugs Bunny cartoons. Peter Goldmark at CBS demonstrates electronic color TV.

Wonder Woman follows Superman and Batman into the comic books. Konrad Zuse's Z3 in Germany is the first computer controlled by software. CBS and NBC start commercial TV transmission; WW II intervenes. Comic strip characters Pogo and Sad Sack cheer American readers. Americans hear never-to-be forgotten radio broadcast of Pearl Harbor attack.

1941 Eugene O'Neill's play, A Long Day's Journey into Night. FCC sets U.S. TV standards. FDR war declaration has largest audience in radio history: 90 million. Noel Coward's play, Blithe Spirit. Lillian Hellman's play, Watch on the Rhine. Touch-tone dialing tried in Baltimore. Citizen Kane experiments with flashback, camera movement, sound techniques. A Moscow cinema gets stereo speaker system. Bertolt Brecht's play, Mother Courage and Her Children. Microwave transmission invented. The push button telephone. Radar placed on U.S. Navy warship. In U.S., 13 million radios manufactured. War will shut down production. Motorola manufactures a two-way AM police radio. In New York the first television commercial is broadcast. Pocket Books begins first mass distribution system for books. Walter Winchell is the most popular radio newscaster. Oscars: How Green Was My Valley, Gary Cooper, Joan Fontaine. Also at the movies: Sergeant York, The Maltese Falcon, Dumbo.

1943 Oklahoma! advances theatrical musicals by dealing with serious subjects. Being and Nothingness expounds Sartre's philosophy of existentialism. Repeaters on phone lines quiet long distance call noise. Norman Rockwell draws The Four Freedoms cover of The Saturday Evening Post. French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint ExupĂŠry's The Little Prince. Betty Smith's novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. British code breaking machine Colossus cracks Germany's Enigma code. Ayn Rand's novel of libertarian thought, The Fountainhead. Comic book publishers are selling 25,000,000 copies a month. The "walkie-talkie" backpack FM radio. The newest dance craze: the jitterbug. William Saroyan's film and novel, The Human Comedy, a family in wartime. Broadway musical One Touch of Venus; music: Kurt Weill; book: Ogden Nash. Oscars: Casablanca, Paul Lukas, Jennifer Jones. 1943: Also at the movies: For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Ox-Bow Incident, Desert Victory.

1942 Kodacolor film for prints is the first true color negative film. Oscars: Mrs. Miniver, James Cagney, Greer Garson. Also at the movies: Yankee Doodle Dandy, Pride of the Yankees, Prelude to War. Albert Camus's novel, The Stranger, touches on absurdities in man's habits. "Chattanooga Choo Choo" becomes the first "gold" record.

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Questions for Discussion 1. Why is the play called “Lost in Yonkers”? Why “lost”? 2. Why does Grandma reject Eddie when he asks her to take in Jay and Arty? Is there any justification for her decision? 3. What power does Bella have over Grandma?

5. What do you think is in Louie’s bag? Why does he insist that Arty open it? 6. Why does Louie have such respect for Grandma? 7. Why does Gert have problems breathing?

“I felt like writing about a time when I was probably, and I think all of us are, the happiest in our lives — before the obligations start in.” — Neil Simon

8. Has Grandma done more harm than good to her children? Why? 9. Do you think Eddie will keep the promise he makes at the end of the play to visit Grandma more frequently? If so, what accounts for the change in his attitude toward her? 10. Do you think Bella will eventually marry and have her own children? Why? Has she learned anything positive from Grandma? 11. Why do Jay and Arty seem so affectionate toward Grandma at the end of the play? What have they learned during their months in Yonkers?

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Lost in Yonkers

4. Is Louie right in opposing Bella's relationship with Johnnie?


More to Read Johnson, Robert K. Neil Simon. Boston: G.K. Hall & Company, 1983. An excellent commentary on Neil Simon's life and efforts from Broadway Bound to Only When I Laugh. Well-researched and the source of the majority of this bibliography.

L o s t i nS yYroanckues rSst a g e

Kerr, Walter. "What Simon Says." New York Times Magazine, 22 March 1970, pp. 6, 12, 14, 16. One of the first articles to cite and discuss the serious elements in Simon's stage comedies, Kerr's essay is particularly insightful concerning The Odd Couple and Plaza Suite. McGovern, Edythe M. Not-So-Simple Neil Simon: A Critical Study. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1979. The first fulllength study of Simon's stage comedies through Chapter Two, this underrated book offers both detailed synopses of the plays and many insights into individual plays by Simon and into the canon of Simon's comedies. Meehan, Thomas. "The Unreal, Hilarious World of Neil Simon. " Horizon 21 (January 1978):70 - 74. An intelligent, if somewhat patronizing outline of Simon's basic beliefs and attitudes and of the makeup of the audience that enjoys Simon's urban-centered plays. Meryman, Richard. "When the Funniest Writer in America Tried to Be Serious." Life, 7 May 1971, pp. 60B-60D, 64, 66 - 69, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79-80, 83. This absorbing account of the history (starting with the first rehearsals) of the Broadway production of The Gingerbread Lady also offers a variety of comments on Simon by his brother, Danny, and his friends and professional associates regarding Simon's career and personality. Monaco, James. "The Sunshine Boys Make Movies: Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen." In: American Film Now. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, pp. 232 - 48. Although he devotes only three pages to Simon's film work and is too quick to grant others' adverse criticisms of that work Monaco points out Simon's lack of control over movies made from his screenplays; praises such films as The Sunshine Boys, The Heartbreak Kid, and California Suite; and quite rightly stresses the major contributions such directors as Elaine May and Herbert Ross made to films scripted by Simon. Rooney, Terrie M., ed. Contemporary Theatre, Film, & Television. vol. 13. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1995, pp. 372-75. From dates to lists to addresses to facts, this is a very informative source. Zimmerman, Paul D. "Neil Simon: Up from Success." Newsweek, 2 February 1970, pp. 52-56. In this article focusing on Simon's career through the opening of Last of the Red-Hot Lovers, Simon talks about his childhood, his early years as a comedy writer, and his desire, after the success of his first plays, to portray more complex characters.

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James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

Bug BY

Tracy Letts

DIRECTED BY

Melissa Kievman SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

David Korins

Jessica Ford

LIGHTING DESIGN

Mark Barton

SOUND DESIGN

Jonathan Herter

SEASON SPONSORS

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A Crazy World Who’s who in Bug Agnes White — 40 years old, divorced from Jerry Goss. Waitress, drinker, and heavy drug user. Lives in a motel, hiding from her abusive ex-husband.

SBug yracusStage

R.C. — lesbian friend of Agnes; introduces her to Peter. Peter Evans — 27-year-old Gulf War veteran who went AWOL. Peter's father is a preacher with no church, and his mother is dead. Peter can "sense things," and is an ardent conspiracy theorist. Jerry Goss — around 40 years old, abusive ex-husband of Agnes. Jerry was just released from prison, where he was serving time for armed robbery. Dr. Sweet — Peter's mysterious doctor; refers to Peter as his "project." Pizza Harris — pizza deliveryman.

Plot Summary Agnes White's abusive ex-husband Jerry Goss has just been released from prison. She hides out in a seedy motel room on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, drowning her anxiety in alcohol and drugs. Agnes' friend R.C. brings over Peter Evans. Peter and Agnes bond over hits from a freebase pipe and share their stories. Peter, a Gulf War veteran, believes that he was an unwilling subject of government experiments. Agnes struggles with the disappearance of her young son Lloyd, who went missing at a grocery store several years earlier. As Peter and Agnes grow closer, their world grows stranger. Peter starts seeing bugs, and soon, so does Agnes. Trouble is, no one else can see them. Peter and Agnes battle against both the bugs and the outside world as they search for answers and vindication.

Bug began its rehearsal process at Chicago's Red Orchid Theatre. The play premiered at London's Gate Theatre on September 18, 1996. It was directed by Wilson Milam, and featured Shannon Cochran, Mark Nelson, Michael Shannon, Jeff Still, and Holly Wantuch. The 1996 premiere, however, turned out to be, in Tracy Letts' words, "kind of screwy. ... I wasn't happy with the show at the time was struggling with rewrites, technical support was weak and there were a lot of communication breakdowns." On opening night the owner of the pub below the theatre suffered a nervous breakdown and cranked up the volume on his stereo. "So we had Oasis' 'Wonder Wall' flooding over the floorboards on opening night." He shelved Bug for several years, and the play made its American premiere at Washington D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre on March 10, 2000. Bug later had its Midwest premiere at the Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago, IL on August 20th, 2001. Bug opened Off-Broadway on February 29, 2004, at the Barrow Street Theatre, and ran for 11 months and 384 performances, closing January 30, 2005.

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What Was He Thinking Meet Tracy Letts

T

U.S. Marshals, and Chicago Cab. TV appearances include The District, Profiler, The Drew Carey Show, Seinfeld and Home Improvement. Directorial credits include People Annihilation or My Liver is Senseless and Great Men of Science Nos. 21 and 22. An accomplished actor, playwright, and director, Letts is also on faculty at the School of Communication at Northwestern University. He will pen the screenplay for the upcoming film version of Bug. Bug will be directed by William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist), and will star Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon (original cast member), Brian F. O'Byrne, and Lynn Collins.

First grade, my teacher, Mrs. Parker, was probably my most influential teacher. She encouraged reading and writing the way a first grade teacher should. We had to make a little book, and my book was called "The Psychopath." Illustrated, with a little story. The cover of the book showed a man who had hung himself and shot himself in the head, a little detective story. A lot of teachers would have seen that and alerted social services. Yet Mrs. Parker gave me an A++, saying it was very creative. A first grade teacher in a small town in Oklahoma in 1971 - pretty progressive, huh? — Tracy Letts

Awards and Recognition 2005 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation 2004 Obie Awards, Bug (Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Creative Team) 2004 Pulitzer Prize - Finalist, Man From Nebraska 2004 Lucille Lortel Award, Bug (Best New Play) 2003 Time Magazine - Best of 2003, Man From Nebraska 1993 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Killer Joe (Fringe First Award)

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Bug

racy Letts was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of actor Dennis Letts and author Billie Letts (Where The Heart Is, The Honk and Holler Opening Soon). Letts is the author of Killer Joe (1993), Bug (1996), and Man From Nebraska (2003). He has been a member of Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 2002. His performances there include Homebody/Kabul, Glengarry Glen Ross, Three Days of Rain, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Dresser, and The Pain and the Itch. He recently performed offBroadway in Orson's Shadow. Film appearances include Guinevere,


Peter’s Fact or Fiction? The history of Edgewood Arsenal

S y r aScyursaSctuasgSet a g e Bug

D

uring the early 1960s Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the US Army Chemical Corps, received an average of four hundred chemical "rejects" every month from the major American pharmaceutical firms. Rejects were drugs found to be commercially useless because of their undesirable side effects.

Agnes: But you're an American, a U.S. soldier. Peter: Oh, right, what was I thinking? Our Government wouldn't conduct experiments on their own people-Agnes: No. Peter: --like feeding LSD to enlisted men at Edgewood Arsenal…

Of course, undesirable side effects were precisely what the army was looking for. It was from Hoffmann-La Roche in Nutley, New Jersey, that Edgewood Arsenal obtained its first sample of a drug called quinuclidinyl benzilate, or BZ for short. The army learned that BZ inhibits the production of a chemical substance that facilitates the transfer of messages along the nerve endings, thereby disrupting normal perceptual patterns. The effects generally lasted about three days, although symptoms — headaches, giddiness, disorientation, auditory and visual hallucinations, and maniacal behavior — could persist for as long as six weeks. "During the period of acute effects," noted an army doctor, "the person is completely out of touch with his environment." Dr. Van Sim, who served as chief of the Clinical Research Division at Edgewood, made it a practice to try all new chemicals himself before testing them on volunteers. Sim said he sampled LSD "on several occasions." Did he enjoy getting high, or were his acid trips simply a patriotic duty? "It's not a matter of compulsiveness or wanting to be the first to try a material," Sim stated. "With my experience I am often able to change the design of future experiments.... This allows more comprehensive tests to

be conducted later, with maximum effective usefulness of inexperienced volunteers. I'm trying to defeat the compound, and if I can, we don't have to drag out the tests at the expense of a lot of time and money." With BZ, Dr. Sim seems to have met his match. "It zonked me for three days. I kept falling down and the people at the lab assigned someone to follow me around with a mattress. I woke up from it after three days without a bruise."

For his efforts Sim received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service and was cited for exposing himself to dangerous drugs "at the risk of grave personal injury." According to Dr. Solomon Snyder, a leading psychopharmacologist at Johns Hopkins University, which conducted drug research for the Chemical Corps, "The army's testing of LSD was just a sideshow compared to its use of BZ." Clinical studies with EA-2277 (the code number for BZ) were initiated at Edgewood Arsenal in 1959 and continued until 1975. During this period an estimated twentyeight hundred soldiers were exposed to the superhallucinogen. A number of military personnel have since come forward claiming that they were never the same after their encounter with BZ. Robert Bowen, a former air force enlisted man, felt disoriented for several weeks after his exposure. Bowen said the drug produced a temporary feeling of insanity but that he reacted less severely than other test subjects. One paratrooper lost all muscle control for a time and later seemed totally divorced from reality "The last time continued on next page

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Peter’s Fact or Fiction? continued I saw him," said Bowen, "he was taking a shower in his uniform and smoking a cigar." During the early 1960s the CIA and the military began to phase out their in-house acid tests in favor of more powerful chemicals such as BZ, which became the Army's standard incapacitating agent. By this time the superhallucinogen was ready for deployment in a grenade, a 750-pound cluster bomb, and at least one other large-scale bomb. In addition the Army tested a number of other advanced BZ munitions, including mortar, artillery, and missile warheads.

— Excerpt from Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond, by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain (Grove Press)

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Bug

The superhallucinogen was later employed by American troops as a counterinsurgency weapon in Vietnam, and according to CIA documents there may be contingency plans to use the drug in the event of a major civilian insurrection. As Major General William Creasy warned shortly after he retired from the Army Chemical Corps, "We will use these things as we very well see fit, when we think it is in the best interest of the US and their allies."

Peter: The doctors came in and really worked us over, with shots and pills, ostensibly for inoculation, but … there was something else going on, too. A lot of the guys got sick, vomiting and diarrhea, migraines, blackouts … I started having weird thoughts, too, and feeling … sick.


Gulf War Syndrome A very short history

T SyracusStage Bug

he Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) succeeded more completely, quickly, and with fewer casualties than anyone had expected or hoped for. A ceasefire was declared just four days after the initiation of the ground war and six weeks after air strikes had begun. However, 26 to 32 percent of soldiers returned with mysterious, multisymptom illnesses. The term Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) is used to describe this cluster of illnesses occurring in Persian Gulf War veterans. GWS is characterized by variable and nonspecific symptoms, including persistent headaches, cognitive problems, bodily pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal difficulties, respiratory conditions, and skin abnormalities.

The Committee also acknowledges consistent findings coming from studies linking GWS to veterans' receipt of vaccines. Particular concern focuses on the anthrax vaccine administered to a reported 150,000 U.S. troops during the Gulf War. Tracing associations between GWS and anthrax vaccines has been difficult, however, because many units did not record vaccination information in personnel shot records.

A 2004 book by Gary Matsumoto entitled, Vaccine A: The Covert Government Experiment That's Killing Our Soldiers and Why G.I.s Are Only the First Victims" suggests that soldiers immunized against anthrax during the Gulf War are suffering auto-immune diseases such as lupus, chronic Research studies conarthritis, and multiple ducted since the war sclerosis after receivhave consistently indiing an illegal chemical cated that psychiatric adjuvant (chemical illness, combat experidesigned to boost the ence, or other deployimmune system) ment-related stressors called squalene. do not explain GWS in Matsumoto suggests the large majority of ill that a number of solveterans. The Research diers were "human Advisory Committee on guinea pigs" in the Gulf War Veterans' Former soldier Brian Martin, in this June 25, 1996 photo, suffers government's attempt Illnesses, established to create a vaccine from a variety of maladies he attributes to the "soup" of toxic by Congress in 1998, substances he was exposed to during the Persian Gulf War. strong enough to withreleased an important stand biochemical report in fall 2004. warfare. The report held that GWS is a real physical condition, The Committee points out that many questions regardlikely caused by neurological damage resulting from ing vaccinations can be answered with straightforward exposure to toxins. This contradicts the earlier position scientific studies, but have not yet been addressed by of the U.S. government that GWS was a psychological government research. condition linked to stress.

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Oklahoma City A short history

O

n the morning of April 19, 1995, a rented Ryder truck packed with explosives parked in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, a U.S. government office complex in downtown Oklahoma City. At 9:02am, a massive explosion occurred which sheared the entire north side of the building, killing 168 people (including 19 children, who were in the building's daycare center) and injuring more than 500.

McVeigh was convicted on 11 counts of murder, conspiracy, and using a weapon of mass destruction. He was executed in 2001 — the first person executed for a federal crime in the United States since 1963. Nichols was convicted of conspiracy and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to life in prison.

Two days after the bombing, shortly before he was to be released for a traffic violation, McVeigh was identified and charged as a suspect. Nichols later voluntarily surrendered to police. The date of the Oklahoma City attack was significant, falling on two notable anniversaries. April 19 marked both Patriots' Day, the anniversary of the American rebellion against British authority at Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1775, and the date that federal agents raided the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas, in 1993. McVeigh claimed that the building in Oklahoma City was targeted to avenge the more than 70 deaths at Waco. He called the casualties in the bombing "collateral damage," comparing the Oklahoma bombing to actions he had taken as a soldier in the Gulf War.

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Bug

Today, the site of the Murrah building is occupied by a large memorial. The memorial, designed by Oklahoma City architects Hans and Torrey Butzer and Sven Berg, The Oklahoma City bombing was the largest domestic includes a reflecting pool bookended by two large terrorist attack and the second deadliest terror attack in "doorways," one the history of the inscribed with the time United States. 9:01, the opposite with 9:03, the pool between At first suspicion The Oklahoma City bombing got representing the wrongly focused on me thinking about things. People moment of the blast. On Middle Eastern terthe south end of the rorist groups, but aren't comfortable with random memorial is a field full attention quickly occurrences. There's a desire to of symbolic bronze and turned to former stone chairs — one for U.S. Army soldiers make a connection — the idea that each person lost. The Timothy McVeigh everything happens for a reason. seats of the children and his friend Terry killed are smaller than Nichols. Both were those of the adults. associated with the — Tracy Letts extreme right-wing Patriots' movement.


SyracusStage Bug

Glossary Ted Bundy: 1970s serial killer and rapist known for his good looks and charm; confessed to murdering 28 women. Bundy was executed on January 24, 1989.

This date marks the first meeting of The Bildeberg Group, a secretive and international association of powerful people, meeting every year.

Panhandle: The Oklahoma Panhandle is comprised of the three northwestern counties; Cimarron County, Texas County, and Beaver County. It is bordered by Kansas and Colorado on the north, New Mexico on the west, and Texas on the south.

Calspan: Pentagon contractor in Buffalo, NY, that conducts classified research in advanced aerospace rocketry and electronic warfare. Formerly employed Timothy McVeigh.

Margaritaville: A 1977 top-40 song by Jimmy Buffett. Aphid: A small soft-bodied and slow-moving insect that feeds by sucking the juices of plants. Big Valley: Complete name is The Big Valley. Television series documenting the adventures of the Barkley family, led by the family matriarch, Victoria Barkley. The show aired from 1965 to 1969. AWOL: Absent Without Leave; describes a member of the armed forces who is away without permission. Groom Lake: Aka "Area 51," Groom Lake is U.S. miliary-controlled land in southern Nevada, apparently containing a secret aircraft testing facility. Groom Lake is the subject of many UFO conspiracy theories. DEA: Drug Enforcement Administration. LSD: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. One of the major hallucinogenic drugs, otherwise known as "acid." Edgewood Arsenal: Located in Maryland; headquarters of the US Army Chemical Corps, where thousands of soldiers were given LSD, the superhallucinogen BZ, and other mind-altering drugs.

People's Temple: Religious community formed by charismatic leader Jim Jones. 900 of its members, including Jones, died on November 18, 1978, in a massive act of murder-suicide, during which they were either shot or drank purple Flavor-Aid laced with cyanide. Intelligence Manned Interface Biochip: Implantable and injectable tracking device. Invented by Dr. Carl Sanders, who remarked, "We used this with military personnel in the Iraq War where they were actually tracked using this particular type of device." John Doe #2: Un-indicted, mysterious co-conspirator with Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City Bombing. Ted Kaczyinski: Aka "The Unabomber"; mailed handmade explosive devices to academics and business executives. The Unabomber killed 3 people and injured 22 in 16 attacks between 1979 and 1995; he is currently in prison serving four life sentences. Imago den: "Imago" is a stage of larval development; an insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis. "Den" refers to a cave/dwelling.

Tuskegee: Officially named "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male"; notoriously unethical study of African-American men in the rural South. The project lasted from 1932 to 1972, keeping volunteers ill even when treatment became available. May 29, 1954 - Bildeberg Hotel - Oosterbeek, Holland:

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Questions for Discussion 1. Bug is being made into a movie. What elements of the play do you think will work better on film? 2. What elements of the play do you think will work better onstage? 3. The title Bug primarily refers to the presence of insects throughout the play. What are some other possible meanings for the title? 4. How do you feel about Peter's claims that he was a victim of unwanted government experiments? Do you believe him? How do the essays on Edgewood Arsenal and Gulf War Syndrome affect your opinion? 5. What is the role of Dr. Sweet in the play? Do you trust him? Why or why not? 6. Discuss the role of drugs and alcohol in Bug.

8. Discuss how the loss of Agnes' son Lloyd affects her relationship with Peter. 9. Compare the opening of Act 1 to the opening of Act 2. How does each opening set the tone for its respective act? 10. Tracy Letts' plays have been associated with a relatively new genre called "In-yer-face theatre." According to theatre critic Aleks Sierz, "In-yer-face theatre shocks audiences by the extremism of its language and images; unsettles them by its emotional frankness and disturbs them by its acute questioning of moral norms." How does Bug fit into this genre? Give specific examples.

Read More Hoffman, David. The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror. Feral House, 1998. Lee, Martin A. and Shlain, Bruce. Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond. Grove Press, 1986. Matsumoto, Gary. Vaccine A: The Covert Government Experiment That's Killing Our Soldiers and Why G.I.s are Only the First Victims. New York: Basic Books, 2004. Sierz, Aleks. In-Yer-Face Theatre: British Drama Today. London: Faber & Faber, 2001. Wheelwright, Jeff. The Irritable Heart: The Medical Mystery of the GulfWar. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. www.inyerface-theatre.com/ www.npr.org/programs/specials/jonestown.html (extensive NPR audio documentary on Jim Jones and the People's Temple tragedy at Jonestown)

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Bug

7. Do you believe the bugs are really there? Why or why not?


James A. Clark Producing Director

Robert Moss Artistic Director

SyracusStage

PRESENT

The Sound of Music LYRICS BY

MUSIC BY

Oscar Hammerstein II

Richard Rogers DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY

Tony Salatino

MUSICAL DIRECTION BY

SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

Dianne Adams McDowell

Troy Hourie

Nanzi Adzema

SOUND DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

Jonathan Herter

A. Nelson Ruger IV

SEASON SPONSORS

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A world of melody Who’s Who in The Sound of Music

The Mother Abbess, Mother Superior at the Abbey. Sister Berthe, Mistress of the Novices. Sister Margeretta, Mistress of the Postulants and supporter of Maria. Captain Georg von Trapp widower, retired naval captain and father to seven mischievous children. Franz the butler and Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper The Von Trapp children - daughter Liesl, 16 going on 17, Friederich, age 14, Louisa, age 13, Kurt, age 10, Brigitta, age 9, Marta, age 7, and the youngest daughter, Gretl, age 5. Rolf age 17, the object of Liesl’s misguided affection. Elsa Schraeder, soon to be fiancee of Captain von Trapp, that is if she has anything to say about it. Max Detweiler, agent friend to Captain von Trapp and a mooch.

Plot Summary Ever since Maria was a young girl she had longed to be a nun, however when she became old enough to enter the sisterhood she discovered it wasn't at all what she had thought. Often in trouble for one reason or another, the Mother Superior sends Maria to the house of a retired naval captain, named Captain von Trapp, to care for his children. Von Trapp, a widower, has been left to care for seven unruly children. The children have chased off countless governesses. Maria soon discovers that all these children need is a little love and gentle discipline. Maria encourages the children to sing, and through her exuberance, music is brought back into the hearts of the Von Trapp family. While all this music is going on, Maria and Captain Von Trapp unbeknownst to themselves are falling helplessly in love, except there are two problems: the Captain is engaged, and Maria is a postulant!

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The Sound of Music

Maria Rainer, a postulant (nun in training) at Nonnberg Abbey in Austria. She has a penchant for climbing trees and singing songs.


A masterful partnership Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

A

SyracusStage The Sound of Music

fter long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist) joined forces to create the most consistently fruitful and successful partnership in the American musical theatre. Prior to his work with Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on a series of musical comedies that epitomized the wit and sophistication of Broadway in its heyday. Prolific on Broadway, in London and in Hollywood from the '20s into the early '40s, Rodgers & Hart wrote more than 40 shows and film scores. Among their greatest were On Your Toes, Babes In Arms, The Boys From Syracuse, I Married an Angel and Pal Joey. Throughout the same era Oscar Hammerstein II (18951960) brought new life to a moribund artform: the operetta. His collaborations with such preeminent composers as Rudolf Friml, Sigmund Romberg and Vincent Youmans resulted in such operetta classics as The Desert Song, Rose-Marie and The New Moon. With Jerome Kern he wrote Show Boat, the 1927 operetta that changed the course of modern musical theatre. His last musical before embarking on an exclusive partnership with Richard Rodgers was Carmen Jones, the highly-acclaimed 1943 all-black revision of Georges Bizet's tragic opera Carmen. Oklahoma!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, representing a unique fusion of Rodgers' musical comedy and Hammerstein's operetta. A milestone in the development of the American musical, it also marked the beginning of the most successful partnership in Broadway musical history, and was followed by Carousel, Allegro, South Pacific, The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music. Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote one musical specifically for the big screen, State Fair, and one for television, Cinderella. Collectively, the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals earned 35 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, two Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards. In 1998 Rodgers & Hammerstein were cited by Time magazine and CBS

News as among the 20 most influential artists of the 20th century and in 1999 they were jointly commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp. Despite Hammerstein's death in 1960, Rodgers continued to write for the Broadway stage. His first solo entry, No Strings, earned him two Tony Awards for music and lyrics, and was followed by Do I Hear a Waltz?, Two by Two, Rex and I Remember Mama. Richard Rodgers died on December 30, 1979, less than eight months after his last musical opened on Broadway. In March of 1990, Broadway's 46th Street Theatre was renamed The Richard Rodgers Theatre in his honor. At the turn of the 21st century, the Rodgers and Hammerstein legacy continues to flourish, as marked by the enthusiasm that greeted their Centennials, in 1995 and 2002 respectively. In 1995 Hammerstein's centennial was celebrated worldwide with commemorative recordings, books, concerts and an award-winning PBS special, "Some Enchanted Evening." The ultimate tribute came the following season, when he had three musicals playing on Broadway simultaneously: Show Boat (1995 Tony Award winner, Best Musical Revival); The King and I (1996 Tony Award winner, Best Musical Revival); and State Fair (1996 Tony Award nominee for Best Score.) In 2002, the Richard Rodgers Centennial was celebrated around the world, with tributes from Tokyo to London, from the Hollywood Bowl to the White House, featuring six new television specials, museum retrospectives, a dozen new ballets, half a dozen books, new recordings and countless concert and stage productions (including three simultaneous revivals on Broadway, matching Hammerstein's feat of six years earlier), giving testament to the enduring popularity of Richard Rodgers and the sound of his music. www.rnh.com/bios/index.html

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Enough to Fill a Library The works of Rodgers and Hammerstein II Oklahoma Shubert Theatre, New Haven 3/11-13/43 Colonial Theatre, Boston 3/15-27/43 *(entitled AWAY WE GO! for these engagements) St. James Theatre, New York 3/31/43-5/29/48 (2212 perf.)

Allegro Shubert Theatre, New Haven 9/1-6/47 Colonial Theatre, Boston 9/8-10/4/47 Majestic Theatre, New York 10/10/47-5/10/48 (315 perf.) South Pacific Shubert Theatre, New Haven 3/7-12/49 Shubert Theatre, Boston 3/15-4/2/49 Majestic Theatre, New York 4/7/49-5/16/53 (Opera House, Boston 5/18-6/27/53) Broadway Theatre, New York 6/29/53-1/16/54 (1925 perf.) The King and I Shubert Theatre, New Haven 2/26-3/3/51 Shubert Theatre, Boston 3/5-24/51 St. James Theatre, New York 3/29/51-3/20/54 (1246 perf.) Me and Juliet Hanna Theatre, Cleveland 4/20-5/2/53 Shubert Theatre, Boston 5/6-23/53 Majestic Theatre, New York 5/28/53-4/3/54 (358 perf.) Pipe Dream Shubert Theatre, New Haven 10/22-29/55 Shubert Theatre, Boston 11/1-26/55 Shubert Theatre, New York 11/30/55-6/10/56 (246 perf.) Flower Drum Song Shubert Theatre, Boston 10/27-11/29/58 St. James Theatre, New York 12/1/58-5/7/60 (600 perf.) The Sound of Music Shubert Theatre, New Haven 10/3-10/59 Shubert Theatre, Boston 10/13-11/6/59

Awards Oklahoma! Pulitzer Prize (special citation, 1944) Grammy Award (Hall of Fame inductee, 1976) Two Academy Awards, 1955 Special Tony Award, 1993 International Emmy Award, 1999 Carousel Five Tony Awards (including Best Musical Revival, 1994) State Fair Academy Award (Best Song 1945) South Pacific Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 1949 Nine Tony Awards (including Best Musical, 1949) Academy Award, 1958 The King and I Five Tony Awards (including Best Musical, 1952) Six Academy Awards Four Tony Awards (including Best Musical Revival, 1996) Four Drama Desk Awards (including Best Musical Revival 1996) Pipe Dream Tony Award, 1955 Flower Drum Song Tony Award, 1959 Cinderella Emmy Award 1998 The Sound of Music Eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical, 1960) Five Academy Awards (including Best Picture, 1965) Grammy Award (Best Cast Show Album, 1960)

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Sound of Music

Carousel Shubert Theatre, New Haven 3/22-25/45 Colonial Theatre, Boston 3/27-4/15/45 Majestic Theatre, New York 4/19/45-5/24/47 (890 perf.)

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York 11/16/59-11/3/62 Mark Hellinger Theatre, New York 11/6/62-6/15/63


The Von Trapps A musical legend

S y r aScyur as SctuasgSet a g e Sound of Music

M

aria Agusta Kutschera was born on a train enroute to Vienna just before midnight on January 26, 1905. Maria's mother died when she was two years old. Her father left her with an elderly cousin so that he could be free to travel.

it became a big hit in Germany. It was followed by a sequel. Both films became the most successful films in Germany since World War II and went on to become hits in Europe and South America.

Paramount Pictures bought the U.S. film rights in 1956. Newly-hired Broadway and television director Vincent Maria was intensely devoted to her convent, but she Donahue screened the film and immediately thought was taken away from the outdoor activities she once that it would be a great story thrived on. Her doctor for Broadway star Mary was concerned her health The von Trapps arrived in America in 1938. They Martin and her husband, was failing due to a lack had no money and set out to make their living producer Richard Halliday. of fresh air and exercise. through performing. They spent the next 18 years They loved the story but This was when the decion the road. When the Captain died on May 30, when they finally decided to sion was made to send 1947, the children wanted to settle down. The von purchase the rights Maria to the home of Trapps stopped touring in 1956. Paramount had dropped its retired naval Captain option. Hailliday invited Georg von Trapp. Her The family corporation bought an old farm house Maria to see his wife perposition was not govin Stowe, Vermont. But it was not enough to supform in Annie Get Your Gun. erness to all the children, port the whole family, so while they were away on She was so impressed with as the movie portrayed, tours they rented their home to skiers. This was Martin's performance that but specifically to the capthe beginning of the von Trapp hotel business. she supported the project tain's daughter who was whole heartedly. bedridden with rheumatic The love of music has continued with the younger fever. The rest is truly hisgeneration. Visit www.trappfamily.com/ Rodgers and Hammerstein tory. Maria never returned history.htmlto read more and visit www.trappfamiwere contracted to write the to the convent and marly.com to see their farm and hear the current music score and act as coried the Captain on singing Von Trapps. producers. It would become November 26, 1927. their biggest success. The show ran on Broadway for In 1938, the Trapp family 1,443 performances, won six Tony Awards, including left their belongings, friends and home to escape Best Musical, and sold more than 3 million albums. Hitler's reign. Maria was pregnant with their tenth child, Johannes, now president of the von Trapp Family On opening night of the musical, motion picture agent Lodge. In order to avoid suspicion, the family appeared Irving "Swifty" Lazar, who represented the show's writto be going on one of their frequent mountain hikes, ers, was in the audience with Twentieth Century Fox and left only with the packs on their backs. president, Spyros Skouras. He had the "right of first Accompanied by the family priest, Monsignor Franz refusal" for any Rodgers and Hammerstein's musicals Wagner, they climbed over the Austrian Alps into a tiny and he loved the play. In June 1960, seven months after mountain village in Italy and never turned back. the premier of the Broadway show, Twentieth Century Fox bought the rights to The Sound of Music for $1.25 The Sound of Music is based upon Maria von Trapp's million, against 10 percent of the gross. The contract book, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The book stipulated that the studio would not be able to release was published in 1949 and shortly after Hollywood the film version until 1964 or until the Broadway show approached Maria with an offer to buy the book title. closed. A German film company produced a film in 1956, and

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The Brink of War Austria in 1938

H

itler's quiet invasion of Austria in 1938 was the culmination of events that began much earlier. To understand the invasion of Austria by the Third Reich, one must have some background on the political climate of the European continent in the mid-1930's.

While Hitler had yet to expand beyond his current boundaries, he was feverishly ramping up his military power, while at the same time claiming he was not interested in other countries. In a speech to the Reichstag May 21, 1935, Hitler declares: "Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or to conclude an Anschluss."

On the political front, Hitler removed Constantin von Neurath as foreign minister and replaced him with Joachim von Ribbentrop. Several other key ministers were also replaced. Many of the ministers were from the old conservative school and stood in the way of Hitler's launching his foreign policy of expansion. Finally in February 1938, Hitler was ready to act against Austria. He presented Schuschnigg with demands that the National Socialists in Austria be left unrestricted and that they be included in Austria's government. If Schuschnigg failed to act, Germany would invade Austria.

The year before an Austrian pro-Nazi gang murdered then Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss. The attempt was a German-controlled coup attempt that failed despite Dollfuss' murder. At the time, Italy was Austria's protector and Dollfuss, a proto-fascist was friendly with Mussolini. Despite the Austrian chancellor's leanings, he vowed to keep Austria independent of Germany. When he was killed, Italy sent troops to the border as a warning to Hitler to stay out of Austria.

Generally abandoned by Italy and without hope of support from England or France, Schuschnigg decided to give in to Hitler's demands.

Kurt von Schuschnigg became the Austrian chancellor. His Fatherland Front, a Christian Facist party, continued their control following the death of Dollfuss. But unfortunately, von Schuschnigg would prove weak against German threats. Despite a failed coup, National Socialist sympathizers were seizing the day in Austria, growing ever more powerful.

Thursday, February 24 Schuschnigg gave Hitler an answer to his Reichstag speech with a speech of his own in the Austrian Bundestag. While conciliatory, Schuschnigg declared that Austria had reached the limit of concessions "where we must call a halt and say: This far and no further." He already had Nazis in his cabinet, and Nazi mobs running loose in the streets undermining his own efforts to stabilize the country." Austria, he said, would never voluntarily give up its independence.

In January 1938 with von Schuschnigg's blessing, Austrian police raided Nazi headquarters and banned the Austrian Nazi party. To solidify his position, Hitler fired two commanders. The two architects of the Nazi Germany military, Field Marshall Werner von Blomberg, minister of war and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and General

Sunday, February 20, Adolf Hitler gave a speech to the German Reichstag in which he warned that Germany would know how to protect the ten million Germans living on its borders — seven million in Austria and three million in Czechoslovakia.

Austrian Nazis, with the blessing of the interior minister, Seyss-Inquart, who was in charge of the police and himself a Nazi, stormed the streets of some of the towns including Vienna. Desperate, Schuschnigg turned to the Social Democrats, whom he had banned and offered to continued on next page

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Sound of Music

Both Germany and Italy were controlled by Facist governments. In Germany, the leader was Adolph Hitler and in Italy, it was Benito Mussolini. Both had expansionist ideas for their countries. Italy had already expanded into Ethiopia and was in the midst of winning that country's control.

Freiherr Werner von Fritsch, commander-in-chief of the army were out. Von Fritsch was openly opposed to Hitler's plan for the seizure of Austria. To ensure this military shakeup was accepted, Hitler also relieved or transferred many other generals. And Hitler himself became the Supreme Commander of the Armed Services. He had taken a firm hold upon the military.


Brink of War SyracusStage S o u n d oSfy rMa cu us iscS t a g e

continued allow their party and free their comrades from prison in exchange for their help. While the Socialists agreed to help, it was too little too late.

stop disturbing public order, but Miklas did not agree to replace Schuschnigg because he would not break oath by violating the duties of office but yield only to force.

But Schuschnigg was determined to keep Austria separate. March 7, he contacted Mussolini seeking his opinion on a plebiscite. Mussolini warned that it would be a mistake to do so. But Schuschnigg ignored the warning and on March 9 in a speech at Innsbruck, announced for March 13, a plebiscite on whether Austria should remain separate from German control.

While Austrian and Czech radio reported the events of an ultimatum, Germany denied that such an ultimatum was issued. Later that evening German troops marched into Austria. France and Britain protested, but weakly. Chamberlain said, "Use of coercion, backed by force, against an independent state in order to create a situation is incompatible with its independence." His claims that Germany was required to consult with England, France and Italy before acting were ignored by Hitler. The German chancellor assured Mussolini that the Brenner Pass would be a friendly border between Germany and Italy.

He said: "Now I want to know and must know whether the Austrian people want this free, German, independent, social, Christian and united country, suffering no party divisions. Now I must know whether truth the motto `Bread and peace in the land' can bring together our countrymen and their Front which is invincible; and whether the ideal of equality for all men in the country, so far as they stand by people and fatherland, is for all men without exception one that they can pursue." The next day, March 10, Hitler ordered German troops to mobilize on the Austrian frontier and members of the Austrian National Socialist Party began riots in Vienna, Linz, Graz, and Klagenfurt. It is believed that Hitler instigated the rioting. But they were quickly quelled by Austrian police and the mood remained somber. Schuschnigg's hand was strengthened by the Austrian Socialist party and it appeared once more that Schuschnigg had won the day. Many believed that with the backing of the Socialists, Hitler would back away from his threats. March 11 would turn out to be a critical day for Austria. Schuschnigg called up the Austrian reservists to bolster his strength. And in an apparent point for Schuschnigg, Germany demanded at 10 a. m., through Dr. Edmund von Glaise-Horstenau, Minister without portfolio, that the plebiscite be secret. President Wilhelm Miklas agreed to grant this. But in an about face, Germany at 4 p. m. demanded through Dr. Wilhelm Keppler that the plebiscite be postponed six weeks and that von Schuschnigg be replaced by Seyss-Inquart. Austria agreed to postpone the plebiscite, if the Nazis would

March 12 dawned with the realization by the world of the Anschluss had occurred. Czechoslovakia is most nervous since it will now be surrounded on part of its border by the new Germany. In the morning SeyssInquart was sworn into office; the new ministry was composed of all Nazis. France invites Italy along with England to examine the events, but Italy declines stating that they "regard the events in Austria as the outcome of a pre-existent state of affairs and as the free expression of the feelings and good will of the Austrian people, unequivocally confirmed by the imposing public demonstrations with which the events were greeted." As German troops entered Austria, Hitler, flaunting his new victory, arrived in Linz, the town of his youth; later he arrived in Vienna where he spoke to the cheering crowds. The well-orchestrated appearance at the Heldenplatz in Vienna is phenomenal to hear as it was reported live over shortwave! World reaction to this Anschluss was predictably neutral. But realizing the new threats that Germany's new position places upon Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain assured the Czechs that England would support them. But by the fall, events would further thrust the world closer to world war. www.otr.com/austria.html

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Questions for Discussion 1. How does the musical version of the Von Trapp family’s escape compare to the family's real life escape? 2. What are some of the comparisons between the real life biography of Maria Von Trapp and the fictional character in the play? 3. What are some of the reactions/emotions of the characters to the impending invasion of Austria by Hitler and his troops? 4. Who are some other historical figures during this time period and how have their stories impacted the way we view Hitler and his reign of terror? 5. Describe some of the family dynamics of the Von Trapps. How does this family compare to a modern American family? In what ways are they the same and in what ways are they different? 6. How do scenic elements in the production provide an insight into this story’s setting? How might a writer describe these elements? 7. How does the movie version differ from the play version? 8. What are some of the elements that you notice that make a musical different from a play? 9. How can an actor/director create a sense of realism or truth when characters are always breaking into song? 10. How does music influence an audiences' emotional reaction to a piece of theatre?

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More resources Web sites www.rnh.com/index1.html

c uussSi ct a g e S o u n dSoy fr aM

www.vontrappchildren.com/

Ewen, David. Richard Rodgers, Holt, New York 1957 With a Song in His Heart (Richard Rodgers), Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York 1963 Fordin, Hugh. Getting To Know Him: The Biography of Oscar Hammerstein II, Random House, New York 1977; DeCapo, 1995 Green, Stanley. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Story, John Day, New York 1963; DeCapo, 1980 The Rodgers & Hammerstein Fact Book, Hal Leonard, Milwaukee 1980 Hammerstein II, Oscar. Lyrics, with an introduction by the author and a preface by Stephen Sondheim, Hal Leonard, Milwaukee 1985 Mordden, Ethan. Rodgers & Hammerstein, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York 1992 Nolan, Frederick. The Sound of Their Music, Walker, New York 1978 Rodgers, Richard. Musical Stages: An Autobiography, Random House, New York 1975; Jove Paperback, New York 1978; DeCapo, 1995 Taylor, Deems. Some Enchanted Evenings, Harper, New York 1953 Wilk, Max. O. K.! - The Story of OKLAHOMA!, Grove Press, New York 1993

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32


James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

The Real Thing WRITTEN BY

Tom Stoppard

LIGHTING DESIGN

DIRECTED BY

SCENIC DESIGN

Steve Ten Eyck IV

Robert Moss

Lauren Hapern

SOUND DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

Jonathan Herter

Anne Kinney

SEASON SPONSORS

33


Who’s Who

SyracusStage The Real Thing

in The Real Thing Henry: A playwright, both obsessed with the women in his life, and utterly incapable of truly understanding them, as witnessed in his less than deft interpretations of them on stage. Henry is in love with ideas, with Annie, but ultimately, with love itself. He fluctuates between fits of inspired romanticism and bouts of droll banality, as seen in his total devotion to 1950's pop tunes over the "higher art" of opera. Henry aims to please those closest to them, but his perpetual misunderstanding of relationships becomes a detriment not only to his writing, but to his happiness. Charlotte: Charlotte doesn't appear very often but holds an extreme amount of emotional weight over what occurs. Her good nature and keen feminine understanding allow her to remain unphased by the emotional torture that happens around her. She knows that Henry does not "get" women, which is why, she feels, he writes them so poorly. Though slighted by Henry in his desire for Annie, she still finds time to instruct Henry on their daughter's situation.

self in harm’s way, because she knows that she is loved, but yet is unafraid to lose everything and get hurt. Reckless and roughish, she can only feel truly alive. She is capable of being hurt by her choices. She often allows her heart to override her intellect.

Debbie: Perhaps a younger version of Annie, although the daughter of Henry and Charlotte, Debbie young and idealistic is hoping to follow her musician boyfriend on the road instead of focusing on a college education and career. She is controlled by her id, following her whims wherever they may lead, throwing caution to the wind. She believes that she is in touch with "real" emotion that only can be satisfied by riding off into a Charlotte: I’m the victim sunset full speed ahead. She of his fantasy, and you’re understands more than her elders give her credit for, but she is also quids in on it. What an unjaded by life's tragedies and struggles. She is an embodiment ego trip! Having all the of goodness, but truly unable to words to come back just comprehend the choices she has made. as you need them. That’s

the difference between plays and real life.

Max: As an actor, Max continually breaches the liminal area of reality and fiction. In Max's own way, he is "the real thing," someone who gives as much emotion on stage as he does off. It is not a problem that he cares too much, just that his constant need to please does not allow him to connect with those around him. He is always looking for love in all the wrong places, but perhaps he is the only person, at the play's end, who finds any semblance of happiness at all. Annie: Passionate, wild, somewhat naïve, yet confident, Annie connects most of the characters in the play. Her ebullience masks a shrewd pragmatism that helps her get what she wants, even when other are reticent towards giving in. She "goes with her gut" and puts her-

Billy: Another actor, Billy also crosses the line between "real" emotion and "staged" reality. He is young, rambunctious, wild and unpredictable. He represents the unhindered, rebellious youth that can sometimes force an older woman to experiment with a younger man. He is also an actor, but the impression can be made that he is actually acting in his real life. He is perhaps pretending to be someone he may not really be. Brodie: Brodie spends most of the play as just an idea. Oddly enough, when we meet him, he is an idealist. The way Annie lauds Brodie, one must think him a real visionary, a humanitarian who cares about justice. When we are finally introduced to Brodie, he comes off more as an intellectual snob. He appears to not have actually lived the life he so fervently fights against. He is a hoax, someone who can talk the talk, but has not actually walked the walk.

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What Really Happens The plot of The Real Thing Henry, a successful playwright, is married to an actress, Charlotte, who is playing the lead in his current play; he has fallen in love with another actress, Annie, for whom he soon leaves Charlotte. But is his new love "the real thing"? Underlying the major themes of love and adultery are related concerns. Does art imitate life? Is it possible that life imitates Art? Must art have a political and social value, as many people in Britain were then arguing, or can it stand alone, as art for art's sake? Stoppard argues that intellectuals are taking political expression for literature, and he makes a strong case that art should be valued for its aesthetic merits alone.

Awards 1984 Tony Award Best Play 1984 Tony Award Best Actor in Play Jeremy Irons 1984 Tony Award Best Actress in a Play Glenn Close 2000 Tony Award Best Revival of a Play 2000 Tony Award Best Actor in Play Stephen Dillane 2000 Tony Award Best Actress in a Play Jennifer Ehle 2000 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play Sarah Woodward [nominee] 2000 Tony Award Best Direction of a Play David Leveaux [nominee]

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The Real Thing

The Real Thing is about marriage and writing, emotional fidelity and intellectual integrity, high art and pop culture.


Meet the playwright Tom Stoppard

The Real Thing

T

om Stoppard, a man renowned for his grasp and precision of English, grew up speaking Czech. Born Tomas Straussler in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, July 3, 1937, he moved to England as a young man after the death of his father and the subsequent remarriage of his mother to British military officer Kenneth Stoppard in 1946. Although precociously gifted, Stoppard decided early that school was of no consequence and left at 17 to start a career. As an up and coming writer, Stoppard claimed every opportunity. He started as a beat writer, first for the Western Daily Press (195458) and Bristol's Evening World (1958-60). That work evolved into a freelance career, which gave Stoppard freedom to work under pseudonyms and publish his own unique stories. He spent the 1962-63 theater season writing as William Boot. The name, a reference to the Evelyn Waugh novel Scoop, showed a penchant for wordplay that would remain furtive and hilarious throughout his work. It was only after his many futile attempts at creating a stage play, and failed attempts at television, radio and stage writing, he achieved success. In 1966, some Oxford students presented a one-act play of his at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which became almost an immediate success and was later turned into a full-length play that established Stoppard's credentials as a playwright. The play, which drew references from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, displayed his ability to recreate conventional

theatre techniques and use them for his own poignant musings on life, art and fate. The next few years proved very successful, both artistically and financially, as two of his most well-known and well-respected plays were written, Jumpers, in 1972, and Travesties (a modern reimagining of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest), in 1974. Following these triumphs, Stoppard began to expand his vision to the world at large and began to produce politicallyfocused and often confrontational work. He established himself as a major playwright of the late 20th century with plays such as The Real Thing, and continues adding to this reputation with plays such as Arcadia, in 1993, and The Invention of Love, in 1997. Tom Stoppard garnered his greatest commercial success from helping to write and reconfigue the life of Britain's most acclaimed writer. His funny, sad and moving portrait of a writing-blocked Bard went on to become photo courtesy of Annie Stoppard the multi-Academy Award winning film Shakespeare In Love. Critics said much of the film's success came from Stoppard's ability to not only make the character of Shakespeare human and vulnerable, but also to add his engrossing and witty insights on British culture and celebrities of the time.

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A long career Tom Stoppard’s work Movies Professional Foul, 1977 Brazil, 1985 (script nominated for an Academy Award) Empire of the Sun, 1987 The Russia House, 1990 Shakespeare In Love, 1998 (co-authored by Marc Norman, script won an Academy Award) Enigma, 2001 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, 2005 (uncredited dialogue polish) His Dark Materials (in production), 2005

“You have certain things to start with, and you start writing a play. And then you get lost in the play a bit, and the play starts doing things, which means you’re finding things out, but you don’t know whether that’s the purpose of the play. It’s just the play is difficult to write, and some of the solutions to some of the problems take the play in directions which you couldn’t have written down on a note pad before you started because they just weren’t there to write down. When you’re writing, the problem is the next line.” Tom Stoppard, interview with Joan Juliet Buck in Vogue, March, 1984

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The Real Thing

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, 1967 Enter a Free Man, 1967 The Real Inspector Hound, 1968 After Magritte, 1970 Jumpers, 1972 Travesties, 1974 Dirty Linen and New-Found Land, 1976 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, 1977 Night and Day, 1978 Dogg's Hamlet and Cahoot's Macbeth, 1979 Undiscovered Country, 1979 On the Razzle, 1981 The Real Thing, 1982 Rough Crossing, 1984 Dalliance, 1986 Hapgood, 1988 Arcadia, 1993 Indian Ink, 1995 The Invention of Love, 1997 The Coast of Utopia, 2002


Questions for Discussion 1. How does Stoppard use the concept of "play within a play" and what effect does it have on the way you view the characters?

SyracusStage The Real Thing

2. What general observations and specific critiques about the role of the playwright and his intentions in writing are offered up by Stoppard? What questions arise in regards to the function of the play in today's interactive environment? 3. What role does music play in the piece? Are the song choices specific to the emotional and psychological state of the characters? Is pop music more important because it can reach a wide audience, or is opera more important since it is considered "high art"? Does having these particular songs in the play date the work or make it less accessible to younger audiences? 4. Talk about the "idea" of Brodie versus the actual representation of him at the end of the play. What does his appearance say about the nature in which certain people exalt a person they do not know (i.e. a celebrity) based on the characters they play or the ideas they believe in? And how is that contrasted by the appearance of Henry's daughter Debbie earlier in the play? 5. Discuss the evolution of the relationship between Annie and Henry. They seem to exist on three very different levels, as "real" people, as artists (he a playwright and she an actress) and as characters. Does this ever-changing category of who they are affect the emotional connection and understanding they have of each other? 6. Each character seems to understand love in a completely different context. Go back and define how each character perceives of love and discuss how close it is to your own interpretation. 7. There is a common belief in most theatre that men cannot "write women" or portray them accurately within a play. We see that this is true of Henry, but how does Stoppard fare in his presentation of the female characters in this piece? Does he use Henry as a contrast or commentary on his own personal style? 8. In how many different ways can the title be interpreted? What exactly is "The Real Thing"?

Web sites www.TheatreHistory.com www.TheOnion.com, Satire publication American Folklife Center www.loc.gov/folklife Hufford, Mary. A Commonwealth of Cultures, Library of Congress, 1991 www.cultureclash.com Gussow, Mel. Conversations with Stoppard. New York: Limelight Editions, 1995

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James A. Clark Producing Director

Robert Moss Artistic Director

Janet Allen

Daniel Baker

Artistic Director

Managing Director

PRESENT

Intimate Apparel BY

Lynn Nottage DIRECTED BY

Timothy Douglas SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

Tony Cisek

Tracey Dorman

LIGHTING DESIGN

Michael Gilliam

SEASON SPONSORS

39

SOUND DESIGN

Jonathan Herter


A Step Back in Time Who’s who in Intimate Apparel Esther Mills: 35 year-old African American seamstress. Mrs. Dickson: 50 year-old widow and proprietor of the boarding house where Esther lives.

SyracusStage Intimate Apparel

George Armstrong: Black laborer from Barbados working in the Isthmus of Panama Mrs. Van Buren: early thirties; white, wealthy socialite, and Esther's client. Mr. Marks: Orthodox Jewish fabric shop owner, and Esther's business associate/friend. Mayme: 30 year-old Oberlin College-educated, African American composer, pianist, and prostitute; Esther's client and friend.

Other plays by Lynn Nottage Fabulation, 2004 Snapshot, 2003 Becoming American, 2003 Por’Knockers, 2000 Las Meninas, 2000 A Walk Through Time, 2000 Crumbs from the Table of Joy, 1998 Mud, River, Stone, 1998 Poof!, 1993

Plot Synopsis Intimate Apparel takes place in New York City, 1905. Esther, a 35-year- old single AfricanAmerican woman, makes an uncommon living for herself sewing fine lingerie. Esther take pride in her financial independence, for she is able to both support herself and save money towards her dream of opening a beauty parlor. Esther's skilled artistry and "discretion" allow her rare access to her clients' private lives, crossing race and class divides. She becomes the confidante of both an African-American prostitute and a sophisticated, white Manhattan socialite. Esther also befriends through her work an Orthodox Jewish textile merchant who shares her appreciation of exquisite fabrics. Despite these relationships, Esther struggles with loneliness and wishes for emotional fulfillment beyond her sewing machine. To abate this loneliness, Esther embarks on a courtship with a man laboring on the Panama Canal who wishes to correspond with her. Esther hopes that she may have finally found someone to share her life. However, the man behind the letters is not at all what she expects; neither, in fact, are her clients.

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40


Meet the playwright Lynn Nottage

L

playwriting, and fellowships from Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists and the New York Foundation for the Arts, where she is a member of the Artists Advisory Board. She is also the recipient of a NEA/TCG (99/00) grant for a year-long theatre residency at Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia. Ms. Nottage is a resident member of New Dramatists and a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is currently a visiting lecturer.

An anthology of her plays, Crumbs from the Table of Joy and Other Plays, was published by TCG, and includes Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Las Meninas, Mud, River, Stone, Por’Knocks and Poof! Her plays have been produced and developed at theatres throughout the country, including the Alliance Theatre, The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Second Stage, Freedom Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, Intiman, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf, Yale Rep, and the The Vineyard Theatre, among others. She wrote the feature film Side Streets (Merchant Ivory Productions), directed by Tony Gerber. The film was an official selection at the Venice and Sundance Film Festivals. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for literary excellence, 2005 Guggenheim grant for

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Intimate Apparel

ynn's most recent play, the Obie Award winning Fabulation or the Reducation of Undine, was recorded and broadcast by LA Theatreworks in December 2004, after having concluded a sold-out run at Playwrights Horizons in New York. Her earlier play, Intimate Apparel (produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Center Stage and Mark Taper Forum) is the winner of numerous awards including the coveted 2004 New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Best Play, John Gassner Award, American Theatre Critics/Steinberg 2004 New Play Award and 2004 Francesca Primus Award.


Separate Worlds Class issues in the early 20th century

B

age annual income was $380, well below the poverty line. In New York City's Lower East Side, poverty was compounded by a serious housing crisis. The influx of immigrants during the late 19th and early 20th century crowded the quickly diminishing space in the boroughs. To accommodate the increasing demand for housing, families lived in congested tenement buildings. These buildings were usually five stories tall, with four Without personal income tax to decrease their fortunes, tiny apartments on each floor. In New York City, by many New York millionaires enjoyed the excess by 1901, 83,000 tenements housed 70% of the city's popflaunting their money. In 1900, William K. Vanderbilt famously presented his wife with an enormous diamond ulation in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. The alarming rose, complete with gap between a diamond center. privilege and poverty was Vanderbilt and illuminated in other New York milJacob Riis' lionaires further dis1890 book, played their wealth How the through their opuOther Half lent homes. Fifth Lives. Riis, a Avenue, also known Danish-born as "Elite Street" or journalist and "Millionaire's Row," photographer, showcased the documented ostentatious manNew York's sions of millionaires slums through such as oil baron candid words John D. Rockefeller and disturbing and steel magnate photographs. Andrew Carnegie. Riis was In 1899, economist among the Thorsten Veblen most dedicatdefined this rationed advocates ale of striving to for America's acquire more than oppressed, one could ever Photo courtesy of the History Place, Lewis W. Hine exploited, and need as "conspicuous consumption." It wasn’t just seamstresses who worked in arduous conditions. For decades, defeated. children worked in the mills. The factories needed their small fingers to keep While Manhattan thrived with indus- the looms working properly. try and wealth, the majority of America struggled to make ends meet. In www.marxists.org/archive/deleon/works/1905/050710.htm 1890, 11 million of the nation's 12 million families earned less than $1200 per year; of this group, the aver-

SyracusStage Intimate Apparel

y the end of the 19th century, territorial expansion, industrialization, and railroad transportation had spurred great economic development in America. The United States was now home to more than 4,000 millionaires. Twenty-seven percent of these millionaires lived in New York City alone; no other American city approached this density of wealth.

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Esther’s world A primary source document

O

n the Lower East Side of New York City, crowded tenement rooms doubled as places to both live and work. Mothers enlisted young children to assist in stitching garments and finery that was manufactured elsewhere and sold uptown to the rich.

Daniel's speech emphasizes some common concerns of reformers in the Progressive Era (1900-1920): child welfare, poverty, and public health. Excerpted from a 1905 speech: "… Every garment worn by a woman is found being manufactured in tenement rooms. The coarsest homewrappers to the daintiest lace gown for a fine evening function are manufactured in these rooms. Corsets and shoes are the most uncommon. The adornments of woman's dress, the flowers and feathers for her hats, the hats themselves — these I have seen being made in the presence of small-pox, on the lounge with the patient. In this case the hats belonged to a Broadway firm. All clothing worn by infants and young children — dainty little dresses — I have seen on the same bed with children sick of contagious diseases and into these little garments is sewed some of the contagion. Every garment worn by men is found being manufactured in rooms whose legitimate use is for living purposes. Men's hats are less frequently found, but one wonders if there are men enough in the world to wear all the trousers that are finished in tenement rooms. All clothing when not being sewed upon is thrown on the bed or under it, on the floor or more often used as a couch for a child.

… The workers, poor, helpless, ignorant foreigners, work on in dirt, often in filth unspeakable, in the presence of all contagious and other diseases, and in apartments in which the sun enters only at noon or never at all… … The sick as long as they can hold their heads up, must work to pay for the cost of their living. As soon as they are convalescent they must begin again. The other day a girl of 8 years was dismissed from the diphtheria hospital after a severe attack of the disease. Almost immediately she was working at women's collars, although scarcely able to walk across the room alone… … Is there any other remedy? I believe that a law absolutely forbidding any manufacturer to have any part of his work done in a tenement-house could be enforced. If women must add to the income of the family they should do it in buildings built for this purpose; children at least under eight years of age would not be employed; men and women in the last stages of tuberculosis could not work because of inability to go to a factory. The children, the future Americans, would stand a better chance of becoming useful citizens; and the consumer possessed of much wealth or little, could know that his garments were not stained with the blood of helpless women and little children." — tenant.net/Community/LES/wreck7.html

In addition to wearing apparel, boxes, cigars, pocketbooks, jewelry, clocks, watches, wigs, fur garments, paper bags — anything the manufacturing, altering, repairing or finishing of which requires hand labor or simple machinery, is found in these rooms. Often one finds the women manufacturing, the man sorting fruit to

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Intimate Apparel

In 1905, Annie S. Daniel of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children spoke to the National Consumer's League, addressing the dreadful and disease-ridden conditions endured by tenement dwellers.

be sold on the street…


Questions for Discussion 1) Intimate Apparel introduces us to women from all walks of life. In what ways are these women bound together by their circumstances?

SyracusStage Intimate Apparel

2) What were some of the issues of class, race and social mores in Intimate Apparel? How do they compare with those same issues today? 3) How have the rights of women changed, and in particular women of color since 1905? Are women given the same rights as men nationally, globally? 4) Based on the setting in Intimate Apparel describe the environment, neighborhoods and the cultural climate of NYC at the turn of the century. If New York City in 1905 were a piece of cloth what would it’s texture be? 5) If Esther were living today with her skills and knowledge and the benefit of an education who might she be? What kind of job might she hold? 6) There is much left unsaid in Intimate Apparel, what do you think happens to each one of the characters? 7) There is an unusual relationship between Esther and Mr. Marks, what do you think is happening here? 8) How does Lynn Nottage's use of text suggest a metaphor for textiles and the delicate work of intimate apparel? 9) What do the set and costume pieces say about the characters in Intimate Apparel? How do they define character? 10) In Intimate Apparel how does the characters' use of physical space and personal mannerisms define their status in life? Can we determine a person's station or status in life based on their use physical space?

Web quest Go to: www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/ It contains photos and historical documents about the tragic Triangle Factory fire and the working conditions of the time of Intimate Apparel.

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James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

Bad Dates WRITTEN BY

Theresa Rebeck

DIRECTED BY

Michael Donald Edwards LIGHTING DESIGN

David Bauman

SCENERY AND COSTUMES

SOUND DESIGN

David Zinn

Jonathan Herter

SEASON SPONSORS

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Bad Dates Plot summary

B SByarda cDuastSetsa g e

ad Dates is a comedic one-person show written by Theresa Rebeck. This hilarious, off-beat comedy tells the story of a single mother, Haley, and her struggle to maintain some sort of balance between her professional life and romantic life while being a single parent. The play begins in her New York City apartment with Haley trying on multiple pairs of shoes from her extensive collection, and giving the audience a brief summation of her life story. While sharing stories regarding her shoe-shopping fetish, she manages to slip in some details concerning her personal life. She has a young daughter named Vera, and she was married very abruptly to a man named Roger (who unfortunately developed a nasty drug habit and sold Haley's Toyota for three pounds of marijuana). Haley wisely decided to get herself and her young daughter out of that situation and moved to New York City. She got a job as a waitress in a Romanian restaurant, managed to find an amazing rent controlled apartment ‌ and suddenly discovers that the restaurant she is working in is a front for the Romanian mob.

Haley became the manager when the owners and previous manager are arrested. Her decision about whether she should turn them in lifts the play into a a serious work. The restaurant becomes extremely successful due to Haley's exceptional managerial skills. Everything in her life is suddenly going perfectly — except for her personal life. A friend suddenly points out that Haley is an extremely successful career woman, desired by a vast array of men, and tells her that she is not taking full advantage of her position as a wanted woman. Haley realizes that her friend is correct in her analysis and decides to leap back into the world of dating. What follows is a hilarious, yet sensitive and touching account of her disastrous first few dates, the excitement and promise of a successful date, and overall simply the surprises and curveballs that life always seems to throw her way. Rebeck realistically captures the battle between vulnerability and toughness that is the single woman's plight, and carries the audience along with Haley from beginning to end on her compelling journey.

Cast of Characters in Bad Dates: Haley: She is a single mother in her mid-thirties. She is able to look at her life in an objective manner and appreciate the irony and complications that make it interesting. Haley is the only character the audience ever sees during the course of the play. She discusses the important people in her life, and we feel as if we know them from her astute observations and detailed descriptions. She is a sympathetic and likeable character, as well as being believable. Vera: Haley's teenage daughter, whom the audience never sees. Roger: Haley's ex-husband who had a drug problem; Haley left him when Vera was five years old. Eileen: Haley's best friend. She is the bartender at the restaurant that Haley now manages. The Bug Guy: A man that Haley meets at a Buddhist benefit. She is seated at his table, and quickly dismisses him as a "loser." However, first impressions aren't always accurate. B.J.: Haley's brother. She often turns to him for relationship advice. Lewis: A man that Haley dates; she met him while working at her restaurant.

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Meet the Playwright Theresa Rebeck

T

Bad Dates

heresa Rebeck's plays have been seen in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, London, and New York City. Her play, The Family of Mann, won the National Theatre Conference award for playwriting, and was named a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her play Spike Heels was seen in readings and workshops at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre and New York Stage and Film before being produced offBroadway at the Second Stage Theatre of New York in the spring of 1992, starring Kevin Bacon and Tony Goldwyn. Sunday on the Rocks was produced to critical acclaim in Boston, and was presented by the International Women in Theatre conference in 1987. Loose Knit was seen at New York Stage and Film, the Long Wharf Theatre, of New Haven, Second Stage, in New York, and The Source, in Washington. Her one-acts have been produced by Alice's Fourth Floor, the Westbank, Manhattan Punchline, Double Image, New Georges, Naked Angels and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. She collaborated with Bill Irwin on a piece produced by Seattle Rep in April of 1994, and she recently completed the book for a musical based on the 19th Century melodrama The Two Orphans. Rebeck also has written for the television series Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law and NYPD Blue. Rebeck earned her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing and her Ph.D. in Victorian Literature at Brandeis University, where she met her husband, the stage manager, Jess Lynn.

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Funny Women

SByarda cDuastSetsa g e

A brief history of female comedians Lucille Ball was born August 6, 1911, in Jamestown, New York. For more than a decade she was American TV's most popular comedians, known for her flaming red hair and her talent for slapstick situation comedy. She starred in five different TV shows during her career; the original, I Love Lucy (1951-1957), still stands as one of the great TV landmarks of the 1950s. The show was consistently ranked number one in the ratings, and continued in reruns for decades. I Love Lucy also starred Ball's real-life husband, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz. The couple had two children, Desi Jr. and Lucie. Lucy and Desi formed a successful TV production company known as Desilu, which set a standard for innovation. Desilu began the innovation of shooting shows on film in front of a live audience. They combined the excitement of live performance with the quality control of film, and enabled reruns and syndication, thus transforming television economics. Television history also notes Ball for her role in establishing the role of producer as a major artistic force. The production company established Ball as a major businesswoman in Hollywood. She died in 1989 from complications after open heart surgery. She remains the standard to which all other female comediennes must aspire. Fanny Brice was born in New York City on October 29, 1891 Fanny Borach took "Brice" as a stage name. She appeared first at age thirteen in a talent contest in Brooklyn where she sang and won first prize. In 1910, Florenz Ziegfeld heard Brice singing in a burlesque house and made her a headliner in his Follies of that year. Her comic routines and parodies became highly popular. Already famous as a comedian, she first attained real stardom in the 1921 edition of the Follies, in which she introduced

the song, "My Man," which became her trademark. She appeared with such major Broadway performers as W.C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, and Will Rogers in the Follies and in other shows. She was featured on the radio for many years, and also appeared in a few motion pictures. She died on May 29, 1951, in Hollywood, California. Her life was the subject of the Broadway musical Funny Girl, which later became a motion picture starring Barbara Streisand. Gilda Radner is known as one of the great comedic geniuses of the 20th century, ranked with Lucille Ball and other comedy legends. She was born in 1946, the younger of two children. She enrolled at the University of Michigan, but dropped out and moved to Canada. Here, she made her stage debut in Godspell with John Belushi. In 1975, she was the first person cast for Saturday Night Live, the show that would make her a household name. Radner had a knack for combining extreme physical comedy with soft, caring characters that were easy to love. She remained part of the show for five years, and married actor Gene Wilder in 1980. When she left Saturday Night Live, she went on to have her own show on Broadway. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer soon after, and battled with it for several years. She passed away in her sleep on May 20, 1989. Wilder set up Gilda’s Club in her memory. The organization raises money for ovarian cancer research and education. Whoopi Goldberg was born in Manhattan as Caryn Elaine Johnson. She worked in a funeral parlor and as a bricklayer while taking bit parts on the Broadway stage. She moved to California and worked with several improv groups, and developed her skills as a stand-up comedian. She first came to be well known with her supporting role in the movie The Color Purple. Whoppi cemented her status as a major Hollywood star when she appeared in the box office smash Ghost. She has alternated between stand-up comedy, big-budget movies, independent movies, tributes, documentaries, and TV movies. She has become a unique talent in Hollywood, and despite her vast array of work, she is best known for her talents as a comedic actress. continued on next page

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Funny Women continued

Goldie Hawn was born November 21, 1945 in Washington, D.C. Hawn made her debut when she was hired as a dancer for TV's Laugh-In, the comedy show of the late 1960's. She was given jokes to read, which she consistently flubbed, and she soon became one of the show's most popular costars. She won an Oscar for her major movie debut, a supporting role in Cactus Flower (1969) with Walter Matthau). She's appeared in many light comedies, and is best known for her role in the 1980 comedy, Private Benjamin and for her physical comedy. Rosie O'Donnell was born March 21, 1962, in Commack, N.Y. O'Donnell

was a stand-up comedian whose career took flight when she landed a role alongside Tom Hanks and Madonna in the 1992 baseball movie A League of Their Own. She also was the wisecracking best friend to Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and she moved into daytime television in 1996 as an extremely upbeat and cheerful talk show host. The Rosie O'Donnell Show focused on entertainment rather than conflicts and major issues, which set it apart from the Oprah Winfrey show and others of that era. O'Donnell won the Daytime Emmy Award as outstanding talk show host in 1997, 1998, and 1999. She left the show in 2002. O’Donnell is perhaps the successor to Lucille Ball in the role of producer.

Carol Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1933. After studying at the University of California, Los Angeles, she made her Broadway debut in a musical, Once Upon a Mattress (1959), and went on to appear in a few other Broadway shows before moving into television, appearing as a regular on the Garry Moore show (1959–62) and on occasional CBS-TV specials. This led to her own comedy-variety show, The Carol Burnett Show (1967–79). She appeared in several feature films, such as Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), and television films including Friendly Fire (1979), and in 1991 revived her television comedy series with Carol and Company. An accomplished singer and dancer, she is known for her ability to use her expressive face and full-throated voice in playing a variety of broad comic roles. Carol Burnett presented Lucille Ball with a lifetime achievement award in 1982.

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Bad Dates

Ellen Degeneres was born January 26, 1958 in New Orleans and is known as an actress, host of a syndicated talk show, and a stand-up comedian. She rose to national attention when her stand-up material was turned into the subject matter for the 1990s sitcom, Ellen. The show was quite popular for its first few seasons due mostly to DeGeneres's quick and witty style of observational humor. The show reached its peak of attention in April of 1997 when DeGeneres herself (as well as her character on the show) publicly declared that she was a lesbian. She was one of the first openly gay performers playing an openly gay character on television, and she became seen by many as a gay rights activist. She hosted the Emmy Awards in 2002, and received several standing ovations for her performance that evening. She has performed two critically acclaimed stand-up routines, the first called Ellen DeGeneres: The Beginning (2000) and was taped live at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The second was Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now (2003). Her day-time television talk show that began in September of 2003 has received critical praise and was nominated for eleven Daytime Emmy Awards, winning four.


Meet Theresa Rebeck

SyracusStage Bad Dates

Her thoughts "I spend a lot of time thinking about America, who we are as a people and a culture and a nation, and I have always felt that the theatre is a truly appropriate place to examine these issues, the way David Hare examines what it means to be British. What goes on in Washington, which is clearly power mongering of the highest order, has absolutely nothing to do with who we purport to be historically, which is why I think people are so tired of it all. We are all taught that being an American means striving for justice and equality, and we're offended that so many of our leaders seem more interested in sniping at each other than trying to enact those principles in law. For years I have been wallowing in the belief that the world has gotten too wired; that social satire and documentary are now the same form. Sometimes when I try this theory out on people, they think I'm kidding. I'm not. In the post-Monica Lewinsky era, there is something both gratifying and disturbing about finding out how right I actually am." "In the early ‘90s, my work, which at the time I considered to be fairly straightforward comic realism, was increasingly being branded as "feminist." People thought I was making a big political statement; mostly what I was really trying to do was write what I knew, which was what it means for this one person (me) to be a woman in the late twentieth century in America." "As a writer, I have always considered it my job to describe the world as I know it; to struggle toward whatever portion of the truth is available to me. I am a feminist in that I believe that women are as fully human as men and that their experiences are as worthy of representation, as universally significant, as men's. I believe that the hero's journey is both male and female. I believe that, as a rule, women are as deeply flawed as men are. I'm interested in writing about the way both genders make mistakes and the ways we grow or don't grow. Unfortunately, as we live in a sexist world, these beliefs are still perceived as radical and dangerous by some of those who have appointed themselves the protectors of the culture.

"Over the years the critical unease with women playwrights and what they might actually choose to write about has become apparent to me. One male critic actually chose his review of my play Loose Knit as an opportunity to lecture me, and in fact all women playwrights, on the subjects that would be appropriate for women to write about. Many of my friends, upon reading this, were enraged at such a patently patriarchal arrogance. I got lots of phone calls about how unfair it all was. Now, years later, I laugh about it. What are you gonna do? Just last week, I had a producer gently castigate me for writing satires because, she sighed, "It makes you sound so angry." I pointed out that anger is not necessarily a bad thing for a writer to have. (Charles) Dickens was angry. (Richard) Sheridan was angry. (George Bernard) Shaw was angry. (John) Osborne was angry; (David) Mamet is angry. Angels in America, the most celebrated play of my lifetime, is a very angry play. She shrugged; I was once again being obtuse. Apparently, if men are angry, that's cultural, but a woman's anger is something else altogether." "I have often thought that gender bias is the hidden sin of the American Theatre." "I am a woman, I am an American, I am a mother, I sometimes write for television, and I sometimes write movies; I play the piano, I knit, I rail at the universe; I am angry, I am sad; I am a comic realist, a misanthrope, and an idealist. There are many ways to categorize me, and my work. But for myself, I would most like to be considered a playwright."

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James A. Clark Producing Director

Robert Moss Artistic Director

Janet Allen

Daniel Baker

Artistic Director

Managing Director

PRESENT

King Lear BY

William Shakespeare DIRECTED BY

Michael Donald Edwards

SCENIC AND COSTUME DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

David Zinn

Lap Chu Chi SOUND DESIGN

Jonathan Herter

SEASON SPONSORS

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Life on the Edge Who’s Who in King Lear King Lear is ruler of Britain. He's a patriarchal figure whose misjudgment of his daughters brings about his downfall.

SyracusStage King Lear

Goneril is Lear's treacherous eldest daughter and wife to the Duke of Albany. Regan is Lear's treacherous second daughter, and wife to the Duke of Cornwall. Cordelia is Lear's youngest daughter. The Duke of Albany is Goneril's husband. Goneril scorns him for his "milky gentleness." He turns against his wife later in the play . The Duke of Cornwall is Regan's husband. He carries out much of the play’s treachery. The Earl of Gloucester is Edgar's father, and the father of the illegitimate son, Edmund. The Earl of Kent is always faithful to Lear, but he is banished by the king after he protests against Lear's treatment of Cordelia. He takes on a disguise and serves the king without letting him know his true identity. Edmund is Gloucester's illegitimate son. He works with Goneril and Regan to further his ambitions, and the three of them form a romantic triangle. Edgar is the legitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester. Disguised as Tom of Bedlam, he helps his blind father. Oswald is Goneril's servant, and is described as "a serviceable villain.” The Fool is the court jester who is devoted to Lear and Cordelia. The Fool and Cordelia never appear on stage together; it is likely that in original productions they were played by the same actor, Robin Armin, but some have also speculated that the characters themselves could be identical (near the end of the play, Lear says "and my poor fool is hanged," a line which could refer to the Fool, but in context is more likely to refer to the hanged Cordelia).

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William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616

W

illiam Shakespeare, third son of John Shakespeare, glover and trader, and Mary Arden, landowner'sdaughter, was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1564. His birthdate is celebrated April 23 by convention only; since Shakespeare himself left no personal records we glimpse him only through official records. In 1568 his father was elected mayor of Stratford. Young William would have attended the town's free school to learn his "small Latin and little Greek." But merchant's sons did not attend university, so his schooling was probably over when he was 15, in 1579.

very big hit for Strange's Men, which may have led to Will's being hired by them. Many scholars believe that Shakespeare wrote Love's Labor's Lost, Romeo and Juliet, King John, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard II between 1594 and '96, as a member of the Chamberlain's (Stranges) Men.

In November 1582 young Will and Anne Hathaway were issued a marriage license; in May 1583 their daughter Susanna was christened. Some believe Will was forced to marry Anne when she became pregnant but others point out that formal betrothal, to which they had committed Love's Labor's Lost was the first of themselves, was both legalhis plays to be published, in 1598. ly binding and permitted As Shakespeare did not come from a noble Once King James of Scotland conjugal rights. In early background no portraits or pictures of the came to Elizabeth's throne in 1603 1585 the Shakespeares Bard, or any members of his family, were comChamberlain's Men became the became the proud parents missioned. Neither is there any evidence that King's Men and performed twice of twins, Judith and Shakespeare commissioned his own portrait or as often at court than before. This Hamnet. By then John pictures in his later, prosperous years. There is "new" audience saw Othello, All's Shakespeare had suffered no evidence that a portrait or pictures were Well That Ends Well, Measure for financial setbacks and ever painted of the Bard whilst he was still Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, shortly thereafter, Will alive, nor is there any written description of his Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, seems to have left Stratford. physical appearance. The following images or and perhaps Pericles and Timon of pictures of William Shakespeare were all Athens between 1603 and 1608. Although several acting apparently crafted after his death. The pictures In the Blackfriar's Theatre they companies are known to portrayed of Shakespeare differ dramatically. enjoyed Henry VIII, The Winter's have passed through Tale, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Stratford (the Earl of and Cymbeline. Leicester's Men in 1586, the Queen's Men in 1587), none seems to have filled Between 1608 and 1611 Shakespeare gradually withvacancies while "on drew from the King's Men and London, retiring to the road," so it is unlikely Shakespeare traveled to Stratford. The Tempest, generally considered to be his last London in a troupe. Somehow though, between play, may have been written at his home, New Place; it 1589 and 1592, he became a London actor and somewas presented by Burbage's troupe in 1611. Shakespeare time playwright. It is known that several of died at home on April 23, 1616. Shakespeare's early plays The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, the Henry VII plays and possibly The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III were performed by such troupes as Sussex's, Admiral's, Pembroke's and Strange's before the plague hit in 1592, and that Richard III was a

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King Lear

In 1596, Will's son Hamnet died. After 1599, when he became a partner in James Burbage's new Globe Theatre and began to share in the "box office" take, the popularity of the plays written between 1596 and 1603 allowed him to send more money home. These plays include: The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, both parts of Henry IV, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Hamlet, Twelfth Night and Troilus and Cressida.


Key Dates In Shakespeare’s history 1564: born in Stratford-on-Avon. 1568: his father John Shakespeare is elected Bailiff (aka mayor). November 1582: Will and Anne Hathaway are issued a marriage license.

SyracusStage King Lear

May 1583: Their daughter Susanna is christened. Early 1585: The Shakespeares become the parents of twins, Judith and Hamnet. 1592: Robert Greene quotes Henry VI in a poem. by 1594: The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, the Henry plays and possibly The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III, performed by such troupes as Sussex’s, Admiral’s, Pembroke’s and Strange’s before the plague hits London and the theatres are closed. 1593-94: the poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. 1594 – 96: Love’s Labor’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, King John, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II. 1596: John Shakespeare granted a coat of arms; Hamnet Shakespeare dies. 1596 – 1603: The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, both parts of Henry IV, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Troilus and Cressida. 1597 – 1603: purchases a Stratford estate for his family, New Place, and parcels of land. 1598: Love’s Labors Lost published. 1601: John Shakespeare dies. 1603: Elizabeth I dies and is succeeded by her nephew, James VI of Scotland. 1603 - 08: Othello, All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, and perhaps Pericles and Timon of Athens (left unfinished). 1608 – 11: Henry VIII, The Winter’s Tale, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cymbeline, and The Tempest. Shakespeare’s mother dies. 1616: Dies at home, New Place, on April 23.

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Lear’s beginnings In Shakespeare’s time

T

he basic story of King Lear comes from an old folk tale in which a father asks his three daughters to tell him how much they love him.

ship. In Holinshed, Cordelia puts her father back on the throne, and succeeds him as ruler, only to kill herself after being usurped by her nephews years later. The anonymous play of King Leir tells essentially the same story, with Leir and Cordelia both surviving to live happily at the play’s end.

Shakespeare regularly used Holinshed ’s Chronicles as a source for his history plays and here turns to him again for an account of King Lear, who may have ruled in Briton around the year 800, and his decision to divide his kingdom between his daughters, Regan and Goneril.

It’s not just novelty that gives a work of art its value. In King Lear, the vivid characters, the political insights, the humor, the rich language, and the keen understanding of human variety all come together to create a work that has lasted over 400 years and centuries after even the king, who inspired it has been forgotten.

To these older stories, Shakespeare added the subplot about Gloucester and his sons, borrowed from yet another source, Sir Philip Sidney ’s 1590 The Countess Versions of this story of a father’s mistake and his of Pembroke’s Arcadia. He was also inspired by landaughters’ love have appeared around the world since guage and ideas from Samuel Harsnett’s Declaration of before the existence of written documents. And Egregious Popish Imposture and from John Florio’s Shakespeare would have been familiar with several translation of published verMontaigne’s sions when he Essays, pubsat down to Your class can investigate and read some of the sources for King Lear at: lished in write King Lear. www.pitt.edu/~dash/salt.html 1603. Geoffrey of www.irenemuskal.org/sidebars/salt.asp Monmouth’s www.familymanagement.com/literacy/grimms/grimms128.html Shakespeare Historia regium www.discoverturkey.com/english/kultursanat/halk-edebiyat-masal.html borrowed eleritanniae, first www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/crane/waterandsalt.html ments of the published in the plot, names 12th century, and ideas inspired many from many of Shakespeare sources, but ’s contempowith the addiraries. Popular Elizabethan versions of the story which tion of his uniquely remarkable language and imagery Shakespeare borrowed from included John Higgins ’ he created a wholly original work. Shakespeare’s most 1574 A Mirror for Magistrates, William Warner ’s 1586 profound change to the old tale was in his ending. and Edmund Spencer ’s 1590 The Faerie Queen. The two most direct sources for the main story of All of the versions Shakespeare drew on led up to the Shakespeare’s King Lear are Raphael Holinshed ’s 1587 king and his daughter happily reunited with order Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland and an restored. Only in Shakespeare is Cordelia murdered, anonymous play of the 1590 ’s called The True and only Shakespeare gives a dark ending. Chronicle History of King Leir and his Three Daughters.

His youngest, Cordelia, is banished for her honesty, and, as in Shakespeare, she marries without a dowry and leads an invasion to restore her father to his king-

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King Lear

The first two are effusive, but the third, who he has always loved best, tells him simply that she loves him like salt. Her father disowns her for her unimpressive reply, only to learn years later that she meant that salt was essential.


Plot Intrigues of Kingdoms and Hearts

KS iynrga cLuesaSrt a g e

T

he aged King Lear announces that he has decided to retire, and will divide his land among his three grown daughters. He offers to give the most land to the daughter who declares the greatest love for him. His eldest daughters Regan and Goneril vie to outdo each other with their claims of love and devotion. But Cordelia, the youngest,refuses to flatter her father. She will say no more than that she loves him as a daughter should love her father. King Lear is enraged by Cordelia’s refusal to pander, and he disowns her. He announces he will divide his kingdom between Regan and Goneril. He will give them all his wealth, property and power, retaining only his title and 100 knights and will live with each of them, alternating monthly. When the Earl of Kent tries to intercede on Cordelia’s behalf, he too is banished. The Earl of Gloucester, one of Lear’s close advisors, has two sons of his own: Edgar, his legitimate heir, and Edmund, who is illegitimate. Edmund resents that he is denigrated as a bastard. He plots to gain his father’s inheritance by convincing Gloucester that Edgar is planning to kill him. Edmund then informs Edgar of their fathe ’s rage, and Edgar goes into hiding in the disguise of “Mad Tom,” a madman. Lear goes first to stay with Goneril and her husband, the Duke of Albany. But he and Goneril quarrel bitterly, and, feeling disrespected and betrayed, he leaves to stay with Regan. She and her husband, the Duke of Cornwall, have gone to Gloucester’s, and Lear and his men follow them. Goneril joins them and she and Regan unite against Lear. Powerless, Lear storms out,with only his Fool and Kent, (who has disguised himself as a servant to defy Lear’s banishment) to accompany him. Regan and Goneril take over Gloucester’s household and order him to bar his door to the King. Stripped of all he once possessed, Lear rants on a heath in the midst of a wild storm. Looking for shelter, he and the Fool encounter Edgar, in his ‘Tom O ’Bedlam’ disguise.

Gloucester, who has naively confided in Edmund that he has had word from Cordelia that she is bringing French forces to defend King Lear, and does not even recognize Edgar in his disguise. Edmund betrays his father to Regan and Cornwall. When Gloucester returns from helping Lear, Regan presses Cornwall to gouge out his eyes. A servant, protecting Gloucester, mortally wounds Cornwall, and Regan throws the blind and wounded Gloucester out of his house. Edgar, still in disguise as a madman, finds his blind father wandering the heath and cares for him. Gloucester is intent on suicide, and Edgar tricks him into thinking he has leapt from a cliff and miraculously survived, when really he has only fallen a few feet. Goneril, Regan, Edmund and Albany prepare for war against the French forces Cordelia has brought to save King Lear. Regan and Goneril have both developed a passion for Edmund, and jealousy rears its head as the battle commences. Lear awakens from a deep sleep, safe with Cordelia and his French allies. His sanity is restored and the estranged father and daughter have a scene of reconciliation before the battle begins. Regan and Goneril’s forces fight Cordelia’s French troops,and in the battle, Cordelia and King Lear are taken captive. Edmund secretly orders their immediate execution. Albany, who has learned from Edgar Goneril and Edmund planned to kill him, demands the prisoners. When Edmund refuses, Albany has him, Goneril and Regan arrested for treason. Goneril, mad with jealousy over Edmund, has secretly poisoned Regan, who dies. Edmund and Edgar duel,and Edgar mortally wounds his brother,avenging their father,who has died. Edmund confesses his treacherous acts,and Goneril flees to kill herself. Edmund tries to stop the executions of Cordelia and King Lear , but his word comes too late. King Lear enters carrying Cordelia ’s dead body. He dies, leaving Kent, Edgar and Albany as the survivors of his kingdom.

This section is excerpted from Lincoln Center Theater’s Open States education program’s study guide for King Lear. It was written by Victoria Abrash and is used by permission of Lincoln Center Theater.

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Questions for Discussion 1. Before the show, discuss what your students expect to see on the stage when they attend the performance of King Lear. Have each student make a list of predictions about what they expect. Save these predictions. After seeing the show, revisit them to see how they compared to the actual production. 2. Have your students make a story map or a storyboard outlining the main events of the play. (This may be used later in group activities.) 3. Have your students create a character web showing how all the characters are connected to each other. Discuss the complexity of these relationships and how they affect the progression of the play.

5. During Shakespeare ’s lifetime, King Lear was published under the title True Chronicle History of the Life and Death of King Lear and his Three Daughters,With the Unfortunate Life of Edgar, Son and Heir to the Earl of Gloucester, and his Sullen and Assumed Humour of Tom O Bedlam. Note the difference between the originally published title and the one we know the play by today. Which do your students think is a better title? Discuss the purposes of a title, such as to advertise, entice or inform. What are the advantages of each of the two King Lear titles in terms of the different things a title can do? Ask your students to suggest some other titles that they think would be appropriate for King Lear. 6. The story of King Lear has appealed to artists and audiences around the world for 400 years. What do your students think the play’s message is? What parts did they respond to the most? Were there parts they wished were different? How?

This section is excerpted from Lincoln Center Theater’s Open States education program’s study guide for King Lear. It was written by Victoria Abrash and is used by permission of Lincoln Center Theater.

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King Lear

4. Have your students draw two (or more) concentric circles on the chalkboard. In one circle, place charactors that share some characteristic quality or similarity. In the adjoining circle,place characters that are their opposite. Which characters overlap? How many different groupings can your class think of? What is the effect of these differences and similarities in the play?


For further research Web sites SyracusStage King Lear

MIT Shakespeare Homepage: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare The Complete Text of Shakespeare ’s King Lear with Quarto and Folio Variations, Annotations,and Commentary, by Dr. Larry A. Brown, professor of theater, Nashville, TN: larryavisbrown.homestead.com/files/Lear/lear_home.htm Nahum Tate ’s 1681 adaptation of King Lear newark.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/tatelear.html The 1608 Quarto edition, dewey.library.upenn.edu/SCETI/PrintedBooksNew/index.cfm?TextID=lear_q2&PagePosition=1 Sources for King Lear, Other Pieces of the Lear Legend: Holinshed, Sidney and Spencer. Excerpts from Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles,Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and Edmund Spencer’s The Faerie Queen, which served as sources for King Lear. users.bigpond.net.au/catchus/other%20pieces.html Shakespeare: Chill with Will, Shakespeare ’s Life and Times, Shakespeare Online www.shakespeare-online.com

Books Beckerman, Bernard, Shakespeare and the Globe, 1599-1609, 1962. Bentley, G.E., Shakespeare: A Biographical Handbook, 1951. Burgess,Anthony, Shakespeare, 1970. Epstein,Norrie, The Friendly Shakespeare, 1992. Ericson, Peter, Patriarchal Structure in Shakespeare’s Drama, 1985. Frye, R.M., Shakespeare’s Life and Times:a Pictorial Record, 1967. Gurr, Andrew, The Shakespearean Stage,1574-1642, 1980. Halio, J.L.,ed. Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s King Lear, 1996. Hodges, C.Walter, Shakespeare and the Players, 1948. James, Max H.“ Our House Is Hell”:Shakespeare’s Troubled Families,Kermode,Frank.Shakespeare:King Lear:A Casebook, 1992. Martin,William F. The Indissoluble Knot: King Lear as Ironic Drama, McAlindon, Shakespeare’s Tragic Cosmos, 1991. Muir, Kenneth and Samuel Schoenbaum, eds., A New Companion to Shakespeare Studies Nagler, A.M., Shakespeare’s Stage, 1985. Schoenbaum, Samuel, William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life, 1975. Schwartz, Elias. The Mortal Worm:Shakespeare’s Master Theme. Sundelson, David. Shakespeare’s Restoration of the Father, 1983. Taylor, Gary, Reinventing Shakespeare, 1989. Thomson, Peter, Shakespeare’s Theater, 1983. Tillyard, E.M.W., The Elizabethan World Picture, 1943. Wells, Stanley, ed.,The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies, 1986.

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Robert Moss

James A. Clark Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

The Fantasticks BOOK AND LYRICS BY

MUSIC BY

Tom Jones

Harvey Schmidt DIRECTED BY

TBA CHOREOGRAPHED BY

MUSICAL DIRECTION BY

COSTUME DESIGN

SCENIC DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

SOUND DESIGN

Jonathan Herter

SEASON SPONSORS

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A Fanciful World Who’s who in The Fantasticks The Narrator (El Gallo): El Gallo sings to the audience.

in order to end the fake feud.

The Girl (Luisa): A button-maker's young and pretty daughter, Luisa is in love with Matt.

The Man Who Dies (Mortimer): An actor who specializes in dying, Mortimer is hired by the two fathers to stage an abduction in order to end the fake feud.

The Boy's Father (Hucklebee): Father of Matt, Hucklebee is pretending to fight with Bellamy in order to get Matt and Luisa together. The Girl's Father (Bellamy): A button-maker and the father of Luisa, Bellamy is faking a fight with Hucklebee in order to get Matt and Luisa together. The Old Actor (Henry): An ancient actor who specializes in reciting passages from Shakespeare's plays, Henry is hired by the two fathers to stage an abduction

The Mute: Holds up a stick representing a wall, and deals with props. The Handyman The Pianist The Harpist www.bard.org/Education/Other/thefantisticksch.html

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SyracusStage The Fantasticks

The Boy (Matt): The son of Hucklebee, Matt is in love with Luisa.

Drama Desk Award, 1961, Citation of Excellence to Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

The Fantasticks ran for 17,162 performances offBroadway.

Special Tony AwardÂŽ for Excellence in the Theatre, 1992

It opened May 3, 1960 and ran until January 13, 2002

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A Fable The plot of The Fantasticks

T

El Gallo is helped in the abduction by two actors who are down on their luck — one Mortimer (who specializes in dying) and one rather old Henry (who specializes in reciting mixed up passages from Shakespeare's plays). The actors succeed in the abduction with just a little bungling and Matt emerges as the hero having vanquished all three actors with his wooden sword. Our girl, our boy, and our fathers embrace in a loving tableau. Act Two opens on our families still in the same frozen positions. The fathers tell their children that the abduction and feud were all arranged. El Gallo makes his appearance with the bill for the abduction, and Matt tries to sword fight him again, but this time he loses. Our fathers part, angry with each other over gardening habits, and our lovers part, over equally trivial things. Matt heads down the road "to a world that's gleaming," and Luisa sheds a tear as they separate.

At this point El Gallo and Matt sing a song from opposite sides. Matt is looking for a "bright shining somewhere." As Matt heads off, Mortimer and Henry turn up to accompany Matt on his journey. El Gallo informs us of the passing of the month of October. Next we see our two fathers by the wall that is being fortified; however, they start discussing the fact that they haven't heard from Matt for over a month. They end up by singing a song about how much they enjoy gardening because, unlike children, vegetables are dependable. We find Luisa daydreaming when suddenly she sees El Gallo sitting up in a tree. She is happy to see "her bandit" since she is obviously infatuated by his good looks and decides to climb the tree to sit beside him. She asks him if he won't take her "To the parties! To the world!" El Gallo and Luisa dance, and the Mute hands her a paper, laughing mask to wear over her face. While they are dancing, Luisa sees Matt in various dangerous circumstances — first being burned by Mortimer and Henry, then being beaten by them, and then being forced to sit on nails. In each case Luisa feels no compassion as long as she keeps the mask to her face. El Gallo agrees to take Luisa and run away with her. As Luisa runs off to pack, we notice that Matt has returned and has been watching. Now Matt knows that the world is not gleaming — it contains hunger and sorrow. He tries to stop El Gallo from leaving Luisa, but it is useless. Luisa returns to find El Gallo gone and sinks to her knees. As narrator once again, El Gallo explains that hurting them was a necessary part of their growing. He and the fathers watch as our two lovers once again face each other and sing, "You are love" — only this time, everyone is wiser. One father suggests they tear down the wall and El Gallo responds, "No. Leave the wall. Remember — you must always leave the wall. . . . Deep in December it's nice to remember / The fire of September that made us mellow." www.bard.org/Education/Other/thefantastickssy.html

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The Fantasticks

he Fantasticks opens in with El Gallo singing, "Try to Remember the Kind of September." El Gallo addresses the audience as narrator and tells us the simple story of a boy (Matt), a girl (Luisa), two fathers (Hucklebee and Bellamy), and a wall (often played by a Mute holding up a stick). From the beginning we realize that Luisa is young, innocent, pretty, and thinks she's in love with her neighbor that's just over the wallMatt. Matt feels the same about Luisa. But when their fathers appear, the lovers do not show their affection since the two fathers are supposedly engaged in a private feud with each other. However, we quickly discover that the fathers have concocted the feud for no other reason than to get their two children togethe — a kind of reverse psychology in action. They are actually good friends and have built the wall simply to add to the deception. There is only one difficulty: they can't decide how to end the feud. Finally one father suggests that they hire a man (El Gallo) to stage a fake abduction. They both agree. The plan is that El Gallo will abduct Luisa, Matt will run in to save her and defeat El Gallo, and Matt will become the hero, thus ending the feud.


Time Capsule The world of The Fantasticks’ premier, 1960 The Fantasticks premiered on May 3, 1960,at The Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York City and played for 17,162 performances before closing on January 13, 2002.

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SyracusStage The Fantasticks

Almost 60 percent of American families owned their own homes. Approximately 90 percent of Americans owned at least one television set. World population in 1960 had grown to 3 billion. (In comparison, the CIA estimated world population in 2005 at more than 6 billion) The first automated post office was dedicated in Providence, Rhode Island. Also, the Post Office experimented with facsimile mail (faxes). On September 26, 75 million Americans watch the Presidential debate on TV. After these debates, Democrat John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Vice President Richard M. Nixon in the November presidential election. Broadway closed down for nearly two weeks due to an actors' strike. 16-year-old Bobby Fischer won the U.S. Chess Championship. The ATM is invented by Luther Simjian. Theodore Maiman uses a synthetic ruby to build the first true laser. Taking a food order by telephone, Domino's delivers a pizza. Zenith tests subscription TV; unsuccessful. Mattel's Chatty Cathy doll speaks 11 phrases in random order.

Greensboro, N.C., lunch counters. The city desegregates eating places July 25. Enovid 10 is introduced in August by G. D. Searle — it was the first commercially available birth control pill. "The Twist" by Hank Ballard is recorded by Ernest "Chubby Checker" Evans, and launches an international dance craze. Around 2,000 electronic computers are delivered to U.S. business offices, universities, laboratories, and other buyers. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC-known as Snick), a group of young people working for civil rights, is founded in Raleigh, North Carolina. Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Willard Frank Libby, for his method to use Carbon-14 dating for age determination in archaeology and other sciences 33rd Annual Academy Awards: Best Picture: The Apartment Best Actor: Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry Best Actress: Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 3rd Annual Grammy Awards: Record of the Year: Percy Faith for Theme from A Summer Place Album of the Year: Bob Newhart for Button Down Mind Song of the Year: Ernest Gold - Composer for Theme from Exodus Best New Artist: Bob Newhart Major Films: Exodus, Spartacus, Psycho, Elmer Gantry, Inherit the Wind, The Entertainer, The Magnificent Seven, Pollyanna Books: Rabbit, Run (John Updike) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

African-Americans begin to "sit-in" on February 1 at

www2.lhric.org/pocantico/century/1960s/1960.htm www.fashionera.com/1950s/1950s_9_timeline_chart.htm

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Meet the Creators Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

T

om Jones and Harvey Schmidt wrote The Fantasticks for a summer theatre production at Barnard College. Their relationship began unofficially at the University of Texas in 1950 with a musical revue entitled Hipsy-Boo! for which the former wrote comedy sketches and the latter served as musical director.

After graduation, while both of them were serving in the army during the "Korean conflict," the two continued their informal collaboration by mail, exchanging lyrics and musical tapes back and forth between the camps where they were based. Upon discharge, the pair came to New York and took the West Side flat which still serves as office and home for composer Schmidt. The first New York years were more productive for Schmidt than for Jones, who eked out a meager existence "teaching a little bit, conducting a theatre workshop at St. Bartholomew's Community Club, and trying, unsuccessfully, to become established as a director." Schmidt, for his part, was becoming widely recognized in the field of commercial art, first as a graphic artist for NBC Television, and then as a freelance illustrator for such magazines as Life, Harpers Bazaar, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. The two continued writing together, contributing revue material for Julius Monk's Upstairs-Downstairs shows and Ben Bagley's Shoestring Revues. And in their spare time, they worked on a full-scale musical based on a little-known Rostand play called Les Romanesques. The plot, which spoofs Romeo and Juliet by having the parents invent a feud in order to make their children fall in

"I always imagined everybody on real horses on the stage of the Winter Garden," adds composer Schmidt. "Eventually," says Jones, "the whole project just collapsed, our treatment was too heavy, too inflated for the simple little Rostand piece. It seemed hopeless." It was at that point, in the summer of 1959, that Word Baker played a key role in the collaboration. He had been offered a job directing three one-act plays at a summer theatre which the actress Mildred Dunnock was producing at Barnard College. Baker wanted one of them to be a musical and he told his friends that if they could give him a one-act musical version of the Rostand play in three weeks, he would give them a production of it three weeks later. And that is what happened. After years of struggling unsuccessfully with the material, the two writers threw out everything (except a song, "Try to Remember") and, starting from scratch, completed the basis of what is now The Fantasticks in less than three weeks time. They even returned to the original title. The English version of the Rostand play which they had used as a guide was an obscure one called The Fantasticks, written by a woman under the pseudonym George Fleming. It had been introduced to them by one of their college professors, B. Iden Payne, who had directed it in London in 1909 with Mrs. Patrick Campbell as "The Boy" in a breeches part. Harvey Schmidt in particular, found himself drawn to this title. "We couldn't come up with a new title," he admits, "and we liked the way this one looked, with that "k" adding the extra kick." Clearly the visual artist dwelling alongside the composer in the Schmidt psyche continued on next page

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The Fantasticks

However, Hipsy-Boo! was successful. So successful, in fact, that Jones and Schmidt followed it almost immediately with an original book musical, and after that, they began writing songs together.

"We worked on it, very haphazardly, over a period of several years," says Jones, "trying to take the story and force it into a Rodgers and Hammerstein mold, which is what everybody did in those days." .

Neither of the two was planning to become a writer. Jones was a drama student, majoring in play production and Schmidt was studying art with hopes of becoming a commercial artist.

love, was envisioned by the young writers as a big Broadway show involving two ranches in the southwest, one Anglo and one Spanish.


Meet the Creators continued

racusStage TheS yFantasticks

was asserting itself. "It was hard to sell anybody on it," he remembers, "but since we didn't have another title, we sort of drifted into using it." "We went back to Rostand for inspiration," says Jones, "because it was smaller and simpler. And yet we used it only as a guidepost, as a map to refer to whenever we got lost. For years we had wanted to try a lot of experiments mixing presentational forms with musical theatre. And since we were no longer aiming for Broadway, we decided to go ahead and attempt all the things we had been dreaming of doing for years. After all, we had nothing to lose." Among these experiments, gathered from a wide spectrum of sources, was the use of The Narrator to help them tell the story, and the "invisible" Property Man from the Chinese theatre. The suggestion of a commedia company on a crude wooden platform was inspired by a City Center production of Goldoni's A Servant of Two Masters, as performed by the famed Piccolo Teatro of Milan. The thought of using the moon for one act and the sun for the other was borrowed from a production John Houseman had directed of Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale at Stratford, Connecticut. In fact, Shakespeare served as a model in more ways than one. "I decided to attempt the whole thing in verse," Jones explains, "to mix open verse with heavy rhyming and even, upon occasion, doggerel. I tried to let people end scenes with couplets as a sort of flourish. I followed Shakespeare's device of using a unifying image to glue the whole thing together. In this case, it was vegetation. Seasons. Gardening. Fruition. Harvest. Whenever in doubt, I tried to put in something about vegetation and the seasons. Curious, nobody's ever noticed it. At least no one ever mentioned it in a review. But it does provide a texture, all the same. It gives a sort of sub-text to this light, romantic tale." When their one-act version was produced at Barnard, it attracted enough attention from the world of the professional theatre that Jones and Schmidt were soon placed in the position of having to choose one off-Broadway producer from a field of several viable candidates.

It is to producer Lore Noto that Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt attribute much of the record-making long run of The Fantasticks . "Lore believed in the show when nobody else did," says Schmidt. "He had total faith in it and it paid off." Apart from launching the longest run in the history of the American theatre, The Fantasticks marked the official New York start of that rich and diverse Jones/Schmidt partnership, a collaboration that until then had been limited to a handful of revue songs. For Broadway, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt have written 110 in the Shade, a musical version of N. Richard Nash's tender Southwest romance, The Rainmaker, as well as I Do! I Do!, adapted from Jan de Hartog's long-run comedy smash, The Fourposter. For the Jones/Schmidt telling of the famous marital tale, Mary Martin and Robert Preston appeared in the roles originally done in New York by Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. For several years Jones and Schmidt worked privately at Portfolio, their theatre workshop, concentrating on small-scale musicals in new and often untried forms. The most notable of these efforts were Celebration, which moved to Broadway, and Philemon, which won an Outer Critics Circle Award. In the 1997-98 season, Jones and Schmidt appeared offBroadway in The Show Goes On, a new revue based on their theatre songs. Winning unanimous rave notices and hailed by the New York Times as "lighthearted, loving and sad, laced with nostalgia but also with laughter," the show extended its run several times and was released as a CD. In addition to an Obie Award and the 1992 Special Tony for The Fantasticks, Jones and Schmidt are the recipients of the prestigious ASCAP-Richard Rodgers Award. In February of 1999 they were inducted into the Broadway Hall of Fame at the Gershwin Theatre, and on May 3, 1999, their "stars" were added to the Off-Broadway Walk of Fame outside the Lucille Lortel theatre. www.thefantasticks.com/webpages/authors.htm

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Edmund Rostand The inspiration for The Fantasticks

F

rench poet and dramatist, best-known from his play Cyrano de Bergerac, about the heroic individualist who has an outsized nose. The connection between the true Cyrano, the 17th century French soldier, dramatist, and soldier, is nominal. Rostand's plays were romantic and entertaining, providing an alternative to the naturalistic theatre.

Rostand's first successful play was Les Romanesques (1894). It was produced at the Comédie Française and was based on Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Three years later, he produced Cyrano de Bergerac, which became his most popular and enduring work — at that time he was 29. L’Aiglon (1900), a tragedy based on the life of Napoleon's son, the Duke of Reichstadt, also became popular. During its first run in 1900, the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt played the title role. Bernhardt also acted in La Samartine (1897), based on the biblical story, and La Princesse Lointaine (1895), a story about an unattainable princess and a troubadour hero, who dies in her arms. "The dream, alone, is of interest. What is life, without a dream." With these works Rostand revitalized the old romantic drama in verse. Naturalism was the major movement in literature — it was the time of Emile Zola — but Rostand took up old themes and followed the Romantic tradition of Victor Hugo. Cyrano de Bergerac is poetic, five-act romantic drama in verse, set in the reign of Louis XIII. The central character, Cyrano, is a famous swordsman, and an aspiring poet-lover. "A great nose indicates a great man - /

In 1901, at the age of thirty-three, Rostand was elected to the Académie Française. However, Rostand found his fame and unwanted publicity hard to bear. Suffering from poor health, he retired to his family's country estate at Cambon, in the Basque county. He continued to write plays and poetry, but his subsequent works did not gain the popularity of Cyrano de Bergerac. In 1910 appeared Chantecler, a story from the animal world of La Fontaine. It told about a barnyard rooster who believes that his song makes the sun rise. The work was pronounced a failure, and the author started his retirement at the luxurious villa Arnaga. Rostand died of pneumonia in Paris on December 2, 1918. His last dramatic poem was about Don Juan. The posthumously performed play failed totally. "The success of Cyrano de Bergerac was a turning-point in Rostand's life," writes Sue Lloyd in her biography on Rostand (2003). "His future was assured but he had to live up to the expectations of the French people... The fame he had set out to achieve from his very first book of poems turned into a crushing burden from which only death released him." www.kirjasto.sci.fi/rostand.htm

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The Fantasticks

Edmond Rostand was born in Marseille into a wealthy and cultured Provençal family. Rostand studied literature, history, and philosophy at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. In the 1880s he published poems and essays in the literary review Mireille. His first play, Le Gant Rouge, was produced in 1888. Rostand abandoned his law studies in 1890 when his first book of poems, Les Musardises appeared. He gave it to the poet Rosemonde Gérard, a granddaughter of one of Napoleon's marshals, whom he married in the same year.

Genial, courteous, intellectual, / Virile, courageous." Because of his grotesquely large nose "that marches on / before me by a quarter of an hour," he is convinced that he is too ugly to deserve his adored Roxane. Cyrano helps his inarticulate rival, Christian, win her heart by allowing him to present Cyrano's love poems, speeches, and letters as his own work. Soon the romance starts, Christian whispers his own love from the shadows in glorious words that Roxane believes are his. But Christian realizes that it was not his own good looks but Cyrano's letters that won Roxanne. Before his death on the battlefield, Christian asks Cyrano to confess their plot to Roxane. Cyrano keeps their secret for fourteen years. As he is dying years later, he visits Roxane and reveals to her the truth. The play opened at the Porte Saint-Martin Theater in December 1897. Cyrano's gallantry was seen as the reincarnation of the true Gallic spirit and Rostand became a national hero.


A Simple Journey for knowledge and love

SyracusStage The Fantasticks

W

hen Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt created The Fantasticks, it was complete with elaborate scenery, stage sets, and explanations. But it didn't work well. Jones and Schmidt finally threw the elaborateness away. As Jones says, "Less is more. The theatre works best when it is at its barest" The Fantasticks thrives on simplicity; but although it is simple, it still has much to teach us. One of the foremost themes of The Fantasticks is the timeless lesson of growing up and the journey from innocence to knowledge. In Act One we discover that most of the main characters are deceived in the way they view the world. For example, Luisa believes that she is a "princess" despite her father's assertions that she is nothing more than a "button-maker's daughter" Matt claims that his lover (Luisa) is "Too vibrant for a name . . . she is a star . . . or the inside of a leaf" These are nice poetic words, but they are not real. Just like the imaginary castle in which Luisa and Matt find themselves dancing, their love will also disappear unless they can undergo a test — a journey from unreal innocence to the knowledge of hard reality. It is ironic that our characters welcome this journey. Luisa exclaims, "Please, God, don't let me be normal. I'd like to be . . . a little worldly wise.” Even the father, Bellomy, correctly labels them "Fantastic!" in their youth and innocence. Act Two opens in the month of October. We hear Gallo (as narrator) saying, "Their moon was cardboard, fragile. It was very apt to fray.” The characters have found that the lovely things they thought they had on an evening in September look different by day. Luisa says, "He looks different in the sunlight.” Act Two is glaring in symbols of bright, hot sunlight that pulls our lovers apart. Matt exclaims, "I can see everything. All the flaws." And he correctly states that Luisa is childish and silly. Luisa is equally disenchanted with her lover, "I hate you," she says. Matt decides to leave. "Beyond that road lies a shining world ... Bright lights invite me to come and learn!" He is off on his journey to obtain knowledge. It seems to be at this point that the audience realizes Gallo is ironically the character closest to a devil, and yet, he is the only one who consistently speaks the truth. When Matt decides to leave, we hear Gallo saying, "The world will teach him very quickly the secret

he needs to know.” It is interesting that Gallo performs the same function of a wise narrator in Jones and Schmidt's play as jesters typically do in Shakespeare's plays. Gallo is very worldly wise and seems to bring on the tragedy, much as the serpent of old brought the apple to Adam and Eve. It is no lost allusion that Luisa climbs a tree to sit with Gallo from where he can see "everything." In the Bible allusion Eve partakes of the fruit to open her eyes, and Luisa hopes to do the same. Luisa says to him, "You must steal something." He replies, "I steal whatever is treasured most.” This not only includes her mother's rhinestone necklace but her fanciful dreams as well. At this point in the play Gallo tells us that "October is over. We're one month older.” The month of November includes the scenes in which Matt's comrades are torturing him by burning and beating him, and making him sit on nails. This is compounded by the fact that Luisa is watching him and feels no compassion as long as she views him through a theatrical mask. Jones and Schmidt are showing us that life can and does give each one of us a beating at one time or another. In the final scene of the play, December has arrived. Matt returns home penniless and beaten just as in the Biblical story of The Prodigal Son. Matt has learned that "Beyond that road lies despair. However, this time Matt has learned compassion as evidenced by his desire to spare Luisa pain. He tries to make Gallo wait for her as Gallo promised he would. But December is upon us and life is at its cruelest. Finally, in December when Luisa and Matt "face" each other, they sing a different song, a song in which we again see the symbol of sight/eyes that we have seen so frequently throughout the play. "Without you near me, I can't see. You are love. . . . Better far than a metaphor can ever be.” Finally, we realize that we too have been deceived. Gallo is not the devil we thought, but rather has functioned as an educator. He explains himself, "Who understands why we must all die a bit. Before we grow again. I hurt them for that reason.” Both Luisa and Matt have made the journey from innocence to knowledge and have learned much about life — perhaps the most important lesson being how to love truly. By Jaylynn Lewis for the Utah Shakespearean Festival

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2005-06 Feel Something  

2005-06 Feel Something- Study Guide

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