Dael Orlandersmith Will Bring STOOP STORIES to Weston Rod and Gun Club, 7/24-8/3
Obie Award-winning actor/playwright Dael Orlandersmith returns to Weston for a limited run of Stoop Stories, a one-act drama that is powerful, intelligent and completely captivating. In the play, the Harlem native embodies a half-a-dozen characters - from an 81-year old Holocaust survivor recounting a chance encounter with Billy Holiday to a 13-year old Latina who succumbs to a sexy young gang member - united over the course of time by a ubiquitous city stoop. The show runs for just 10 days from July 24 - August 3 at the Weston Rod and Gun Club.
Dael Orlandersmith is an esteemed contemporary American playwright and performer. An Obie Award-winner for Beauty's Daughter, which she wrote and starred in at American Place Theatre, she is best-known for Yellowman, commissioned by the McCarter Theatre, and for which she was a 2002 Pulitizer Prize finalist for Drama and a nominee in 2003 for a Drama Desk Award. Her style of writing is poetic, her delivery is lyrical. Her stories, drawn from both life experience and from pure imagination, deal with hard subjects told by troubled characters.
In a 2009 Washington Post review following the world premiere of Stoop Stories at the Studio Theatre, reviewer Peter Marks wrote, "The production . . . is a short and - by Orlandersmith's hard-earned standards - sweet survey of the people she's bumped into in that city of sharp elbows . . . one cup of Orlandersmith is worth a gallon of what most other monologists serve up . . . Orlandersmith assumes the role here of wryly analytical onlooker who can absorb both the pathos and the irony unfolding all around her."
If you want to spend 80 minutes glued to your seat, on an emotional journey with delicate souls whose voices are seldom heard, all delivered by one extremely talented artist - then this is a show not to be missed. Note that Orlandersmith speaks the language of the streets of New York. While beautifully-written, it is not always pretty.
Orlandersmith developed the play in part at a 2009 Weston Artists' Retreat. It is here where she met Steven Cosson who will direct her in the production. Cosson is the artistic director of the NYC theatre, The Civillians. He is a writer and director specializing in the creation of new theatre work inspired by real life. Cosson won an Obie award in 2004 for his play (I Am) Nobody's Lunch and won a coveted First Fringe award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006.
Stoop Stories will be performed from July 24 to August 3 at Weston's intimate and air-conditioned Weston Rod and Gun Club, 982 Route 100S in Weston. Show times are Tuesdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2pm, and Sundays at 3pm. The show runs 80 minutes with no intermission. Tickets to the show start at just $15 and can be purchased by calling 802-824-5288 or online at westonplayhouse.org.
The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is an award-winning nonprofit theatre nationally known for its multi-stage summer season, education and new works programs. A $10 million capital campaign is currently underway, with plans to build a year-round cultural center for Southern Vermont - a theatre arts incubator with retreats, workshops and a new studio theatre at Weston's Walker Farm.