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Mint Theater Introduces 'EnrichMINT Events' Readings, Lecture and Talk-Back Series

The Drama Desk and Obie Award-wining Mint Theater Company (Jonathan Bank, Artistic Director) continues the 2008-2009 season with The Widowing Of Mrs. Holroyd by D.H. Lawrence beginning February 4th. In conjunction with that, they will present a series of play readings, speakers and discussions to add to the experience, all under the banner "EnrichMINT events."

READINGS - $35 each or $95 for all three (save $10)

January 19th, 2009 at 7:30 PM
The Marrying Of Ann Leete
by Harley Granville Barker, directed by Gus Kaikkonen
with Mary Bacon, Ross Bickel, Chet Carlin, Paul Coffey, Jack Davidson, Kurt Everhart, Jonathan Hogan, Allison McLemore, Chris Mixon, Thomas M. Hammond, Laurie Kennedy, Lee Moore, Patti Perkins, Saxon Palmer, Sandra Struthers-Clerc, Marc LaVasseur, and Kyle Yackoski

Written in 1899 when Granville Barker was 22, Ann Leete was the first play that Barker wrote without a collaborator. The Stage Society presented the play in 1901 but it was not seen again until the Royal Shakespeare Company produced it in 1975 with Mia Farrow in the title role. "Its absence from the stage for more than two generations was unfortunate for English drama:" writes Dennis Kennedy in Granville Barker and the Dream of Theater, "It is an extraordinary piece..." The play has never been produced in the U.S.

"Barker pins down a moment of social transition in an utterly new theatrical language. Written in 1899, the play deals with events a century earlier-in particular, the attempt by a parliamentary turncoat to engineer a politically convenient marriage for his younger daughter. But Barker is more interested in the upheavals of Victorian England than in the machinations of Georgian politics. Ann Leete, who spurns a shifty aristocrat to marry the family gardener, clearly represents the "new woman". Less neurotic than Strindberg's Miss Julie and less cold-blooded than Shaw's Vivie Warren, she embodies the sexual self-determination and downright candor of a pioneering female sensibility." - Michael Billington, The Guardian

"It gives notice of an arrestingly oddball and innovative technique. The play deals with social issues but it refuses to be one-track-minded...the dialogue is straying and elliptical; meaning is captured in poetic symbols; moral concern co-exists with a keen appreciation of the haphazard and the absurd." - Paul Taylor, The Independent

March 9th, 2009 at 7:30 PM
The Married Man
by D.H. Lawrence, directed by Martin Platt
Cast to be announced

The Married Man was written in 1912, around the same time as The Daughter-in-Law and The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd-but this play is distinctly different. There is none of the pit grime of the coal mines in this work and the characters are educated, well-spoken and even clever. Lawrence describes the play as a comedy-and his portrayal of married life is ultimately more hopeful and less antagonistic here, although there is still a great gulf to be bridged between husband and wife. Lawrence based on the play on himself (Brentnall) and one of his closest friends, George Henry Neville (Grainger), whom he describes as a "Don Juanish fellow." Neville was recently married and his wife had had a son, but they were not living together and Neville kept the marriage a secret.

The Married Man suffered even greater neglect than Lawrence's other works for the stage, none of which he ever saw performed. The only performances this play has ever been given were by the students of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London in the fall of 1997. The Mint's reading will present a unique opportunity to hear this funny and poignant story of a reluctant bridegroom.

April 20th, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Big Night
by Dawn Powell, directed by Michael Sexton
Cast to be announced

In 2006 Mint produced the World Premiere of Dawn Powell's spirited comedy Walking Down Broadway. "Cheers to the Mint Theater," wrote The New York Times, "for going where others feared to tread or else never bothered to look...Powell's unsentimental compassion isn't just heartening, it's staggering." Big Night was Dawn Powell's first play, a pungent and spiky comedy about some 1920's "Mad Men" including a down-on-his-luck advertising executive trying to land a big client over drinks at his home.

Big Night was optioned in 1931 by the not yet famous Group Theater, led by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg. Unfortunately they crushed the humor and spirit out of the play by over-rehearsing, over-thinking and over-analyzing it. Bobby Lewis, the legendary actor teacher and director who was the assistant stage manager for the production declared bluntly, "The Group Theater ruined Big Night."

LECTURES/TALK BACKS - All Free & Open to the Public*

Saturday February 14th, after the matinee:
Lawrence & Dramatic Modernism

Gregory F. Tague, associate professor of English at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, is the author of Character and Consciousness (2005), Ethos and Behavior (2008), and, most recently, is the editor of Origins of English Literary Modernism, 1870-1914 (2009) FREE

Sunday February 15th, before the matinee:
Understanding The Dialect In The Widowing Of Mrs. Holroyd

Join artistic director Jonathan Bank and Mint's resident dialect designer/coach, Amy Stoller, for brunch and treat yourself to a primer on the Midlands dialect that Lawrence employs. This informative session will enhance your enjoyment of the play and your appreciation of the artistry of D.H. Lawrence. After the performance Stoller, Bank and members of the cast will take your questions.

Brunch at Le Petit Un Deux Trois (405 West 43rd St, just west of 9th Av.) 12:30 - 1:45pm, $20

Saturday February 21st, after the matinee:
Connecting the Dots in the Work of D.H. Lawrence

Elizabeth Fox is the current President of the D.H. Lawrence Society of North America, and has delivered and published papers using psychoanalytic theory to explore Lawrence's works. Elizabeth teaches at MIT and New England Conservatory of Music. FREE

Sunday February 22nd, after the matinee:
Love, Hate, & Conflicted Grief in The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd

Jeffrey Berman is Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the University at Albany and the author of ten books, including Dying to Teach: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning. FREE

Saturday February 28th, after the matinee:
Literary & Autobiographical Sources of D. H. Lawrence's Plays

Formerly an arts journalist for Back Stage and Backstage.com for 26 years, Victor Gluck is currently a drama critic for TheaterScene.net. He has been a voting member of the Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle, and American Theatre Critics Association since 1980. FREE

Saturday, March 21st at 11:30 am
How Plays Work

Martin Meisel, Brander Matthews Professor Emeritus of Dramatic Literature, Columbia University and author of How Plays Work, will draw upon his recently published book in discussing The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd. Meisel will articulate some of the most important aspects of drama as a performed art while exploring their workings in Lawrence's play. In this 90 minute session, Meisel will examine how a play defines its world; how it creates and redirects expectation; how it organizes space and time; how it shapes action, uses words, creates meanings; and how, at its most fulfilling, it combines the experience of wonder with that of involved witnessing. This session is free and open to the public: you may have already seen the play, or plan to see it on this day or in the future--or not at all. There will also be a Q & A with Professor Meisel after the performance. FREE

Performances of The Widowing Of Mrs. Holroyd begin February 4th and continue through March 29th. Opening Night is set for March 1st. Performances will be Tuesday through Thursday at 7PM, Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. All performances will take place on the Third Floor of 311 West 43rd Street. Tickets will be $55. "25 UNDER 25" tickets, $25 for anyone under 25 years of age, are also available for all performances, subject to availability. For more information, visit www.minttheater.org or call 212/315-0231.


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