BACH AT LEIPZIG Opens Tonight at People's Light & Theatre

BACH AT LEIPZIG Opens Tonight at People's Light & Theatre

People's Light & Theatre presents the regional premiere of Itamar Moses' acclaimed comedy Bach at Leipzig running tonight, July 9-August 10, 2014 on the Steinbright Stage. Associate Artistic Director Pete Pryor directs. People's Light & Theatre is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355.

Itamar Moses (Boardwalk Empire) sets his historical romp in 1722 Leipzig, Germany, where the world's greatest organist, Johann Kuhnau, has just died in the middle of a frenzied fugue. Seven men, all claiming to be Kuhnau's worthy successor, flock to the famous Thomaskirche (or St. Thomas Church), where Kuhnau presided over the music for Church services and the adjacent school. Blackmail and back-stabbing mix with debates on religion, philosophy, and politics as the men attempt to outdo each other in order to win Kuhnau's prestigious position.

"Whether you are a Bach buff or prefer Lady Gaga, I think you will laugh in unison at this ingenious and hilarious tale of history's underdogs" asserts People's Light's Producing Director, Zak Berkman. Director Pete Pryor adds, "One of the most delightful aspects of the work is how Itamar has purposefully set the piece up as a fugue. Each character needs the other to complete the piece. Themes are represented and then repeated with variations. Each of the characters is barreling desperately to his own inevitable outcome."

All of Moses' characters were contemporaries of J.S. Bach and each of them did, in fact, audition to be Kuhnau's replacement. Beyond that, the play is fictional. To play Moses' comic take on these historic figures, long-time People's Light company member Kevin Bergen portrays Georg Balthasar Schott, David Ingram plays Johann Christoph Graupner, and Stephen Novelli takes on Georg Friedrich Kaufmann. They are joined by Greg Wood as Johann Friedrich Fasch. Making their People's Light debuts are Danny Gardner as Johann Martin Steindorff and Jabari Brisport as Georg Lenck.

People's Light continues its program called Scoop on Sundays: History, Context, and Gossip, a lively discussion before every Sunday 7 pm performance (July 13, 20, 27, & August 3, 10). Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale will host an artist from the production and get the inside scoop about such things as the rehearsal and production process, design choices, and the world of the play. The program begins at 5:30 in The Farmhouse Bistro. Cost of $15 includes light fare. Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500.

Enjoy a prix fixe dinner and a show package for $70 (Wed, Thurs, Sat matinee, Sun eve) and $80 (Fri, Sat eve, Sun matinee) at The Farmhouse Bistro prior to Wed-Sun evening performances. That's a savings of up to 15% off the single ticket price! If you already have tickets, you can add dinner for just $35. Dinner and a show packages are available through the box office or online at

Bach at Leipzig previews on Wednesday, July 9 and Thursday, July 10 at 7:30 pm and Friday, July 11 at 8 pm. The play opens on Saturday, July 12 and runs through Sunday, August 10. Audiences are encouraged to join the artists for a conversation about the production after the Thursday performances on July 17, 24, 31 and August 7. Single tickets: $26 - $46. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x111 or email

7-play subscription packages for the 2014-2015 Season are available for purchase and start at $154. Productions include Fences (September 10-October 5, 2014), Row After Row (October 15-November 9, 2014), Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon: A Musical Panto (November 19, 2014-January 11, 2015), The Cherry Orchard (February 11-March 8, 2015), Biloxi Blues (April 29-May 24, 2015), How to Write A New Book for the Bible (June 3-28, 2015), and Stella & Lou (July 15-August 23, 2015). The Discovery series packages for children ages 5-12 start at $54 and include Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon: A Musical Panto (November 19, 2014-January 11, 2015), and Jason and the Argonauts (March 12-April 4, 2015). The Teen Series for children ages 12-19 includes Fences, Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon: A Musical Panto, The Cherry Orchard, and Biloxi Blues. Visit or call 610-644-3500 to order.

Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the Box Office for more details.

ABOUT PEOPLE'S LIGHT: Now in its 39th season, People's Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce seven to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 340 and 160 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts for our 7-Play and Discovery Series.


Pete Pryor

Pete is the Associate Artistic Director and proud company member at People's Light. He is the co-founder and former Producing Artistic Director of 1812 Productions in Philadelphia. For the past seven years he has been the resident artist/drama instructor at the Pathway School. His play Beautiful Boy was part of our Community Matters reading series and was produced at People's Light. Pete is a Lunt-Fontanne fellow and Independence Fellowship Artist and winner of four Barrymore Awards. He directed last season's Noises Off as well as the last six holiday pantos and will co-author and direct next season's panto, Arthur & The Tale of the Red Dragon.

Kevin Bergen
Georg Balthasar Schott

Kevin is thrilled to be back at People's Light where he last appeared as Noah Curry in The Rainmaker. Other Philadelphia region credits include: The Walnut Street Theatre, The Wilma Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Bristol Riverside Theatre, and InterAct Theatre Company. Kevin has acted at numerous other regional theatres including The Shakespeare Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare, The Studio Theatre (D.C.), the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, and Shenandoah Shakespeare. He is a graduate of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.

Jabari Brisport
Georg Lenck

Jabari is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama. Recent credits include These! Paper! Bullets! (Yale Rep), Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Macbeth (New York Classical Theatre), Political Subversities (The PIT), and Funnyhouse of a Negro (Yale Cabaret). Jabari also holds a BFA with honors from New York University. And if he gives you a reason to smile tonight, then he's done his job.

Danny Gardner
Johann Martin Steindorff

People's Light Debut! Most Recent credits include Dragons at The York Theatre in NYC, Noah Racey's Pulse at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, The world premiere of Neurosis - A New Musical at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, National tours of 42nd Street and Here To Stay - The Gershwin Experience, Room 17B at 59E59 Street Theatres (Drama Desk Nom.), and four shows at the two-time Tony award winning Goodspeed Opera House.

David Ingram
Johann Christoph Graupner

David joined People's Light in 1989, and has appeared in many shows since including Noises Off, End Days, Young Woman From Rwanda, Tuesdays with Morrie, and others. He has also appeared in Some Other Kind of Person (Interact), Cybourne Park (Arden), Laughter on the 23rd Floor and Our Show of Shows (1812 Productions), The Tempest (Act II Playhouse) and Tartuffe, Three Sisters and Measure for Measure (Temple Rep). David is on the Theater faculty of Temple University.

Stephen Novelli
Georg Friedrich Kaufmann
Recently: Camillo in The Winter's Tale at People's Light, Judge in Inherit the Wind at Bristol Riverside Theatre, Roy Cohn in Angels in America at The Wilma Theater. Other roles at People's Light include Halvard Solness in The Master Builder, Gloucester in King Lear and Saladin in Nathan the Wise. Directed The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and Tuesdays with Morrie for People's Light. A member of the company since 1974, he now serves as Artistic Associate.

Greg Wood
Johann Friedrich Fasch
Greg is thrilled to be doing this show after being part of one of the original readings of the play in 2004. Recent credits include: The Winter's Tale at People's Light, The History of Invulnerability at Milwaukee Rep, Other Desert Cities at Walnut St. Theatre, Tom Jones for Actors Theatre Louisville, Absurd Person Singular at Peterborough Players, and Measure for Measure with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Film & Television credits include: How To Get Away With Murder (ABC TV pilot), The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Happening, The Lovely Bones, Killing Emmett Young, Law & Order, Ed, Hack, and Homicide.

Related Articles

Philadelphia THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Philadelphia  Follow BWW Philadelphia

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...