American Players Theatre Sets 2014 Season: THE SEAGULL, AMERICAN BUFFALO & More
American Players Theatre (APT) announces its 35th Season, June 7 to November 9, 2014, a diverse lineup spanning from Shakespeare to Mamet and helmed by recently appointed Artistic Director Brenda DeVita-the company's first new artistic director in over 20 years. DeVita's season includes the first David Mamet production of the company's history, American Buffalo, and her staging of Joan Didion's memoir The Year of Magical Thinking in APT's intimate 200-seat Touchstone Theatre, alongside such classics as Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet in APT's flagship 1148-seat outdoor amphitheater Up the Hill.
Additional outdoor productions for 2014 include Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, The Doctor's Dilemma by George Bernard Shaw, and Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, the first Chekhov production at APT in over a decade. The Touchstone will also host Tom Stoppard's intellectual Travesties, a philosophical comedy sharing characters (and actors) with The Importance of Being Earnest, and Euripides' Greek masterpiece Alcestis, a translation by former British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes selected by David Frank to be his final directorial endeavor as APT's Producing Artistic Director.
Located on 110 acres of hilly woods and meadows above the Wisconsin River in Spring Green, Wisconsin, American Players Theatre was founded in 1979 and continues to be one of the most popular outdoor classical theaters in the nation. Tickets are currently available for returning patrons and go on sale to the general public Monday, April 14. Single tickets for APT's 2014 Season range from $44-$70, with special 4-Pack ticket packages starting at just $96 for four tickets to select shows Up the Hill. Ticket and lodging packages are also available at discounted rates. For more information on ticket prices, schedules, plays and casting, call the APT Box Office at 608-588-2361 or visit www.americanplayers.org.
American Players Theatre's 2014 Season
An astounding play from the master of American drama, three men struggle with poverty, friendship and trust while contemplating a robbery. Don, Teach and Bobby discuss their plans to commit the crime in Don's flailing pawn shop; their every word (and silence) meaning more than what it seems. American Buffalo digs into the minds and conversations of the desperate, turning their words into a kind of profane poetry.
Mistaken identity leads to love in this enduring comedy from the wizard of wit. Responsible, mild-mannered Jack Worthing is harboring a couple of secrets. First, he is in love with his friend Algernon's cousin, Gwendolen. And second, they both think his name is Ernest. In fact, Ernest is Jack's imaginary alter-ego - a troubled younger brother he created so that he could do whatever he liked in London and no one would ever think to judge him. But when Algernon catches on to the scheme, he decides to be Ernest himself in order to woo Jack's lovely young ward, Cecily. Confusion and hilarity reign, as the ladies try to disentangle the stories of their respective Ernests and jump the seemingly impossible hurdles to marry the Ernest they respectively love.
Much Ado About Nothing - June 13 to October 5, 2014 (Up the Hill)
By William Shakespeare - Directed by David Frank
Opening night: June 21 at 8 p.m.
Masquerades reveal as much as the hide in this hilarious comedy. Leonato's house is a happy one, complete with beautiful daughter Hero and clever niece Beatrice, as well as Beatrice's aging father Antonio. But when Leonato's friends return from war, the household is turned on its ear by the instant attraction between Hero and Claudio, and the constant bickering (and, clearly, also attraction) between Beatrice and Benedick. But there's a snake in the midst of all this affection, and Don John plots to destroy everyone's happiness before some of our couples are even aware that they are indeed a couple.
Based on the book by decorated literary journalist Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking recounts the twelve months following the unexpected death of her husband, and concurrent hospitalization of her only daughter. Featuring APT Core Company member Sarah Day, this beautifully told chronicle of memory and grief is heart-breaking, hopeful and absolutely riveting.
Romeo and Juliet - June 20 to October 4, 2014 (Up the Hill)
By William Shakespeare - Directed by James DeVita
Opening night: June 28 at 8 p.m.
The feud between the Montague and Capulet families comes to a head with tragic consequences in Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare's most renowned plays. Romeo is looking for some distraction when he and his friends decide to crash a Capulet ball. There he meets Juliet and the two instantly fall in love. But when her hot-blooded cousin Tybalt finds out there were Montagues at the family party, he becomes furious in a way that can only end in bloodshed, setting in motion a chain of events that will leave a trail of blood, broken hearts and, of course, poetry.
It's tough to live up to your parents' expectations, and tougher when your mom is a famous - and very critical - actress. Such is the plight of Arkadina's son Konstantin as he tries to make his mark as a playwright, while holding on to Nina, the woman he loves. Artistic temperaments abound as Arkadina, her lover (the famous author, Trigorin) and the rest of the charismatic cast fall in and out of love and the limelight in this darkly funny Russian comedy.
Travesties is the funny, clever and generally mind-blowing proof of Tom Stoppard's genius. Henry Carr weaves a tale of the famous people he knew in his youth - from Dadaist Tristan Tzara, to writer James Joyce to Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Lenin - his past is a veritable who's who of artistic and political history. But as the years have passed, Carr's memories of his former cohorts have become muddled with his long-ago portrayal of Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, making the play and its characters an inalienable part of his reality.
A funny and thought-provoking social commentary from George Bernard Shaw. Dr. Ridgeon has developed a cure for tuberculosis. He's at the very top of his game - and his patient load - when the charming Jennifer Dubedat comes to him pleading for the life of her husband, the talent-rich (and penny-poor) artist, Louis. But the good doctor and his friends find that, talented though he may be, Louis may have some character traits that could be deemed irredeemable when one life is weighed against another, and against Dr. Ridgeon's feelings for the dying man's wife.
Apollo has sweet-talked the Fates into giving King Admetus a life extension. But dealing with gods can be backhanded business, and the fine print demands a sacrifice. Now time's up, and there's but one volunteer: Admetus' beloved Queen. But just when you start to think those Greeks had completely lost their sense of humor, enter Heracles, riding a wave of grand ego, drunken ribaldry and, of all things, a flaming vulture. But he may be just the guy to confront that one thing feared by gods and humans alike: the unknown.