Full 22 Person Cast Announced for ReGroup's A TEXAS TRILOGY, 8/7-24
Commonly known as A Texas Trilogy, the three plays centered on small-town life set the theatre world afire in 1974. Originally presented at the Dallas Theatre Center, the plays drew such attention that NY critics and theatre luminaries were soon flying to Dallas to witness American theatre at its finest. Signed by legendary agent Audrey Wood, who had also discovered Tennessee Williams and William Inge, Jones's plays then transferred to a sold-out run at the Kennedy Center. Preston Jones went from obscurity to being on the cover of many national magazines. The Saturday Review cover proudly proclaimed him "The Next O'Neill." A bidding war then broke out to bring the plays to New York, and, directed by Alan Schneider, they finally arrived on Broadway in 1976.www.aTexasTrilogy.com
The 22 person cast consists of Hamish Allan-Headley, Charles Black, Tish Brandt, Claire Buckingham, Phil Cappadora, Stephen Felix, Alex C. Ferrill, Daniel Krstyen, John Lenartz, Ted Morgan, Richard Pearson, Rosalee Redmond, Anthony Rinaldi, Rick Schneider, Conrad Shaw, Freddie Stevens and Bradley Stryker. Krystle Henninger is the Stage Manager and Sarah Riffle is the Lighting Designer. The plays are all directed by Allie Mulholland.
After three years of presenting most of the Group Theatre's plays for the first time in 80 years, as well as publishing some of them for the first time ever, ReGroup has spread its wing by focusing on plays inspired by the Group. ReGroup's next season is based on Audrey Wood, who was probably the most influential woman in American Theatre, though she's mostly been forgotten. Tennessee Williams received his first prize after he submitted three short plays to the Group Theatre. From there, he was discovered by agent Audrey Wood, decades ahead of her time for a female power agent in the 1930's. Ms. Wood went on to discover such playwrights as William Inge, Arthur Kopit, Carson McCullers, Robert Anderson, Brian Friel, Preston Jones, and many others.
The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia A fraternity of Bradleyville's "good ol' boys," The Knights of the White Magnolia has long since lost sight of its espoused concern with patriotism and racial purity and has become an excuse for a handful of cronies to share a game of dominoes and a spot of liquid refreshment. Having dwindled steadily in membership, the lodge has found a new recruit from a neighboring town, and his appearance gives the remaining members a chance to resurrect their ancient "mystical" initiation rite. But this event, despite its intentional seriousness, becomes one of the wildest, funniest scenes imaginable
Cue magazine described it as: "A comic masterpiece-colorful, perceptive and continuously uproarious-which depicts the sad/funny death throes of an outdated southern fraternal order. "Jones' uncanny ear for local idiom and his obvious delight in people's idiosyncratic behavior make this a richly funny play."
The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "Jones' characters are hilarious and painfully real...."
And the Bergen Record said: "It firmly establishes Preston Jones as one of the most significant playwrights of our time."
Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander is a 17-year-old a high school cheerleader who dreams of faraway places. However, after high school, she instead settles for marriage to a friend of her Korean War veteran brother. Ten years later, in the following Act, Lu Ann is a divorced single mother working as a beautician. She meets and marries Corky Oberlander. Ten more years on, Lu Ann is living with her teenaged daughter, her now alcoholic brother, and mother who has been enfeebled by a stroke. Hilarious and touching, you won't forget Lu Ann.
The New York Times wrote: "This poignant, revealing and frequently hilarious play offers a touching-and telling-portrait of a girl (and then woman) trapped in the backwater of a small Texas town...the most interesting American playwright to emerge since Tennessee Williams."
Hollywood Reporter: "Preston Jones is clearly and demonstrably a great American playwright..."
Bergen Record: "Beat the drums and ring the bells. A major new dramatist has arrived on the Broadway scene."
The Oldest Living Graduate is a powerful, moving, and yet consistently humorous study of an often cantankerous but thoroughly lovable old curmudgeon whose spirit remains unbowed even in the face of approaching death. Colonel Kinkaid, a crusty World War I veteran now confined to a wheelchair, regales anyone who will listen to his war stories. His son, an aggressive wheeler-dealer, learns that the Colonel is the oldest living graduate of Mirabeau B. Lamar Military Academy. When the school decides to hold a celebration honoring the old man, the son persuades them to do so in Bradleyville, hoping to benefit from the resulting publicity. But getting his father to agree to the plan and to part with a piece of property which the son covets for commercial purposes, are other matters. Resolute to the end, Colonel Kinkaid resents being the "oldest living anything."
Cue magazine wrote that this play is "the most deeply felt play of the trilogy. Its characters are fully drawn, and their clashing values summarize the glory and the tragedy of a face of America that Preston Jones knows well and loves best."
Bergen Record: "Preston Jones has created no less than a masterpiece."
NY Daily News: "It is an extremely funny play and an extremely touching one."
And Variety simply said this play is: "enthralling theatre."
THE REGROUP THEATRE is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit theatre company devoted to meaningful American Theatre. Starting with the plays of the Group Theatre, ReGroup has presented 6 full productions of their lost plays, many for the first time in 80 years, along with 11 fully stages readings, including the unpublished Clifford Odets' play Silent Partner and Johnny Johnson directed by Estelle Parsons. In addition to their productions, they have published 3 volumes of The Lost Group Theatre Plays, most of which have been out of print for 80 years or never before published. Paul Green Jr. referred to their recent revival of The House of Connelly as "an artistic earthquake," and critic Peter Filichia writes "ReGroup is one of the most important companies in the city. Allie Mulholland unearths long-neglected treasures and directs them with loving care. He is the round-the-clock nurse for the Fabulous Invalid. Don't miss even one of his productions."
Please visit www.regrouptheatre.org for more information.
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