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Rare Revival of ORPHEUS DESCENDING to Open at St. John's Lutheran Church This Spring


A rare revival of Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams will run for a limited engagement, April 23-May 14, at St. John's Lutheran Church, one of the oldest buildings in Greenwich Village. Directed by Austin Pendleton, the production features a 16-person cast lead by Irene Glezos, Thomas Beaudoin and Beth Bartley. Williams's modern version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice opened on Broadway in 1957 and was revived in 1989 in a celebrated production directed by Sir Peter Hall and starring Vanessa Redgrave. It has rarely, if ever, been produced in New York since.

For director Austin Pendleton, Orpheus Descending "is a mythological play and a Christian play, and most of all, an utterly convincing evocation of small-town Mississippi in a desperate time and a beautiful, utterly original love story."

Orpheus Descending centers on Lady Torrance (Irene Glezos), a Sicilian immigrant disenchanted with her unhappy 20-year marriage. She runs a dry-goods store in the Deep South in the 1940s, while her bigoted, tyrannical husband (Keir Dullea) lies bedridden with cancer upstairs. When a young, guitar-toting drifter Val Xavier (Thomas Beaudoin) shows up at her store, Lady begins an affair that not only causes a town-wide scandal, but also, and more importantly, awakens a long-forgotten passion that brings Lady deep solace.

Completing the 16-member cast are Beth Bartley as Carol Cutrere, Brenda Currin as Beulah Binnings, Mia Dillon as Vee Talbot, Keir Dullea as Jabe Torrance, Tom Drummer as Sheriff Talbott, Karen Lynn Gorney as Eva Temple, Jim Heatherly as Pee Wee, Lou Liberatore as David Cutrere, Skid Maher as Dog Hamma/Second man, David Pendleton as Uncle Pleasant/Conjure man, David Roby as Mr. Dubinsky/First man, Randi Sobol as Dolly Hamma, Michele Tauber as Nurse Porter and Penny Lynn White as Sister Temple.

The creative team includes Susannah Baron (lighting design), Carrie Mossman (set and prop design), Tony French (costume design), Dr. Annette J. Saddik (dramaturg), Duncan Becker (props), Logan Faust (props), Robert Neapolitan (production stage manager) Lefty Lucy (ASM/costume assistant), and Brooke Lynn Tibbs (associate producer/box office manager)

Performances of Orpheus Descending will take place April 23-May 14 (see schedule above) at St. John's Lutheran Church (81 Christopher Street, Manhattan). Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at

This production of Orpheus Descending is presented by Beth Bartley and Irene Glezos in association with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.

Austin Pendleton has been most recently represented as a director in New York by the world premiere production of Between Riverside and Crazy, by Stephen Adly Guirgis, which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. And also by Hamlet, at CSC, which starred Peter Sarsgaard. And by Nora, Ingmar Bergman's adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll House, at the Cherry Lane Theatre. He is also an actor (most recently in New York in Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, at the Public Theatre), and a playwright, and a teacher of acting at HB Studio.

Irene Glezos (Lady) New York and regional theater credits include: Lady in Orpheus Descending (dir. Nick Potenzieri) at theProvincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and performances in Williams home state of Mississippi, Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Master Class (Voice Theatre, dir. Shauna Kanter and MTC in Westport, dir. Kevin Connors for which she was Nominated Outstanding Leading Actress by the Connecticut Critics Circle 2014), Gertrude in Jane Bowles' In the Summerhouse (dir. David Kaplan), Fairouz in Naomi Wallace's In the Heart of America (Long Wharf, dir. Tony Kushner), Joyce/Isabella Bird in Top Girls (Harold Clurman Theatre, dir. April Shawhan), Anna Prager in The Gift (dir. Shauna Kanter), Collette in Four Dogs and a Bone (dir. Ted Gregory), Anna in Ron Elisha's Two (INTAR, dir. Bernice Rohret with Mark Hammer), Bo in Jane Martin's Criminal Hearts (Stamford Theatre Works, dir. Susie Fuller), and Antigone in Antigone (dir. Suzanne Shepherd). She has also written and performed much of her own work including a solo play called Y, co-created and directed by Brad Calcaterra, about a woman who takes on the persona of Marilyn Monroe to cope with her own deep sense of loss. She has appeared in films including Deadly Obsessions and Woody Allen's Celebrity and on numerous television series including Criminal Intent, Sex and the City, Trial by Jury, Third Watch and Law and Order. She will playLady in New Orleans in Southern Rep's production of Orpheus Descending directed by Jef Hall-Flavin in March, 2016.

Thomas Beaudoin (Val Xavier) Born in Thetford Mines, QC, he spent the first half of his life in Drummondville, Quebec Canada. He studied psychology and exercise science at Concordia University in Montreal. His theatre credits include: Off-Broadway: La Dame Aux Camelias (Rodolphe de Nevers),Words for Wines (Janos). FILM/TV: The Spirit of Christmas, Le Cas Roberge (Pierre-Alexandre), The L Word (Artist), No Heroic (Taxi guy) and The Blacklist opposite David Strathairn. He stars in Illico's new series Blue Moon, produced by Aetios and prior to spent time in Montreal shooting CBC Radio Canada's "Trauma", another AetiosProduction, as well as CBC Radio Canada's Le Judas in which he had the lead role. He's studying in an on-going class with David Gideon in NYC, and Michèle Lonsdale Smith in Canada. Thomas enjoys photography, cinematography, traveling, playing ice hockey, rock climbing, boxing, reading the news, watching movies, doing manual work and researching online. He also enjoys studying Krav-Maga, an Israeli martial art.

Beth Bartley (Carol Cutrere) a graduate of The Juilliard School, performed on Broadway in Fortune's Fool, which starred Alan Bates, and wasdirected by film legend,Arthur Penn, the production received multiple Tony nominations and awards. She made her NY Producing debut in 2013 with Tennessee Williams' The Mutilated, which was nominated for a Drama League Award. In 2015, she played Catherine Holly in 3 different productions of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer: first in New Orleans at Southern Rep, directed by Aimee Hayes (Artistic Director is Southern Rep), running concurrent with the New Orleans Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in March, then in Williams' birth town of Columbus, MS with director Augustin Correro for the Tennessee Williams Tribute, and finally, at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival in September. She will play Carol Cutrere in New Orleans this spring in the Southern Rep production of Orpheus Descending with director Jef Hall-Flavin and Grace in Something Unspoken with Brenda Currin directed by Paul Willis.

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