Photo Flash: THE RAINMAKER, An American Classic, Opens at Gloucester Stage
Gloucester Stage Company continues its 38th season of professional theater on Cape Ann with N. Richard Nash's moving American classic The Rainmaker from July 14 through August 5 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Set in the time of a paralyzing drought in Depression-era America, The Rainmaker tells the story of a pivotal hot summer day in the life of spinsterish Lizzie Curry, whose father and two brothers are worried as much about her marriage prospects as they are about their dying cattle. Enter Starbuck, the consummate con man, who promises to solve all their problems, for a fee. Directed by Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh, The Rainmaker cast features Brian Homer as Starbuck; Jessica Bates as Lizzie Curry; David DeBeck as H.C. Curry, the patriarch of the Curry family; Joe Short and Sean McCoy as the Curry brothers; Dave Rich as File and longtime Gordon College Professor of Theater Arts Norm Jones as Sheriff Thomas. N. Richard Nash's most celebrated play, The Rainmaker, appeared in all three mediums; on Broadway in 1954, as a motion picture starring Katharine Hepburn in 1956, and as a television production in 1982. A musical version of The Rainmaker, entitled 110 Degrees in the Shade, debuted on Broadway in 1963.
N. Richard Nash studied philosophy and literature at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his bachelor's degree in 1934. While in school he directed plays at Bryn Mawr, a nearby women's college, and received great reviews for a play he wrote featuring only female characters. Nash received the Maxwell Anderson Verse Drama award in 1940 for Parting at Imsdorf. His plays includeSecond Best Bed (1946), The Young and Fair (1948), See the Jaguar (1952), Girls of Summer (1956), Handful of Fire (1958), and the musical WILDCAT (1960). During the 1950s Mr. Nash was one of six writers selected by producer Fred Coe to create serious drama for television. His screenplay credits include Nora Prentiss (1946), Dear Wife (1950), and Top of the World (1955). Adapting the works of others, he wrote the script for The Sainted Sisters (1948) and Porgy and Bess (1959). Later in his career, Mr. Nash focused on writing novels. "East Wind, Rain" (1977), inspired by his time serving with the Office of War Information during World War II, took seven years to research. Other novels include Cry Macho (1975) and Radiance (1983). Mr. Nash also lectured on drama and philosophy at colleges and universities throughout the United States. He died on Dec. 11, 2000, in New York City at the age of eighty-seven.
A native Bostonian who now lives & works as an actor in NYC, Brian Homer has performed in numerous Off-Broadway productions, including Theater for a New Audience's repertory production of Richard II/Richard III, Seattle Repertory Theater's premiere of Rebecca Gilman's Spinning Into Butter, and the New Repertory Theater's world premiere of Stephen Belber'sDrifting Elegant. An actor as well as a theater arts educator, Mr. Homer holds an MFA in Acting from Brandies University where he studied with Robert Walsh.
An actress, teacher and songwriter, Jessica Bates now lives in California while her parents reside in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Over her career, she has worked at Milwaukee Rep, The Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, The Hangar Theatre, The Idaho Shakespeare Festival, The Riverside Theatre, The Women's Project, Lincoln Center Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, The National Shakespeare Company, The Acting Company, Capital Stage, The Aurora Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, and Brava Theatre. Abroad, she performed at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, The Edinburgh Festival, and the London Fringe Festival. Her film credits include The Far Near Shore which will soon premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Rainmaker is David DeBeck's GSC debut and the first time he has worked with GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh. Mr. DeBeck recently played Ian in The Other Place at the Nora Theatre. His other theater credits include, Strange Snow at Theatreworks, Hartford; Dinner With Friends, The Lonesome West and Hamlet, at The Virginia Stage Company; Hosanna, at both The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. and The Actor's Theater, Off Broadway. Mr. DeBeck plays Sargent Shriver in the soon to be released movie, Chappaquiddick. Other film roles include, Roger Wheeler in Black Mass and Paul Hansen in The Company Men. On television he has been seen in guest starring roles in HBO's Olive Kitteridge, Showtime's Brotherhood, and NBC's Law & Order, Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit. Mr. DeBeck is associated with the Drama Desk Award winning Off-Off Broadway company, the Barrow Group.
Joe Short and Sean McCoy play the Curry brothers, Noah and Jim. Mr Short is a professional actor, teacher, and theatre technician who currently serves as GSC's Production Manager. His recent acting roles include Brutus in Julius Caesar and Richard in The Lover for Bridge Rep of Boston; George Tesman in Hedda Gabler, and Man #3 in The Big Meal at the Gamm Theatre; Henry inRich Girl at the Lyric Stage; Tom in These Shining Lives at Stoneham Theatre; Gordon in Strange Interlude at Shakespeare Theatre of DC; Lord Dumaine in All's Well That Ends Well at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Balthasar in The Merchant of Venice at Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival; Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep; and Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Padraic in The Lieutenant of Inishmore at The Wilbury Theatre Group.Mr. Short is a founding artistic associate of Bridge Rep of Boston and Providence's The Wilbury Theatre Group. He is an M.F.A. graduate of the Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium and earned a B.F.A. at the University of Rhode Island. A member of Boston University's BFA Acting Class of 2017, Sean McCoy makes his post graduate debut in The Rainmaker. His university credits include Priam in Tiger at the Gates, Yasha in The Cherry Orchard, Roelf Visagie in The Train Driver, and Carthage Killbride inBy the Bog of Cats. Hailing from Washington D.C, MR. McCoy has performed with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Ford's Theater, and Roundhouse Theatre.
Norm Jones returns to GSC to play Sheriff Thomas after amking his GSC debut as Badger in The Wind in the Willows. His favorite roles include Salter in A Number, Harold in Orphans, Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure and Nathaniel Hawthorne inInspired, a script he created based on the life of the Salem author. Mr. Jones is a Professor of Theatre Arts at Gordon College where he has directed forty-nine productions over the past thirty-two years.
Dave Rich's other theater credits in the Cape Ann area include Becky Shaw, Leading Ladies, and An Inspector Calls with the Cape Ann Theatre Collaborative and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged and The Boor with the Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe. He has appeared as Francis Hardy in Faith Healer and Pato in The Beauty Queen of Leenane with Newton Nomadic Theatre Company; Macbeth in MacBeth with FUDGE Theatre Company for which he received an IRNE nomination for Best Actor in 2014; Guy in God's Ear with the Actors' Shakespeare Project, a production which received both IRNE and Eliot Norton Awards for Best Boston theater production in 2015; and Roy Cohn in Angels in America, John Proctor in The Crucible, Gordon in Dead Man's Cell Phone, and Caliban in The Tempest with the Salem Theatre Company.
Artistic Director and The Rainmaker director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for over 20 years. Most recently he directed the 2017 season opening production of Bank Job at Gloucester Stage. During the 2016 GSC season he directed Songs For A New World and in 2015 GSC season he directed the Elliot Norton Award winning The New Electric Ballroom and starred in Israel Horovitz's Gloucester Blue. Walsh's GSC 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 HolidayMemories 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.
N. Richard Nash's The Rainmaker, runs from July 14 through August 5 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday throughSaturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm with a special Tuesday evening performance on Tuesday, August 1 at 7:30 pm. Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, July 23 and Sunday, July 30 audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from The Rainmaker.. 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, July 15 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
L to R: Jim Curry(Sean McCoy) and Starbuck(Brian Homer)
L to R: Jim Curry(Sean McCoy) and Starbuck(Brian Homer)
L to R: File (Dave Rich) and Sheriff Thomas( Salem's Norm Jones, longtime Gordon College professor)
L to R: File (Dave Rich); H.C. Curry(David DeBeck) ; Jim Curry(Sean McCoy)