Gloucester Stage Company continues its 37th season of professional theater on Cape Ann with the New England premiere of Deborah Zoe Laufer’s The Last Schwartz opening on July 7 and running through July 30 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA., A funny and provocative look at family life, The Last Schwartz takes place in the Catskills as the Schwartz family gathers on the one year anniversary of their father’s passing. Playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer made her Gloucester Stage debut during the 2015 season with Out of Sterno, which earned high critical acclaim and audience accolades during its smash hit GSC run. The Last Schwartz reunites Laufer with GSC Out of Sterno director Paula Plum. An award winning actress and GSC favorite, Plum returns to stage Laufer’s comic drama spiced with intrigue featuring a cast including returning GSC actors Brianne Beatrice and Paul Melendy, and GSC newcomers Andrea Goldman, Gabriel Kuttner, Glen Moore and Veronica Anastasio Wiseman.
Lynn native actress and director Paula Plum was last seen on the GSC stage in 2014’s Auld Lang Syne opposite her husband Richard Snee. Her GSC directing credits include Out of Sterno and I’m Not Rappaport. Ms. Plum is a founding member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project. She has been Artistic Director of WGBH’s A Christmas Celtic Sojourn since its inception in 2003. Other directing credits include Macbeth and School for Scandal with Actors’ Shakespeare Project; Steel Magnolias at Stoneham Theatre; Jake’s Womenat Merrimack Repertory Theatre; Baltimore Waltz at Lyric Stage; The Lady and the Clarinet at New Ehrlich Theatre; Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbonwith Back Alley Theatre; Tell Me On A Sunday at Stuart St. Theatre; andRomeo and Juliet with Happy Medium Theatre. As the 2009 recipient of the Fox Actor Fellowship, awarded to five actors nationwide, Ms. Plum conducted a workshop at her host theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, entitled Handling the Hot Moments, exploring the ways actors negotiate intimacy on stage. Her article of the same title was published in the October 2011 issue of American Theatre Magazine. While she is best known to GSC audiences as an actress, Ms. Plum is also a playwright, teacher and acting coach. Her most recent play, What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, explores the passions and peccadilloes of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Ms. Plum is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, five IRNE awards, two Elliot Norton Awards for Best Actress, and was the 2003 Distinguished Alumna of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.
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Deborah Zoe Laufer’s plays have been produced at more than 80 theaters around the country including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and Portland Stage, and internationally in Germany, Russia and Canada. Ms. Laufer’s plays have been developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Missoula Colony at Montana Repertory Theatre and New York City’s Lark Play Development Center, among others. Her play, Informed Consent, opened at the Duke on 42nd Street, a co-production of Primary Stages and Ensemble Studio Theatre, in August, 2015. An Alfred P. Sloan Foundation commission through EST, it first received productions at Cleveland Playhouse and Geva Theatre. Ms. Laufer’s play, End Days was awarded The ATCA Steinberg Citation and produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre through a Sloan Grant. It received a rolling work premiere through the National New Play Network, and went on to receive over 50 productions after that. Her other plays include Leveling Up,Sirens, Meta, The Three Sisters of Weehawken, Fortune, The Gulf of Westchester, Miniatures, and Random Acts. She is the recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and the Lilly Award and grants and commissions from the Edgerton Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National New Play Network. Ms. Laufer is a graduate of The Juilliard School and a member of The Dramatists Guild.
Brianne Beatrice made her GSC debut as Ruthie in Israel Horovitz’s North Shore Fish directed by GSC Artistic Director, Robert Walsh. Ms. Beatricereceived her BFA in Acting from Salem State University and her MFA in Acting at The Pennsylvania State University. She is a Professor of Acting and Communication at Salem State University, Northern Essex Community College and UMass Lowell. Her recent stage credits include: Mr. Burns – A Post-Electric Play at New Century Theater; Not Constantinople with Vineyard Playhouse; Simon Says at the BCA- Plaza Theater; Almost Maine andRumors at the Callan Studio Theater; Five Women Wearing The Same Dress, Cloud Nine, Propaganda, Loves and Hours, The Afghan Women,Escape From Happiness and Much Ado About Nothing at Pennsylvania Center Stage.
Paul Melendy made his GSC debut last season in Richard Nelson’s Sweet and Sad, the second Apple Family play. His recent area credits include A Confederacy of Dunces at Huntington Theater Company with Nick Offerman of NBC-TV’s Parks and Recreation; A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company/Boston Landmarks Orchestra; and with CSC: Art with Seth Gilliam of AMC’s The Walking Dead, and Shakespeare at Fenway! with Mike O’Malley of Fox-TV’s Glee. Mr. Melendy received an Elliot Norton nomination for Outstanding Musical Performance for his work in It’s a Horrible Life with The Gold Dust Orphans. Other regional credits include Underground Railway Theater, New Repertory Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Centastage, New Century Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, Publick Theatre, the Foothills Theatre, WHAT, and Barnstormers Theatre.
Gabriel Kuttner, Glen Moore, Andrea Goldman, and Veronica Anastasio Wiseman, all make their GSC debut in The Last Schwartz. Gabriel Kuttner is a Boston-based theatre artist, educator and producer of the hit comedy, Shit-faced Shakespeare, now playing in Boston, Austin and London’s West End. As an actor, he has worked with many Boston-area companies including: Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Lyric Stage Company, New Repertory Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Israeli Stage, Publick Theatre, WHAT and others. He was a founding member of Orfeo Group, whose work was thrice recognized by the Elliot Norton committee. As an actor, he has twice been the recipient of the IRNE award (Solo Performance and Best Supporting Actor). Gabriel is a graduate of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
Glen Moore was last seen at the Oberon as Saul in Liars & Believers original production, Who Would Be King. His other Boston area credits include;Blinders with Flat Earth Theatre; Of Mice and Men with Boston Children’s Theatre; Closer and Arcadia with Bad Habit Productions; The Time of My Lifewith Zeitgeist Stage Company, Eurydice with Independent Drama Society; andThe Spitting Image with Happy Medium Theatre. He appeared in the regional premiere of Speech And Debate in Denver. Mr. Moore holds a B.A. in Acting from The University of Northern Colorado and studied at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts with The National Theatre Conservatory.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Andrea Goldman trained in New York at the Stella Adler Studio Conservatory and in England at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. She is the co-founder of Viscus Film in Los Angeles, whose most recent short was nominated for 6 categories at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and garnered two wins. Ms. Goldman is the Co-Artistic Director of The Box Collective.
Veronica Anastasio Wiseman’s recent roles include; Mud Blue Sky andSalome with Bridge Rep; Speech and Debate and The Goat or Who Is Sylvia( IRNE Nomination) with Bad Habit Productions; The Edge of Peace at Central Square Theatre; The How and The Why with One Bird Productions; andFiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, and Nunsense with Woodland Theater Company. For Sharon Community Television, she produces and hosts “Wise Friends” Ms. Wiseman received her BFA from Boston University.
Deborah Zoe Laufer’s The Last Schwartz runs July 7 through July 30 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pmand Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Following the 2 pm performances onSunday, July 17 and Sunday, July 24 audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from The Last Schwartz. Single ticket prices are $28 to $38 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Cape Ann Residents, Senior Citizens and Patrons 25 years old and under. Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the Saturday, July 16 matinee at2 pm. Pay What You Wish tickets can only be purchased day of show at the door. Gloucester Stage Flex Passes for the 2016 Season are also on sale now. All performances are held at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. For more information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com.