Berkshire Playwrights Lab Presents Staged Reading of FAR FROM THE TREES Tonight
Berkshire Playwrights Lab will present a staged reading of Christina Gorman's Far From the Trees, directed by Tim Raphael, tonight, August 21 at 7:30pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, Mass.). There is no charge for admission, however, Berkshire Playwrights Lab suggests a $10.00 donation to help offset its programming costs. For reservations, call 413.528.0100 or visit the Mahaiwe box office in person.
In Far From the Trees, Leighton, a widower, spends his days painstakingly unearthing a forest of petrified trees, which he has discovered on his land. He constantly clashes with his brooding nephew Garrett, a physics prodigy, who has just been expelled from school. With the university now demanding its scholarship money back, Garrett and his mother find themselves deep in debt. When a graduate student in paleobotany arrives, she brings news that upends Leighton's simple life and threatens to crumble his already fractured family. The cast of five actors is TBA.
"Christina Gorman came to us through the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater. We are delighted to present her Far From the Trees this year. She writes fascinating, bracing characters, putting them in a situation where the audience is anxiously awaiting the outcome," said Berkshire Playwrights Lab Co-Artistic Director Bob Jaffe.
Gorman's play, American Myth, was awarded the 2012 Blue Ink Playwriting Award from American Blues Theater in Chicago and will be produced there in March 2014, directed by Steve Scott. The play was developed while she was a member of The Public Theater's inaugural Emerging Writers Group and where it was presented as part of The Public Theater's Spotlight Series. The play was also presented in the hotINK International Festival, at Westport Country Playhouse, and it was named a finalist for the Princess Grace Award. Her play, Split Wide Open, has been produced at SPF in New York City and was developed with a fellowship from Ensemble Studio Theatre through its New Voices Program. The play was also named runner-up for the Princess Grace Award. Her play, Just Knots, was named winner of the Samuel French Short Play Festival and is published in the Samuel French Publication Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, 34th Series, and DNA has been produced at Prospect Theatre Company, Hangar Theatre, Samuel French Short Play Festival, and in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it received the award for Overall Excellence in Playwriting. Her play, Sacred Ground, was produced at Stella Adler Studios, where she was the 2010-11 Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence. Her short play, The God Particle, was produced at the Planet Connections Festival, the Estrogenius Festival, and at Stageworks/ Hudson. Her latest play, Orion Rising, was developed at the New Harmony Project and at the Lark Play Development Center. She was a 2010-11 Fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts, is an alumna of the Women's Project Playwrights Lab, and was recently named Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theater.
Tim Raphael is a director, writer, adapter, and producer who has been involved in the development of over 50 new American plays. He was the co-founder and co-artistic director of Mumbo Jumbo, a multicultural acting ensemble that staged plays from the Western canon in a global context, associate producer at Theatre for a New Audience, associate artistic director at East Coast Arts, and an affiliated artist at New York Theater Workshop. He has a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, and has taught and directed at Northwestern, Wesleyan University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, and the Universidade Aberta in Lisbon, Portugal. Currently he is an associate professor of Arts, Culture and Media, and director of the Center for Migration and the Global City at Rutgers University. Recent theater projects include Something to Declare and Time Without Number, both based on the experience of recent immigrants to the United States and developed from oral histories and ethnographies conducted by his students at Rutgers;Robeson in Space, a Cold War fantasia co-written with composer/performer Guillermo E. Brown; and Wisconsin Death Trip, a folk opera adapted from Michael Lesy's book, which he directed and co-wrote with composer Jeff Berkson. He has written extensively on politics and performance, and is a regular commentator on contemporary political culture for several magazines and journals. His book, Ronald Reagan: The President Electric, chronicles Reagan's pre-political apprenticeship as a performer in radio, film, television, advertising and public relations to explore how the techniques and technologies of electronic media have transformed American politics.