Mario Cantone, Jeni Verdon Lead Vassar & NY Stage & Film Workshops
Vassar & New York Stage and Film announce complete casting for its two Inside Look play workshops to be offered this season at Powerhouse Theater: Margaret and Craig by David Solomon, directed by Sheryl Kaller (July 1-3) and Handball by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, directed by Cándido Tirado (July 15-17). The cast members will include Mario Cantone (Laugh Whore, Sex and the City, Assassins) and Jeni Verdon (Love Sucks) in Margaret and Craig, and Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure, Quiz Show, The Exonerated, Numb3rs), Obie® Award winner Danny Hoch (Black Hawk Down, Prison Song, Blue Bloods), John Douglas Thompson (The Emperor Jones, Cyrano de Bergerac), and Victor Rasuk (Raising Victor Vargas, How to Make it in America, ER), among others.
Inside Look Play 2011 semi-staged workshops:
July 1-3, Susan Stein Shiva Theater
The dazzling, dizzying Craig Russell (Mario Cantone), a 1970s female impersonator battling inner demons on his way to cult stardom. His quest for fame tests and transforms his relationship with the only person who truly knows him, his best friend and beloved confidant, author Margaret Gibson (Jeni Verdon).
Performances: July 1, 2 at 8:00pm; July 3 at 2:00 and 7:00pm
By Seth Zvi Rosenfeld
Directed by Cándido Tirado
With Reiko Aylesworth (Lights Out, ER, 24) as Laurie, Carlton Byrd (Blue Bloods) as Ra-Ra, Obie® Award winner Danny Hoch (Black Hawk Down, Prison Song, Blue Bloods) as Barry, Jeffrey Joseph (The Wrong MR. Johnson) as Gee, Morgan Lynch (Nova Scotia) as Little Lucy, Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure, Quiz Show, The Exonerated, Numb3rs) as Christopher, Drama Desk® nominee John Douglas Thompson (The Emperor Jones, Cyrano de Bergerac) as Panama, Felix Solis (The Good Wife) as Orlando, Victor Rasuk (Raising Victor Vargas, How to Make it in America, ER) as Javier.
July 15-17, Susan Stein Shiva Theater
A handball court earmarked to become a dog run becomes a battlefield in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood. Set against the backdrop of New York City's scorching summer heat, this report from the front lines of a neighborhood 'in transition' is a fresh and startling story of community, Culture Clash and turbulence around change.
Performances: July 15, 16 at 8:00pm; July 17 at 2:00 and 7:00pm.
Please note that seating in the Susan Stein Shiva Theater for both Inside Look workshops is general admission, and there is no assigned seating. The theater opens 15 minutes before curtain. There is no late seating. The Shiva is intimate and all seat locations are excellent.
Powerhouse Theater's Café on the Quad will be open pre-performance on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the Powerhouse season and will feature Mediterranean favorites from Gigi's Hudson Valley. Relax and have a bite before the shows the Café, located by the Marcel Breuer-designed Ferry House on the Frances Daly Fergusson Quadrangle. Artists and audiences will gather, mingle, relax and enjoy Powerhouse's festival atmosphere, while savoring Gigi's signature dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients that highlight the bounty of The Farms, gardens, and food artisans of the Hudson Valley, as well as wine and beer. (Friday and Saturdays, June 24-July 30) In addition, Tree City Coffee will serve as concessionaire at all performances and will feature their special brews and a selection of sweets. For more information and menus, see the website http://powerhouse.vassar.edu/visit or call (845) 437-7645.
Powerhouse Theater is the result of a unique collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College, the program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus (124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY) during which more than 250 professional artists and 40-50 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works. Award-winning writers, directors, and actors all converge in Poughkeepsie, New York, for six weeks each summer to create exciting new work in an intimate setting.
Each summer New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) and Vassar College (Ed Cheetham, Producing Director) have offered discerning audiences a chance to see new works, which have included the the multi-award-winning Doubt (2004); the re-imagined classic On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (2010), to be presented on Broadway this fall; the groundbreaking Broadway musical American Idiot (2009); and A Steady Rain (2006), produced on Broadway in 2009 with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.
Subscriptions to the 2011 Powerhouse Theater season and single tickets are available both online at powerhouse.vassar.edu and through the Powerhouse Theater box office on the Vassar campus: (845) 437.5599 // (845) 437.7235; PHTBoxoffice@vassar.edu; Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY.
About the Inside Look creative teams
Margaret and Craig:
Sheryl Kaller (Director, Margaret and Craig)
Sheryl Kaller most recently received a Tony Nomination for Best Director for the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts. Next Fall (Tony Nomination for Best Play) first played to rave reviews at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, produced by Naked Angels. Ms. Kaller directed Adrift In Macao, a musical by Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick, at Primary Stages, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, and an early incarnation at New York Stage and Film. Other work includes Dangerous Beauty, book by Jeannine Dominy, music by Michele Brourman, lyrics by Amanda McBroom (American Music Theater Project); Jayson With a Y (New Group); Rain by ReGina Taylor (New York Stage and Film Readings Festival); Weird Romance by Alan Menken & David Spencer (The York Theater/Mufti); The New Americans by Cindy Lou Johnson (A.C.T.'s new works series); The Talk by Frank Pugliese (Naked Angels); How To Get To Where We're Going by Theresa Rebeck (Naked Angels/Democracy Project); The Fitting by Frank Pugliese (Naked Angels/Democracy Project); The Hurdy Gurdy Man by Dick Beebe (New York Stage and Film); Oh, Figaro (National Theater for the Deaf/National Tour 2003/2004); Patter For A Floating Lady by Steven Martin & Peter Melnick (Santa Barbara Ensemble); and Next, Please (Laurie Beechman Theater/Dramalogue Award for Best New Musical). Sheryl is the Co-Founder of Two Island Productions where she served as Artistic Director from 1994 until 2000.
Paul Masse (Musical Director, Margaret and Craig)
Paul Masse most recently conducted the Broadway production of Kander and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys, having conducted the world premiere of the piece at the Vineyard Theatre in 2010. Other Kander and Ebb projects include First You Dream and The Visit at Signature Theatre, and the Broadway productions of Curtains and Chicago. Fourteen other Broadway credits as a musician including Avenue Q, 42nd Street, and Gypsy. Off-Broadway: Jacques Brel..., The Fantasticks. 1st National/LA: Wicked. Various film/television recordings. BFA: NYU.
David Solomon (Playwright, Margaret and Craig)
David has worked extensively as an Assistant and Associate Director to Joe Mantello, Scott Ellis, Sam Buntrock, Christopher Gattelli and Bill Condon. He has worked on eleven Broadway productions including 9 to 5; Pal Joey; Sunday in the Park with George; The Ritz; Curtains; as well as Laugh Whore and Assassins with Mario Cantone. He directed and conceived the first Broadway Recycled concert at Joe's Pub in 2010 and was the director of Marrying Meg for NYMF and My AIDS for the At Hand Theatre Company. He wrote the plays Free Donuts and Union Square for the Developing Artists Theatre Company at Center Stage, and the book for The Sexless Years, which was performed at Ars Nova. Margaret and Craig has had early developmental readings at the Roundabout Theatre Company and New York Theatre Workshop - and, being a Vassar graduate and former New York Stage and Film intern, David is thrilled to have the opportunity to be here with this project.
SETH Zvi RosenFELD (Playwright, Handball)
Plays: The Writing on the Wall produced by the Westbeth Theatre Center; The Blackeyed Brothers which he directed as well, produced by Double Image Theatre and winner of the Samuel French short play award; A Brother's Kiss and After the Marching Stopped, initially produced by Angel Theater and later re-titled Brothers Mothers and Others for its Off Broadway run; Servy-n-Bernice 4ever, produced commercially Off-Broadway at the Provincetown Playhouse; A Passover Story commissioned by the late Joseph Papp for The Public Theater; The Flatted Fifth and Everythings Turning Into Beautiful produced by The New Group; the tiny plays La Familia, My Starship and PS: I'm glad you sent your hair for Naked Angels and the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival. He has worked extensively in film and TV. Currently: Seth is at work on the book for the musical stage version of the film Superfly to be produced by The Dodgers and Tommy Mottola and directed by Bill T. Jones. He serves as Writer/Producer on HBO's half-hour comedy "How to Make it in America" and is adapting the book The Wrecking Crew with Artie Nelson for a feature film to star Philip Seymour Hoffman.
CÁNDIDO TIRADO (Director, Handball)
Cándido Tirado has directed over a dozen plays including Migdalia's Cruz' El Grito Del Bronx. As a playwright Fish Men will have its premiere at The Goodman Theatre in collaboration with Teatro Vista. Momma's Boyz will be produced this fall by Teatro Vista in Chicago. His Off-Broadway productions include: Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (co-written) at New World Stages and which was also performed in Las Bellas Artes in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Tenerife and Miami; King Without a Castle, Checking Out, First Class (Puerto Rican Traveling Theater); The Barber Shop; Momma'z Boyz (Repertorio Español). Other productions include: The Missteps of a Salsa Dancer; From Dating to Death in Five Easy Steps; Ilka: The Dream; and Hands of Stone. King Without a Castle was also workshopped at Sundance Theater Lab. Some People Have All The Luck was produced at the National Theater of the Dominican Republic and New York. Heart Stopping Sex was produced by Soho Rep. His other plays include: The Kid Next Door; Hey There Black Cat; Abuelo; Fish Men; and The Missing Colors of the Rainbow. He co-wrote award winning short film with Alfredo Bejar Getting to Heaven, and was a staff writer for the TV show "Ghostwriter" where he was nominated for a Humanitas award. His screenplays include: Da Bronx, El Casique del Poker and It's Going to Take a Miracle. He's a four-time winner of the New York Foundation of the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. Publications: First Class, "Recent Puerto Rican Theater: Five Plays from New York" (Arte Publico); Some People Have All the Luck, "Nuestro New York: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Playwrights" (Penguin, Mentor Books). He's a co-founder of EDUCATIONAL PLAYS PRODUCTION with his wife Carmen Rivera, which tours the public schools presenting plays with social issues concerning the youth.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos