Gingold Theatrical Group Continues 14th Season of Project Shaw, Art as Activism: A Theatrical Survival Guide

By: Nov. 13, 2019

Gingold Theatrical Group Continues 14th Season of Project Shaw, Art as Activism: A Theatrical Survival Guide

Gingold Theatrical Group (David Staller, Artistic Director) will continue the 14th Season of Project Shaw, Art as Activism: A Theatrical Survival Guide, a special series of evenings of plays that embrace human rights and free speech. All of GTG's programming, inspired by the works of George Bernard Shaw, are designed to provoke peaceful discussion and activism.

"Inspired by Shaw's whimsical comedy You Never Can Tell, Noel Coward aspired to be the 'new' Shaw with I'll Leave It To You! That was until he arranged a meeting with GBS who set him straight, assuring him that a Noel Coward would offer a far more compelling voice than yet another Shaw wanna-be. 'Be yourself, everyone else is taken.' He wisely took this advice. This rarely seen charming comedy from 1920 was his first bold step into becoming the unique and celebrated artist we all know and love," said David Staller. "Noel Coward's first play, which we're thrilled to offer on what will be his 120th birthday, may be a new discovery for you, but it's certainly time it was brought back into the light."

Marcia Milgrom Dodge directs a cast that features Fred Applegate, Cynthia Darlow, Jason Gotay, Cady Huffman, Charlotte Maltby, Robert Petkoff, Emily Rynasko, Paige Silvester, Robbie Simpson, and Emma Stratton.

I'll Leave It To You tells us the story of a widow with five grown up children, Mrs. Dermot (Cady Huffman) turns to brother Dan for help. Uncle Dan arrives to find an idle family ready to live on his money. He announces that he is doomed to die in three years and that he will leave his money to the member of the family who has made good by then. Each sets to with such determination that Oliver becomes a successful inventor, Evangeline a novelist, Bobbie a composer and Sylvia a film star; even Joyce, finishing her school career, distinguishes herself. Now he tells the family his riches are a myth and his previous announcement was only a means to raise the family from lethargy. Sylvia alone sees Uncle Dan's wisdom and berates the others for their narrow minded attitude. At heart, they are all genuinely attached to the wily uncle.

Marcia Milgrom Dodge's work as a director & choreographer has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at acclaimed theaters such as the New York City Opera, John F. Kennedy Center of The Performing Arts, Glimmerglass Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, and many more here and abroad, garnering Helen Hayes, Carbonell, Los Angeles Drama Critics, Backstage Garland, Dora Mavor, New York Outer Critics Circle and Daytime Emmy Awards as well as nominations for the Tony®, Drama Desk, Astaire, Drama League, Barrymore and Edgar Awards. She is a teacher, a wife, a mother, a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society and a published and produced playwright.

Noël Coward was born in 1899 and made his professional stage debut at the age of 12 (along-side GTG's namesake Hermione Gingold). After launching his playwrighting career with I'll Leave It To You, he went on to become one of England's most prolific and beloved writer, actor, and sophisticate. His plays include The Vortex (1924), Fallen Angels (1925), Hay Fever (1925), Easy Virtue (1926), This Year of Grace (1928), Bitter Sweet (1929), Private Lives (1931), Tonight at 8.30 (1936), Blithe Spirit (1941), This Happy Breed and Present Laughter (both 1943). His two wartime screenplays, In Which We Serve, which he co-directed with the young David Lean, and Brief Encounter quickly became classics of British cinema. Writer, actor, director, film producer, painter, songwriter, cabaret artist as well as an author of a novel, verse, essays and autobiographies, he was called by close friends 'The Master'. His final West End appearance was Song at Twilight in 1966, which he wrote and starred in. He was knighted in 1970 and died peacefully in 1973 in his beloved Jamaica.

Gingold Theatrical Group will announce the 15th Season of Project Shaw shortly.

All the plays in this series will be presented in a concert-reading format at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. Tickets are $40 for each of the plays in Project Shaw and are available by calling 212-864-5400 or online at Special reserved VIP seating available for $55 by contacting the Gingold office 212-355-7823 or Symphony Space's Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre space is completely accessible. Infra-red hearing devices are also available.

Now celebrating its 14th year, Gingold Theatrical Group's Project Shaw made history in 2009 as the first company ever to present performances of every one of Shaw's 65 plays (including full-length works, one-acts and sketches). Since 2013, they also present works by writers who share Shaw's activist socio-political views embracing human rights and free speech, including work by Chekhov, Ibsen, Elizabeth Robins, Rachel Crothers, Pinero, Wilde, Barrie, and Harley Granville-Barker. GTG's other programs include its new play development and educational programs. For those interested in lively off-site discourses, each Project Shaw event is followed by a talk-back with cast members. GTG's David Staller and Stephen Brown-Fried also host a monthly Shaw Club discussion group.

GTG recently completed a highly acclaimed Off-Broadway engagement of Shaw's beloved almost historical comedy Caesar and Cleopatra at Theatre Row, hailed as a New York Times Critic's Pick: "In George Bernard Shaw's Caesar & Cleopatra, adapted and directed by David Staller in a briskly entertaining, winningly down-to-earth revival for Gingold Theatrical Group, the young queen of Egypt is charming in her naïveté. Teresa Avia Lim digs into this role with a vengeance, delivering a smartly calibrated comic performance. Robert Cuccioli makes an appealingly unaffected Caesar. This sensitively streamlined production, at Theater Row, is a friendly affair, thanks partly to the narration added by Mr. Staller and delivered with subdued majesty by Brenda Braxton." (Laura Collins-Hughes, New York Times). Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal declared "As always, Mr. Staller, who knows more about Shaw than anyone else in America, gets it right, situating the action of the play in a modern-day archaeological dig and keeping the costumes simple and the diction crisp and clear. Mr. Cuccioli tosses off his epigrams ('The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it') with a light, dry touch, while Ms. Lim, who is a terrific find, starts off as Lolita, gradually turning under Caesar's tutelage into a grown woman who has tasted the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and isn't sure she likes it. ...all the more reason to cheer David Staller's splendid new adaptation of one of Shaw's most glittering, least Shakespearean conversation pieces. This is the third of Mr. Staller's small-scale Gingold Theatrical Group productions to be presented off Broadway at Theatre Row. It follows in the wake of his all-but-flawless 2018 Heartbreak House, an uncommonly hard act to follow, and leaves nothing whatsoever to be desired. May his Shaw stagings become annual events!"