Veronica Meadows StephenThorne a new play by
trinity repertory company THE STATE THEATER OF RHODE ISLAND
3/17/14 1:22 PM
TRINITY REP Photos | For Immediate Release: 4/3/14 Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne- world premiere! Directed Michael Perlman Now playing through May 4, 2014 in the Dowling Theater, Trinity Rep
PROVIDENCE, RI: Trinity Rep continues its commitment to new plays with the world premiere of Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman in Trinity Rep's intimate Dowling Theater from April 3 to May 4, 2014. Girl detective Veronica Meadows has been solving small town crimes for as long as anyone can remember. Time and time again, they stop the evil-doers in their tracks and heroically save the day. That is, until the day our plucky girl detective stops following the rules of the game and takes a dangerous turn into the unknown. This world premiere is a darkly comic gem from Stephen Thorne, resident actor and playwright of The Completely Fictional— Utterly True — Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe. This production of Veronica Meadows is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Alan and Marie Weiss. Tickets are on sale now at www.trinityrep.com, by calling (401) 351-4242, or at the theater’s box office at 201 Washington St., Downtown Providence.
Thumbnails are for your reference only. HTML links are to Hi-resolution photos.
http://www.trinityrep.com/DownloadDocs/VERONICA_9751.jpg Angela Brazil as Veronica Meadows and Jennifer Laine Williams as Ginny inVeronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman. Now playing through May 4, 2014 at Trinity Rep. Set design by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, lighting design by Scott Bolman. (Photo: Mark Turek)
http://www.trinityrep.com/DownloadDocs/VERONICA_9408.jpg Angela Brazil in Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman. Now playing through May 4, 2014 at Trinity Rep. Set design by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, lighting design by Scott Bolman. (Photo: Mark Turek)
http://www.trinityrep.com/DownloadDocs/VERONICA_9774.jpg Jennifer Laine Wilson as Ginny, Brian McEleney as Pops (background), Angela Brazil as Veronica Meadows, Fred Sullivan, Jr. and Phyllis Kay as ensemble inVeronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman. Now playing through May 4, 2014 at Trinity Rep. Set design by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, lighting design by Scott Bolman. (Photo: Mark Turek)
http://www.trinityrep.com/DownloadDocs/VERONICA_0375.jpg Angela Brazil as Veronica Meadows and Jennifer Laine Wilson as Ginny inVeronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman. Now playing through May 4, 2014 at Trinity Rep. Set design by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, lighting design by Scott Bolman. (Photo: Mark Turek)
http://www.trinityrep.com/DownloadDocs/VERONICA_0105.jpg Brian McEleney as Pops, Fred Sullivan, Jr. as The Man and Angela Brazil as Veronica Meadows in Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman. Now playing through May 4, 2014 at Trinity Rep. Set design by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, lighting design by Scott Bolman. (Photo: Mark Turek)
http://www.trinityrep.com/DownloadDocs/VERONICA_9330.jpg Joe Wilson, Jr. as Mister Perkins, Jennifer Laine Wilson as Ginny and Angela Brazil as Veronica Meadows in Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman. Now playing through May 4, 2014 at Trinity Rep. Set design by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, lighting design by Scott Bolman. (Photo: Mark Turek)
Curt Columbus, Artistic Director Michael Gennaro, Executive Director 201 Washington Street Providence Rhode Island 02903 www.trinityrep.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2014 CONTACT: Marilyn Busch, Director of Marketing & PR, (401) 453‐9228 email@example.com Myah Shein, Public Relations & Advertising Manager, (401) 521‐1100 ext. 226 firstname.lastname@example.org
WORLD PREMIERE OF VERONICA MEADOWS TAKES THE STAGE AT TRINITY REP THIS SPRING Playwright & Actor Stephen Thorne premieres new "girl detective" play April 3‐May 4 PROVIDENCE, RI: Trinity Rep continues its commitment to new plays with the world premiere of Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne, directed by Michael Perlman in Trinity Rep's intimate Dowling Theater from April 3 to May 4, 2014. Girl detective Veronica Meadows has been solving small town crimes for as long as anyone can remember. Time and time again, they stop the evil‐doers in their tracks and heroically save the day. That is, until the day our plucky girl detective stops following the rules of the game and takes a dangerous turn into the unknown. This world premiere is a darkly comic gem from Stephen Thorne, resident actor and playwright of The Completely Fictional— Utterly True — Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe. This production of Veronica Meadows is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Alan and Marie Weiss. Tickets are on sale now at www.trinityrep.com, by calling (401) 351‐4242, or at the theater’s box office at 201 Washington St., Downtown Providence. Classic 50s girl detective stories are the jumping off point for Thorne's newest play, Veronica Meadows. Sleuthing with her trusty gal pal Ginny, these plucky girls stay true to their motto: "Where secrets lie we snoop and spy. We sneak and peek all days of the week!” While their innocent world view has never changed, the years have continued to tick by and Veronica is no longer the sixteen year‐old girl she once was. "We notice the contradiction right away," explains Thorne, "this whip‐smart woman has gotten stuck playing the "girl detective" role and once she realizes that perhaps there is more to life than her tried and true routine, she steps outside of the role she has been asked to play. As she evolves and grows her actions completely re‐write her world and everyone around her." Playwright Thorne is thrilled to introduce local audiences to Veronica Meadows, after two years of readings and workshops with Trinity Rep's resident actors. "It’s impossible to imagine this play happening without the collaboration of this acting company, " he says, "As a writer, you work alone for months and in your mind, the play is done. Then you hear it read out loud and suddenly the room is alive with questions and new ideas." Thorne adds, "The greatest thing about our collaboration is the vigorous curiosity the acting company brings to the table, literally opening up the play and letting it blossom and grow beyond anything I was originally thinking as a writer."
Starring resident company member Angela Brazil as Veronica Meadows and guest artist Jennifer Laine Williams as Ginny, with fellow resident acting company members Phyllis Kay, Brian McEleney, Fred Sullivan, Jr. and Joe Wilson, Jr. rounding out the cast. The design of the show evokes a feeling of 1950s small town nostalgia ‐ when times were simpler, tree houses were in every yard and white picket fences were the norm. The play's scenic design is by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, lighting design by Scott Bolman, with sound design by Peter Sasha Hurowitz. Director Michael Perlman is a New York based writer and director and a recent graduate of the Brown/Trinity MFA Program. Previous directing credits include Trinity Rep's Mourners Bench and A Christmas Carol as well as the Brown/Trinity Rep productions of Uncle Vanya, Hamlet and A Doll's House. Regionally, he has directed at Cleveland Play House, Kitchen Theatre Company, Arvada Theater Center, Boise Contemporary Theater, Creede Repertory Theater, Swine Palace, Maples Rep, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep and workshops with The Playwrights’ Center, The Magic Theater and Young Playwrights, Inc. He recently was Associate Director for Fiasco Theater’s Into the Woods at the McCarter Theater, and his assistant directing credits include work with Fiasco, The Public Theater, Roundabout Theater Company. Michael’s play, From White Plains, was the recipient of a 2013 GLAAD Media Award and was nominated for New York Innovative Theater awards for Outstanding Premiere and Outstanding Full‐Length Script. In addition, Michael’s one‐person show Flying on the Wing was presented at the New York Fringe Festival, where it won Outstanding Solo Show. Michael is an Artistic Associate with both Fiasco Theater, and Fault Line Theatre. He is a member of SDC and a Drama League Directing Fellow. Playwright Stephen Thorne is celebrating his 14th season as a member of Trinity Rep's resident acting company. Perhaps best known to audiences as Tom Joad in this season's production of The Grapes of Wrath, Arthur in Camelot and the title role in Hamlet, his other memorable Trinity Rep roles are Homer Wells in The Cider House Rules, John Proctor in The Crucible and Henry V in The Henriad. He has worked as an actor with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Long Wharf Theatre and Riverside Shakespeare Festival, as well as the Bread Loaf School of English Acting Ensemble. Stephen's play The Completely Fictional— Utterly True — Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe had its world premiere at Trinity Rep in 2011 and subsequently was produced at Baltimore's Centerstage as part of their 12‐13 Season. Trinity Rep has partnered with RISD professor Lars Grant West and his illustration students on an installation in the Dowling Theater lobby entitled "Cover to Cover: The Veronica Meadows Series Imagined," a collection of original illustrations for book covers in the fictitious mystery series. West's students are working with playwright Thorne and Trinity Rep Creative Director Michael Guy on devising the Veronica Meadows book covers in various styles. The exhibition will be open to patrons throughout the run of the show, starting April 3. Additionally, a free salon co‐hosted by The Providence Athanaeum and entitled "Girl Power: The Girl Detective in American Literature and Her Impact on American Culture" will be held Monday April 7th at 7PM in Trinity Rep's Dowling Theater. The salon pairs Brown cultural historian Susan Smulyan with
playwright Thorne in a lively discussion moderated by Christina Bevilacqua from the Providence Athenaeum. Talkbacks with Trinity Rep Talkback leaders and a member of the cast will be held after every performance of Veronica Meadows. Audiences are invited to share their response to the production and themes for approximately twenty minutes following the performance. Continuing Trinity Rep’s tradition of offering affordable tickets for all, the theater will have discounted previews of Veronica Meadows from April 3rd ‐ April 5, 2014. Friday April 4th is a Pay What You Can (PWYC) performance with tickets on sale at 6:30pm that evening, limit one per person. Trinity Rep’s 50th Anniversary season is sponsored by NBC 10, with supporting sponsors Cox Media, Rhode Island Monthly and RISCA. The State Theater of Rhode Island, Trinity Repertory Company is now celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season. Since its founding in 1963, Trinity Repertory Company has been one of the most respected regional theaters in the country. Featuring the last permanent resident acting company in America, Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of approximately 145,000. In its 50‐year history, the theater has produced 62 world premieres, mounted national and international tours, and, through its MFA program, trained hundreds of new actors and directors. This season marks the 46th year of Project Discovery, Trinity Rep's pioneering educational outreach program. Last season, Trinity Rep’s educational programs reached over 16,000 Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut students through matinees as well as in‐ school residencies and workshops. Brown University/Trinity Rep offers professional training for actors and directors in a three‐year MFA program. The 50th Anniversary season concludes with the world premiere of Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne and A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard. Subscriptions are now on sale for Trinity Rep's 2014‐2015 Season, which includes the world premiere Curt Columbus' translation of Ivanov by Anton Chekhov, Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon, Middletown by Will Eno, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, A Flea in Her Ear by Georges Feydeau and the world premiere of Melancholy Play: a new chamber musical by Sarah Ruhl with music by Todd Almond. For more information, call the box office at (401) 351‐4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at www.trinityrep.com. Veronica Meadows A darkly comic world premiere by Stephen Thorne In Trinity Rep's Dowling Theater April 3 – May 4, 2014 Plucky Veronica has been solving small town crimes forever. But things soon take a dangerous turn into the unknown when she stops following the rules of the game and starts writing her own story. Michael Perlman Director Set Design Patrick Lynch Costume Design Olivera Gajic Lighting Design Scott Bolman Sound Design Peter Sasha Hurowitz Cast: Starring resident company member Angela Brazil as Veronica Meadows with fellow resident acting company members Phyllis Kay, Brian McEleney, Fred Sullivan, Jr. and Joe Wilson, Jr. and guest artist Jennifer Laine Williams.
Press Night Discounted Previews Pay What You Can Free Salon
Sunday, April 6 at 7:30pm; Critics email@example.com Thursday, April 3 at 7:30pm, Friday, April 4 at 7:30 pm and Saturday April 5 at 7:30pm Friday April 4 at 7:30pm, on sale at 6:30pm, limit 1 per person Monday April 7th at 7PM; "Girl Power: The Girl Detective in American Literature and Her Impact on American Culture" in the Dowling Theater
Under35 night Thursday, April 17 at 7:30pm with pre‐show party Website www.trinityrep.com Box Office (401)351‐4242, 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903 Admission Ticket $28‐68 Production sponsor Alan and Marie Weiss Season SponsorNBC 10 Season Supporting Sponsors Cox Media, Rhode Island Monthly and RISCA Veronica Meadows Performance Schedule April 3 ‐ May 4, 2014 Thursday, April 3, 2014 Friday, April 4, 2014 Saturday, April 5, 2014 Sunday, April 6, 2014
7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Thursday, April 10, 2014 Friday, April 11, 2014 Saturday, April 12, 2014 Sunday, April 13, 2014 Sunday, April 13, 2014
7:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Thursday, April 17, 2014 Friday, April 18, 2014 Saturday, April 19, 2014 Saturday, April 19, 2014
7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Thursday, April 24, 2014 Friday, April 25, 2014 Saturday, April 26, 2014 Saturday, April 26, 2014 Sunday, April 27, 2014 Sunday, April 27, 2014
7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Thursday, May 1, 2014 Friday, May 2, 2014 Saturday, May 3, 2014 Saturday, May 3, 2014 Sunday, May 4, 2014 Sunday, May 4, 2014
2:00 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM
First Look Thursday Pay What You Can
Under 35 Night
Veronica Meadows StephenThorne a new play by
trinity repertory company THE STATE THEATER OF RHODE ISLAND
3/17/14 1:22 PM
2013–2014 Season at the Lederer Theater Center under the direction of Curt Columbus and Michael Gennaro Executive Director The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director
trinity repertory company
Veronica Meadows Stephen thorne a new play by
THE artistic team Directed by Michael Perlman Set design by Patrick Lynch Costume design by Olivera Gajic Lighting design by Scott Bolman Sound design by Peter Sasha Hurowitz Speech & voice direction by Thom Jones Dramaturgy by Whitney Eggers Production stage managed by Captain Kate Murphy* April 3 – May 4, 2014 in the Sarah and Joseph Dowling, Jr. Theater Sponsored by Alan & Marie Weiss
THE CAST Veronica Meadows Angela Brazil* Ginny Balderston Jennifer Laine Williams* Connie Carson/Barbara Bowdoin Phyllis Kay* Pops/Gruff Man Brian McEleney* The Man/Leslie Caruthers Fred Sullivan, Jr.* Mister Perkins/Bobby/Peter/Smooth Man Joe Wilson, Jr.* Veronica Meadows is performed with one intermission. Production Director Laura E. Smith * Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
Trinity Rep’s 50th season is sponsored by
This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Trinity Rep gratefully acknowledges the support of the B.B. Lederer Sons Foundation, the State of Rhode Island, and the City of Providence.
on the cover: Angela Brazil, photo by michael guy
PLEASE NOTE: Audience members are requested to turn off all cell phones, beepers, pagers, and watch alarms during the performance. Texting and other cell phone use is limited to intermission, outside the theater. Photography is not allowed during the show.
Please join us after the show for a 20-minute talkback. The Civic Center Parking Garage at 165 Washington St. will stay open until the discussion ends.
TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY • 201 WASHINGTON STREET • PROVIDENCE • RHODE ISLAND • (401) 351-4242 • WWW.TRINITYREP.COM
3/17/14 1:22 PM
FROM THE richard l. bready ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Dear Friends, It is my pleasure to welcome you to the world premiere of Stephen Thorne’s Veronica Meadows. As many of you know, Stephen has been a member of our resident acting company for over a decade, delighting audiences with his work in roles ranging from Hamlet to King Arthur to John Proctor — and every role in between. This is the second of Stephen’s plays we have produced, and I am thrilled to have you present for his emergence as a playwright. Whether with the stories of Edgar Allan Poe in his previous play here, or with the narrative tropes of American girl detectives that you will experience today, you can hear the voice of someone who loves reading and the way it shapes him as a reader. It is there that his interest lies — not in the literary endpoint of the original text, but in the experience as the reader of the original text. As he did in The Completely Fictional —
Utterly True —Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe (produced here in 2011), Stephen uses the vocabulary of the stories of Poe, their atmosphere and their characters, as a way to get us to reconsider what they mean to us, rather than trying to recreate the thing itself. In this same style, Veronica Meadows challenges us to examine what happens when the way the world views us no longer coincides with the way we view ourselves. What happens when we realize that we are no longer 16, and time forcefully catches up to our current self? I also find a further, more global reading of Veronica Meadows important to consider. The heyday of the American girl detective coincided with the height of the American century, the 20th century. The most famous of these girl detectives, Nancy Drew, was the epitome of everything that was considered good about America — youthful energy and enthusiasm, an unerring sense of right and wrong, and a practical, problem solving world view that never failed.
In that sense, I think one of the things Veronica Meadows considers is what happens when the century of American Exceptionalism comes to an end, and we remain the same people while the world around us profoundly changes. What happens when our supposedly unerring and even simplistic sense of right and wrong is challenged by the complex, murky reality of a 21st century? How can we solve that mystery in a way that sustains us, provides comfort, and makes us feel whole? It’s to Stephen’s credit as an artist and a writer that he has created a piece that allows the audience to muse on these and other themes — his work often asks complex, serious questions in a highly theatrical and wickedly funny way, and Veronica Meadows will no doubt provoke a variety of responses. As he has so often done as an actor, he continues to delight us with his plays. Please enjoy the thrilling ride that is Veronica Meadows — I look forward to seeing you at the theater. — Curt Columbus
LOOKING BACK/ looking forward
Fresh, New and Homegrown Hand in hand with Trinity Rep’s mission to produce new work is the theater’s interest in cultivating homegrown playwriting talent. Of the 63 world premieres Trinity Rep has staged, a remarkable number were penned by company members. Stephen Thorne is the most recent resident actor to write for the company (The Completely Fictional — Utterly True — Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe, 2011, and now Veronica Meadows). Other resident-actorsturned-authors include Janice Duclos (One for the Money, 1992) and Tom Griffin, who, while known for The Boys Next Door (1989), which was produced to acclaim across the country and became a Hallmark Hall of Fame television production, wrote Pasta (1986), Amateurs (1990) and Mrs. Sedgewick’s Head (1993) for Trinity Rep. Curt Columbus follows in a long tradition of artistic directors creating new work for and with the company (The Dreams of Antigone and Paris by Night, both in 2008, and Sparrow Grass, 2012). Perhaps the best known of the new works by one of Trinity Rep’s artistic directors is A Christmas Carol, which was first adapted by Adrian Hall and resident composer Richard Cumming in 1977. Together or singly they also wrote and/or adapted Billy Budd (1969), Son of Man and the Family (with Timothy Taylor, 1970), Feasting with Panthers (1973), Peer Gynt (1974), Eustace Chisholm and the Works (1976), Uncle Tom’s Cabin: A History (1978) and All the King’s Men (with Robert Penn Warren, 1986) for Trinity Rep. More recently, artistic associate Laura Kepley and resident playwright Deborah Salem Smith jointly created Boots on the Ground (2006) and Some Things Are Private (2008), and Smith wrote Love Alone (2012) for the company.
above: Son of Man and the Family, by Timothy Taylor & Adrian Hall, directed by Adrian Hall, set by Eugene Lee, costumes by John Lehmeyer, lights by Roger Morgan, photo by William L. Smith, 1970. below: Joe Wilson, Jr., Fred Sullivan, Jr. & Angela Brazil in The Dreams of Antigone by Curt Columbus with Trinity Rep’s resident acting company, directed by Brian McEleney, set by Tristan Jeffers, costumes by William Lane, lights by John Ambrosone, photo by Mark Turek, 2008.
3/17/14 1:22 PM
onstage AT TRINITY REP
Girl Detectives In preparation for the world premiere of Veronica Meadows, Trinity Rep’s Lauren Ustaszewski sat down with director Michael Perlman to get an inside look at his approach. Lauren Ustaszewski: What excites you most about working on Veronica Meadows? Michael Perlman: First, it’s an adventurous, bold and affecting new play. It taps into a universal experience we all go through of trying to figure out why we are who we are, and it does so in a way that is funny, clever and human. I’m looking forward to how audiences respond to it, and I am particularly excited to collaborate with [playwright] Stephen Thorne and the actors to bring it to life. Lauren: I’ve heard great things about the design for this play — the set, the costumes — can you talk a little bit about those things will help tell the story? Michael: What the designers and I are trying to do is create a world that is immediately identifiable — this world of the “girl detective” in a bucolic small town — that taps into a time and place that is both familiar and a fantasy. Further, what the play does beautifully is theatricalize some indescribable human sensations, like growing up, and in the design we’re trying to create the way our experiences and memories are with us at all times. With the sound, lighting, set and costumes, we’re creating a world that’s flexible enough to do that. Lauren: Stephen’s inspiration comes from a range of girl detective characters — what do you find most interesting about these characters and what sets Veronica Meadows apart?
Michael: Those girl detectives are each different in their own ways, and products of their time, but each of them live in a world that they fully understand. They have somehow mastered their lives at a very young age. It reminds me of when kids play games and they want the rules to change when they need them to change — they want to have some sense of control. What sets Veronica apart, at least at the beginning, is that she’s no longer content in a world where everything makes sense. But then what are the consequences of a world where complications occur? It’s a very human journey. Lauren: Angela Brazil, who plays Veronica and is Stephen Thorne’s wife, has spoken about the “smart girl” in literature. What is your take on the character of the “smart girl,” such as Hermoine Granger (Harry Potter) or Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)? Michael: Clearly it’s a trope that has been a consistent part of the cultural zeitgeist for a while now. The thing that unites them is that they all somehow take agency for their own lives. They don’t accept the limitations placed on them. Some of these limitations are because of society’s view of women, or society’s expectations of what women are capable of — and these limitations seem only to heighten these characters’ ability to overcome them. There’s a great moment in Veronica Meadows when Veronica is explaining to her best friend Ginny why they always succeed, and she includes “Because we are girls,” on the list. When Ginny responds, “Really?”, Veronica simply says “Must have something to do with it.” And she’s right. Lauren: I couldn’t agree more! What do you hope the audience will take away? Michael: More than with most plays, it’s difficult to answer without giving too much away. So I’ll just say that I hope they are entertained and that they learn something about human nature and, therefore, themselves. And maybe be motivated to solve a few mysteries because of it. below: Michael Perlman, center, energizes the cast and crew at the first rehearsal of Veronica Meadows. Photo by Michael Guy.
Before the show starts…
Audience members are asked to turn off all cell phones, beepers, pagers, and watch alarms during the show. Texting and cell phone use is limited to intermission, outside the theater. Cameras (including cell phone cameras) and recording devices are not permitted.
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3/17/14 1:29 PM
onstage AT TRINITY REP
Playing Private Investigator— Meet Rhode Island’s leading female professional detective, Jennifer Dionne by Marilyn Busch Marilyn Busch: Is being a professional detective as exciting as it sounds? Jennifer Dionne: It’s exciting, but can also be dangerous. I have over 20 years of experience — my father is a PI but did NOT want me to get into the industry. I answered the business phone when he wasn’t around and tried to help the clients based on what I heard from him. This wasn’t appreciated, but I did it anyway. At a very young age I was always helping friends with problems or following their boyfriends. Marilyn: As you know, Veronica Meadows is about a girl detective, ala Nancy Drew. Did you ever read those books when you were younger? Jennifer: I read a few Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I was into Magnum PI, Charlie’s Angels, Simon and Simon and The Equalizer. I also watched Unsolved Mysteries, and Murder She Wrote, and I really enjoy Columbo’s “playing dumb” routine. Marilyn: You are the current president of the Licensed Private Detective Association of Rhode Island. Just a quick look at the current roster of members seems to show a male dominated industry — what is it like to be a woman in this field? Jennifer: It is a male-dominated association and industry. I was the first female member in Rhode Island. The other women are associates. I started out as vice president, and have been president for almost eight years. I love being the leader and part of the creative process to better our industry, and have us recognized as the professionals we are. I recently started teaching PI 101 at the Learning Connection. I just completed my third session and by all accounts it is going great. Marilyn: What is your typical case load like and what types of people are you hired to investigate? Jennifer: I have done a lot of domestic work over the years, usually cheating spouse or child custody cases — probably in the neighborhood of 300, all told. I do criminal
for Real defense work, which involves conducting interviews, researching the case, digging up information on all parties, and jury selection. I am the first person other investigators go to for undercover work — it’s my forte. I work on one cold murder case at all times, pro-bono. Marilyn: Over the course of our play, the plot takes a few unexpected twists and turns and ends up in a surprising place for everyone involved. Do you have any stories to share with our readers from your career where a case or suspect surprised you with
document any activity. I identified her in the bar and kept an eye on what she was doing and saying. Nothing remarkable. I then followed her to a hotel, and I went in shortly after her. She was nowhere in the lobby and not in the bar area. She was just two minutes ahead of me, so the odds of her being in a room were slim to none. I continued to look around, hoping she would make her way to the bar where there were several men sitting alone. I stopped in the bathroom and as I was entering, she was exiting. She immediately recognized me from the other location, despite my attempt to stay out of sight. She asked if I would like to join her and a friend on the outside patio, and I did! As I was getting a drink, I was able to film her sitting on a couch with an unknown male subject. I stayed back and filmed until they saw and waved me over to sit with them at a table. I tried to decline, saying I was the third wheel, but she insisted. I took the opportunity to “interview the man” since my goal was to find out who she was having the affair with. I not only had physical contact on film, I also extracted everything short of his Social Security number out of him. He told me where he lived, how may kids he had, their ages, what he did for work and where, how long he had been online dating and his exact birth date. I play the “what’s your sign game,” low ball an age and guess… people usually correct me on this. I thought this would be it, until, on another night, we got intel that she would be meeting a different man at another bar. The colleague I was Jennifer Dionne working for asked me to go again and an unexpected outcome? keep my distance, if possible…. After sitting Jennifer: We refer to them as subjects, in the bar for almost two hours, I put on my not suspects, since it’s a private industry. We coat and headed for the door. The woman refer to criminal case subjects as targets, walked in with a new man and a younger generally speaking. woman. She asked me to stay and join them. I was undercover on a domestic case I did the same thing with the second man. where there was a lot of money involved A wealth of information was acquired and the husband wanted some leverage. I through these conversations. This initially knew the woman would be at a “girl’s night” covert operation turning into an overt at a local bar, so I set up surveillance with one — not once but two times — has never a girlfriend. I had my purse camera with happened before or since! me along with my cell phone in order to
3/17/14 1:22 PM
ONSTAGE AT TRINITY REP
ince the “girl detective” novel exploded onto the scene in the 1930s, the beloved genre continues to infiltrate popular culture. The various tropes the genre employs are hard to miss…even by those who never picked up a copy of Nancy Drew. The original “girl detective” is also the most famous: Nancy Drew, the perfect model for the fearless, smart girls who have come after her. While all of the Nancy Drew books are written under the name “Carolyn Keene,” no such woman ever existed. The pseudonym was owned by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a children’s literature company
is ultimately apprehended. Although every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, Nancy always triumphs and order is restored. Nothing is ambiguous, and nothing is out of her control. And from 1930 through the last book in 2003, Nancy’s age never changes. Using this straightforward formula, the Stratemeyer Syndicate churned out other girl detective series, riding on the popularity of Nancy Drew to create The Dana Girls and Kay Tracey. While the stories all follow the same pattern, the details differ. The Dana sisters are orphans at a boarding school, and are sometimes hindered in their mysterysolving by the rich school bullies. Kay Tracey lives with her mother and cousin and solves mysteries while also being a model high school student. With their devoted audience
always bad? What if the girls aren’t always safe? And what if they can’t hold on to their teenage years for as long as Nancy Drew did? The girl-gone-woman detectives in Veronica Meadows are confronted with jobs, husbands and lives more terrifying than any of Stratemeyer’s thieves and kidnappers. While the roots of Veronica Meadows lie in the 1930s, girl detectives are still alive and thriving in the books, television series and movies of today. It was recently announced that Veronica Mars, a popular TV series that ran from 2004 to 2007, would be revived as a film due to the clamoring of its rabid fan base (the film arrives in theaters this spring). In Veronica Mars, Veronica is a high school (and eventually college-aged) private eye. Under the guidance of her detective father,
The Curious Case of the Girl Sleuth by Molly Greene
that also produced the Bobbsey Twins and Hardy Boys series. After the success of the cool, mystery-solving Hardy brothers, Edward Stratemeyer decided to create a similar series with a female protagonist. It was 1930, and the women’s movement of the time made for a wider and bolder array of women in literature. Despite Stratemeyer’s belief that “boys’ books” would always be more popular (because girls would read books with male protagonists, but boys wouldn’t read books about girls), Nancy Drew took off immediately and became the Syndicate’s all-time bestselling series. In the original series, Nancy is a 16-yearold high school graduate, with a doting attorney for a father and a mother who passed away when she was ten. She spends most of her time zooming around her hometown of River Heights in her blue roadster, solving mysteries, always equipped with the courage and the knowledge necessary to find a missing heirloom, or to catch a bumbling criminal. She is sometimes accompanied by her two best friends, Bess and George, or her perfect boyfriend Ned Nickerson. As a character (especially as a female character in the 1930s), Nancy hit the sweet spot between traditional and bold. The blueprint structuring each story defined the Nancy Drew series, setting it apart from other detective novels: Nancy learns of a case and finds a series of clues, which lead her through a slightly scary situation to the uncomplicated bad guy, who
of admiring young women, girl detectives took children’s literature by storm. Other detective stories by authors outside the Syndicate began popping up, making Stratemeyer’s formula for the Nancy Drew series into its own genre. In Veronica Meadows, Stephen Thorne creates his own girl detective. Like many of her predecessors, Veronica is an orphan who lives with her caring and supportive grandfather. Her best friend Ginny Balderston is not quite as clever as Veronica, but their friendship is sweet and uncomplicated. They have solved more mysteries together than they can remember, and their lives are charmed if routine: the clues are always found, the bad guys are always locked up. But Thorne takes Stratemeyer’s classic formula and watches the perfect world fall apart when confronted with ambiguity and reality. What if the bad guys aren’t
she solves crimes in her fictional hometown of Neptune, California. Unlike the classic girl detective stories, though, Veronica deals with crimes such as rape and murder that affect her friends and classmates. Another modern twist on the girl detective trope is Pretty Little Liars, a popular book and television series about a group of high school girls who are given a series of clues about their friend’s disappearance. The show combines high school clique drama with an ongoing murder mystery, and instead of focusing on one protagonist, there is a whole group of girl detectives. And while not strictly a detective story, The Hunger Games series features a resourceful, strong and brilliant young woman at its center and in many ways is considered a descendant of Nancy Drew. Veronica Meadows brings its audiences back to the familiar stories and settings of Nancy Drew — an orderly world where things always work out and the hero always wins. H o w e v e r , Thorne plays with parody, acknowledging and inverting Stratemeyer ’s light and breezy tone while using the genre to dissect gender roles, mortality and aging — in Veronica Meadows he encourages us to look just underneath this perfect world to see the trouble simmering just below the surface.
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RISD Students Illuminate Veronica’s Victories An exhibition in the Dowling lobby provides a visual backstory for Trinity Rep’s plucky detective.
When you attend a performance of Veronica Meadows, be sure to check out the exhibition of Veronica Meadows Mysteries book cover art in the lobby of the Dowling Theater. Of course, there is no real series of books chronicling the exploits of girl detectives Veronica Meadows and Ginny Balderston, but that has not stopped a group of nearly 20 students at the Rhode Island School of Design. Starting with a suggestion from playwright Stephen Thorne and using “titles” conjured up by him, Michael Guy, Trinity Rep’s creative director and a RISD alum, and RISD professor Lars Grant West worked with a class of junior and senior illustration students to produce this contemporary take on an old literary and illustration genre. After a quick survey of the art of tawdry pulp fiction novels, breathless mystery magazines and beloved girl detective books, and after getting to know a little about Trinity Rep’s young heroine, the students were given free rein to imagine what a bookshelf full of Veronica Meadows Mysteries might look like. The original art works will be on display for the run of Veronica Meadows, after which they enter the portfolios of these talented young artists as they head out to pursue their careers. We wish them all the best and are grateful for their participation in this world premiere adventure.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM STEPHEN THORNE Playwright Trinity Rep: This is Mr. Thorne’s 14th season as a member of the resident acting company. Favorite roles: Tom Joad, The Grapes of Wrath; Homer Wells, The Cider House Rules; John Proctor, The Crucible; Arthur, Camelot; Hamlet; Stephen, The Long Christmas Ride Home; Hal/ Henry V, The Henriad; Matt, The Fantasticks; Heisenberg, Copenhagen; Quango, Homebody/ Kabul; Garry, Noises Off. Other Theaters: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Long Wharf Theatre and Riverside Shakespeare Festival. He has been a member of the Bread Loaf School of English Acting Ensemble since 1999. Other: Stephen also wrote The Completely Fictional — Utterly True — Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe, produced at Trinity Rep in 2011. MICHAEL PERLMAN Director Trinity Rep: The Mourners’ Bench, A Christmas Carol (2010); Cabaret and The Importance of Being Earnest, assistant director. Brown/ Trinity Rep: The Time of Your Life, Uncle Vanya, Hamlet, A Doll’s House, We Are Proud to Present a Presentation..., Exquisite Corpse. Other Theaters: Director: Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, Cleveland Play House, Creede Repertory Theatre, Arvada Center, Boise Contemporary Theater, Magic Theater, Maples Repertory Theater, Temporary Theatre Company, Hangar Theatre. Assistant director: Roundabout Theater, The Public Theater, Fiasco Theater, McCarter Theatre. FringeNYC: Flying on the Wing (Outstanding Solo Show 2006). Other: GLAAD Media Award, Drama League Directing Fellow; BA, Brown University; MFA, Brown/ Trinity Rep. Member of SDC. PATRICK LYNCH Set Designer Trinity Rep: Intimate Apparel, Boeing-Boeing, A Christmas Carol (2010), Shooting Star. Brown/ Trinity Rep: Middletown, Marisol, Rhinoceros, Waiting for Godot, Venus, Uncle Vanya, The Duchess of Malfi, Woyzeck, Much Ado About Nothing, The Learned Ladies, Figaro, The Cure at Troy, and Elektra. Other Theaters: Othello, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; The Real Thing, After The Revolution, Boom, Hamlet, A Doll’s House, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Glass Menagerie, and Mother Courage, Gamm Theatre; Mister Roberts and Exits and Entrances, New Rep. Other: MFA from Carnegie Mellon. Member of USA Local 829. Lives in Providence. Drafts by hand.
OLIVERA GAJIC Costume Designer Trinity Rep: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Social Creatures, Crime and Punishment, The How and the Why, The Merchant of Venice, Clybourne Park. Other Theaters: Jederman, Salzburg Festival, Austria; God’s Ear, Vineyard Theatre; Clybourne Park, Henry V, Americans, The Greeks, Edward II, Juilliard School/Drama; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Le Comte Ory, Juilliard School/Opera; Red Fly/Blue Bottle, Here; Chekhov Lizardbrain, Pig Iron; Seagull, Ivanov, Uncle Vanya, Platonov, Lake Lucille; The Necklace, Talking Band Production. Olivera designs extensively for the Berkshire Theatre Festival and many other regional theaters. Other: US National Exhibit at the 2004 & 2007 Prague Quadrennial. 2004 NEA/ TCG CDP for Designers, 2010 IT Award for Outstanding Costume Design and TDF/ Irene Sharaff Young Master Award 2011. SCOTT BOLMAN Lighting Designer Recent credits include Rochambeau’s Spring 2014 Collection, Milk NYC; Visitations, Prototype Festival; Urban Renewal, U.S., France; The Romeo and Juliet Project, Chautauqua Institution; a remount of Brooklyn Babylon, Holland Festival, Netherlands; Antigone, Hellenic Festival, Greece; Robert Wilson’s Odyssey, National Theater of Greece, Piccolo Teatro di Milano; Robert Wilson’s Zinnias, Peak Performances; FEAST, Incubator Arts; Fifty Ways, Chautauqua Theater Company; and Song from the Uproar, The Kitchen. Scott served as theatrical lighting consultant for renovations at Roulette and the Barrow Street Theater. Scott is a founding member of Wingspace Design Collective. PETER SASHA HUROWITZ Resident Sound Designer Peter has designed the sound for over 75 productions at Trinity Rep. Last season’s designs include Social Creatures, The How and the Why and House & Garden. This is his 18th season with the company, where he serves as sound engineer. Mr. Hurowitz also designed sound for the East Coast premiere of A Long Bridge Over Deep Waters at Emerson College and the world premiere of On the Line at the Cherry Lane Theatre, as well as for Perishable Theatre and the Brown New Play Festival. THOM JONES Speech and Voice Director Fourteen seasons with Trinity Rep. He is also the Head of Voice and Speech for Brown/Trinity Rep’s MFA program. Regional: Chautauqua Theatre Festival, The Public Theater, New York Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep, Dallas Theater Center, Huntington Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Film/TV: Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
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(Oscar nomination for Best Actress), The Paperboy, Grace of Monaco, Just Go with It, Trespass; Emma Watson, The Bling Ring; Sandra Bullock, The Heat; Alan Rickman, Vanessa Redgrave, Robin Williams, Minka Kelly, James Marsden, Alex Pettyfer, The Butler; Ben Mendelsohn, The Place Beyond the Pines, Trespass; Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Edge of Darkness; Brendan Gleeson, Melissa Leo, Black Irish; Brotherhood. Whitney Eggers Production Dramaturg Whitney Eggers is thrilled to be working with Stephen Thorne and Trinity Rep. She most recently worked on the world premiere production of Will Eno’s The Open House at Signature Theatre (New York). Previous credits include work with the American Repertory Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Center Stage, and Stages Repertory Theatre. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from the ART/MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. additional staff Assistant Director Caitlin O’Connell Choreographer Shura Baryshnikov Music Consultant Darren Server Fight Director Craig Handel
THE CAST angela brazil*
Trinity Rep: In 14 seasons favorite roles include: Elizabeth Proctor, The Crucible; Hildy Johnson, His Girl Friday; Jane, Absurd Person Singular; Matilde, The Clean House; Samantha, Indoor/ Outdoor; Julia, A Delicate Balance; Claire, The Long Christmas Ride Home; Edward and Victoria, Cloud Nine; Priscilla, Homebody/Kabul and Mom to Dash and Vivien. Other favorites: House & Garden, Cherry Orchard, The Henriad, and The Cider House Rules. Other Theaters: Dallas Theater Center, Long Wharf Theatre, Berkeley Rep, The Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble, Riverside Theatre. Other: Ms. Brazil teaches at Clark University and URI and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Jennifer Laine Williams* Off-Broadway: Whose Family Values!, Clurman Theatre; 7th Monarch (understudy), Acorn Theatre. Other Theaters: Psychomachia, Humans Anonymous with The Bridge Theatre Comp any, NYC; Five
Women Wearing the Same Dress, Kennedy Theater at Duke Energy Center; three summers with the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble: Big Love, The Changeling and Mad Forest. Film/Television: Nurse Jackie; As The World Turns; The Widowers; Remedy; The Downwinders; In That Moment; Catalina Trust. Other: Jennifer has a BS in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. Phyllis Kay*
Trinity Rep: A company member since 1991. Favo r i te s in clu d e: Macbeth, Lend Me a Tenor, One for the Money, Angels in America, We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Cider House Rules, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cherry Orchard, All the King’s Men, Cabaret, King Lear and House & Garden. Other Theaters: She has worked at several regional theaters. Film: Smithereens, By a Thread, Federal Hill, Brooklyn Rules, Meet Dave, The Proposal, Fairhaven. TV: Miller’s Court, Law & Order, The Sopranos, Body of Proof. Other: Ms. Kay attended Emerson College, L’Université de Lausanne and Brown University. She is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse. brian Mceleney* Trinity Rep: Over 75 plays, including King Lear, Richard II, Richard III, …Edgar Allan Poe, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Odd Couple, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Cider House Rules, Angels in America, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Threepenny Opera, Cherry Orchard, Amadeus. Director: over 20 productions as Trinity Rep Associate Director, including The Grapes of Wrath, House & Garden, Absurd Person Singular, The Crucible, Twelfth Night, The Dreams of Antigone, A Raisin in the Sun, All the King’s Men, Our Town, Hamlet, Measure for Measure. Other: Head of Brown/ Trinity Rep’s MFA Acting program. Fred Sullivan, Jr.* Trinity Rep: 110 productions, 30 seasons: Teddy, House & Garden; Walter Burns, His Girl Friday; Charles, Blithe Spirit (Norton Award); Jamie Tyrone, A Moon for the Misbegotten; Edmund, Long Day’s Journey into Night; Joe, Angels in America; Harold Hill,
Falstaff, Alfie Doolittle, Oscar Madison, Creon, Scrooge, Warbucks, Belch, Captain Hook. Directing: Boeing-Boeing, Shooting Star, A Christmas Carol. Other Theaters: Max Prince, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, OSTC; Commonwealth Shakespeare Co. (Bottom, Jaques, Parolles. Menenius), ATL, DTC, Berkeley Rep, NJ Shakespeare. Gamm Theatre: Rothko, Red; and resident director: Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, Barrymore, The Glass Menagerie, Glengarry Glen Ross, boom, The Real Thing, Awake and Sing! (Norton Award). Other: Fred teaches acting at Gamm, Trinity Rep and RISD. Joe Wilson, Jr.*
Trinity Rep: In nine seasons, plays include: The Grapes of Wrath, King Lear, House & Garden, Boeing-Boeing, The Merchant of Venice, It’s A Wonderful Life, Clybourne Park, Camelot, Yellowman, Cabaret, Twelfth Night, The Odd Couple, A Raisin in the Sun, A Christmas Carol, Paris by Night, All The King’s Men, The Fantasticks, Cherry Orchard, Topdog/ Underdog (2005 IRNE Award), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2006 IRNE Award), Hamlet. Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar. Off Broadway: Little Ham and Josephine’s Song. Other Theaters: Penumbra Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, Alliance Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Guthrie Theatre, Ordway Music Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre, and American Players’ Theatre. Other: MFA, University of Minnesota; BA, Notre Dame. CAPTAIN KATE MURPHY* Production Stage Manager Trinity Rep: Boeing-Boeing. Other Theaters: A Civil War Christmas, Animal Crackers, Mud Blue Sky, The Mountaintop, ...Edgar Allan Poe, A Skull in Connemara, American Buffalo, Crime & Punishment, Let There Be Love, The Santaland Diaries, The Importance of Being Earnest, Things of Dry Hours, Trouble in Mind, Three Sisters, Radio Golf, The Murder of Isaac, Once on This Island, King Lear, Center Stage; All Hail Hurricane Gordo, The Clean House, Moot the Messenger, Dracula, The Ruby Sunrise, Tall Grass Gothic, The Drawer Boy, Amadeus, As You Like It, Actors Theatre of Louisville; The Overwhelming, Pig Farm, CATF. Film/TV: Route 30, Route 30 Too!, Next Food Network Star. Other: Resident Stage Manager, Center Stage, Baltimore, MD, 13 seasons at Totem Pole Playhouse. ASCAP member. *Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
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NEXT AT TRINITY REP
Conservatory training at a Tony Awardwinning regional theatre with an Ivy League degree
Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. Programs in Acting & Directing Brown University department of theatre Arts and Performance Studies Trinity Repertory Company Rhode Island’s world-class theatre company
APPly now and Applications for September information for2014 2015 AuDitionS auditions in New York, in new york Chicago, SanCity, Francisco Chicago, San Francisco and Providence and Providence available August, 2014
Jill Jann, Program Administrator 201 Washington St., Providence, RI 02903 (401) 521-1100 x271 firstname.lastname@example.org www.browntrinity.com clockWISe fRom toP left: house & garden, he Is here he says I say, machInal, BoIng!, machInal, And marIsol. PHotoS BY mARk tURek
Join us for the Spring 2014 Brown/Trinity Rep MFA performances THE TOOTH OF CRIME
by Sam Shepard Directed by Dan Rogers ’15 May 1–17
STONE COLD DEAD SERIOUS
by Adam Rapp Directed by Flordelino Lagundino ’15 May 2–18
TICKETS $10 general admission, $5 for students (with valid ID) and seniors (62 and older). Call (401) 351-4242 or visit trinityrep.com. ALL PERFORMANCES at the Citizens Bank Theater, Pell Chafee Performance Center, 87 Empire St., Providence.
The Straig Director Brian Mertes discusses his relationship to playwright Sam Shepard’s work and what draws him to A Lie of the Mind.
Myah Shein: Can you talk about your history with Sam Shepard’s work? Brian Mertes: I’ve always felt very close to Shepard’s writing and I’ve had the good fortune of getting a chance to work on a number of his plays. I’ve had a great ride every single time. In fact, A Lie of the Mind was my first or second paid gig. Then Buried Child, Curse of the Starving Class, the big family plays. I like his family plays. I think they are extraordinary. Shepard is an extraordinary American. He sounds American, his writing sounds American, his characters are American; they are wild, untamed pioneers. Sam Shepard is one of the pioneers of the American psyche. I like going on his wagon train and seeing the sights. Myah: What excites you about A Lie of the Mind? Brian: It’s a great story. It starts with this horrific event that changes the course of the whole family’s experience. The way Shepard attacks a story through characters, and exploding the inside of the characters, gives you the experience of their world. It’s two families that collide against each other and you see how they got to where they are and what can be salvaged from that collision. Bottom line for me, I find the play dangerous, violent in some ways, especially in the beginning. It’s also uniquely American because it’s naive and optimistic — full of aspiration and hope. Also, this intense kind of mourning for our spirit. I love the countryside that it is placed in, Montana. Myah: How are you approaching the production this time around? Brian: I like probing this play with the question, “What’s the density of the straight dope?” I like the term “straight dope,” because it’s funny. Basically what is the truth? I’m not a big believer in truth. I don’t know what truth means, but I can almost understand it when I connect a feeling to it. It’s trust and faith. I think the play is funny, like really funny — darkly funny — but it’s
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aight Dope really funny. I think it’s scary, shocking, the language is euphoric. I know that when I’ve walked out of a Sam Shepard play that I’m proud I’m American and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do know that America has so much more to contribute to the evolution of our small global village. Myah: What other challenges do you face with this script? Brian: How do you tell a story that is about being completely skinless in character? Because it’s raw, that’s the other thing about it; the stakes are so high at the top of this play. Kind of mind boggling to think of what is going on in Jake’s mind when he’s calling his brother, saying, “I think I killed [Beth], she’s dead.” At the same time the other family is waiting for her to wake up. That’s hellish. Myah: Why do you think it’s relevant to be doing A Lie of the Mind today? Brian: There is an environment; there is always a horizon with characters on the horizon, kind of revealing to us something about ourselves. When I did this play the first time I used Lou Reed’s “Bus Load of Faith.” That’s what the play is about; it’s about getting by and having faith in getting by. There is a woman at the center of Lie… and those stories [of domestic abuse], they aren’t told enough. It is a story that needs to be told. It’s a great story, that’s all I know. It’s about really fascinating complicated people with torn up family histories struggling to create a space to just hole up it and survive it. Come see it. You’ll have a great time. It’ll be a roller coaster ride.
LOOKING BACK/ looking forward
Play It Again, Sam From The Tooth of Crime in 1974 to A Lie of the Mind in 1987 — with five other productions in between — Sam Shepard has been one of the most produced playwrights at Trinity Rep. This spring, director and head of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA directing program Brian Mertes is taking a new look at A Lie of the Mind in the Dowling Theater and The Tooth of Crime is being produced by the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program in the Pell Chafee Performance Center with director Dan Rogers ’15 (see opposite page). above l to r: James Eichelberger, Bruce McGill & Ed Hall in The Tooth of Crime, directed by Larry Arrick, set by Robert D. Soule, costumes by James Berton Harris, lights by Roger Morgan, photo by William L. Smith, 1974. below l to r: Jane Loranger, Andrew Mutnick, Cynthia Strickland, Dan Welch & Richard Kavanaugh in A Lie of the Mind, directed by David Wheeler, set by Robert D. Soule, costumes by William Lane, lights by John F. Custer, photo by Mark Morelli, 1987.
A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard runs May 29 – June 29 in Trinity Rep’s Dowling Theater.
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For Your Information • Trinity Repertory Company 201 Washington Street Providence, RI 02903 www.trinityrep.com email@example.com • Box Office (401) 351-4242 Noon–8:00pm Tuesday–Sunday Monday: phone service only • Subscriber Services: (401) 351-4242 firstname.lastname@example.org Noon–8:00pm daily • Administrative Offices (401) 521-1100 9:00am–5:00pm Monday–Friday • Our performances begin on time. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of house management, and until then will be able to view video monitors in the lobby. • Emergency Safety: The theater is protected by emergency lighting and sprinklers. Our house staff and security staff are experienced in first aid. In an emergency, please contact an usher or house manager. • Assistive Listening Devices are available at the box office and reception desk at street level. • Smoking is not permitted inside the building. • Cameras (including cell phone cameras) and recording devices are not permitted. Please turn all cell phones and pagers to silent mode. • Group Sales: For information on discounts and special services, call (401) 351-4242. • Physicians and others who may need to be reached during a performance are asked to register their names and seat locations with a house manager. Emergency contact numbers are (401) 521-1100 x241 (Dowling Theater lobby) and (401) 521-1100 x282 (Chace lobby). • Children age four and over are welcome at performances — age two and over for A Christmas Carol. Younger children will not be admitted. • Gift Cards: The perfect gift! Available in any amount, at the box office, at www.trinityrep.com, or (401) 351-4242.
About Trinity Rep Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory Company — recently named the State Theater of Rhode Island — under the leadership of The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director Curt Columbus and Executive Director Michael Gennaro, is thrilled to be celebrating their 50th Anniversary season. From its humble roots in 1963 in the Trinity United Methodist Church, Trinity Repertory Company has undergone an incredible transformation in 50 years, becoming one of the most respected regional theaters in the country Featuring the last permanent resident acting company in America, Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of approximately 145,000. In its 50-year history, the theater has produced 62 world premieres which have gone on to have productions at other theaters throughout the country. Local, national and international recognition has consistently come to Trinity Rep. In 1968, it was the first American theater company invited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland and in 1981 it received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater Company. Arts education at all levels is central to Trinity Rep’s mission. This season marks the 47th year of Project Discovery, Trinity Rep’s pioneering educational outreach program. Last season, Trinity Rep’s educational programs reached over 16,000 Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut students through matinees as well as in-school residencies and workshops. The Young Actors Studio allows thousands of students participate in after-school enrichment activities at the theater as well as
in drama therapy programs designed for children on the autism spectrum. Brown University/Trinity Rep offers professional training for actors and directors in a three year MFA program which combines in-depth classroom curriculum with hands-on experience with a working professional theater. Lifelong learning thrives in talkbacks after every performance, theater arts classes for adults and public forums. In 1973, Trinity Repertory Company moved to its present home in the Lederer Theater Center at 201 Washington Street, downtown Providence. Formerly known as the Majestic Theatre, the historic building houses two performance spaces: the 500 -plus seat Chace Theater and the 300-seat Dowling Theater, as well as offices, production shops, and rehearsal halls. The theater is wheelchair accessible and offers an Assistive Listening System for the hearing-impaired. The Pell Chafee Performance Center, located at 87 Empire Street, is home to Brown/Trinity Rep’s MFA program and Trinity Rep’s educational activities for grades K–12, with classrooms and a flexible theater space. As Rhode Island’s largest arts organization, Trinity Rep has a significant impact on the community, and is a linchpin of Providence’s arts and entertainment district. The theater employs over 100 artistic and administrative staff and annually generates nearly $12 million in economic activity. Curt Columbus became artistic director in January 2006, following Amanda Dehnert, Oskar Eustis, Richard Jenkins, Anne Bogart and Adrian Hall. For more information, please visit www.trinityrep.com.
John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath adapted by Frank Galati directed by Brian McEleney • Sept. 5 – Oct. 6, 2013
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Adrian Hall & Richard Cumming directed by Tyler Dobrowsky • Nov. 9 – Dec. 28, 2013
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang Nov. 21 – Dec. 22, 2013
Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage • Jan. 30 – March 2, 2014 Oliver! book, music & lyrics by Lionel Bart • directed and choreographed by Richard & Sharons Jenkins • Feb. 21 – March 30, 2014
Veronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne • directed by Michael Perlman • April 3 – May 4, 2014 A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard • directed by Brian Mertes • May 29 – June 29, 2014
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STAFF FOR TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY Curt Columbus The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director Curt Columbus joined Trinity Rep as artistic director in Januar y 2006. His directing credits for Trinity Rep include His Girl Friday, The Merchant of Venice, Camelot, Cabaret, The Odd Couple, The Secret Rapture, The Receptionist, A Christmas Carol, Memory House, Blithe Spirit, Cherry Orchard and the world premiere of Stephen Thorne’s The Completely Fictional — Utterly
True — Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe and Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Social Creatures. Three of his plays — Paris by Night, The Dreams of Antigone, and Sparrow Grass — premiered at Trinity Rep. His adaptation of Crime and Punishment (with Marilyn Campbell) is published by Dramatists’ Play Service. Curt’s translations of Chekhov’s plays are published by Ivan R. Dee, include a collection, Chekhov: The Four Major Plays. The Dreams of Antigone and Sparrow Grass are published by Broadway Play Publishing. Curt lives in Pawtucket with his husband, Nathan Watson.
Michael Gennaro Executive Director Michael joined Trinity Rep as executive director in 2007. He was executive director for eight years at Steppenwolf Theatre where Curt Columbus was associate artistic director. He has also been executive director at Pennsylvania Ballet, managing director at Ford’s Theatre and Producing Director and CEO at Paper Mill Playhouse. Michael has served on grant panels for the NEA, TCG and the Doris Duke Foundation and was a RI Foundation Fellow in 2011. He is also licensed in NY as an attorney and is currently a referee with the Providence Roller Derby. Michael’s wife Donna Lee is a special events coordinator and his son Brendan is a musician in Chicago. Tyler Dobrowsky Associate Artistic Director Tyler has worked at Trinity Rep since 2003, where he has directed Its A Wonderful Life (2010, 2011), Love Alone (2012, co-directed with Deborah Salem Smith), A Christmas Carol (2012). As Trinity Rep’s Education Director, he was instrumental in the expansion of the Young Actors Studio after-school and summer arts programs, and helped to strengthen Trinity Rep’s landmark Project Discovery program. Tyler is the associate producer for Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, and teaches for the Brown/ Trinity Rep MFA program as well as Trinity Rep’s educational programs for children and adults. Tyler received his MA from Brown University, and studied theater at Holy Cross. Laura Smith Production Director Ms. Smith is in her 17th season with Trinity Rep. She was the associate production manager at Trinity Rep for six years and the capital projects manager for two years, overseeing the construction of the Pell Chafee Performance Center. In the past, she has been the production manager for the Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance at Brown University and the Berkshire Opera Company. She has also stage managed for institutions such as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Juilliard School.
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STAFF FOR TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY RESIDENT ACTING COMPANY Stephen Berenson, Angela Brazil, Timothy Crowe, Janice Duclos, Mia Ellis, Rebecca Gibel, Mauro Hantman, Phyllis Kay, Brian McEleney, Barbara Meek, Anne Scurria, Fred Sullivan, Jr., Stephen Thorne, Charlie Thurston, Rachael Warren, Joe Wilson, Jr. ARTISTIC AND MABEL T. WOOLLEY LITERARY DEPARTMENT The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director................... Curt Columbus Associate Artistic Director.................................... Tyler Dobrowsky Resident Designer........................................................ Eugene Lee Associate Directors...........................Brian McEleney, Brian Mertes Resident Costume Designer.......................................William Lane Resident Artist.....................................................Michael McGarty Playwright in Residence ..............................Deborah Salem Smith Director of Voice & Speech...........................................Thom Jones Literary Intern...........................................................Lexi Diamond Artistic Management Intern......................................Molly Greene EDUCATION Education Programs Manager & Teaching Artist.................................... Jordan Butterfield School Partnerships Manager.................................Matthew Tibbs Education Intern............................................... Zia Affronti Morter Community Engagement Coordinator & Teaching Artist........................................... Rebecca Noon Teaching Artists..........................Shura Baryshnikov, Angela Brazil Ted Chylack, Jackie Davis, Lexi Diamond Tyler Dobrowsky, Amanda Dolan, Billy Domineau Vicki Dorazio, Mia Ellis, Mauro Hantman, Anne Harrigan Katie Leeman, Zdenko Martin, Nikki Massoud Mike Miele, Sophie Netanel, Cari Platt, Barry Press Dave Rabinow, Matt Russell, Anne Scurria, Marcus Stacy Fred Sullivan Jr., Linda Sutherland, Stephen Thorne Hans Vermy, Rachael Warren, Joe Wilson Jr., Diana Young PRODUCTION Production Director..................................................Laura E. Smith Associate Production Director..................................... Mark Turek Asst. Production Director.....................................Anne L. Harrigan Production Assistants................. Meg Tracy Leddy, Carolyn Reich Sara Sheets Stage Management Intern.................................. Meagan E. Garcia SCENERY Technical Director...........................................................Karl Orrall Draftsman................................................................. Dylan Callery Charge Scenic Artist...................................................Philip Creech Carpenters...............................Christopher Levine, Timothy O’Neil Overhire Carpenters......................................................Jose Nunez Stage Carpenter................................................. Thomas Buckland LIGHTING Master Electrician....................................................... Ross Chabot Assistant Master Electrician..............................Matthew Donnelly First Electrician........................................................Steve McLellan Board Operator............................................................Kristen Roth Lighting Intern......................................................Virginia Herbert COSTUMES Costume Shop Director................................ Alison Walker Carrier Cutter/Draper....................................................... Kerry DeLaGarza Costume Technicians/Wardrobe................ Erin Meghan Donnelly Gillian Green, Rachel Dulude Costume Technician/Craftsperson .....................................Sylvi Re Costume Intern....................................................Patria Ferragamo PROPERTIES Master.................................................................... S. Michael Getz Artisan..........................................................................Molly Thuot AUDIO Sound Engineer............................................ Peter Sasha Hurowitz Sound Technician.......................................Andrew Bradford Ferry
Sound Board Operator................................................Brian Merckx Sound Intern...................................................................Sarah Jick ADMINISTRATION Executive Director................................................Michael Gennaro General Manager.........................................................Katie Byrnes Senior Accounting Assistant................................ Kathy Santagata Staff Accountant ..........................................................Cyndi Wood Executive Assistant.........................................Lauren Ustaszewski Business Assistant...................................................Camron Parker House Manager............................................................ Ted Chylack Assistant House Managers...................Ann Hayes, Stephen Lehrer Kelly McDonald, Karen Pigeon, Jennifer Wilson General Management Intern................................. Christian Leahy Receptionist...........................................................Kelly McDonald BUILDING OPERATIONS Director of Operations & Capital Projects............ Robert Whitney Facilities Supervisor..............................................Michael Beasley Maintenance Technician............................................ Kaii Almeida Security Supervisor...............................................Shawn Williams Security............................................Daniel Meath, Ian Sauvageau Marketing and Public Relations Director of Marketing & PR...................................... Marilyn Busch Creative Director........................................................ Michael Guy Director of Sales.........................................................Linda Barone Public Relations and Advertising Manager.................. Myah Shein Marketing Intern......................................................Corrie Ignagni Graphic Design Intern...........................................Lauren Prospere
board of trustees BOARD OF TRUSTEES Jonathan Duffy Chair Paul Choquette Vice-Chair Barbara Schoenfeld Vice-Chair John S. Lombardo Treasurer Suzanne Magaziner Secretary Hannah Bell-Lombardo Richard Beretta Angela Brazil Acting Company Linda Cohen Curt Columbus The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director Brian Daniels Tracey Daugherty Joseph L. Dowling, Jr. Michael Gennaro Executive Director Mark K.W. Gim Philip Gould William F. Greene Laura Harris Sally Herreid Elizabeth (Beppie) Huidekoper Deb Imondi Peter L. Lewiss Doris Licht Peter Lipman Gil MacLean Joseph Madden Chris Marsella Brendan McCarthy
Jack McConnell Brian McGuirk Heidi Keller Moon John Palumbo Marc Perlman Michael Prescott Donald R. Quattrucci Kibbe Reilly Kathryn Sabatini D’Anna D. Soehnge Allison Vareika Maribeth Q. Williamson Trustees Emeritus Richard L. Bready Arnold B. Chace, Jr. Johnnie C. Chace Liz Chace Michael Corrente Geoffrey B. Davis Sally T. Dowling Constance Evrard Rhoda Flaxman Frederick G. Frost III Leslie Y. Gutterman Louis Hafken John M. Harpootian Mary D. Higgins Robert J. Higgins Barry G. Hittner Michael E. Hogue John H. Howland Charles T. Hutchinson Eugene Lee Mayer A. Levitt Robert A. Reichley Myrna K. Rosen Lila Sapinsley
DEVELOPMENT Director of Development................................... Kathryn A. Calnan Associate Director of Development....................... Jennifer Canole Manager of VIP Services & Special Events................. David Azulay Annual Fund & Database Manager............................Kristen Orrall Individual & Legacy Giving Officer........................ Carol E. Drewes Donor Programs & Individual Giving Officer.................Kate Kataja Grants Writer ..........................................................Emily Atkinson Development Intern................................................ Rebecca Miller BOX OFFICE AND AUDIENCE SERVICES Box Office Manager..................................................Brian Andrade Ticket Sales Supervisors...................Amanda Mann, Walter Prince Lead Ticket Sales Reps................. Daniel Meath, Katherine Rourke Lenny Schwartz, Evan Tessier Ticket Sales Reps.............................Stephanie Carey, Sean Carufel Joharlen Carvajal, Patricia Centofanti, Steven Lloyd Theresa Rowland, Kathleen Sands, Mary Staubitz Emily Surabian, Corinne Southern Volunteer Coordinator............................................ Stephen Lehrer Audience Service Reps............ Brendon Boucher, Stephanie Carey Desiree Clements, Mike Daniels, Lexi Diamond Michael Grabosky, Alyssa Gerundio, Molly Greene Christian Leahy, Deanna Marandola, Zia Affronti Morter Dale Murgo, Dan Rowland, Marybeth Rowland Stefanie Sevcik, Meredith Wilcox Volunteers Many thanks to our dedicated volunteer ushers
Brown University/ Trinity Rep MFA PROGRAM The Richard L. Bready Artistic Director, Trinity Repertory Company.......................... Curt Columbus Director, Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs...... Stephen Berenson Head, MFA Acting................................................... Brian McEleney Head, MFA Directing.................................................. Brian Mertes Head, Voice & Speech...................................................Thom Jones Head, Movement & Physical Theatre.......................... Daniel Stein Chair, Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.............................................. Erik Ehn Director, Academic Graduate Studies.......................Spencer Golub Artistic Director, Rites and Reason Theatre......Elmo Terry-Morgan Program Administrator..................................................... Jill Jann Production Manager......................................... Margaret E. O’Neil PCPC Tech Supervisor............................................Jason Eckenroth Production Coordinator............................................ Cole Ratkoski Acting ............... Stephen Berenson, Lowry Marshall, Anne Scurria Directing.................................... Curt Columbus, Melissa Kievman Kym Moore, Joanna Settle Playwriting......... Erik Ehn, Marcus Gardley, Deborah Salem Smith Voice .................................................... D’Arcy Dersham, Carol Gill Singing..............................................................Kathryne Jennings Dance .......................Shura Baryshnikov, Michelle Bach-Coulibaly Julie Adams Strandberg Design.......................................................................... Eugene Lee Clown/Mask................................................................... Kali Quinn Alexander Technique........................................... Christine Stevens Yoga ................................................................. Olivia D’Ambrosio Professional Development................................... Tyler Dobrowsky Communications......................................... Barbara Tannenbaum Theatre History................................... Patricia Ybarra, John Emigh Performance Studies................ Eng Beng Lim, Rebecca Schneider Brown/Trinity Rep Intern...................................Christina Henricks
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The Necessity — and Impossibility — of Trinity Rep proudly announces an exciting 2014–2015 Season
Richard L. Bready artistic director Curt Columbus and associate artistic director Tyler Dobrowsky sat down with Molly Greene, artistic management intern, and Lexi Diamond, literary intern, to talk about next season. Molly Greene: What do you have planned for audiences in season 51? Tyler Dobrowsky: We’re going to open with the world premiere of a new translation of Chekhov’s Ivanov, adapted by our very own Curt Columbus. Curt Columbus: This is something that the acting company and I have been working on for a couple of years now. Ivanov is often referred to as the comic Russian Hamlet, and when we read it out loud it was just this crazy, wild ride through the Russian countryside. It’s such a perfect play for our acting company, too. I always say that, but it is especially true with this script. Tyler: Also, it’s one of Chekhov’s early plays, one that very few people have seen or read. People are more familiar with Cherry Orchard or The Seagull perhaps, but Ivanov is the one that people haven’t seen on local stages at all… Curt: There’ve been a few high-profile New York productions recently, which sparked a new interest in the play and then drew me back to the text. I had never translated this play — I went back to it, spent some time with it, and started to adapt it. It’s from a very young Chekhov, so it needed a little shaping, but it’s really grown. Tyler: Audiences haven’t seen our company perform Chekhov since Curt’s adaptation of Cherry Orchard — which was a fantastic translation and a great production. Plus, Brian McEleney, who directed this season’s stellar The Grapes of Wrath, will direct Ivanov. I’m really looking forward to seeing it come together — Ivanov is an exciting way to start the season. Curt: Then in November we’ll have our 38th(!) annual production of A Christmas Carol upstairs in the Chace Theater. We’ve added more shows to accommodate audience demand and this year it will play through New Year’s Eve. Meanwhile, downstairs we have a really delightful romantic confection… Tyler: Yes, we were looking for
Human Connection something that was sweet and funny, as well as a play that would be well known to our audiences, and we came upon Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park. Curt: We’ve found that audiences also crave something a bit lighter around the holidays, so it seemed like the perfect time to bring back a Neil Simon comedy. People just loved our production of The Odd Couple and — surprisingly — Trinity Rep has never staged Barefoot before, so this promises to be a treat for our audiences, something fast-paced and so funny… Tyler: … and a little more romantic. Curt: Right, because it’s about being young and newly married in 1960s New York. She’s a free spirit, he’s a buttoneddown lawyer, and they quickly realize they really don’t know each other that well. It’s going to be very Mad Men meets ’60s fab, so audiences can expect some fun design elements as well. Tyler: And then, after Barefoot in the Park, we have Middletown by Will Eno, a truly gifted playwright that I am thrilled to bring to our audience. Curt: Will Eno is a great contemporary American writer, and Middletown is Eno’s
effortless. Curt: As an audience, you’re swept away — he catches you up with his quirky sense of humor and then it sudden dawns on you, “Oh, wait this play is much more that I thought — it’s about all of our lives and the need for human interaction.” And the impossibility and the necessity of truly connecting with others, which is really our theme for the season: the impossibility and the necessity of human interaction. Tyler: And continuing this theme, let’s talk about The Glass Menagerie, a beautiful play that also speaks to exactly what we’re talking about. As Tennessee Williams says, it’s a memory play. It’s the young Williams looking back on his life, at his family, and how he wants to run from them but also how he needs them too. Curt: One of the most painfully beautiful plays ever written; it’s really about his mother and his sister Rose. He was haunted by her his whole life because he basically abandoned her. Then when he died he left his entire fortune to her, because he had carried that feeling in him his whole life. One of the reasons we wanted Brian Mertes to direct this is so that it didn’t turn
All of these plays ask us, some more gently than others, to consider what we find important. I think all of them lead us back ultimately to human connection, which is the only thing that really matters. take on Thornton Wilder’s Our Town but in a very contemporary way. The play is poetic and bittersweet and yet also very funny. I can’t wait to see the company tackle it. Tyler: It shares that same magic as Our Town, and is similarly set in a small town where ordinary people live their everyday lives that are also incredibly rich and full of color and pain and humor. Curt: And their lives are all interconnected. Will Eno always writes about the ways in which we’re bonded to each other — both how we muck that up, and how we make it work. How vulnerable we all are to the ways in which other people can hurt or destroy us, yet, how daring to connect to another person is essential and life affirming and ultimately joyful. Tyler: And he manages to do it sweetly and simply in a way that’s truly unique. No one writes plays like he does. They feel
into an antique, something quaint. Memory can be a painful place. As we saw with his productions of Crime and Punishment and Clybourne Park, he’s a director who really interrogates what every aspect of what’s theatrical in order to bring an audience to the truth of the story. Tyler: Not unlike how Tom says in the play, “I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.” My god, that language is beautiful. Curt: Exactly. Like Shakespeare. People say to me “Oh, it gets produced all the time.” Well, right, and every production is unique. There’s never a time you can say, “Oh, I’ve seen the definitive production of The Glass Menagerie.” It doesn’t exist. That’s like saying, “I’ve seen THE Hamlet and so I never need to see another Hamlet again.” Great stories
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bear repeating. Tyler: And speaking of great stories, we next we have Georges Feydeau’s expertly constructed comedy A Flea in her Ear, an out and out farce. It is so incredibly funny. And the way it’s been engineered by Feydeau is almost mathematical — built for maximum laughs. Curt: As with all great farce, the playwright knows exactly how he will lead you to the end. At the outset it is a play about being middle-aged and married for a long time, thinking that your marriage is over, and then realizing you’re in love with the person you thought you were going to lose. That’s what makes it so joyous. The couples spend all of this time running around trying to figure out how they’re ever going to get together, and at the end it turns out they were truly meant to be together all along. That’s what I love about it. Tyler: It is a nice bauble in the season — just very, very funny. And then, last but not least, we end the season with the highly anticipated musical adaptation of Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play. Curt: We are thrilled to produce the world premiere of this piece, with brilliant music by Todd Almond. And before you say, “Oh no, a melancholy play — it must be sad,” let me tell you, the title is part of the joke. Tyler: The plot is something that even Mel Brooks would enjoy: a woman so beautifully sad that everyone falls in love with her. But what happens when she gets happy? Curt: And the music is transcendent. When our new company members Charlie Thurston, Mia Ellis and Rebecca Gibel performed a sneak preview at a recent donor event, a woman came up to me afterwards and said, “I feel like I heard music tonight that I’ve been waiting to hear my whole life, it’s so beautiful, I want to hear it again.” And it really is an unbelievably exquisite score. Tyler: And we’re so lucky to have some lovely singing voices in these new company members. We are just blessed now to have these singers alongside our other powerhouse company members, Rachael Warren and Joe Wilson, Jr. Molly: This sounds like there is indeed something in the season for everyone. Curt: We always try to balance new work, exciting work, and contemporary work, with classics so that you’re never getting just one thing. Ivanov is both a classic and a new work, Sarah Ruhl’s play is a world premiere musical, and Will Eno is contemporary writer that we are excited to introduce to our audience, much like Lynn Nottage or Bruce Norris. Tyler: Diversity of voices is always important to us, as well as showcasing work that sparks a conversation after the show and beyond. Lexi Diamond: How does this season you’ve put together help create a dialogue about what’s happening either locally and nationally — either in an artistic sense or even a socio-political sense? Curt: With a midterm election year coming up, it is more important than ever for us to examine how we live our lives. All of these plays ask us — some more gently than others — to consider what we find important. I think all of these plays lead us back to the essential nature of sustaining strong human connections, which is the only thing that really matters. One of the things that the theater gives us is a safe, communal space to stop and consider who we are, who we choose to love and the choices we make every day.
by Anton Chekhov • translated by Curt Columbus directed by Brian McEleney World Premiere! September 4 – October 5, 2014
A fascinating early work by Anton Chekhov, often referred to as the “comic Russian Hamlet.” (The Guardian) In the talented hands of director Brian McEleney, the show promises to bring the same dramatic punch as this season’s stunning The Grapes of Wrath. SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens adapted by Adrian Hall and Richard Cumming November 8 – December 31, 2014
Back again after a sold-out run is our annual holiday classic — now available by pre-sale to subscribers only — with performances through New Year’s Eve!
Barefoot in the Park
by Neil Simon • Nov. 20 – Dec. 21, 2014
Just in time for the holiday chill, the theater unwraps Neil Simon’s delightful romantic confection, Barefoot in the Park. From one of the funniest, most beloved playwrights of his generation, Barefoot in the Park is the hilarious and sweet story of two newlyweds making a life together in 1960s New York.
Middletown by Will Eno, directed by Curt Columbus
January 22 – February 22, 2015
A bittersweet metaphysical take on the everyday existence by Massachusetts-born playwright Will Eno, hailed as “A Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation” by The New York Times.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed by Brian Mertes
February 26 – March 29, 2015
Considered by many to be one of the greatest American plays ever written, this poetic masterpiece of a memory play promises to be the dramatic highlight of the season under the taut direction of Brian Mertes (Crime and Punishment, Clybourne Park).
A Flea in Her Ear by Georges Feydeau • March 26 – April 26, 2015 No theatrical journey would be complete without a large dose of laughter. Slamming doors. Mistaken identities. Rendezvous gone awry. See for yourself why Feydeau is considered the master of French farce!
Melancholy Play: a new chamber piece
by Sarah Ruhl, music by Todd Almond World Premiere! May 28 – June 28, 2015
The highly anticipated new musical adaptation of Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play with a new score by Todd Almond. A darkly comic look at a woman so beautifully sad that everyone falls head over heels in love with her. Plays subject to change.
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Open for Business Meet our new Community Engagement Coordinator, Rebecca Noon, and learn about Trinity Rep’s new education initiative for professionals. As the community engagement coordinator, I work in several capacities in the education department at Trinity Rep, all of which involve all the ways theater artists interact with the wider world, aside from putting on plays. This involves teaching classes in acting, but also much more. We engage our community during tours of our facilities and in talkbacks after a show. We organize events that include the entire city and also intimate chats between one actor and a small group. Even sending a tweet can be engaging when it catches someone’s thoughts. We send out our flare and hope that someone sees the light, recognizes a kinship, and maybe sends one back. However, recognizing that theater benefits more than just aspiring actors, this year we are formalizing a program called Trinity Rep Business Training that has nothing to do with learning to act or watching plays. Geared to professionals who seek new perspective on the way they work, it uses all the tools of the actor and actortraining, offering participants the ability to communicate with presence, reach for new ideas and experiment with collaborative risk-taking — all necessary skills in the 21st century, and yet difficult to attain in the traditional education system. We offer theater as a tool for innovation, drawing from years of our teaching artists’ professional stage experience. We create curriculum to meet the needs of each organization, bringing the applicable tools of our craft to the business world, offering an energetic and interactive workshop environment that will give them a competitive edge and maximize their leadership potential. Trinity Rep Business Training courses are comprised of four main offerings, which each highlight a different aspect of the needs of the business world in which the performing arts excel. We call them Acting for Innovation, Leadership Development, Team Building, and Inside Trinity Rep. In Acting for Innovation, Trinity Rep teaching artists lead participants
through contemporary and classic texts in recreating scenes together, gaining skills in presence, body language, speech inflection, valuing your partner’s contributions, and collaborative accomplishment. Facilitators offer insight and perspective throughout the session, tailoring their feedback to the specific needs, goals, and values of the professional. The session culminates in a performance of the scenes followed by a wrap-up discussion, allowing participants, spectators, and facilitators to make connections between the acquired skills and those needed for manifesting a successful corporate environment. In Leadership Development, Trinity Rep teaching artists work with participants to help them find their authentic voice through many of the same tools used in finding an actor’s stage presence. Each of
BELOW: Associate artistic director Tyler
Dobrowsky leads a workshop on the set of A Christmas Carol as part of a corporate retreat.
us has a specific voice and point of view, and being in touch with that voice draws people to your words — your leadership presence. By focusing on each participant’s individual style and ability, professionals get lessons in diction, body language, and connecting with an audience in order to become someone who draws in an audience in pitches, negotiations, meetings, and presentations. Our Team Building course gives professionals the tools needed to foster a supportive community, which is the key to inspiring innovation. In the performance world, teams of creators come together for weeks at a time on one project and then move on. Because of the inherently volatile nature of this business, actors are particularly skilled in building relationships and community in a short period of time. In the business world, teams may be reconfigured or departments may merge, which can sometimes leave employees feeling unsupported or vulnerable in their new capacity, leaving them ultimately less productive and dissatisfied. Drawing from the tools used by actors in team-building, our teaching artists craft high-energy sessions that leave participants united in a spirit of creativity and bonded in their mutual goals. Sometimes the best way to gain perspective on your organization is to take a peek inside someone else’s. Inside Trinity Rep invites organizations to spend a day at Trinity Rep to see how the 50-year-old State Theater of Rhode Island runs, offering insight to corporate employees on successful tactics found in the non-profit world. We provide tours of our two theaters, numerous rehearsal studios, scene, costume, and prop shops, and administrative offices, as well as workshops in community building, leadership presence, creative collaboration, and group discussions with Trinity Rep’s managerial staff in non-profit management strategies. Trinity Rep Business Training may seem relatively new, but it’s actually something we’ve done for years with great success, we just never had a name for it. In the past, businesses reached out to us with their needs for helping their employees gain greater self-awareness and innovative techniques. We are now at the very beginning of reaching out to businesses. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring, we are sending out our own flare, knowing that there are people in our midst who seek our abilities and may fire something back. Maybe even you. —Rebecca Noon For more information, contact Rebecca Noon at (401) 521-1100 x230 or email@example.com
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