THE COTTAGE and More Set for APAC's 13th Season

The Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC), recipient of the 2012 Caffé Cino Fellowship Award from the
Innovative Theatre Foundation, has announced their 13th season will include a world premiere play by Sandy Rustin (Rated P (for Parenthood)) THE COTTAGE, directed by Adam Dannheisser (Rock of Ages, resident director), and Rodgers and Hammerstein's ALLEGRO, directed by Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik. APAC's performance venue is located at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent St (@30th Rd), in Astoria, Queens. In the meantime, APAC's Board of Directors is in the midst of a search to find a new Executive Director, visit for more information.

"We are very excited about APAC's 13th Season," remarks Wojtunik. "Sandy Rustin is a writer on the verge of a really exciting career-I had so much fun reading THE COTTAGE that I knew APAC audiences would
love it. ALLEGRO is an incredibly moving musical that has fascinated me for a long time, featuring a score by the fathers of the American musical theatre. It's about time Rodgers and Hammerstein are featured on the APAC stage, and I'm thrilled to bring ALLEGRO back to New York."

In September APAC will be celebrating with the New York Innovative Theatre awards with four nominations for last season's revival of BLOOD BROTHERS: Outstanding Lighting Design (Dan Jobbins); Outstanding Set Design (Stephen K. Dobay); Outstanding Director (Tom Wojtunik); and yet another nomination for Outstanding Production of a Musical for which they were nominated five times previously, for TRIUMPH OF LOVE, RAGTIME, THE HUMAN COMEDY, THE SECRET GARDEN, and won for CHILDREN OF EDEN, in 2010.

The season commences on November 7th with the world premiere, THE COTTAGE, a rollicking farce inspired by the works of Noel Coward. Set in the English countryside in 1923, this tale of sex, betrayal and, oh yes, love, unfolds when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her love affair to her husband and her lover's wife. The true meanings of fate, identity and marriage are called into question as a surprising, hilarious web of secrets unravels in this ridiculous-and potentially murderous-romantic comedy.

THE COTTAGE was selected as part of Midtown Direct Rep's 2013 Theatre in the Loft Series (The New York Times calls Midtown Direct Rep "the place to discover the next great play"). The staged reading was
directed by Adam Dannheisser and featured Catherine Brunell (Mary Poppins), Bradley Dean (Evita), Stephanie Kurtzuba (Billy Elliot) and Jamie LaVerdiere (Motown). The New York Times calls Rustin's work
"sweet and wistfully funny".

In May APAC will present Rodgers & Hammerstein's ALLEGRO with music by Richard Rodgers, book & lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Helmed by director Wojtunik, the creative team reunites the NYIT nominated team behind BLOOD BROTHERS, with choreography by Christine O'Grady and musical direction by Julianne B. Merrill. This ensemble musical chronicles nearly four decades in the life of an Everyman, Joseph Taylor, Jr., from cradle through a mid-life discovery of who he is and what his life is truly about. The first musical to be staged by a director who was also the choreographer (the legendary Agnes De Mille), the unique structural format allows the saga to whisk us from Joe's birth through his childhood, from college dorm to marriage altar, and on to his career; from the tranquility of his small Midwestern hometown to the hectic din of big city life, in a series of vignettes and musical sequences dazzling in their simplicity and stunning in their impact. Ahead of its time theatrically, ALLEGRO remains timeless in its appeal. The New York Times called ALLEGRO "aggressively innovative". The musical debuted in 1947, and was the third collaboration of the storied fathers of the American musical theatre. Innovative for its lack of a set, and use of projections to tell the story, it was also the first concept musical and very much ahead of its time. A full studio cast recording was released in 2009.

ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (APAC), a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2001 by Sue Scannell (Founding Executive Director, 2001-2005) and Brian J. Swasey (Founding Artistic Director, 2001-2008). APAC's mission is to bring high quality theater to Astoria, Queens, and to support local youth and senior citizens.

On its mainstage, APAC produces revivals and premieres of plays and musicals, and APAC also develops new works through readings and workshops. Its flexible theater space changes with each production. To date, APAC has received 22 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations and 5 wins (Children of Eden & Ragtime), as well as an Off-Off Broadway Theatre Review Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (Is There Life After High School?). APAC was the recipient of the 2012 Caffe Cino Fellowship Award, under the leadership of Taryn Sacramone (APAC Executive Director, 2005-2013).

APAC offers free annual community programs, including a summer performance camp for children ages 8-13, an after school playwriting program for middle school students, and a performance program for Queens residents over the age of 60. These programs deepen ties with the community, and develop new audiences for theater. Diverse programming and consistent quality attracts a loyal and growing audience that reflects the diversity of Western Queens and also draws from the other boroughs and beyond.

In addition to its theater space within the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, APAC's offices are located within the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios.

For more information on APAC, visit

Related Articles

Off-Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...