November 17, 2014

American Players Theatre Announces its 2015 Season


American Players Theatre (APT) is excited to announce its 2015 season, which will run June 6 – October 18, 2015.

UP THE HILL THEATRE

The Merry Wives of Windsor
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Tim Ocel

When infamous mooch and layabout Sir John Falstaff arrives in Windsor, he immediately decides his path to riches lies in finding a wealthy woman to woo. So he sets about writing identical love letters to two married ladies about town – Mistresses Ford and Page. Though the letters fail to have the intended effect, the ladies find them an excellent inlet to toy with Falstaff, resulting in a funny and energetic exploration of marriage, miscommunication and forgiveness, featuring charming characters and shenanigans to spare.

A Streetcar Named Desire
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by William Brown

After losing her job and family home, fading Southern beauty Blanche DuBois heads to New Orleans to stay with her sister, Stella. Stella’s enthusiasm over her sister’s extended visit is tempered by worries about the reaction of her unpredictable husband, Stanley. As it turns out those worries are justified, as Blanche’s frailty and narcissism and Stanley’s violent temper make for an ever more explosive mix. A stunning story of complicated love and last chances.

Pride and Prejudice
Adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan
From the novel by Jane Austen

The Bennet sisters look for love under the watchful eye of their mother, for whom love takes a backseat to social placement. Mrs. Bennet has her work cut out for her – her daughters (and Elizabeth in particular) have their own very specific ideas on who might make an appealing husband. But as the young ladies seek their fortunes, they may find that what they’re looking for may not really be what they want. An irresistible romantic comedy based on the novel by Jane Austen.

Private Lives
By Noël Coward
Directed by James Bohnen

Determined to forget their first volatile marriage, Elyot and Amanda have moved on to more reasonable partners who love them madly. Mad, perhaps, being the operative word. But when Amanda and Elyot see each other again – each on honeymoon with their second spouses, no less – it’s obvious that their spark hasn’t been extinguished by their new pairings. Now the two must decide what to do, and try not to kill each other in the meantime. A cosmopolitan comedy of Noël Coward proportions perfectly suited to APT’s company.

Othello
By William Shakespeare
Directed by John Langs

Grave self-doubt leads to tragedy in this moving Shakespearean masterpiece. Othello has successfully won the heart of the lovely Desdemona. But not everyone is happy about this love connection, whether they admit it openly or not. So when his “friend” Iago starts whispering that Desdemona has been unfaithful, Othello is confronted by demons of doubt and the tenuous self-esteem that comes with being treated like an outsider. Love and jealousy fight to the death, spurred by the unconscionable actions of one of literature’s most evil and compelling villains.

TOUCHSTONE THEATRE 

An Iliad 
By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare
Adapted from Homer’s The Iliad by Robert Fagle
Directed by John Langs

Homer’s epic tale distilled to one war-torn poet, actor Jim DeVita takes us on a thrilling, wrenching tour of the Trojan War. The intimate Touchstone Theatre is an ideal space for this exploration of the contradictory conditions of glory and violence, and the human race’s seemingly endless fascination with war.

The Island
By Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona
 
John and Winston are black political prisoners in South Africa, spending their days at hard labor and their evenings rehearsing Sophocles’ Antigone. Though the two men are deeply bonded to one another, their friendship is tested when John discovers that his most recent appeal was successful, while Winston is still looking at years of brutal incarceration ahead. A profile on the depth of human resilience in the face of unspeakable injustice and racism.
 
The Game of Love and Chance
By Pierre Carlet de Marivaux
Translated by Stephen Wadsworth
Directed by David Frank
 
Making the most of her arranged marriage, Silvia switches places with her ladies’ maid Lisette to observe her betrothed more carefully. What she doesn’t know is that her husband-to-be, Dorante, had the exact same idea, trading identities with his valet, Harlequin. Sparks fly immediately between both couples, leaving them in a quandary about where their allegiances lie, and whether class lines can be crossed in the name of love. A hilarious period comedy.

Seascape
By Edward Albee
Directed by Laura Gordon

The play begins with a middle-aged couple picnicking on the shore. On the cusp of retirement, Nancy and Charlie contemplate the changing expectations that come with long-term love and ever-dwindling days. As tension brews, the two of them must decide how to take on this final life-stage, and whether they can continue into it together – a decision they make with the help of some unlikely visitors.
 
Photo from here.

November 12, 2014

Golda’s Balcony


I’ve always had an affinity for plays that teach me a bit about history. Golda’s Balcony, the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history, does just that. Written by the same playwright who brought Helen Keller’s story alive in “The Miracle Worker,” Golda’s Balcony explores the life of Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir.

Miki Mathioudakis plays the titular character with a firm grace. Golda was the prime minister during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, a terrifying time for the country of Israel. There is a delicate tightrope to walk for all political leaders, but that’s even truer when a country is in the midst of a tumultuous time.
 

The set is a simple room, but the backdrop is a huge projector screen. Throughout the production the screen displays images of the political adviser and world leaders as she discusses each one. It also had photos from her childhood and maps of the areas under attack. These elements help bring the audience into the story, connecting them with the real events as Golda explains her difficult decisions during that time period.

It's a slow moving play, one that deals with big issues in a gentle way. It’s 90 minutes long with no intermission, but there is very little action. It falls into a storyteller category for me, Golda speaking directly to the audience as she tells her tale. She talks about her childhood, upbringing, marriage, fears, goals, and major world events. At times the details weigh the flow down, but the end goal is reached. The bittersweet tone reminds audiences of the horrible nature of war and its inevitable encroachment into our lives.
 

Golda’s Balcony has closed it run, but up next is the perennial favorite musical “The Wizard of Oz.” The show opens at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre on December 12, just in time for the holidays.
 
Don't Miss "The Wizard of Oz"
Performances: The show runs from December 12 until January 3. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Thursday through Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is located at 3 Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032 at the Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets: Ticket prices range from $24 to $46.50 and can be purchased by calling (317) 843-3800 or visiting www.civictheatre.org.
Photos courtesy of Zach Rosing