The Lifespan of a Fact

By Tom Hauck

August 2019, former vice-president Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner for the 2020 presidential election, told a campaign rally audience a deeply moving story about how he had pinned a medal on the chest of a Navy captain who had valiantly tried to rescue a wounded comrade who had fallen to the bottom of a deep ravine. The soldier had died, and the Navy captain told Biden he didn’t want the medal. “He died,” the captain insisted. “He died!”

Reporters quickly discovered that most of the facts in Biden’s story were incorrect. The story seemed to be a mishmash of several events—a little from one, a little more from another.

When asked about these divergent facts, Biden replied, “(Details) matter in terms of whether you’re trying to mislead people. And I wasn’t trying to mislead anybody…. The fact is, the point I was trying to make, I’d make again. The valor and honor of these warriors are as significant as any warriors we’ve ever had in the history of the United States of America. That was my point.”

Watching the stunning regional premiere of “The Lifespan of a Fact” at the Gloucester Stage Company, the viewer cannot avoid thinking about the real-life implications of this brilliant new play. Written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell, and directed by Sam Weisman, this tightly constructed, no-nonsense story quickly takes off when hardboiled magazine editor Emily Penrose (Lindsay Crouse) asks intern fact checker Jim Fingal (Derek Speedy) to do a routine fact check on an essay submitted by star writer John D’agata (Mickey Solis). Trouble arrives when Fingal takes the job seriously and produces a long list of errors. While some of D’agata’s literary inventions are trivial, others appear to have real consequences.

With surprising integrity, the script offers each character the opportunity to sincerely defend their point of view. Like Joe Biden, D’agata insists his job is to convey the essence of the human drama, and individual details should be subservient to that purpose. Fingal is appalled that the writer is stubbornly cavalier about altering the building blocks of the story—the “facts.” Meanwhile, editor Penrose has a looming deadline, and she needs this important piece to be hammered into shape and sent to the printer.

The three actors are superb. Lindsay Crouse needs no introduction to Gloucester audiences, and her laser-focused performance confirms why during her career she’s earned a boatload of honors including an Academy Award nomination. Recent Harvard graduate Derek Speedy proves he’s got the right stuff for a successful career onstage, and Mickey Solis does an amazing job of playing along with the viewer’s initial assumption that he’s nothing but a pompous “artiste,” and then gradually revealing he’s got a good heart and really believes in the power of stories to transform lives.

Playing now through September 22, this poignant and darkly comic drama is both topical and timeless. Reserve your seats by calling 978-281-4433 or visiting https://gloucesterstage.com/.

Fall 2019 Youth Acting Workshop Program for Ages 5 to 19 Set to Begin at Gloucester Stage Company

Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops is accepting students 5-19 for the Fall Session 2019.  The six week Youth Acting Workshop Fall Session meets for a total of four hours per week for six weeks from September 13  through October 19. The Fall 2019 Session features Acting Instruction taught by award winning actress, Harvard graduate and Gloucester native Heidi Dallin; a Master Acting Class with Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse; Stage Combat/ SwordPlay with Tom Kee from Showtime’s City on a Hilland GSC’s To Kill A Mockingbird; Acting for the Camera, Performing Shakespeare and Movement/Action Theatre with 2019 Education Apprentice Liana Genoud and the Improv Olympics with Ryan Cannister. 

Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops are designed to provide young people an outlet to nurture their creative potential through developing self-confidence, communication and teamwork skills to use in their daily life as well as introducing them to the skills necessary for professional theatre.

Registration is open for the FALL 2019 Session. Students are divided in classes according to age.  The Children’s Class (ages 5-10) meets Fridays, 4:30-6:30pm and Saturdays, 9-11am. The Advanced Teen Class (age 14-19) meets Fridays, 2:30-4:30 pm and Saturdays, 11-1 pm.  The Teen Class (ages 11-13) meets Saturdays, 9-1pm.  Class size is limited and registration is on a first come basis. For class times and schedules and to register, call 978-283-6688 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com.

The young actors of Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop in action.

Photo Credit: Gary Ng



Gloucester Stage: Ben Butler Triumphs

By Tom Hauck

Now at Gloucester Stage Company through August 25, Ben Butler, written by Richard Strand and directed by Joseph Discher, tells the gripping story of the day in 1861—just after the South seceded from the Union and war was imminent—when three escaped slaves made their way to Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. (It helps to know that although Virginia was part of the Confederacy, Fort Monroe, located on the coast, remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War.)

This comic play with a serious message is based on real events. On May 27, 1861, Major General Benjamin Butler made his famous “contraband” decision, or “Fort Monroe Doctrine,” determining that escaping male slaves who reached Union lines would be considered contraband—that is, part of the rebel war effort—and not be returned to bondage. The order resulted in thousands of slaves fleeing to Union lines around Fort Monroe.

The cast is superb. Ames Adamson shines as the gruff but good-hearted ex-lawyer, Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler. He’s well practiced in the role—this is the third time he’s done it, and he owns the part. Butler is ably assisted by Doug Bowen-Flynn as Lieutenant Kelly, who has the thankless job of interpreting the General’s mercurial pronouncements. And David Debeck admirably portrays the hapless Major John B. Cary, the Confederate officer charged with demanding from Butler the return of the slaves.
But the story’s propulsive engine comes from Shane Taylor as Shepard Mallory, the only one of the slave trio we meet, who takes it upon himself to single-handedly convince a reluctant Ben Butler to give the slaves shelter. Malloy is the disruptor and the catalyst for change. His negotiating skills confound even the sharp legal mind of Butler, who quickly finds himself facing an opponent who knows how to alternately charm, cajole, and threaten his way to his goal.

And as a note of local interest, after the war the real Ben Butler settled in our own Bayview neighborhood, at the present-day Ames estate, and served as the 33rd governor of Massachusetts.

With a running time of about two hours plus intermission, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the drama escalates and the triumphant ending unfolds. See this engaging and insightful production before it closes on August 25.

And be sure to reserve your seats for the next thrilling production at GSC: The first regional production of the Broadway smash hit The Lifespan of a Fact. Directed by Sam Weisman and starring Mickey Solis, Lindsay Crouse, and Derek Speedy, this drama explores the moral quandaries of what creative license is allowed in literary nonfiction, and dramatizes the working relationship between writer and fact checker. The Lifespan of a Fact opens August 30.

For ticket information, call 978-281-4433, or go to http://www.gloucesterstage.com. Don’t wait!

Boston Area Premiere of BEN BUTLER Opens at Gloucester Stage

Robert Walsh, Artistic Director   Christopher Griffith, Interim Managing Director

From: Heidi J. Dallin, Media Relations Director Phone: 978-281-4099/978-283-6688 Email: hjdallin@hotmail.com

Boston Area Premiere of BEN BUTLER Opens at Gloucester Stage

Historical Comedy Inspired by Real Life

Characters & Events   

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater with the Boston area premiere of Richard Strand’s Ben Butler from August 2 through August 25 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Richard Strand’s Ben Butler, a smart and funny discourse on race, protocol and our sense of humanity garnered high critical acclaim during its Off Broadway run in 2016. New York’s Joseph Discher who helmed the show’s world premiere production in 2014 and the Off Broadway production in 2016, makes his GSC debut directing Ben Butler. Actors Ames Adamson as GeneralBenjamin Butler and Shane Taylor as escaped slave Shepard Mallory make their GSC debut in Ben Butler. GSC veterans Doug Bowen-Flynn as Lieutenant Kelly and David DeBeck as Confederate Major Cary complete the cast. Richard Strand’s Ben Butler,runs from August 2 through August 25. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

Actor Ames Adamson as General Benjamin Butler, dynamic​ Civil War General, Massachusetts governor, and settler of the Bay View section of Gloucester, MA  in the Boston area premiere of Richard Strand’s Ben Butler at Gloucester Stage from  August 2 through August 25. The real Butler lived in the Bay View section of Gloucester in what is now known as The Ames Estate which is still inhabited by Butler’s descendants. 

The sharply comic play takes place in the middle of the Civil War, 1861 at Virginia’s Union-held Fort Monroe under the command of General Benjamin Butler. When three escaped slaves show up at Fort Monroe seeking sanctuary, Union General Butler is faced with an impossible moral dilemma – follow the letter of the law and return the escapees back to Confederacy, or make a game-changing move that could alter the course of US history? The bold and bright refugee, Shepard Mallory demands an audience with General Butler and what ensues is a battle of wits between two equally formidable men at the edge of a country ripped in half. One of Abraham Lincoln’s top generals, Benjamin Butler, a lawyer, championed the causes of labor, abolition of slavery, and naturalized citizens. After retiring from the battlefield, Butler was a settler of Gloucester’s Bayview neighborhood (present-day Ames Estate still inhabited by Butler’s descendants), a presidential candidate, and the 33rd Governor of Massachusetts.

Director Joseph Discher is excited to be directing his fifth production of Ben Butler, this time at Gloucester Stage. He directed the world premiere at New Jersey Repertory Company, as well as productions at Majestic Theatre, Barrington Stage, and the off-Broadway premiere. Discher’s off-Broadway credits include Vilna by Ira Fuchs featuring Mark Jacoby and The Violin starring Robert LuPone. Regionally Discher has directed  My Name Is Asher Lev and  A Moon for the Misbegotten at Playhouse on Park; Charleys Aunt, A Childs Christmas in Wales, The Diary of Anne Frank, Wittenberg, Our Town, Henry IV: Part One,To Kill A Mockingbird, Arms and the ManThe Grapes of WrathThe Tempest, Amadeus, Galileo, Of Mice and Men, The Fantasticks, Twelfth Night, Scapin, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) all at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; One Man Two Guvnors at Florida Studio Theatre; The Weir, Red, and As You Like Itwith Theatreworks; and Julius Caesar at The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis.

Ames Adamson makes his Gloucester Stage debut as General Ben Butler, a role he is reprising for the third time. He originated the role at the New Jersey Repertory Company, and again Off-Broadway at 59E59TH Theatres two seasons ago.  His recent regional theater credits include The Winters Tale and Blithe Spirit at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (where this December he will appearing as Scrooge in Neil Bartlett’s Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol); Ne Quittez Pas at Opera Philadelphia; and The Christians at The Wilma in Philadelphia.

Shane Taylor makes his Gloucester Stage debut as escaped slave Shephard Mallory. His Off-Broadway credits include Knives in Hens at The Shop Theater; The 50th Anniversary Production of In White America at New Federal/Castillo Theatre; and Romeo and Juliet at the Lincoln Center Institute. In New York: The Desire (The Billie Holiday Theatre), The Love Talker (NY Fringe). Regionally he has appeared at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Luna Stage, Premiere Stages, Roundhouse Theater, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkeley Rep, Florida Studio Theater, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. His film credits include Gods Forgotten House; Sarbanes Oxley (Best International Actor at 2007 Barbados International Film Festival) and on television he appeared in King of the Bingo Game on PBS. Mr. Taylor received an MFA from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Doug Bowen-Flynn plays West Pont Graduate Lieutenant Kelly in Ben Butler. He most recently appeared at Gloucester Stage in 2017’s To Kill a Mockingbird. His other regional credits include Boston Children’s Theatre’s Reflection of a Rock Lobster (IRNE Winner Best New Play) and To Kill a Mockingbird; American Repertory Theatre’s We Wont Pay! We Wont Pay! and Three Farces and a Funeral; Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Henry V and Macbeth; Lyric Stage Company’s Book of Days; Publick Theatre’s Troilus and Cressida; New Repertory Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet; and Company One’s The Overwhelming. His film and television credits include DetroitClear HistoryThe Invention of LyingThe Maiden HeistMystic River, and The War that Made America. He holds a BA in Communications from University of Puget Sound.

David DeBeck returns to Gloucester Stage to play Confederate Major John Baytop Cary. He last worked at GSC in 2017’s The Rainmaker. Mr. DeBeck’s favorite theater credits include The Other Place at the Nora Theatre; Strange Snow at Theatreworks, Hartford; Dinner With FriendsThe Lonesome West and Hamlet at The Virginia Stage Company;  and Hosanna at both Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre and off-Broadway at The Actor’s Theater.  He plays Sargent Shriver in the film, Chappaquiddick directed by John Curran. Mr. DeBeck’s other film appearances include Black Mass and The Company Men.  On television he has been seen in guest starring roles in Olive Kitteridge  on HBO; Brotherhood  and SMILF on Showtime; and NBC-TV’s Law & Order, Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit.  Mr. DeBeck is associated with the Drama Desk Award winning Off-Off Broadway company, the Barrow Group.

Ben Butler playwright Richard Strand wrote his first play in 1976, a one act entitled Harry and Sylvia. That play won two national awards, was published by Hunter Press and a full length version of that same play, entitled Clown, premiered at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. Since that time he has had premieres at GeVa Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Performance Network, New Jersey Repertory Company, Detroit Repertory Theatre, The Z Collective and a number of other venues. His plays are published by Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service and Applause Books. Two of his plays, The Bug and The Death of Zukasky premiered at The Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The Bug has been translated into German, Italian, French, Greek, and Spanish. Mr. Strand currently lives in California and is a professor, technical director and set designer at Mt. San Antonio College where he teaches Stagecraft, History of Theater and Playwriting


Wednesdays – Saturdays: 7:30 pm;

Saturdays – Sundays: 2:00 pm


Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930

SINGLE TICKET PRICES: Single Ticket prices are $15 to $48 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Senior Citizens,Military Families, and College Students and those under 18 years of age. For detailed ticket information visitwww.gloucesterstage.com

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2 PM: Gloucester Stage is committed to inclusion and diversity, including socio-economic status. Pay What You Wish performances are the first Saturday Matinee (2pm) of each production, allowing access to the arts for all. No one is turned away for lack of funds and donations can be made before or after the show.


CAPE ANN NIGHTS: FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 7:30 PM; SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2 PM & 7:30 PM; WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7, August 14 & AUGUST 21, 7:30 PM: Enriching our local community is key to our mission impact. Residents of Cape Ann can purchase $25 tickets at Preview Performances and every Wednesday of each production. Limit of 2 (two) per household. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office 978.281.4433, with a valid address.


POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS: SUNDAY: AUGUST 11 & AUGUST 18: Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, July 14 and Sunday, July 21, audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from BEN BUTLER.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Gloucester Stage is a professional non-profit theater providing a unique, intimate experience as audiences are never more than five rows from the stage. Located in a century-old repurposed brick warehouse on the waterfront of Cape Ann, the organization is led by Artistic Director, Robert Walsh and Interim Managing Director Christopher Griffith. Entering the company’s 40th Season in 2019, GSC benefits from a loyal audience searching for intellectually stimulating and socially relevant stories.


For further information, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit http://www.gloucesterstage.com



On the Saturday during Fiesta, my granddaughter Charlotte and I had the joy of attending Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta, a Gloucester Stage Company original adaption of the beautiful book of the same name, written by Laura Ventimiglia. The production was fantastic, the kids wonderfully talented, and I think it was so successful that Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta is going to become a tradition at Gloucester Stage.

Many, many thanks to Laura and Heidi for inviting Charlotte and I. Charlotte, who is not quite two, had a wonderful time–the show is appealing to a wide range of ages–from the very youngest to the very oldest nonnas and nonnos in the audience.

Laura and her grandchildren

Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta: 

NARRATOR- Gianna Ferace

JOEY- Bianca Numerosi

AMELIA- Lia Sophia Numerosi

JACOB- Nathan Gorman-Melo

NONNA- Emily Grace

MR. AMATORE- Finn Wall

ST. PETER- Naia Gibson

LOCAL FISHERMEN/STORM- Brady Patten, Nate Oaks, Miranda Joyce, Sophie Camera Murray, , Schuylar Corbett April Smith, Oni Gibson, Benjamin Pixley . Mia Jaworski, Anya Lichtenwald. Alexis Thomas, Olivia Philbrook, Miranda Joyce

MRS. VITTORIA- Lucy Camera Murray

FAMILY- Brady Patten, Nate Oaks, Miranda Joyce,

COUSINS- Sophie Camera Murray, Emerson Philbrook

MR. MARINO- AJ Porcello

MR. BRUNO- April Smith


SEINE BOAT ROWERS- Brady Patten, Nate Oaks, Anya Lichtenwald, Alexis Thomas

GREASY POLE WALKERS- Brady Patten, Nate Oaks, AJ Procello, Alexis Thomas, Benjamin Pixley, Schuylar Corbett

Greasy Pole Flag: Emerson Philbrook



PRIESTS/ FLEET Brady Patten, Nate Oaks, Miranda Joyce, Sophie Camera Murray,

Strega Nona: 

NARRATOR- Miranda Joyce

STREGA NONA- Brady Patten

NONA’S CAT- Oni Gibson

TOWNSFOLK/ SPAGHETTI-  Emily Grace, Bianca Numerosi, Naia Gibson, Gabi,Cros, Lia Sophia Numerosi, Gianna Ferace,  AJ Porcello, Nathan Gorman-Melo, Lucy Camera Murray, Nate  Oaks, Anya Lichtenwald, Alexis Thomas

TOWNSPERSON 1- Mia Jaworski


TOWNSPERSON 3- April Smith

TOWNSPERSON 4- Schuylar Corbett

BIG ANTHONY- Benjamin Pixley

PASTA POT- Sophie Camera MurrayGrace Numerosi and Bianca Numerosi

Professional Theatre Training for Young People of All Ages Begins July 12 at Gloucester Stage


Learn Acting, Develop Stage Presence and  Build Self-Confidence 
Limited number of Spots Available For Summer Session



Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop offers professional theatre training for young people ages 5 to 18  on Fridays from July 12 through August 16. Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop provides young people an opportunity to develop self-confidence, communication and teamwork skills to use in their daily life as well as to introduce them to the skills necessary for professional theatre. A professional training program, the workshops include an introduction to theatre basics such as theatre games, improvisation, movement, vocal and physical expression, character preparation, scene study, storytelling, writing, public speaking and confidence building training. Award winning actress Heidi Dallin teaches acting in collaboration with Special Guest Instructors who offer specialized training in theatre related disciplines. Guest Instructors in past summers have included:  Academy Award, Grammy Award and Emmy Award nominated actress Lindsay Crouse; Punk rock icon Willie Alexander; and former SNL  and Parks and Rec cast member Brad Hall  plus classes in stage combat, Shakespeare, sword play, and costume and prop design. The 2019 Summer Session begins Friday, July 12 and meets on Fridays for two hours per week through Friday, August 16 at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. The students are divided in classes according to age: Children’s Class: 9 am to 11 am-5 to 8 year olds; Pre-Teen Class: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm-9 to 11 year olds; Teen Class: 2 pm to 4 pm-12 to 18 years old. Need based Scholarships are available for all age groups. . Call Heidi at 978-283-6688 to register or for more information or to register online  go to www.gloucesterstage.com

Fiesta Event Kicks off Playtime Stories Season





A Live Fiesta Theater Performance for Young Audience Members Age 2 and Older
and An Opportunity to Meet the Author

Gloucester Stage Company proudly announces a special Playtime Stories event celebrating St. Peter’s Fiesta with a live performance of Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia’s NONNA, WHAT IS ST. PETER’S FIESTA? on Saturday, June 29 at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267, East Main Street, Gloucester. An engaging combination of children’s stories and live performances for ages 2 and older, Playtime Stories offers young children the unique opportunity to experience the fun and magic of live theater as they watch their favorite books come to life onstage. To celebrate Fiesta on Saturday, June 29 the Playtime Stories Company will read and perform Gloucester resident Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia’s new book, NONNA, WHAT IS ST. PETER’S FIESTA? and Tomie dePaola’s STREGA NONA. Following the performance audience members will be invited to join the Playtime Stories Company in fun and interactive workshops and crafts relating to the story. On June 30 audience members can craft their own Seine boat and participate in Playtime Stories Seine Boat Races at GSC and make their own Fish magnets.

Playtime Stories is pleased to welcome special guest author Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia to sign copies of her new book which will be available for sale. According to Youth Acting Workshop Director and Teacher Heidi Dallin, ” We are honored to have Laura at this Playtime Stories special event to celebrate Fiesta for the second year in a row. She is an inspiration to our audiences and the young performers in the Playtime Stories Company. Last year’s Fiesta Playtime Stories was standing room only – the biggest audience we have had in Playtime Stores history! The actors and I could not wait to bring Laura’s story back this year. NONNA, WHAT IS ST. PETER’S FIESTA? is now a Playtime Stories tradition. ”

Each Saturday from June 29 through August 17 the Playtime Stories Company, consisting of veteran members of the Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop program and special guest narrators perform a children’s story against the backdrop of the story’s illustrations as well as create a dynamic weekly series of interactive events related to the story. “We have had a great response to the Playtime Stories program over the past four summers, ” points out Dallin, ” It is a terrific way for YAW to reach out to younger audiences to spark their excitement in live performance. Many of the veteran YAW students in the Playtime Stories Company have been involved in the YAW program since they were 5 years old and now they will inspire the next generation of YAW students!”

Playtime Stories explores different stories ranging from classic fairy tales to new stories to works by local authors. The Playtime Stories season consists of July 13: MAGIC 101: The Magic Tree House: Stage Fright on a Summer Night and The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive ; July 20: A DELIGHTFUL DAY of Dr. SEUS: The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who; July 27: MYSTERY MAYHEM: Scooby-Doo and Where’s Mommy?; August 3: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO READ ABOUT THEM: Where the Wild Things Are and Pegasus, the Flying Horse; August 10: BONJOUR! ADVENTURES IN FRANCE: Madeline and The Little Prince; and August 17: SUMMER FINALE: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Quiet Cricket; and Judith Viorist’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
All Playtime Story performances are held at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Admission is $5 for one child (includes one free adult). Free coffee and donuts provided by Jim’s Bagel and Bake Shoppe. For more information or tickets, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit http://www.gloucesterstage.com

Playtime Stories Cast members with Author Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia and Translator Diletta Ballati at Gloucester Stage Photo by Heidi


Gloucester Stage Secures First Regional Production of

Recent Broadway Hit


Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh and Interim Managing Director Chris Griffith recently announced that the non-profit theater’s 40th anniversary season will include regional premiere of The Lifespan of a Fact from August 30 through September 22.  Gloucester Stage will be the first theater in the country to produce the critically-acclaimed The Lifespan of a Fact since the play’s SRO smash hit world premiere Broadway run featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale closed in January 2019. Written by Jeremy Karekan, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell, based on the book by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal, The Lifespan of a Fact is the ultimate showdown between truth and fiction. A determined young fact checker is about to stir up trouble. His demanding editor has given him a big new assignment: a groundbreaking piece by an unorthodox author. Together, they take on the high-stakes world of publishing in this new play about the comedy of conflict. The Lifespan of a Fact reunites director Sam Weisman, actor Mickey Solis and Academy Award nominee and Gloucester resident actress Lindsay Crouse after their celebrated collaboration in GSC’s 2017 New England premiere of Lucy Prebble’s, The Effect. Prior to 2017 Crouse and Weisman worked together in the 1995 feature film Bye-Bye-Love which was directed by Weisman and starred Crouse.

Artistic Director Walsh on why GSC wanted to produce The Lifespan of a Fact, “I couldn’t be more excited to reunite Lindsay Crouse, Sam Weisman & Mickey Solis for this incredibly topical play! The opportunity to share such a timely and provocative story with our Boston & New England audiences is truly a joy for us.” Interim Managing Director Griffith on securing this important new work for the theater’s 40th Anniversary Season,” This is a defining year for Gloucester Stage, and a play of this caliber, direct from Broadway, is the shining example of where we’re headed in the next 40 years. We’re grateful to Jeffrey Richards Associates and Dramatists Play Service for allowing a small, tenacious stage company on the North Shore the opportunity to present this brilliant new show, but more so to our audience who are hungry for socially relevant and stimulating stories like Lifespan.”

Lindsay Crouse is an award-winning veteran of stage and screen.  In the New York theater she spent seven years with the Circle Repertory Company, winning critics’ praise for her portrayal of Ophelia in Hamletand Viola in Twelfth Night, and garnering an Obie Award for David Mamet’s Reunion.  On Broadway she won a Theater World Award for her performance as Ruth in Pinter’s The Homecoming. For the last decade Ms. Crouse has played a wide range of characters at Gloucester Stage. She joined the cast of the riotous trilogy, The Norman Conquests, by Alan Ayckbourn, sharing with them Boston’s IRNE award for Best Ensemble, and she received an IRNE nomination for her performance as Lettice in Peter Schaffer’s madcap comedy, Lettice and LovageOn the dramatic side she played the doctor in the searing duet, Going to St. Ives, received raves for her portrayal of Emily Dickinson in The Belle ofAmherst, and won the IRNE Award for Best Actress for her performance as Daisy in Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisydirected by Benny Sato Ambush. On television she played three different characters on Law & Order, and spent a season on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the infamous Maggie Walsh. She was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Performer in the Children’s Special, Mother and Daughter, and for a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, “The Complete Shakespeare Sonnets. Some of Lindsay’s best known feature films include All The President’s Men, House of Games, The Verdict, The Insider, Mr. Brooks, Slapshot, Prince of the City, Daniel, and Places in the Heart, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. A longtime Gloucester resident, Ms. Crouse began spending her summers in Gloucester as a child and is now a Gloucester resident. Her parents began summering in Gloucester in the late 1940’s as an escape from New York City. Lindsay’s father playwright Russel Crouse found inspiration on Cape Ann. He often worked here with his longtime partner and collaborator Howard Lindsay. Their partnership of over 28 years is one of the longest in theater history and responsible for such hits as The Sound of Music, Anything Goes, Life With Father and the Pulitzer Prize winning The State of the Union among others.

Director Sam Weisman made his GSC directing debut with 2017’s The Effect.  He has directed directorial film, television, and theatre including the feature films, George of the Jungle (which received a British Academy Award nomination for Best Children’s Movie); The Out-of-Towners (starring Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, and John Cleese); D2: The Mighty Ducks, and Dickie Roberts (starring David Spade, produced by Adam Sandler). He also was Co-Producer of the feature film, DAD (starring Jack Lemmon, Olympia Dukakis, and Ted Danson). Mr. Weisman has directed or produced over 200 television episodes, for such shows as Family Ties, Moonlighting, L.A. Law, Seventh Heaven (Pilot Episode), Law and Order, Monk, In Plain Sight, and The Bernie Mac Show. His television work has received three Emmy Nominations, multiple Humanitas Awards, two Golden Globe Nominations, and a Golden Globe Award. His Pilot of the critically acclaimed series, Brooklyn Bridge, was honored by TV GUIDE as one of the best television episodes of all time.
Mr. Weisman’s theatre work has received much recognition, including multiple Drama-Logue and LA Weekly Awards, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Best Director honors for the West Coast premieres of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (starring Ian McShane and Penny Fuller) and Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit (featuring Nathan Lane). Other West Coast theatre credits include James Lapine’s Table Settings, and an acclaimed production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child (starring Ralph Waite and Nan Martin) at South Coast Repertory Theatre. At The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, he directed Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, and the world premiere of John Kolvenbach’s Gizmo Love. Recent work includes developing several feature film projects, such as The Miracle of St. Anthony, a Walden Media film based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name. In addition, he is the co- creator and Executive Producer of THE SING OFF, NBC Television’s a cappella singing competition.

Mickey Solis’ New York and Off Broadway credits include the American premiere of Ivan Viripaev’s Illusionsat the Baryshnikov Arts Center; An Orestia with Classic Stage Company; God of Carnage at Engeman Theater; White People at Ensemble Studio Theatre; Night Over Taos at INTAR, directed by Estelle Parsons; The Master and Margaritaat the Fisher Center; Beckett at 100 (at the 92nd St. Y with Alvin Epstein and Bill Camp; Error of Their Ways at HERE Arts Center; and Private Moments in Central Park directed by David Levine for Creative Time. Regionally he has worked at the Yale Repertory; American Repertory Theater; Dangerous Ground (Brooklyn); Triad Stage; Appalachian Summer Festival; New College Theater; Moscow Art Theater; Epic Theater; Shakespeare on the Sound; Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.

The New England Premiere of The Lifespan of a Fact runs from August 30 through September 22 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, September 8; and Sunday, September 15, audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from The Lifespan of a Fact. Single ticket prices are $15 to $48 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Cape Ann Residents, Senior Citizens and Patrons 18 years old and under. In addition to regular reserved tickets, Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the Saturday, August 31 matinee at 2 pm. Pay What You Wish tickets can only be purchased day of show at the door. 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

Academy Award nominee and Gloucester resident Lindsay Crouse, Actor
Mickey Solis, Actor
Sam Weisman, Director
Sam Weisman and Mickey Solis at Gloucester Stage  Photo by Gary Ng
All photos by Gloucester Stage for unlimited use

CONGRATULATIONS TO GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY! Boston Critics’ Recognize GSC 2018 Season With SIX IRNE Award Nominations

Boston Critics‏ Recognize Gloucester Stage Company’s 2018 Season

Non-Profit Theater Receives Six IRNE Award Nominations

Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse and Ken Riaf Garner Nominations

The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) recently announced the nominees for the 23rd Annual IRNE Awards. Gloucester Stage Company received a total of eight nominations for the 2018 season. The IRNE Awards honor the best of the previous year’s actors, directors, designers and companies across the full spectrum of large, midsize and fringe theater companies in the New England area.

The nominations for Gloucester Stage’s 2018 season include Best New Play: My Station in Life  by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf; Best Lighting Design: Marcella Barbeau for Sam Shepard’s True West; and four nominations for Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa:Best Play-Midsize; Best Director-Play-Midsize: Benny Sato Ambush; Best Actress-PlayMidsize: Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse, andBest Supporting Actress-Play-Midsize: Samantha Richert.

According to GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh, “We’re very excited for all our nominees and appreciative of the IRNE committee for this recognition! Looking forward to celebrating these nominations on April 8 along with the entire Boston theater community.”

The winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual IRNE Awards to be held on Monday, April 8th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ballroom of The Inn at Brookline, just outside Kenmore Square. Tickets, as always, will be free, courtesy of the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE).

Gloucester Stage Company’s 40th Anniversary Season opens on June 7 with Neil Simon‘s romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park.For information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase single tickets or subscription packages, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com.

Photo 1: True West by Sam Shepard featuring (L to R) Alexander Platt and Nael Nacer with IRNE nominated Lighting Designer
Photo 2 and 3: The world premiere of My Station in Life by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf:  Featuring Ken Baltin as Simon Geller and Gloucester’s Meagan Gallo: IRNE nomination for Best new Play
Photo 4 : Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa featuring Gloucester Resident and Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse: IRNE Nomination for Best Actress
Photo 5: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa featuring(L to R) Samantha Richert(IRNE nominee for Best Supporting Actress) and Bryn Austin
Photo 6: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at GSC : IRNE Nomination for Best Play 
All photos above by Gary Ng for Gloucester Stage Company
Photo 7: Benny Sato Ambush Director of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at GSC: IRNE Nomination for Best Director Courtesy Photo


Humorist David Sedaris’



Steven Barkhimer


Gloucester Stage Company presents a one-night only performance of David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, on Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. This special holiday event is a benefit for the 39 year old non-profit theater. Tickets start at $50 and include festive libations and holiday treats. Originally featured on NPR’s This American Life, humorist David Sedaris wrote about the downside of holiday joy in a collection of fanciful stories based on his experiences called the Santaland Diaries. The Diaries are about Sedaris’ two Christmas seasons working as an elf in Macy’s department store in New York’s Herald Square. This one-elf show follows the somewhat-flawed Macy’s department store elf named Crumpet on some of his adventures during the holiday rush. Directed by Scott Caron, the one-night-only comic holiday tale features Steven Barkhimer. A GSC veteran, Barkhimer made his GSC debut in 2008’s chilling mystery play The Woman in Black. He went on to appear from 2010 through 2012 in GSC’s critically acclaimed The Norman Conquests trilogy, the story of a hilarious reunion of adult siblings and their spouses. Mr. Barkhimer has performed with The Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Company One, Stoneham Theatre and New Repertory Theatre. He can be seen on film in the award winning feature film The Fighter. A playwright as well, Mr. Barkhimer was the recipient of the John Cauble Award for Best Short Play at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Santaland Diaries director Scott Caron was the GSC 2018 Directing Apprentice. A director, actor and educator, Mr. Caron is a native of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Mr. Caron is a co-founder of The Regatta Players, a company he administrated from its 2010 inception until making his directorial debut with their 2017 productions, First Date and Evita. Mr. Caron is also a coach for Shrewsbury High School’s Speech and Debate Team with state-level and national champions in drama and public speaking. He holds a BFA in Music Theatre from The Hartt School (University of Hartford)

David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, is Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Ticket prices start at $50 and include a reception with holiday treats. For more information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com


Steven Barkhimer in Santaland Diaries

Courtesy Photo

Steven Barkhimer with Lindsay Crouse in 2010’s Table Manners, the first comedy in The Norman Conquests dan

Photo Credit: Eric Levenson




by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf

featuring Ken Baltin as Simon Geller


Gloucester Stage Company wraps up its 39th season of professional theater with the world premiere of Ken Riaf’s My Station in Life from October 12 through October 28 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. From the rubble of his studio dungeon, Simon Geller, the last standing single-handed radio operator in the country, broadcasts commercial free classical music from Gloucester – the town that loves and endures his peculiar presence. Known as “The Voice of Cape Ann”, for 24 years Geller ran WVCA-FM (104.9), a one-man classical music radio station from his home in downtown Gloucester. In Ken Riaf’s world premiere directed by Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh, this local legend comes to life through Boston actor Ken Baltin. The cast also includes Gloucester natives Meagan Gallo, a Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop student making her professional debut, and James Tarantino, a seafood inspector best known for competing on CBS-TV’s Survivor Nicaragua; and Boston actress Veronica Anastasio Wiseman who last appeared at GSC in 2016’s The Last Schwartz.

Playwright Ken Riaf lives and works in Gloucester, Massachusetts where he practices law. He has worked as a commercial fisherman and longshoreman, and as a visiting professor of law in literature and film at Endicott College and business law at Salem State University. Mr. Riaf’s newest play, For Whom the Ball Rolls, is a basketball parable about race, culture and rank set in the 1950’s at Boston’s Navy Yard. His film work, in collaboration with award winning Producer and Director Henry Ferrini, has been shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and broadcast and screened locally and abroad. Their award winning collaboration Radio Fishtowncreates a shifting, non-linear portrait of the enigmatic Simon Geller while debunking the myth that working people don’t listen to classical music.  Radio Fishtown, produced and directed by Henry Ferrini, written by Ken Riaf, associate produced by Judd Wilson and featuring an introduction by the late host of morning pro musica Robert J. Lurtsema won Bravo’s 1992 Hometown Video Award for Documentary Film by a Media Professional and was broadcast on Boston’s PBS affiliate WGBH.

Ken Baltin returns to GSC to play Simon Geller after last appearing here in 2009’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers. His recent local theatre credits include Shakespeare in Love at SpeakEasy Stage; Beckett in Brief with Commonwealth Shakespeare; Not Constantinople at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse and Blood on the Snow with Bostonian Society. Mr. Baltin has also appeared at many Boston area theatres including Death of a Salesman, Glengarry Glen Ross, Lost in Yonkers, and Laughter on the Twenty-Third Floor with Lyric Stage Co.; The Kite Runner, Eurydice, Waiting for Godot, and American Buffalo at New Repertory Theatre; Operation Epsilon, Fever Chart, and The Cherry Orchard at Central Square Theatre; The Screenwriter’s Daughter, and Copenhagen at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse; Deported-a Dream Play, King of the Jews, Permanent Whole Life at  Boston Playwrights; Art, The Illusion, and Oleanna with Merrimack Rep; Cymbeline and Romeo and Juliet with Actors Shakespeare Project; Brooklyn Boy at SpeakEasy Stage; and I Ought To Be in Pictures with  Jewish Theatre of NE. His recent film appearances include Equalizer 2, Vault, and A Case of Blue. On the stage Mr. Baltin will appear in Heartland at the New Repertory Theatre in January, 2019. .

Gloucester’s Meagan Gallo makes her professional theater debut in My Station in Life, although this is not her first time performing at Gloucester Stage. She has been an active member of the GSC Youth Acting Workshop program for 4 years, including leading roles in Holiday Delights 2016 (Daughter 1) and Holiday Delights 2017 (Mrs. Claus), as well as being a Playtime Stories company member. Ms. Gallo is a junior at Gloucester High School, where she is involved in the Drama Club both onstage and offstage, in Seussical, Nora’s Lost and Once Upon a Mattress.

Veronica Anastasio Wiseman has become a familiar face on Boston area stages. Recently: she has been seen in Old Money with Commonwealth Shakespeare Co; Timbuktu USA, Cleanliness, Godliness & Madness, 27 Tips for Banishing the Blues, Talk To At Me & Real Realism with Sleeping Weazel; Mrs. Packard, Mud Blue Sky, and Salome with Bridge Rep; Speech and Debate, the IRNE nominated The Goat or Who Is Sylvia with Bad Habit Productions; and The Edge of Peace at Central Square Theatre. Ms. Wiseman  produces and hosts the profile talk show Wise Friends for Sharon Community Television, where she serves as Vice President on their Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Huntington Theatre Company.

Artistic Director and director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for close to 30years. Earlier this season he directed Cyrano; in 2017 he directed Bank Job; in 2016 he directed Songs For A New World; and in 2015 he directed the Elliot Norton Award winning The New Electric Ballroom and starred in Gloucester Blue. Walsh’s other GSC directing credits include North Shore Fish, Fighting Over Beverley, The Widow’s Blind Date,The Primary English Class, and Our Town. As an actor he has appeared on the stage in Gloucester in Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses, The Barking Sharks, and Two for the Seesaw. He has also served as the Producing Artistic Director at the American Stage Festival where he directed Bus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel…, andLend Me a Tenor, among others. As Artistic Associate at Actors’ Shakespeare Project he has directed As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, and Measure For Measure. Other productions directed include:Othello with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Round and Round The Garden, Table Manners, K2, Later Life andHoliday Memories at Merrimack Rep; Rancho Mirage, Race, Speed-The-Plow, and True West with New Repertory Theatre; The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and The Goatwoman of Corvis County at Shakespeare & Co.; Misalliance and A Life in the Theatre at Two River Theatre Co.; I Hate Hamlet with StageWest; The Little Foxes at Barter Theatre; and Of Mice and Men at Stoneham Theatre, among others. His roles in recent feature films include Black Mass, Patriot’s Dayand the upcoming, Altar Rock. Mr. Walsh directed the on-field ceremonies for the ’99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at Brandeis University.

Ken Riaf’s My Station in Life runs from October 12 through October 28 at Gloucester Stage. Performances areWednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Following the 2 pm performance on Sunday, October 21 audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from My Station in Life. Single ticket prices are $35 to $45 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Cape Ann Residents, Senior Citizens and Patrons 18 years old and under. In addition to regular reserved tickets, Pay What You Wish tickets are available for theSaturday, October 13 matinee at 2 pm. Pay What You Wish tickets can only be purchased day of show at the door. 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


Cyrano: Fast-Paced Family Fun at Gloucester Stage Company

By Tom Hauck

With a script by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers, Cyrano, making its New England area premiere at Gloucester Stage Company, takes direct aim at our traditional notions of onstage storytelling. The opening scene, in which a group of people who appear to be real-life stagehands suddenly assume the roles of the characters, alerts us that this adaptation of the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand knows not the artificial boundary of the fourth wall. The costumes worn by the five energetic actors are a mishmash of ordinary street clothes, community-theatre “swashbuckler” capes, and various forms of period headgear, further reinforcing the idea that we’re seeing an edgy, improvisational performance.

The story is familiar and needn’t be told again here. During the two and one-half hour (including intermission) romp, the sparkling ensemble cast, anchored by Jeremiah Kissel as Cyrano and Andrea Goldman as Roxane, puts out enough comic energy to keep the audience riveted. James Ricardo Milord reveals the humility and humanity of love-struck Christian, and Erin Nicole Washington masterfully handles split-second costume changes to bring her five characters to life. Among his three other roles, GSC favorite Paul Melendy delights as Count De Guiche, the pompous commander of the army unit to which Cyrano and Christian belong, and who’s also smitten by Roxane.

Despite the slapdash appearance of the blocking, there are moments of precision choreography, most notably the breathtaking sword fight in which Cyrano efficiently dispatches a succession of foes. But again, the notion that we’re attending a contrived “play” is confirmed by seeing a vanquished actor roll off the platform only to spring to life, grab a different cloak, and attack again. Thus five actors economically create a swirling melee of dozens of combatants.

In keeping with the improv vibe, the set is minimal and the actors themselves are the stagehands, busily drawing curtains and positioning chairs as needed. Deftly directed by GSC artistic director Robert Walsh, Cyrano provides a feast of fine acting, frivolity, and family fun. Now through August 11. For tickets, go to www.gloucesterstage.com, or call 978-281-4433.





A New Version of the Classic Tale with a Contemporary Spin

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 39th season of professional theater with the New England premiere of Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers’Cyrano from July 13 through August 11 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh directs this adaptation of Rostand’s 1897 classic, Cyrano de Bergerac. According to Walsh, “Cyrano, a new adaptation of the famous play by Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac), by Brenda Withers & Jason O’Connell, is a fast-paced, contemporized version featuring a small cast breathing fresh life into this large-scale classic.  Witty, clever, insouciant and fully enjoying the poetic bravura through a modern-day lens and very approachable language, this New England premiere will be perfect for Gloucester Stage!  A beautiful tale told with panache.”

A cast of five plays a multitude of roles in this imaginative retelling of the classic story of Cyrano and his love for Roxane. Acclaimed Boston actor Jeremiah Kissel makes his GSC debut as Cyrano. Andrea Goldman last seen at GSC in 2016’s The Last Schwartz, returns to play Roxane. Salem resident Paul Melendy, last seen at GSC in 2016’s The Last Schwartz with Ms. Goldman and in 2017’s Bank Job returns to play DeGuiche. James Ricardo Milord and Erin Nicole Washington both make their GSC debut as Christian and LeBret/Duenna. Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers’ Cyrano had its world premiere in February 2018 at Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth, Texas.”

Artistic Director and Cyrano director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for over 20 years. Most recently, in 2017 he directed Bank Job, in 2016 he directed Songs For A New World and in 2015 he directed the Elliot Norton Award winning The New Electric Ballroom and starred in Gloucester Blue. Walsh’s other GSC directing credits include North Shore Fish, FightingOver Beverley, The Widow’s Blind Date, The Primary English Class, and Our Town. As an actor he has appeared on the stage in Gloucester in Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses,The Barking Sharks, and Two for the Seesaw. He has also served as the Producing Artistic Director at the American Stage Festival where he directedBus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel…, andLend Me a Tenor, among others. As Artistic Associate at Actors’ Shakespeare Project he has directed As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, andMeasure For Measure. Other productions directed include:Othello with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Round and Round The Garden, Table Manners, K2, Later Life and HolidayMemories at Merrimack Rep; Rancho Mirage, Race, Speed-The-Plow, andTrue West with New Repertory Theatre; The Secret of Sherlock HolmesandThe Goatwoman of Corvis Countyat Shakespeare & Co.; MisallianceandA Life in the Theatre at Two River Theatre Co.; I Hate

Hamlet with StageWest; The Little Foxesat Barter Theatre; and Of Mice and Men at Stoneham Theatre, among others. His roles in recent feature films include Black Mass, Patriot’s Dayand the upcoming, Altar Rock. Mr. Walsh directed the on-field ceremonies for the ’99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at Brandeis University.

Jeremiah Kissel makes his Gloucester Stage debut as Cyrano. Winner of the 2003 Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, Mr. Kissel is a thirty-five year veteran of Boston’s professional theaters, and has played leading roles for The Huntington, American Repertory, Merrimack Rep, as well as The Lyric Stage, Shear Madness, and various out of town companies when they passed through Boston. His recent appearances include Old Money and King Lear for Commonwealth Shakespeare, and Fiddler on the Roof and Two Jews Walk Into a War for The New Rep. He is the winner of Helen Hayes, IRNE, Hatch, Graniteer and Arts Impulse Awards as well as several Elliot Norton Awards including most recently, Best Actor for playing Bernie Madoff in 2014, and most notably, the very first Norton Award given to a local Boston actor in 1990. His screen credits include The Town, The Fighter, Joy,Stronger and The Wrong Car, and he can be seen in the upcoming Hulu series, Castle Rock. The last time he was in Cyrano, it was as Christian at The Theater at Monmouth, in 1983.


Gloucester Stage Presents World Premiere of Madame Defarge

Robert Walsh, Artistic Director Jeff Zinn, Managing Director




Gloucester Stage Company opens its 39th season of professional theater on May 11 with the world premiere of Madame Defarge, Wendy Kesselman’s new musical inspired by Charles Dicken’s classic A Tale of Two Cities. The world premiere musical runs from May 11 through June 2 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. A passionate re-imagining of Dickens’ infamous Madame Defarge illuminates this new musical by Wendy Kesselman. Set against the turmoil of the French Revolution, two men similar in face but separate in fate weave a story of sacrifice and salvation all driven by Madame Thérèse Defarge battling oppression with longings for love, freedom, justice, and revenge. Directed by Ellie Heyman in her Gloucester Stage debut, the cast features GSC veterans Jennifer Ellis as Madame Therese Defarge, the woman whose revenge sparked a revolution; Benjamin Evett as her husband Ernest Defarge; and Broadway veteran Rockport’s Wendy Waring as Miss Pross; along with GSC newcomers Broadway’s John Hillner as Monsieur Le Marquis; Boston Conservatory’s Sabrina Koss as Lucie; Jason Michael Evans as Sydney Carton; Rob Karma Robinson as Doctor Manette; Matthew Amira as Charles Darnay; Marissa Simeqi as Little Lucie; and John Shuman as Mr. Lorry. Massachusetts based playwright Kesselman wrote the book, music and lyrics for this untold story of Madame Defarge, New York’s Christopher Berg provides the musical arrangements, Mindy Cimini, is the music director and Asher Denburg is the associate musical director for this world premiere production.

Besides her Tony-nominated new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank, Wendy Kesselman’s plays include My Sister in This House; The Executioner’s Daughter; The Notebook; The Foggy Foggy Dew; The Last Bridge; I Love You, I Love You Not; Maggie Maagalita; Merry-Go-Round; The Shell Collection; My Sister in This House, A Re-imagined Version (Deaf West Theatre); The Graduation of Grace and Spit. She has written the book, music and lyrics for The Juniper Tree, A Tragic Household Tale; Becca and The Black Monk, A Chamber Musical. A member of the Dramatists guild, among other honors she has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the AT&T Onstage Award, The New England Major Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the American Theatre, the first annual Playbill award, the Roger L. Stevens Award, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, the Lecomte du Noüy Annual Award, Meet the Composer Grants, a Massachusetts Cultural Grant and Guggenheim, McKnight and NEA Fellowships. Her screenplays include Sister My Sister (adapted from My Sister in This House), directed my Nancy Meckler, with Joely Richardson, Julie Walters and Jodhi May; I Love You, I Love You Not (adapted from her play of the same name), directed by Billy Hopkins, with Jeanne Moreau, Claire Danes and Jude Law; and Mad or in Love for Fox 2000. She won a WGA Award for her screen adaptation of John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, directed by Peter Yates. The CD of her chamber musical The Black Monk will be released Fall 2018.

Continue reading “Gloucester Stage Presents World Premiere of Madame Defarge”


Gloucester Stage Joins “Not in Our House” Movement

By a unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, Gloucester Stage has joined the “Not in Our House” community, and adopted its Chicago Theater Standards (CTS). The CTS is a comprehensive document providing theater companies with procedures and protocols designed to prevent and respond to “unsafe events, environments or individuals,” with particular attention to the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Procedures for integrating these policies in the rehearsal process, daily operations, and orientation for new staff and apprentices, are already being enacted. With casting for Gloucester Stage’s 39th season beginning this week, Bob Walsh, Artistic Director shared, “We are already putting in place safeguards to support the artists.”

In a letter addressed to staff and colleagues late last year, Managing Director, Jeff Zinn, wrote, “So much of the work we do in the theater demands that we be open and vulnerable. This happens at all levels of the enterprise: playwrights, designers, directors, producers, all take risks daily. Actors, of course, must make themselves emotionally available in rehearsal and then in front of an audience. That’s why it is essential that we provide a safe space for that work to unfold.”

Zinn adds, “Theaters across New England are asking ourselves these questions: what policies are already in place? What can we do better? Collectively, there is momentum to adopt a common standard. We look forward to measuring our efforts and sharing our progress with our colleagues and sister companies.”

Elizabeth Neumeier, GSC Board President, stated, “We have been individually and collectively appalled by the allegations of past misconduct at Gloucester Stage and throughout the theater industry. We intend for Gloucester Stage, by our actions and example, to help change the culture that, for so long, has allowed such things to take place. Implementing the CTS this season will help ensure that Gloucester Stage is a place where people feel safe, free to do their best work, and to speak out without fear of reprisal.”

More about Not In Our House can be found at notinourhouse.org.The Chicago Theater Standards can be downloaded at http://www.notinourhouse.org/download-the-standards/


Check out Jeff Zinn’s promo video for Flight of the Monarch, the current production at Gloucester Stage Company. Sunday’s talk back was a delight to attend. So many thanks to Jeff Zinn and Bob Walsh for the invitation. The playwright Jim Frangione has a deep love for Monarch butterflies and it was a joy to make his acquaintance!

For the video, Jeff borrowed footage from forthcoming documentary Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly. The scenes that he selected from the film were all shot right here in our own backyards, in Gloucester.

For tickets and more information visit the Gloucester Stage website here.

To read Tom Hauck’s review for Good Morning Gloucester, go here.


Please join myself and the cast, director, and author of Gloucester Stage Company’s current show “Flight of the Monarch” for a Talk Back on Sunday September 17th. The Talk Backs are fun and interesting events held during a show’s run where audiences are invited to ask questions of the players. In attendance will be Jeff Ziinn, the director; Jim Frangione, the playwright; Nancy Carroll, the lead actress who plays Shelia Callaghan; and Tucker Smith, the lead actor who plays Thomas Callaghan. I have been asked to join to answer any questions folks may have about Monarch butterflies and this year’s migration. The Talk Back is at 4:00pm and will be held in the theatre. Anyone is welcome to come, whether or not you have seen the show, so please do come!

Monarch Butterflies Gloucester Morning Awakening