Regional Premiere of PAPERMAKER Opens 9/28
Papermaker, a two act play by Monica Wood, was first produced in spring 2015 at Portland Stage in Portland, Maine, more than doubling the company's all-time-record for ticket sales and attracting a new blue collar demographic to the theatre. Chenango River Theatre's production will be just the 3rd production nationally of this compelling new play.
This dramatic, often funny story takes place in 1989 in the third month of a bitter paper-mill strike. Angry and exhausted, the strikers await the result of a court ruling that will determine the legality of the replacement workers ("scabs") hired by the paper company's CEO, Henry McCoy. The outcome will mark a turning point: either a win for the papermakers or a win for the company.
Ernie Donahue, vice president of Local 12, has recently dropped out of the fray, having surrendered to an impulse to build an ark in his yard. His cancer-stricken wife, Marie, thinks he belongs at the union hall, but Ernie refuses to leave her side. Nancy Letourneau, their friend and home-health nurse, also wants Ernie back in the thick of things, because her husband, the inept union president, "has the speaking skills of a turtle".
Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Henry McCoy's 26-year-old daughter, Emily, chooses this pressure-cooker moment to confront Henry with his fatherly failures, wheedling him into a weekend getaway to repair their strained relationship. When the trip goes alarmingly awry, all six characters of the story meet, testing one another in the shadow of Ernie's ark.
The labor war provides a compelling and timely structure for a play about people, not politics. Papermaker tells a deeply human story of six flawed people facing huge, troubling questions about the meaning of family - the family we come from, the family we create in adulthood, and the larger family of friends, neighbors, and co-workers who define our place in the world.
CRT's Artistic Director Bill Lelbach directs this production, along with designing the set. Julie Duro, CRT's resident Lighting Designer (NYC) will return to design for the production, as Will Barbara Kahl who handles costume design duties.
Five out of the cast of six have appeared previously at CRT. Paul Romero (previously seen in Escanaba in da' Moonlight and Other People's Money) plays the union VP, Ernie Donahue. His wife Marie is portrayed by Brigitt Markusfeld (Stella and Lou, The Last Cigar) - Brigitt is a resident actor at Rochester's Geva Theatre. Jim Wetzel, last seen at CRT in Taking Sides (2016), plays the CEO of Atlantic Paper, Henry McCoy. His daughter Emily is handled by Annie Winnig, who appeared in CRT's world premiere of Flying last year. Rounding out the cast is Dori May Ganisin, who last appeared at CRT in this season's smash hit Ripcord. Roberto Forero plays Ernie and Marie's son, Jake.
This production is Co-Produced by Edward Jones Investments (Greene, NY Office).
Chenango River Theatre's production runs Sept. 28 - Oct. 14. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., plus Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.chenangorivertheatre.org, or by email: email@example.com. You can also make reservations 24 hours a day by voice mail at 607-656-8499. Individual tickets are $25 Thu/Fri/Sun and $27 on Sat. Tickets are half price for college students and those under 18. All performances start on time - late seating is not available.
Chenango River Theatre is just 15 minutes north of Binghamton at 991 State Highway 12, Greene, NY. Chenango River Theatre's 2018 season is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.