Trinity Rep to Premiere VERONICA MEADOWS, 4/3-5/4
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.