THAT PLAY: A SOLO MACBETH Benefits Stage Left Studio, Now thru 11/8
THAT PLAY: A Solo Macbeth, the 2013 Drama Desk Nominee for Unique Theatrical Experience, will offer three performances to benefit Stage Left Studio, today, Oct 28, Nov 4 and Nov 8.
You may think you've seen Macbeth but you've never seen it like this. In THAT PLAY: A Solo Macbeth, co-authors TOM GUALTIERI and HEATHER HILL (who also directs) examine Shakespeare's bloodbath in a fast, funny and frightening 85 minute, with one man playing 19 characters, including the sociopathic tragic hero, the malevolent witches, various apparitions, the innocent Macduff family, and ultimate femme fatale, Lady Macbeth.
In a performance which has been called "moving," "mesmerizing," "thrilling," "openly touching," and even "one of the best one-man shows of the season," Mr. Gualtieri offers a gleefully wicked re-invigoration of "The Scottish Play." The addition of a sinfully comic Narrator (also played by Mr. Gualtieri) brings the drama into a whole new light, carving out the play's central question for modern audiences. "How far," The Narrator dares to ask, "are we from Macbeth and his wife? How capable are we of evil? And what is the darkness in our souls?"
First performed at the 2003 Midtown International Theatre Festival, THAT PLAY: A Solo Macbeth received across-the-board raves. The sold-out New York City run led to engagements at The Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY, and the now-defunct Belt Theatre. It was a featured selection in Cheryl King's annual Left Out Festival in 2012, extended 5 times through May 2013 and was nominated for the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience.
Mr. Gualtieri, who was universally praised by critics for his performance in David Sisco's BAIT n' SWISH in 2011/12, also at Stage Left Studio, says: "THAT PLAY is very very funny. It's also terrifying because it leaves you with a deep feeling of unease. Shakespeare implicates all of us. He says unchecked ambition has the potential to destroy us."
Gualtieri & Hill dissect their adaptation: "In addition to the wicked bloodbath of a story, Shakespeare's Macbeth is also an examination of internal struggle. Macbeth begins as a thoughtful, highly intelligent and honorable man; he KNOWS what regicide will do to his soul and to the balance of the spiritual world but he goes through with it anyway. He renders his life meaningless by destroying the human part of himself. Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth calls on the powers of darkness to take away her humanity - her 'feminine' characteristics, sensitivity and tenderness - but eventually finds she cannot do away with her powers of empathy.
Empathy has been politically disparaged in the modern world. Both characters are deeply feeling people. Lady Macbeth, however, is naïve to think she can rid herself of empathy and eventually commits suicide when guilt ravages her. Without both halves of ourselves--without balance--our lives are pointless. It is as Macbeth says in the famous "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow' speech; 'life is a tale told by an idiot...signifying nothing.'"
Stage Left Studio is located at 214 West 30 Street (between Seventh & Eighth Avenues - Sixth Floor). Performances are set for Tuesday, October 28, November 4, Saturday, November 8 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $25. For reservations, visit www.stageleftstudio.net or www.solomacbeth.com.
Tom Gualtieri is a performer, playwright, lyricist and director who maintains an ongoing collaboration with composer David Sisco. They recently performed together to accolades in Sisco's Bait n' Swish at Stage Left Studio. Gualtieri & Sisco have completed their musical, Falling to Earth, and have begun their next: I'm Afraid, You're Afraid, 448 Things to Fear and Why. Tom has written book and lyrics for musical shorts, The Supper at Elsinore (composer: Joy Son) and Last Call, My Darling (composer: William Wade). He has provided additional material for Broadway Bares and scripted for the Drama Desk Awards. His staging of Daniel MacIvor's His Greatness played to sold-out houses and was a 4-star critic's pick in 2009 Time Out Fall Preview, eventually extending its run at the Soho Playhouse. Tom was Artistic Associate at National Actors Theatre where he was Associate Director on Right You Are with Tony Randall, Penny Fuller and Maria Tucci and Assistant to Abby Mann on NAT's Broadway production of The Judgment at Nuremberg with Maximillian Schell, George Grizzard and Marthe Keller. He was twice Associate Director to Nona Lloyd at NYMF: Sherlock Holmes: The Early Years and The Night of the Hunter in which he also appeared with Dee Hoty and Beth Fowler. He directed the premiere production of Shore Points by Richard Rodgers Award winner, Jeff Hughes. Tom has acted opposite Joanne Woodward in Hay Fever, Marin Mazzie in South Pacific (choreography by Rob Marshall) and had principal roles in Privates on Parade, Dragapella!, Show Me Where the Good Times Are, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Rivals, Cloud 9. Film work includes the award-winning short Bedfellows, as well as Fade to White, Rubberneck Disease, Blinding Goldfish and That's All She Wrote. He is a proud original cast member of Off-Broadway's Naked Boys Singing. Tom is the recipient of the Best Actor award from the National Gay & Lesbian Theatre Festival for BAIT. He is an advanced member of the BMI Workshop and was trained at Syracuse University. www.gualtieriandsisco.com
Heather Hill (Director/Co-Adaptor), a native of Kentucky, is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist. Her plays have received readings and workshops at numerous theaters, including The Royal Court, the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, England, The New Group, Primary Stages, The Vineyard Theater, The Kitchen Theatre, The Belt, and Horizon Theater Company in Atlanta. Her play Notes from the Confederacy was developed under the mentorship of A.R. Gurney and the Cherry Lane Theater. Her play Eulogy for Boris the Relic Hunter, commissioned by The Regional Theater Company, was included in RTC's festival of shorts. Ms. Hill directed and co-adapted (with Tom Gualtieri) That Play: a Solo Macbeth, which enjoyed a sold out run at the Midtown International Fringe Festival. Ms. Hill went on to direct That Play at The Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, as well as The Belt in New York. Her play Heathens was recently premiered at Theater for the New City. Ms. Hill is the recipient of two Hopwood Drama Awards, as well as a grant from The Kentucky Foundation for Women. In addition, she is a two-time finalist for The Princess Grace Award and a finalist for the Manhattan Theatre Club Fellowship. She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University where she was a Presidential Scholar. She is a member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop. www.heatherhillplaywright.com