Leonard Nimoy's VINCENT Comes to Vermont Festival of the Arts, Now thru 8/31

Leonard Nimoy's Vincent will be presented by Starry Night Theater Company, a professional touring company, for ten performances at the 2014 Vermont Festival of the Arts in Waitsfield. The passionate and turbulent life of Vincent van Gogh is dramatized in this intimate one-man play, which author Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek's Mr. Spock) adapted from hundreds of letters between Vincent and his closest ally, his brother, Theo. In van Gogh's lifetime, he sold only one painting and critics labeled his work "madness" in which "blood and fire appear to have usurped the place of color." But his story is so much more than that of the misunderstood genius who cut off his own ear.

In this play, Theo van Gogh movingly reveals Vincent as few knew him. After Vincent's death, Theo gathers friends and colleagues to defend Vincent's legacy (an actual historic event). Theo is not interested in telling the small story of the demise of one man. Rather, he argues the big story of the meaning and significance of his brother's life to all humankind. As seen through the eyes of Theo, Vincent van Gogh lives on as a symbol of inspiration, courage, passion, and the lust for life that art kindles in us.

At times, the actor also becomes Vincent and embodies the loving, passionate and brilliant man so cherished by his brother. The play includes over 100 stunning projections of Vincent's artwork on a large screen. BroadwayWorld.com described this production as "enlightening and enjoyable" and said it "is not to be missed." The Burlington Free Press described it as "a visual treat."

Originally performed by Mr. Nimoy, the play stars professional actor and part-time Waitsfield resident James Briggs. This production, on tour since late 2012, made a brief visit to Waitsfield for one weekend in the fall of 2013. Since then, it has continued to delight audiences along the east coast, visiting cities such as Charlotte, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, and West Kingston, Rhode Island. Said Briggs, "We are excited to return to Waitsfield where we were so warmly embraced last fall and are thrilled to be a part of the arts festival. Since our visit last fall, the show has continued to improve, including tightening up the running time to 85 minutes by eliminating intermission and through other minor changes. By eliminating intermission, the audience stays immersed in the story without breaking the dramatic tension right at the moment of Vincent's famous ear incident."

The Director, Dr. Brant Pope, has a thirty-year career in both professional and academic theatre and has directed over one hundred productions. He is currently the chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin and is holder of the Z .T. Scott Family Chair. He has directed at such theatres as Hartford Stage Company, The John Houseman Theatre, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and Park Square Theatre. For eleven years, he served as director of the FSU Asolo Conservatory, and associate artistic director of the Asolo Theatre Company in Sarasota, Florida.

James Briggs is the actor and founder of Starry Night Theater Company. He has acted in regional theaters such as The Sun Valley Repertory Company, The Asolo Theater, The Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Potomac Theater Project. He is a graduate of The Asolo Conservatory of Professional Actor Training in Sarasota, Florida and Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.

Vincent runs approximately 85 minutes, with no intermission. While appropriate for all audiences, it is best suited for adults and children ages ten and up.

Performances of Vincent will take place at the air-conditioned Valley Players Theater, 4254 Main Street (Route 100), Waitsfield, Vermont. The theater is "Location 33" on the official Vermont Festival of the Arts map.

Performances are as follows. Thursday and Sunday performances include a "talk back" with actor James Briggs immediately following the performance.

Thursday, August 21 at 7:30 P.M.
Friday, August 22 at 8:00 P.M.
Saturday, August 23 at 2:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.
Sunday, August 24 at 2:00 P.M.
Thursday, August 28 at 7:30 P.M.
Friday, August 29 at 8:00 P.M.
Saturday, August 30 at 2:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.
Sunday, August 31 at 2:00 P.M.

All tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for Seniors and Students and seating is general admission. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.starrynighttheater.com or call (802) 230-7740. Tickets will also be available at the door, subject to availability.

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