World Premiere of MY STATION IN LIFE Opens This Week At Gloucester Stage
Gloucester Stage Company wraps up its 39th season of professional theater with the world premiere of Ken Riaf's My Station in Life from October 12 through October 28 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. From the rubble of his studio dungeon, Simon Geller, the last standing single-handed radio operator in the country, broadcasts commercial free classical music from Gloucester - the town that loves and endures his peculiar presence. Known as "The Voice of Cape Ann", for 24 years Geller ran WVCA-FM (104.9), a one-man classical music radio station from his home in downtown Gloucester. In Ken Riaf's world premiere directed by Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh, this local legend comes to life through Boston actor Ken Baltin. The cast also includes Gloucester natives Meagan Gallo, a Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop student making her professional debut, and James Tarantino, a seafood inspector best known for competing on CBS-TV's Survivor Nicaragua; and Boston actress Veronica Anastasio Wiseman who last appeared at GSC in 2016's The Last Schwartz.
Playwright Ken Riaf lives and works in Gloucester, Massachusetts where he practices law. He has worked as a commercial fisherman and longshoreman, and as a visiting professor of law in literature and film at Endicott College and business law at Salem State University. Mr. Riaf's newest play, For Whom the Ball Rolls, is a basketball parable about race, culture and rank set in the 1950's at Boston's Navy Yard. His film work, in collaboration with award winning Producer and Director Henry Ferrini, has been shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and broadcast and screened locally and abroad. Their award winning collaboration Radio Fishtown creates a shifting, non-linear portrait of the enigmatic Simon Geller while debunking the myth that working people don't listen to classical music. Radio Fishtown, produced and directed by Henry Ferrini, written by Ken Riaf, associate produced by Judd Wilson and featuring an introduction by the late host of morning pro musica Robert J. Lurtsema won Bravo's 1992 Hometown Video Award for Documentary Film by a Media Professional and was broadcast on Boston's PBS affiliate WGBH.
Ken Baltin returns to GSC to play Simon Geller after last appearing here in 2009's Last of the Red Hot Lovers. His recent local theatre credits include Shakespeare in Love at SpeakEasy Stage; Beckett in Brief with Commonwealth Shakespeare; Not Constantinople at Martha's Vineyard Playhouse and Blood on the Snow with Bostonian Society. Mr. Baltin has also appeared at many Boston area theatres including Death of a Salesman, Glengarry Glen Ross, Lost in Yonkers, and Laughter on the Twenty-Third Floor with Lyric Stage Co.; The Kite Runner, Eurydice, Waiting for Godot, and American Buffalo at New Repertory Theatre; Operation Epsilon, Fever Chart, and The Cherry Orchard at Central Square Theatre; The Screenwriter's Daughter, and Copenhagen at Martha's Vineyard Playhouse; Deported-a Dream Play, King of the Jews, Permanent Whole Life at Boston Playwrights; Art, The Illusion, and Oleanna with Merrimack Rep; Cymbeline and Romeo and Juliet with Actors Shakespeare Project; Brooklyn Boy at SpeakEasy Stage; and I Ought To Be in Pictures with Jewish Theatre of NE. His recent film appearances include Equalizer 2, Vault, and A Case of Blue. On the stage Mr. Baltin will appear in Heartland at the New Repertory Theatre in January, 2019. .
Gloucester's Meagan Gallo makes her professional theater debut in My Station in Life, although this is not her first time performing at Gloucester Stage. She has been an active member of the GSC Youth Acting Workshop program for 4 years, including leading roles in Holiday Delights 2016 (Daughter 1) and Holiday Delights 2017 (Mrs. Claus), as well as being a Playtime Stories company member. Ms. Gallo is a junior at Gloucester High School, where she is involved in the Drama Club both onstage and offstage, in Seussical, Nora's Lost and Once Upon a Mattress.
Veronica Anastasio Wiseman has become a familiar face on Boston area stages. Recently: she has been seen in Old Money with Commonwealth Shakespeare Co; Timbuktu USA, Cleanliness, Godliness & Madness, 27 Tips for Banishing the Blues, Talk To At Me & Real Realism with Sleeping Weazel; Mrs. Packard, Mud Blue Sky, and Salome with Bridge Rep; Speech and Debate, the IRNE nominated The Goat or Who Is Sylvia with Bad Habit Productions; and The Edge of Peace at Central Square Theatre. Ms. Wiseman produces and hosts the profile talk show Wise Friends for Sharon Community Television, where she serves as Vice President on their Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Huntington Theatre Company.
Artistic Director and director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for close to 30 years. Earlier this season he directed Cyrano; in 2017 he directed Bank Job; in 2016 he directed Songs For A New World; and in 2015 he directed the Elliot Norton Award winning The New Electric Ballroom and starred in Gloucester Blue. Walsh's other 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 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. His roles in recent feature films include Black Mass, Patriot's Day and the upcoming, Altar Rock. Mr. Walsh directed the on-field ceremonies for the '99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at Brandeis University.
Ken Riaf's My Station in Life runs from October 12 through October 28 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Following the 2 pm performance on Sunday, October 21 audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from My Station in Life. Single ticket prices are $35 to $45 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Cape Ann Residents, Senior Citizens and Patrons 18 years old and under. In addition to regular reserved tickets, Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the Saturday, October 13 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