Photo Flash: FLIGHT OF THE MONARCH Makes World Premiere at Gloucester Stage Company
Gloucester Stage Company continues its 38th season of professional theater on Cape Ann with the world premiere of Jim Frangione's Flight of the Monarch from September 8 through September 30 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Flight of the Monarch is the story of two middle-aged siblings, Sheila and Thomas, born, raised and still living in a small fishing town on the New England coast. This darkly comic play explores how siblings lives are intertwined, what we owe to the people who know and love us best and, how family members' needs and desires may push the boundaries of what we are expected to do for others. Directed by Gloucester Stage Managing Director Jeff Zinn, Flight of the Monarch cast features Gloucester Stage veteran and Rockport resident Nancy E. Carroll and Gloucester Stage newcomer J. Tucker Smith as siblings, Sheila and Thomas. Flight of the Monarch has had developmental workshops at Berkshire Playwrights Lab and at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, all directed by GSC's Managing Director Jeff Zinn. Flight of the Monarch was presented last September as a reading in GSC's NeverDark Series. According to GSC Managing Director Jeff Zinn, "We received such an overwhelming audience response to the reading during NeverDark last fall that we felt the play would be a good fit in our 2017 season."
An actor as well as a playwright, Jim Frangione has acted for over 30 years in New York and across the country, performing in the original Off Broadway production and the Alley Theatre & National Tour productions of David Mamet's Oleanna. With the Atlantic Theater Company, he performed in Romance, Ghost Stories; The Night Heron; Hobson's Choice; Hellhound On My Trail; Edmond and on Broadway in The Old Neighborhood. Regionally Mr. Frangione has appeared at the Humana Festival in The Delling Shore; Berkshire Theatre Festival in American Buffalo; Long Wharf in The Front Page; and Mark Taper Forum in Romance. His film credits include Joy, Transamerica, Spartan, Heist, State and Main, The Spanish Prisoner, Homicide, Suits, Claire Dolan and Maryam. Mr. Frangione is Co-artistic director of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab in Great Barrington, MA.
Rockport resident Nancy E. Carroll last appeared at Gloucester Stage in 2015's critically acclaimed The New Electric Ballroom. Her other Gloucester Stage appearances include: 4000 Miles, North Shore Fish, TRAD; Breath of Life, Doubt: A Parable; Happy Days, My Old Lady, Spinning Into Butter and 2003's Elliot Norton Award winning production of Collected Stories. She appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter with the Roundabout Theatre Company and internationally she has appeared in The Cripple of Inishmaan and Big Maggie with Druid Theatre, Ireland. Regionally her performances include Ripcord, I Was Most Alive With You, The Seagull, Rapture Blister Burn, Good People, The Luck of the Irish, Prelude to a Kiss, Brendan, Present Laughter, The Rose Tattoo, and Dead End at the Huntington Theatre Company; Our Town, and She Loves Me at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Uncanny Valley at Stoneham Theatre; The Year of Magical Thinking, and The Glass Menagerie at Lyric Stage; Trad with Tir Na Theatre; The Clean House, Frozen, Sweeney Todd, and Kindertransport with New Repertory Theatre; Other Desert Cities, The Savannah Disputation, The Women, Company and A Man Of No Importance with Speakeasy Stage; Bailengangaire with Súgán Theatre; Humble Boy, Hamlet and The Winter's Tale at the Publick Theatre; Auntie and Me with Merrimack Repertory; and Buried Child and The Unexpected Man with the Nora Theatre among many others. Ms. Carroll received Elliot Norton Awards for her portrayals of Miss Erickson in Present Laughter and the Woman in Brendan at the Huntington Theatre Company and Mommo in Bailegangaire with the Súgán Theatre Company. Ms. Carroll's film and tv appearances include Spotlight, Olive Kitteridge and Irrational Man.
J. Tucker Smith makes his GSC debut in Flight of the Monarch. A graduate of Northwestern University, his New York credits include the Manhattan Theatre Club, One Dream Theatre and Closer (standby) on Broadway. Regionally, Mr. Smith's work includes Dinner With Friends at Alliance in Atlanta; Antony and Cleopatra; Blackbird at Theatre Works Hartford (Connecticut Critics Circle Award); in Chicago: Chicago Shakespeare; Royal George Theatre, and St. Nicholas. On television he has appeared on Daredevil; White Collar; The Following; Third Watch; a recurring role on Damages; many episodes in the Law and Order franchise; and many daytime soap opera appearances in the 80's. His feature film credits include Thirteen Days; Shaft; Hi Life; The Forgotten; Solidarity; and three soon to be released films: Addicted; Sender and The Coolest Girl In The World. Born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Mr. Smith is thrilled to be almost home in Gloucester where his dad set lobster pots many years ago.
GSC Managing Director and Flight of the Monarch director Jeff Zinn has been acting, directing, teaching, and writing about theater for more than 30 years. He made his GSC directing debut in 2016 with The Totalitarians. Before coming to GSC he was best known as the longtime artistic director of Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT) on Cape Cod where he produced almost 200 productions, many of which he directed. Under his leadership, WHAT became a nationally recognized regional theater presenting provocative new American plays for a diverse and appreciative audience. As an actor, he made his equity debut as Danny in the original off-Broadway production of David Mamet's Sexual Perversity In Chicago, and appeared on Broadway with Derek Jacobi in The Suicide. He is also a prolific audiobook producer and narrator. His narration of the unabridged A People's History of the United States, written by his father, Howard Zinn, has sold more than 10,000 copies. As a director, he developed new plays at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The White Barn Theatre, The West Bank Cafe, Theater for the New City, the Berkshire Playwright's Lab, New Jersey Repertory Company, and as a member of the Circle Repertory Company Lab. Locally he has directed for Boston Playwrights' Theatre, the Nora Theatre and the New Repertory Theatre. His book, The Existential Actor: Life and Death, Onstage and Off (Smith and Kraus Publishing) was released in 2015.
The world premiere of Jim Frangione's Flight of the Monarch, runs from September 8 through September 30 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm with a special Tuesday evening performance on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:30 pm. Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, September 17 and Sunday, September 24, audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from Flight of the Monarch. Single ticket prices are $32 to $42 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Cape Ann Residents, Senior Citizens and Patrons 25 years old and under. In addition to regular reserved tickets, Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the Saturday, September 9 matinee at 2 pm. Pay What You Wish tickets can only be purchased day of show at the door. All performances are held at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. For more information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com
Photo Credit: Gary Ng