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American Stage Theatre Presents WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN, Beginning 3/20

WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN (A Chef's Fable) takes place in a prison cell in an unnamed country and set in the recent past.

WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN is described as "a hauntingly lyrical memory play about an older gentleman who was once a superb chef and a young female reporter who comes to interview him in the prison. She is determined to unearth why he has been locked up and find out what exactly was this mysterious act. WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN is best known for Sam Shepard's poetic style for which he is celebrated. Though it is sketched in a world of sensual delight, of great journeys to distant lands, and exotic food, the beauty of Shepard's work is that things are not always as they seem with layers to unfold. Under the surface, viewers will discover a family vendetta that has lasted for seven generations. This production is a moving story of regret and loss through which these two unique characters transcend their memories and reach mutual forgiveness and love."

Todd Olson is directing American Stage Theatre's production of WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN, which will be performed in one act with no intermission. Todd is our Artistic Director for American Stage Theatre Company and best know for directing such great works as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and August: Osage County.

The cast includes Michael Edwards* (The Old Man) and Amanda Collins* (The Interviewer). Both Michael and Amanda are returning to our stage. Michael Edwards was last seen on our stage with August: Osage County and Hysteria (both here and at Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theatre on Cape Cod). He was a graduate of the Pasadena Playhouse, where he was recently honored last year with the "Gilmor Brown Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Alumni Association. He is a veteran of 45 years in theatre, television, and film while also being a proud member of AEA.

Amanda Collins was last seen on our stage with Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. She is both a founding member of Harbor Stage Company on Cape Cod and of Theatre Espresso, an educational theatre group performing for schools across New England on historical issues of social justice. Amanda is a proud union member of both Actors' Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

In addition to Todd Olson's Directing and Sound Design, the Artistic Staff also includes; Greg Bierce as Scenic Designer, Saidah Ben Judah returning as Costume Designer from The Piano Lesson at American Stage, Ian Mills as Lighting Designer, Jerid Fox as Scenic Dresser and Properties Master and Timon Brown as Technical Director. Greg Bierce and Ian Mills will both be new to our stage.

Sam Shepard's plays are performed on and off Broadway and in all the major regional American theatres. They are also widely performed and studied in Europe, particularly in Britain, Germany and France, finding both a popular and scholarly audience. A leader of the avant-garde in contemporary American theatre since his earliest work. Sam's plays are not easy to categorize. They combine wild humor, grotesque satire, myth and a sparse, haunting language to present a subversive view of American life. His settings are often a kind of nowhere, notionally grounded in the dusty heart of the vast American Plains; his characters are typically loners, drifters caught between a mythical past and the mechanized present; his work often concerns deeply troubled families.

Before he was thirty, Shepard had over thirty plays produced in New York. In his works Shepard has repeatedly examined the moral anomie and spiritual starvation that characterize the world of his drama. Sam began his career as a playwright in New York in 1964 with the Theatre Genesis production of two one-act plays, Cowboys and The Rock Garden at St. Mark's Church-in-the Bowery. Their lack of conventional structure and the manic language of their long monologues offend critics from uptown papers. Some find the plays derivative of Samuel Beckett and other European dramatists. But Michael Smith of The Village Voice hails them as "distinctly American" and "genuinely original," and declares their author full of promise. By 1980, he was the most produced playwright in America after Tennessee Williams.

Joseph Chaikin (1935-2003) was an American theatre director, playwright, and pedagogue. An avant-garde artist who rose to fame as the founder of New York's innovative Open Theater, Joseph Chaikin's legacy of rejecting conventional theater in favor of a more experimental approach lives on with such efforts as Viet Rock and The Serpent. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Chaikin studied at Drake University before his love for the stage led him to become a member of The Living Theater from 1947 to 1963. Founding The Living Theater in 1963, the troupe's wildly unconventional productions gained Chaikin and company a reputation as truly imaginative visionaries, and Chaikin would teach acting on the side as a means to make ends meet. In addition to the 14 plays Chaikin directed for The Living Theater, he frequently collaborated with Sam Shepard for such efforts as Savage/Love and Tongues at The Public Theater. After suffering a stroke, Chaikin used the experience as inspiration for numerous stage productions, including The War in Heaven (again collaborating with Shepard) and Night Sky (collaborating with Susan Yankowitz). The recipient of six Obie Awards (including the first-ever for "Lifetime Achievement") and two Guggenheim Fellowships, Chaikin was still working tirelessly in theater at the time of his death at the age of 67.



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