Photo Flash: Gloucester Stage Presents New England Premiere by Irish Playwright
Gloucester Stage proudly presents the New England Premiere of Enda Walsh's The New Electric Ballroom from July 23 through August 15 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Directed by Gloucester Stage Interim Artistic Director Robert Walsh and written by Enda Walsh, the author of the musical Once, this dark comedy tells the story of three sisters living in a small fishing town on the coast of Ireland.The youngest, Ada, works at the local fish-packing plant, but older sisters, Breda and Clara stay home and relive their teenage encounter with a teen idol, a 1950s rock and roll singer at the local dance hall, called the New Electric Ballroom. They relive their experience in a daily ritual complete with the clothes and makeup from their youth. Their surreal routine is interrupted by the fishmonger Patsy who ends up offering the sisters more than just the catch of the day. Director Robert Walsh is excited to share this new play with Gloucester Stage audiences, "Beyond the lyricism associated with all of the great Irish writers, there is a nexus Walsh creates with language, character, and theatrical convention that is vital, new and attention getting." Prior to coming to New England, The New Electric Ballroom has won numerous awards including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, the Irish Times Best New Play Award and the Obie Award.
Enda Walsh is a playwright and screenwriter who shot to fame when he won both the George Devine Award and the Stewart Parker Award in 1997 with his play Disco Pigs. In 2007 and 2008 Mr. Walsh won Fringe First Awards at two consecutive Edinburgh Festivals for his plays The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom. The former led the Guardian to name him "one of the most dazzling wordsmiths of contemporary theatre." In 2011 Once, his adaptation of the film by John Carney, opened off-Broadway. Critically acclaimed, it moved to Broadway in 2012, where it picked up eight Tony Awards, including Best Book for Mr. Walsh. The West End run of Once opened in April 2013. Since his initial success as a playwright, Mr. Walsh has gone on to write for the screen. His 2008 biopic, Hunger, told the story of the final days of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and won over 40 awards, including the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Heartbeat Award at the Dinard International Film Festival. It was nominated for seven BIFAs (including Best Screenplay), six British Film and Television Awards (including Best Screenplay and Best Independent Film) and BAFTA's Outstanding British Film Award 2009. Mr. Walsh is currently "mischievously" adapting The Twits by Roald Dahl for the Royal Court and working on a new musical,Lazarus, with David Bowie, due to open off-Broadway in late 2015.
Interim Artistic Director and The New Electric Ballroom director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for over 20 years. His directing credits include North Shore Fish, Fighting Over Beverley, The Widow's Blind Date, The Primary English Class, and Our Town. As an actor he has appeared on the stage in Gloucester in Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses, The Barking Sharks, and Two for the Seesaw. He has also served as the Producing Artistic Director at the American Stage Festival where he directed Bus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel..., and Lend Me a Tenor, among others. As Artistic Associate at Actors' Shakespeare Project he has directed As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, and Measure For Measure. Other productions directed include: Othello with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Round and Round The Garden, Table Manners, K2, Later Life and Holiday Memories at Merrimack Rep; Rancho Mirage, Race, Speed-The-Plow, and True West with New Repertory Theatre; The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and The Goatwoman of Corvis County at Shakespeare & Co.; Misalliance and A Life in the Theatre at Two River Theatre Co.; I Hate Hamlet with StageWest; The Little Foxes at Barter Theatre; and Of Mice and Men at Stoneham Theatre, among others. Mr. Walsh directed the on-field ceremonies for the '99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at A.R.T/M.X.A.T. (Harvard) and Brandeis University.
The New Electric Ballroom cast features the return of several Gloucester Stage favorites including Rockport resident Nancy E. Carroll and Derry Woodhouse. Adrianne Krstansky and Marya Lowry make their Gloucester Stage debut in The New Electric Ballroom.
Rockport resident Nancy E. Carroll last appeared at Gloucester Stage in 2014's 4000 Miles. Her other Gloucester Stage appearances include: 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 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, 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.
Derry Woodhouse is a native of Limerick, Ireland and has enjoyed working on both sides of the Atlantic. Previous Gloucester Stage performances include The Weir and Stones in His Pockets. He has worked extensively in the Boston area with the Sugan Theatre, Speakeasy Stage , Tir Na Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Publick Theatre, and Wellesley Summer Theatre. His feature film work includes The Departed, The Busker, and Deportation. Mr. Woodhouse is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland
Adrianne Krstansky's acting credits include Lola in Come Back Little Sheba at the Huntington Theater; Paradise Lost, Britannicus andUbu Rock at the American Repertory Theater; Tribes, Body Awareness and Snakebit at Speakeasy Stage Company; On the Verge,Becoming Madoff, Holiday Memories, Three Viewings, 2.5 Minute Ride and Frozen at New Repertory Theater; Legally Dead and Garyat Boston Playwrights Theater; Closer at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at The Vineyard Playhouse among others. Ms. Krstansky worked extensively in Chicago, regionally and Off-Broadway at the Steppenwolf Theater and Atlantic Theater in NYC. Her film credits include Company Men and HBO's Olive Kitteridge. Ms. Krstansky is an Associate Professor of Theater Arts at Brandeis University.
Marya Lowry is a Founding Member of Actors' Shakespeare Project where her credits include The Cherry Orchard, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cymbeline, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, Duchess of Malfi, Macbeth (title role), Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar and Richard III. In the Boston area she has performed with Gamm Theatre, Speakeasy Stage Company, Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, American Repertory Theater, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Nora Theatre, and New Repertory Theatre. Ms. Lowry has appeared as a Featured Performer and Narrator with the Boston Pops and the Handel & Haydn Society at Symphony Hall, Cantata Singers at Jordan Hall, and the Musicians of the Old Post Road. Internationally and regionally she has appeared with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Barter Theatre; Riverside Shakespeare Company; Luminato Festival, Toronto; Roy Hart International Arts Centre, France; and a Bulgarian singing tour with Divi Zheni. Since 1986 Ms. Lowry has taught in the Brandeis MFA Professional Actor Training Program. She has taught internationally in Greece, France, Italy, Poland, Cyprus, United Kingdom, and Canada. Ms. Lowry is a spiritual mentor to incarcerated women.
NeverDark events scheduled for the run of The New Electric Ballroom include a film, talk backs and two play readings. NeverDark is a series of second-stage events that include lectures, talk backs, film screenings, play readings, and other events designed to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of all Mainstage productions. All NeverDark events are Pay-What-You-Wish. The NeverDark events set for the run of The New Electric Ballroom are a film screening of In Bruges on July 20 at 7:30 pm at the Cape Ann Community Cinema; a reading directed by Judy Braha of Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, a black comedy set in Ireland about an unmarried woman, and her manipulative aging mother, who interferes in her daughter's first and possibly last chance of a romance, on July 28 at 7:30 pm at Gloucester Stage; a reading directed by Courtney O'Connor of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, a resident's birthday celebration at an English boarding house turns into a nightmare on August 11 at 7:30 pm at Gloucester Stage, plus three talkbacks following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, July 26, August 2 and August 9. These post show discussions feature artists from The New Electric Ballroom.
Enda Walsh's The New Electric Ballroom runs July 23 through August 15 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday July 26, August 2 and August 9 audiences are invited to free post show discussions with the artists from The New Electric Ballroom. Ticket prices are $28 for all performances. Tickets are $1 for ages 25 years and under for all performances. The $1 tickets are cash only and available at the door on day of performance only. Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the Saturday, August 1 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 and to purchase tickets, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com