Dog Days Theatre Presents Thornton Wilder's THEOPHILUS NORTH
This summer, seek adventure with Theophilus North as he sets out to see the world in the first of two plays that make up Dog Days Theatre, presented by the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Professional and student actors take the stage in tandem to bring these two shows to life. The first show, Theophilus North, is based on the novel by beloved American author and playwright of Our Town, Thornton Wilder, and was adapted for the stage by Matthew Burnett. Directed by Laura Braza, Theophilus North runs in the Cook Theatre from July 11 - 28 with two preview nights on July 9 and 10. Tickets range from $32.50 - $45. Tuesday, July 9 is a pay-what-you-can (minimum $5) preview night and tickets to the Wednesday, July 10 preview are $35. The second show of the Dog Days season is Harbor, by Chad Beguelin, directed by Greg Leaming.
The play is set in the spring of 1926 and Theophilus North, a bright young man with lofty ambitions, is chomping at the bit as a teacher in a New Jersey prep school. He longs to be everything from an archaeologist to a rascal, but most of all he wants to be a free man, to see interesting people and places without any obligations to tie him down. After setting out to see the world, his jalopy breaks down in Newport, RI. North takes on odd jobs for wealthy families such as a tennis teacher, reader to the sick and jack-of-all trades. He counts tycoons, butlers, an impetuous heiress and a precocious little girl among his friends. As he juggles many jobs to earn money to travel, he touches the lives of those around him in unexpected ways and in the process he learns several important things about the world and his place in it; a person need not go very far after all to find great adventure.
"The last of Thornton Wilder's works published during his lifetime, Theophilus North is part autobiographical and part the imagined adventure of Wilder's twin brother who died at birth." (thorntonwilder.com). Theophilus North was adapted for the stage by Matthew Burnett and was nominated for the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical of the Year for in 2004. In the play, "Wilder imagines a life for a brother he never knew," says director, Laura Braza. "He confronts the big, scary question: Where do I belong in the universe?" Braza admires Wilder's tactful "balance of humor with depth and joy with tragedy". Theophilus North follows suit with the whimsy and wonder of Wilder's Our Town.
The creative team includes scenic design by Steven Kemp, costume design by Dee Sullivan, lighting design by Michael Pasquini, sound design by Alex Pinchin, properties design by Steve Patmagrian, wig design by Michelle Hart, technical direction and production management by Christopher McVicker, assistant direction by Megan Pence, stage management by Marian Wallace, and assistant stage management by Jamie Saunders. In addition to the professional actors in the cast, past and recent FSU/Asolo Conservatory graduates work together to make up the 25 characters in Theophilus North.
To purchase tickets to Theophilus North or Harbor, call 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, visit asolorep.org/Conservatory, or visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The box office closes at 5:00 PM when there are no evening performances, and phone reservations close one hour before all performances.