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Paula Vogel Joins the Cast of SONNETS FOR AN OLD CENTURY

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The cast features Isabel Arraiza (THE LITTLE THINGS), Danielle Davenport (AN OCTOROON), Sara Koviak (PIPPIN), and more!

Paula Vogel Joins the Cast of SONNETS FOR AN OLD CENTURY

BARD AT THE GATE - the digital theater play series begun at the height of the pandemic - has announced that BARD creator and co-curator Paula Vogel is one of seven performers in the cast of Jose Rivera's SONNETS FOR AN OLD CENTURY, debuting December 1 at 7:30 p.m. (eastern) at www.mccarter.org/bard. Directed by Mr. Rivera, the cast features Isabel Arraiza (THE LITTLE THINGS), Danielle Davenport (AN OCTOROON), Sara Koviak (PIPPIN), Michael John McGann (ARSENIC AND OLD LACE), Joel Perez (FUN HOME), Feliz Angel Solis (BASILICA), and Paula Vogel (PETER PAN, 4th grade).

SONNETS FOR AN OLD CENTURY is described, as follows: In the afterlife you're given one chance to make a statement about your life. Your words go out into the universe to be "recycled among the living." You can tell a story, make a confession, argue with existence, bargain with God, whatever you want. In "Sonnets for an Old Century," recently deceased people give their statements and tell their side of the story. A scientist talks about a mysterious force that nearly seduced her in her youth ... a man can analyze other people's laughter ... another man convinces us he's the mythical character Icarus ... a screenwriter claims she gets advice from her brain tumor ... a migrant farm worker watches her parents turn to rain ... a young woman talks about all the "first times" that made her life truly meaningful. These stories and many others make up this intimate mosaic.

With SONNETS - the second play of BARD's sophomore season - the series also announces a new OPENING NIGHT policy: access to the digital production will be FREE for the first 24 hours, giving viewers across the globe an increased window to watch each play prior to a Talk Back with the playwright and members of the creative staff, according to BARD producer Rosey Strub. The SONNETS live Talk Back - also free - will take place December 2 at 7:30 p.m (eastern). Paula Vogel will moderate the discussion with Jose Rivera, composer Maria del Sol and the cast. www.mccarter.org/sonnets

Subsequent to each play's opening, BARD productions are available to view for $15 through the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. All ticket sales go towards paying the artists involved along with the production of overlooked new work in subsequent seasons.

Ms. Strub notes, "We are aware of a growing audience for BARD nationwide and internationally since we began on a wing and a prayer in 2020, and this new means of launching a production gives more people more time to view the play and participate in a post-show discussion that is key to the play's future. Audience engagement and how BARD plays can be used in a classroom are just two aspects of the series that we are investing in."

Co-curated by the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony-nominated playwright Paula Vogel and Nicole A. Watson, associate artistic director at McCarter Theater Center, BARD AT THE GATE has become one of the leading innovators of digital theater, with five rarely-seen contemporary plays, to date, having been produced. BARD season two launched on November 3, 2021 with Zakkiyah Alexander's HOW TO RAISE A FREEMAN, directed by Reginald Douglas, the newly-announced artistic director of Mosaic Theater in Washington, DC.

Author of the seminal plays HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (Pulitzer Prize) and INDECENT (Tony nomination) Paula Vogel - who turned 70 earlier this month - counts among her acting credits: Peter Pan in 4th grade, a solo performance of THE TROJAN WAR in 5th grade, Sister George in THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE (Catholic University), M. Carey Thomas in IN HER OWN IMAGE (Bryn Mayr). She is particularly proud of her falsetto performance of Rhoda in THE BAD SEED (Brown University) and reading stage directions at The Public Theatre in Thornton Wilder's LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER.

Jose Rivera is the author of such celebrated plays as REFERENCES TO SALVADOR DALI MAKE ME HOT, SUENO, CLOUD TECTONICS and THE HOUSE OF RAMON IGLESIAS. He was the first Puerto Rican nominated for a Academy Award for his screenplay, MOTORCYCLE DIARIES.

About her decision to join the cast of SONNETS, Ms. Vogel notes, "Jose Rivera is one of America's greatest playwrights. SONNETS is a gentle plea to know our interconnectedness during our lifetimes rather than discover it after we have gone. He has taken the tempos of Arecibo, Puerto Rico and taught the English language how to dance."

Music for SONNETS FOR AN OLD CENTURY is by Maria del Sol. Milan Eldridge is stage manager. Digital filming and editing by Virtual Design Collective (ViDCo). Creative direction by Jared Mezzochi.

McCarter Theater Center is under the leadership of Sarah Rasmussen, artistic director; Michael S. Rosenberg, managing director.

BARD AT THE GATE will continue in 2022 with Lloyd Suh's Charles Francis CHAN JR.'S EXOTIC ORIENTAL MURDER MYSTERAY in January and PASSING by Dipika Guha in March.

BARD AT THE GATE is sponsored by its Vanguard Circle: Roz and Jerry Meyer, Sallie B. Goodman Fund, Daryl Roth, Elizabeth Armstrong, Larry Hirschhorn and Melissa Posen.

For more information visit: www.mccarter.org/sonnets

Photo credit: Shoshanah Tarkow


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