Olivier Winner Brian Cox to Helm World Premiere of SINNERS at GAAR This Summer
The Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency (GAAR), under the Artistic Direction of Sabra Jones, has announced that celebrated British actor and Emmy Award winner Brian Cox will direct the premiere of Joshua Sobel's Sinners, and that Tony nominees Marla Schaffel and Kathryn Meisle will star in Annie Get Your Gun. As well, GAAR will present a timely production of To Kill a Mockingbird as part of its 2016 MainStage Summer Season (July 21 - August 14, 2016), which takes place in the outdoor theater in the Town Green in Greensboro, Vermont.
The 2016 summer season is a landmark as it represents the final season GAAR presents work in Greensboro's Town Square: in 2017, the company will move into a brand new Elizabethan Theatre, designed by celebrated architect Hugh Hardy (NY's Signature Theatre, Lincoln Center's Clair Tow Theater, Theater for a New Audience). The NY-based Mirror Repertory Company has made its summer home in Greensboro and presenting plays and musicals there - under the auspices of Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency - since 2005.
A highlight of the season will be Emmy and Oliver Award Winner Brian Cox (Broadway: Rock and Roll, RSC: Lear) staging of the English language premiere of the play Sinners (June 30, August 7 & 14), written by award winning playwright, Joshua Sobel, and will star Nicole Ansari-Cox and Arash Moktar. Set in the Middle East, Sinners is a smart and meaningful love duet between a woman about to be stoned to death and the man she loves. This play will be choreography will be by Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam, an Iranian modern dancer trained and based in Paris. He is the founder and artistic director of Paris' Nakissa Art Company. His work has been performed throughout Europe and the United States, including at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in NYC. Mr. Cox is presently playing Winston Churchill in the BBC film Churchill.
Also featured is To Kill a Mockingbird (July 22 - August 13) based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Harper Lee. Directed by GAAR Artistic Director, Sabra Jones, To Kill a Mockingbird is a resounding tale of justice, truth, and racial equality, against the backdrop of childhood and growing up in the rural south before WW2. Starring Sean Haberle (GAAR: "King Claudius" in Hamlet; BAM's Persephone; TFANA's Hamlet) as Atticus Finch, Nicole Ansari-Cox (GAAR: "Queen Gertrude" in Hamlet, Broadway: Rock 'n' Roll) as Miss Maudie, Aidan Redmond (Broadway: The Cripple of Inishmaan, Sam Shepherd's A Particle of Dread) as Mr. Gilmer, Woodbury, VT resident Macy Molleur (GAAR: Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker) as Scout; George Sowles is playing her brother Jem, and Will Pomerance Mossek, grandson Of Elephant Man playwright Bernard Pomerance is playing Dill.
Kicking-off GAAR's professional season is the hilarious musical comedy Annie Get Your Gun. With lyrics and music by Irving Berlin, Annie Get Your Gun (July 21 - August 13) will be directed by GAAR company member Sean Haberle with Justin Jacobs as Music Director. Based on the life of Annie Oakley, star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West, the musical comedy follows Annie's adventures in show business and love. Featuring the beloved songs "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)," and "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun." Annie Get Your Gun will star Tony-nominee and GAAR Artist in Residence Marla Schaffel (Broadway: Jane Eyre, Titanic) and Tony Nominee and Drama Desk Award Winner Kathryn Meisle (Broadway: The Elephant Man, Tartuffe).
For the third year, GAAR has partnered with the Greensboro Free Library on the Annual Writers' Forum. This year's theme is Interconnection, between August 31 - September 4, 2016, featured authors will explore subjects such as "Interconnection between the Literary and Performing Arts," "Interconnection between Writing and Visual Arts," and "Interconnection between Stories and the Land." Committed writers include Newberry and National Book Award winner Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia); National Book Critics Award finalist, acclaimed poet, and Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review Major Jackson (Leaving Saturn, Hoops); Thomas Christopher Greene (Mirror Lake, The Headmaster's Wife) esteemed novelist and Founder of the Vermont College of Fine Arts; Megan Mayhew Bergman (Birds of a Lesser Paradis, Almost Famous Women), Salon contributor and Associate Director of Bennington College's MFA Program Steven Willis, internationally recognized slam poet and Finalist in the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam Julia Shipley (The Academy of Hay, Adam's Mark), Contributing editor of Yankee Magazine, Ms. Shipley also serves as Curator for Writers' Forum 2016.
Also as part of its season, GAAR's Kids Musical Theater Training Camp will present Disney's The Sleeping Beauty (July 16 - August 6) directed by GAAR's Lily McAteer. And the 3rd Annual Writers' Forum (August 31 - September 4) will be presented in conjunction with the Greensboro Free Library. This year's season is entitled Lovers and Madmen and is part of Vermont Arts 2016, a project of the Vermont Arts Council.
"A theater to be reckoned with" (The Times Argus), now operating year-round, The Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency has been called "theater at its best" (Hardwick Gazette). GAAR looks to provide cultural and economic opportunities to Vermont's Northeast Kingdom and its surrounding areas through theatrical productions and artistic collaborations. GAAR is currently under construction of its permanent home, a world class Elizabethan style theater, designed by foremost theater architectural firm H3 founded by the legendary Hugh Hardy (The Signature Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, Lincoln Center's Claire Tow Theater) to open Summer of 2017. Renowned actor Mark Rylance and director Nicholas Hytner are among the supporters/advisers for the theater company in Vermont and its new theater complex.
GAAR. is a 501(c)(3) community-based arts organization that strives to benefit the community founded in 2005 as the summer wing of the Mirror Repertory Company (GAAR's parent company). The Mirror Repertory Company, originally founded in 1983 by Sabra Jones, is the spiritual successor to Harold Clurman's Group Theatre and Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory. The founding initiative was spearheaded by the legendary philanthropist from Woodstock, VT, Laurance S. Rockefeller, and received additional endowments from Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Dina Merrill, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Katharine Hepburn and Paul Newman, as well as ATT, The Astor Foundation, The Lilah Acheson Wallace Foundation (Reader's Digest) and a host of others. The original acting company starred Geraldine Page, Ellis Raab, and Elizabeth Franz as artists-in-residence, and featured F. Murray Abraham, Sabra Jones, Mason Adams, Maxwell Caulfield (Grease), Victor Slezak, Steven Weber, Juliet Mills, Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley Knight, Enrico Colantoni ("Person of Interest"), Tovah Feldshuh, and Michael Moriarty as regular company members.
Mirror Repertory Company is proud to have produced over 100 plays both within New York (Broadway and Off-Broadway) as well as in London, regionally, and on television. "This company has power to involve and connect," (The New York Times), The Mirror has been nominated for a Tony, as well as numerous awards, including Best Overall Excellence and Best Acting Ensemble (Outer Critics), and features an award-winning Arts & Education program, receiving the Brown and Williamson Award for Teaching Excellence.
Greensboro is located in the Green Mountains near Stowe ski resort and Sean Hill Brewery called by the New York Times' "Best Beer In The World" and the internationally known cheese caves of Jasper Hill Farms. Greensboro is also home to Cirkus Smirkus and The Bread and Puppet Theater, as well as innumerable painters and artists, this former home of Greta Garbo, Erich Von Stroheim, Pulitzer Prize winning authors Wallace Stegner, John Gunther, Gish Jen, and Galway Kinell, the late Chief Justice Rhenquist, and has long been the beauteous refuge of a distinguished list of accomplished people.
Photo by Walter McBride