Cast Announced for Pride Films and Plays' THE GREEN BAY TREE
Full casting has been announced for Pride Films and Plays' production of the landmark British drama THE GREEN BAY TREE, which premiered in London's West End in 1933 and later that year made Laurence Olivier an international star when he played the lead on Broadway opposite his then-wife Jill Esmond. It was a scandalous hit in both London and New York. In THE GREEN BAY TREE, an infamous comedy of manipulation, a charming young man is forced to choose between the love of his fiancée, the lifestyle of his male mentor, and the prescription of his upbringing.
The Pride Films and Plays production will be directed by Amy Sarno, whose stage credits include directing the world premieres of THE EXISTENTIAL GOURMET by Mindi Dickstein, THE DIVINE MISS DEA translated by Jack Street, CONCRETE DUALISM AND YOU by Juan Insua, and MEDEA (INCULTURATED) by Amy Sarno. Sarno is also the former Artistic Director of Erasing the Distance. It will play in The Buena, Pride Arts Center, in repertory with PINK ORCHIDS, through July 8.
Sarno's cast, announced today, will include Bradley Halverson as the young man, Julian. Halverson appeared as Czechowski in the extension of Pride Films and Plays' YANK! and was previously in the cast of the Jeff award-winning musical of 2017, HIGH FIDELITY. His fiancée, Leonora, will be Kristen Alesia. Alexander McRae has been cast as Julian's wealthy mentor, Dulcimer. Gary Smiley will play Julian's father, Mr. Owen. Buzz Leer, seen most recently at Redtwist Theatre in OUR TOWN and I SAW MY NEIGHBOR ON THE TRAIN AND DIDN'T EVEN SMILE will play Dulcimer's butler, Trump.
Widely considered to be the first modern play to deal with homosexuality, THE GREEN BAY TREE suggests a same-sex attraction from Dulcimer toward Julian but does it so subtly that the text escaped censorship from the British government of the 1930's - an era in which homosexuality was still illegal in Great Britain. THE GREEN BAY TREE - whose title refers to an Old Testament Bible verse from Psalms in which wickedness is said to spread "like a green bay tree" - was revived in London in 2014.Sarno's design team will include Evan Frank (scenic design), Noel Huntzinger (costume design), Blake Cordell (lighting and sound design), Hillarie Shockley (properties design), Richard Gale (dramaturg), and Jackson Dougherty (Stage Manager). THE GREEN BAY TREE will open to the press in Wednesday, June 13, following previews on Monday, June 11 and Tuesday, June 12. It will run through July 8th, playing in repertory with PINK ORCHIDS, which will open on June 8 following previews on June 6 and 7. The "PAC Pride Series" will continue with Joe DiPietro's FUCKING MEN playing from July 1 - August 25, a world premiere, HURRICANE DAMAGE by Kevin Brofsky playing from August 1 - 26 and the American Premiere of HOLDING THE MAN, by Australian playwright Tommy Murphy, from August 5 - 26, 2018. Tickets for all events are on sale now at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by phone at 866-411-4111 or 773-857-0222Mordaunt Shairp (playwright) was an English dramatist and screenwriter. Educated at St Paul's School, London, and Lincoln College, Oxford, he spent much of his life as a schoolmaster in London and wrote many plays for pupils to perform. His adult plays dealt with darker interpersonal relationships and included THE CRIME AT BLOSSOMS as well as THE GREEN BAY TREE. Shairp also spent a short spell in Hollywood as a screenwriter, including THE DARK ANGEL, which starred Frederic March, and THE WHITE ANGEL. Amy Sarno (director) Amy Sarno's stage credits include directing the world premieres of THE EXISTENTIAL GOURMET by Mindi Dickstein, THE DIVINE MISS DEA translated by Jack Street, CONCRETE DUALISM AND YOU by Juan Insua, and MEDEA (INCULTURATED) by Amy Sarno. Sarno received a Fulbright to create PLAN B, a verbatim play about domestic violence. Her verbatim play, IMPRINTS, was produced by Wisconsin's New Court Theatre. Sarno is also the former Artistic Director of Erasing the Distance.