Contemporary Comedy NATIVE GARDENS Opens at GLOUCESTER STAGE

 

Robert Walsh, Artistic Director &  Christopher Griffith, Interim Managing Director present:

Karen Zacarías’ Contemporary Comedy

NATIVE GARDENS

OPENS AT GLOUCESTER STAGE

 Female Creative Team Leads Production 

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater with Karen Zacarías’Native Gardens from September 27 through October 20 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. This contemporary comedy follows high-powered lawyer Pablo Del Valle, and his very pregnant wife, doctoral candidate Tania, who have just purchased a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank Butley. Soon a disagreement between the neighbors over a longstanding fence line derailstheir plans of realizing the American Dream.

Directed by Kelly Galvin in her GSC directing debut, the cast of Native Gardens features GSC veteran Patrick Shea returning to Gloucester Stage for the first time in 26 years to play Frank Butley, and GSC newcomersEduardo Ruiz as Pablo Del Valle; Alaina Fragoso as Tania Del Valle; Leigh Strimbeck as Virginia Butley; and Jeomil Tovar and Fernando Barbosa as the Landscapers. Led by an entirely female creative team, including Director Kelly Galvin, GSC continues to support the Gender Parity initiative started by StageSource and benefit from the vibrant perspective this team brings to the table. Marcella Barbeau (Lighting Design), Jessica Brennan (Assistant Stage Manager), Madison Cook-Hines (Assistant Director), Lindsay Genevieve Fuori (Scenic Design),Chelsea Kerl (Costume Designer), Alexis Rappaport (Sound Design), Melissa Richter* (Production Stage Manager), andEmme Shaw (Props Design). Native Gardens is presented with production support from the Sawyer Free Library, discovering the past and creating the future.

Native Gardens playwright Karen Zacarías is one of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and is a core founder of the LATINX THEATRE COMMONS. A Washington, D.C resident, Ms. Zacarías is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC.

Director Kelly Galvin is the founder of the rig, a project that brings live performance to audiences with limited access to professional theater. She is company member of Shakespeare & Company where she has directed The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and The Clean House (reading), and serves on the faculty of the Young Company Summer Conservatory. Ms. Galvin previously served as Artistic Associate for WAM Theatre, where she directed The Last Wife and readings of The Virgin Trial, The Tall Girls, and Blue StockingsRegionally, she has directed for Southwest Shakespeare, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Berkshire Playwrights’ Lab, and The Theater at Woodshill. She has assisted at the Guthrie, Asolo Rep, Orlando Shakespeare, and Shakespeare & Company. Ms. Galvin received a 2018 Directing Fellowship at Asolo Rep and has completed Directing Internships with Arena Stage and the Huntington Theatre Company. She holds an MFA from Boston University and a BA from Wellesley College.

Alaina Fragoso makes her Gloucester Stage debut as Tania Del Valle. In New York she has originated roles in Convention (BHP, Irondale Center); Hope (a reading at Yoke Theatre Company), Murder at the FoodCoop (NY Int’l Fringe Festival), and No One Asked Me (NY Int’l Fringe Festival/Encores). Ms. Fragoso is a graduate of Emerson College and the Atlantic Acting School.

Eduardo Ruiz is a Puerto Rican actor, from Mayagüez making his GSC debut as Pablo Del Valle. He received his BFA in theatre arts from the University of Puerto Rico and  his MA in Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His recent credits include Vivace from Aristofanes’The Congresswomen, Claudio from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Oliver/Audrey from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Mr. Ruiz was also recently part of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Fellowship Company.

Native Gardens marks Patrick Shea’s first appearance at Gloucester Stage in 26 years. His previous GSCproductions were Benefactors, Wenceslas Square and The Last Yankee. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he began his career in the Acting Ensemble of the New York Shakespeare Festival and subsequently in the Broadway production of Child’s Play. A veteran of Shear Madness in Boston, he also received a Dramalogue Critics Award for his performance in the Los Angeles production. He has appeared with The Huntington Theatre Company, Speakeasy Stage, New Rep, Merrimack Rep, Gloucester Stage, The Wilbur Theatre, The Nickerson Theatres and Worcester Foothills. Mr. Shea has performed as an actor and narrator with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Boston Lyric Opera. His film credits include Wait For Laugh, Infinitely Polar Bear, Ted, The Invention of Lying, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Killer Flood, andBy the Sea. Mr. Shea’s TV credits include Frontline, Brotherhood, Spencer: For Hire, The Late Show with David Letterman, Unsolved Mysteries, Cheers!, and Against the Law.

A Massachusetts native who grew up locally in Marblehead and Swampscott, Leigh Strimbeck makes her GSC debut as Virginia Butley. Most recently she appeared as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit with Voice Theatre of Woodstock, NY. Ms. Strimbeck is an Associate member of The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE); theformer the Artistic Director of the Theatre Institute at Sage (TIS); an artist in residence in the theater program at Russell Sage College; and co-founder of WAM Theatre in The Berkshires. Her regional theater acting and directing credits include productions at Barrington Public Theater; Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble; WAM Theatre; The Rep in Albany, NY; Saratoga Shakespeare; Shakespeare and Co; Berkshire Playwrights Lab and Voice Theatre. Ms. Strimbeck’s feature film credits include UnCivil Liberties, Fighting for Freedom, Little BiPeep, Deception, the short film Key Transitions and Lifetime Movie Network’s Off the Rails.

Jeomil Tovar and Fernando Barbosa make their GSC debut as Landscapers in Native Gardens.  Jeomil Tovar recently played the same role in Native Gardens at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Mr. Tovar’s previous credits include various roles with The Firehouse Center for The Arts, Front Porch Arts Collective, Underlings Theatre Company, Marblehead Little Theatre, Heart & Daggers Productions, The Center of Arts in Natick, The Hanover Theatre, and Salem State University where he is currently pursuing his BFA degree in performance. A Boston based, actor, singer, and musician, Fernando Barbosa he is currently pursuing a BFA in acting from Salem StateUniversality. Mr. Barbosa’s recent credits include All’s Well that Ends Well and Cymbeline withCommonwealth Shakespeare Company; Assassins, Arts After Hours, and Jesus Christ Superstar at  Marblehead Little Theatre; Children of Eden with the Theatre Company of Saugus; Macbeth at  UMass Lowell; Cloud Tectonics, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Apollinaire (Elliot Norton Nom.), P.O.V, Umass Lowell.

NATIVE GARDENS PERFORMANCE DATES & TIMES:

SEPTEMBER 27 – OCTOBER 20

Wednesdays – Saturdays: 7:30 pm;

Saturdays – Sundays: 2:00 pm

PLACE:

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 visit www.gloucesterstage.com

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 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, SEPTEMBER 27, 7:30 PM; SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2 PM & 7:30 PM; WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, OCTOBER 9 & OCTOBER 16, 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: OCTOBER 6 & OCTOBER 13: Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, OCTOBER 6 and Sunday, OCTOBER 13, audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from Native Gardens.

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 GLOUCESTERSTAGE.COM

Native Gardens is presented with special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

 

REGIONAL PREMIERE: THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT OPENS IN GLOUCESTER AT THE GLOUCESTER STAGE COMAPNY

 

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

FIRST REGIONAL PRODUCTION OF RECENT BROADWAY HIT:

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT

OPENS AT GLOUCESTER STAGE

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater with the regional premiere of The Lifespan of a Fact from August 30 through September 22 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.Gloucester Stage is 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 Kareken, 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. Directed by Sam Weisman, The Lifespan of a Fact cast features GSC veterans Mickey Solis as John, the author; and Lindsay Crouse as Emily, his editor; and GSC newcomer Derek Speedy as Jim, the fact checker. The Lifespan of a Fact runs from August 30 through September 22. 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.

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.

Director Sam Weisman made his GSC directing debut with 2017’s critically acclaimed The Effect. He has directed 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, andDickie 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.

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 Hamlet and 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’sThe 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 Lovage.  On 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 of Amherst, and won the IRNE Award for Best Actress for her performance as Daisy in Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy directed by Benny Sato Ambush. Most recently, she appeared on the GSC stage in the IRNE Award winning Best Production of Dancing in Lughnasa in 2018. 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.

Mickey Solis’ New York and Off Broadway credits include the American premiere of Ivan Viripaev’s Illusions at 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 Margarita at 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 and Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.

Derek Speedy is recent graduate of Harvard University where he was a four-year cast member of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. His credits include: Dogfight (Eddie Birdlace); Assassins (John Hinckley Jr.); Polaroid Stories (Orpheus); Into the Woods (The Baker) andPericles (Antiochus/Pandar). He received his training at  Harvard University, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Stagedoor Manor.

Playwright Jeremy Kareken’s short plays Hot Rod, Big Train, and 80 Cards have been performed around the country and internationally. His awards include the Sewanee Conference’s Dakin Fellowship for Farblondjet, and Guthrie/Playwrights Center’s Two-Headed Challenge for The Sweet Sweet Motherhood.  The Hamptons Film Festival Screenwriters Conference selected Kareken and fellowLifespan playwright David Murrell for their horror-comedy script about haunted breast implants – THESE! Conquered the Earth! In 2018, PlayPenn shortlisted Jeremy’s new political satire about an illiterate king, The Red Wool.  Born and raised in Rochester, NY, and a graduate of the University of Chicago, he has taught at NYU, NYIT, The Actors Studio Drama School, and currently teaches at the Acting Studio – New York. A lifetime member of The Actors Studio, Mr. Kareken occasionally acts and is the researcher for Bravo TV’s Inside the Actors Studio.

Playwright David Murrell’s theater credits include Ductwork (Access Theater, Cleveland Public Theatre); E.T.D and [Untitled Organic Winery Project].  His screenplays include Breed Ambassador; Chomper; The Cold Spot; Girl Gets Razor; Mission: Uncomfortable; A Radio Picture; THESE! Conquered the Earth!  (Hamptons Film Festival Screenwriters Conference) and Walking Kane. Mr. Murrell’s teleplays include:Dayton Ladies; Down River; and Space Station Malibu.  Mr. Murrell was born and raised on Staten Island and graduated from the University of Chicago.  The Lifespan of a Fact is his first Broadway play.

Playwright Gordon Farrell received an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama in 1986. His plays include With More Than Voices  produced off-off Broadway; Navigators, directed by Arthur Sherman at Primary Stages; and Alice Again, A Tin Star Over Tombstone, and The Voice of America all at Alleyway Theater.  Mr. Farrell worked as a screenwriter at Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and MGM, writing for producers as varied as Robert Simonds, Bruce Berman, and the late Norman Twain, with whom he developed several screenplays, including one based on the life and literary struggles of J.R.R. Tolkien; an adaptation of Richard Russo’s darkly comic novel, Straight Man; and their final collaboration, The Lifespan of a Fact.  Teaching in NYU’s Dramatic Writing Department for over 25 years, Mr. Farrell’s students include Annie Baker, Lucas Hnath, Christopher Shinn, Jessica Goldberg, Marco Rameriz, Madeleine George, and Chisa Hutchinson, among others. His book, The Power of the Playwright’s Vision, was published by Heinemann Press in 2001 and is now a standard playwriting text in the U.S., England, and Canada.

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT PERFORMANCE DATES & TIMES:

AUGUST 30- SEPTEMBER 22

Wednesdays – Saturdays: 7:30 pm;

Saturdays – Sundays: 2:00 pm

PLACE:

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 31, 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 30, 7:30 PM; SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 2 PM & 7:30 PM; WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, SEPTEMBER 11 & SEPTEMBER 18, 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: SEPTEMBER 8 & SEPTEMBER 15: 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.

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 www.gloucesterstage.com

 

 

FUNNY, FABULOUS, AND FANTASTIC – DO NOT MISS GLOUCESTER STAGE “THE 39 STEPS!”

At Gloucester Stage, “The 39 Steps” Amazes and Astounds

By Tom Hauck

In this era of computer generated film “performances” that create an artificial reality of human capabilities, it’s a daunting task indeed for a regional stage company, in a production with only four actors, to startle an audience and leave them breathless. Yet this is what “The 39 Steps,” expertly directed by Robert Walsh, now through July 28 at The Gloucester Stage Company, does handily.

It begins with the fast-paced script, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the 1915 novel by John Buchan. The play premiered in 1995 and ran for nine years in London’s West End. It’s a laugh-out-loud parody of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock thriller, and lest you think that this makes it somehow less artistic, you’d be mistaken. This physical comedy relies on the precise split-second timing of the four actors, who tangle in a string of set pieces that strive to top each other for outrageous choreography. The gags, relentless and perfectly executed, compel you to watch closely so that you won’t miss a single nuance.

The cast is superb. Stage veterans Amanda Collins, Gabriel Kuttner, Paul Melendy, and Lewis D. Wheeler are a well-oiled comic machine. Wheeler plays Richard Hannay, a man caught up in a mysterious espionage kerfuffle, while Collins, Kuttner, and Melendy trade off multiple roles as if it were as easy as trading hats—which is what they literally do! The stage performers are ably assisted by Malachi Rosen, who from his onstage office provides a steady stream of sound effects, and to whom the actors occasionally direct their complaints (in this show, no wall is left unbroken!).

When celebrating such an outstanding ensemble cast, the reviewer is rightly reluctant to shine a spotlight on any individual performer, for fear that by doing so the brilliance of the other three might appear to be dimmed. Yet I would be remiss if I failed to give special notice to the mind-blowing physical and vocal skills of Paul Melendy. There is no Walt Disney cartoon character or SNL cast member who can prepare you for the astonishing, barely human shrieks and sneers that issue from this actor’s mouth. When midway into the show he appears as Professor Jordan, the energy of the production, already high, goes through the roof.

Whether you’re a denizen of the theater or you haven’t bought a ticket in years, this production will amaze you. It will bring you to a place you might think has vanished forever—a place where real humans create marvelous magic, right in front of your eyes.

“The 39 Steps” is playing now through July 28 at The Gloucester Stage Company. For tickets, call 978-281-4099, or go to gloucesterstage.com.

Snapshots from The 39 Steps Cast Podcast

Cape Ann Museum July 27 | Who Was Ben Butler? special program with Gloucester Stage

16. Alfred James Wiggin (1823-1883), General Benjamin F. Butler (1818-1893).jpgUpcoming special event at Cape Ann Museum

Who Was Ben Butler? A series of presentations at the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Stage Company are pleased to present Who Was Ben Butler? a special arrangement of speakers and performers on Saturday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m. This program will take place at 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester and is free for Gloucester Stage Company & Museum members or $10 nonmembers(includes Museum admission). Reservations are required. For more information visit capeannmuseum.org or call 978-283-0455 x10.

Benjamin Franklin Butler of Gloucester had many admirers and detractors as he helped shape the course of mid-19th century America.  He won a seat in Congress while camping in Bay View, started the Cape Ann Granite Company, owned the yacht “America,” championed women’s suffrage, and changed the course of the Civil War, not through military skill but legal acumen.  These accomplishments are among many achieved in a life spent in business, law, and the military.

In 21st century Gloucester, however, Butler remains a cypher.

The Gloucester Stage Company and the Cape Ann Museum are pleased to re-introduce Ben Butler to his adopted city.

Gloucester Stage will present the play BEN BUTLER August 2-25, and in anticipation of that, the Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Stage will offer an opportunity to acquaint themselves with one of Gloucester’s most accomplished citizens.  Professor Robert Forrant (U. Mass Lowell), a noted Butler historian, will join some of Butler’s Bay View descendants for a lively discussion, and actors from the play BEN BUTLER will make an appearance to give a hint at this fascinating and witty play.

Image credit: Alfred James Wiggin, Benjamin F. Butler. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum.

About the Cape Ann Museum Continue reading “Cape Ann Museum July 27 | Who Was Ben Butler? special program with Gloucester Stage”

SANPSHOTS FROM SUPER FUN PODCAST WITH “THE 39 STEPS” DIRECTOR BOB WALSH AND CAST AMANDA COLLINS, ‘NAKED GUY’ PAUL MELENDY, LEWIS WHEELER, GABRIEL KUTTNER, CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, AND RAYMOND BABBITT

Don’t miss The 39 Steps, a thriller/love story/comedic stage adaption of Alfred Hitchckock’s thriller of the same name, now playing at the Gloucester Stage Company. Directed by Bob Walsh and starring Amanda Collins, Lewis D. Wheeler, Paul Melendy, and Gabriel Kuttner, with foley artist Malachi Rosen.

Check out our podcast with this supremely talented and hysterical cast, airing tonight at 8pm. 

Purchase tickets HERE

 

HITCHCOCK THRILLER “THE 39 STEPS” OPENS AT GLOUCESTER STAGE

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater with Patrick Barlow’s witty mystery play The 39 Stepsfrom July 5 through July 28 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. This award winning comic thriller adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow, from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and from the 1935 movie by Alfred Hitchcock, premiered on Broadway in 2008.The 39 Steps has played in over forty countries world-wide, winning Olivier (United Kingdom); Helpmann (Austraila); Moliere (France) and Tony Awards. The play garnered the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy; the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design; the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience; the 2009 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production; and the 2009 Moliere Award for Best Comedy.

Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh directs this imaginative adaptation of the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. The 39 Steps contains every single legendary scene from the award-winning movie — including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the sensational death-defying finale in the London Palladium. A cast of four actors plays over 150 characters in this fast-paced tale of Richard Hannay who feeling stricken with a boring life, sets out for adventure. He quickly gets swept up in a murder/espionage story and must save the entire UK from peril. Lewis D. Wheeler, last seen at GSC in 2017’s To Kill a Mockingbird, returns to play Richard Hannay. The remainder of the GSC veteran cast includes Amanda Collins from 2017’s To Kill a Mockingbird; Paul Melendy from 2018’s Cyrano and Gabriel Kuttner from 2016’s The Last Schwartz.

At GSC the four actors of The 39 Steps are joined on stage by a Foley Artist Malachi Rosen of Marblehead. Foley Artists are most often used to recreate the production of everyday sound effects in television, movies and BBC radio dramas. According to Walsh, “A Foley Artist is not a typical for the play either on Broadway or regionally, but our Sound Designer David Wilson proposed the idea, to good effect. Malachi’s presence adds to the meta-theatrical humor that runs throughout… plus, he’s a musician, so he’ll be playing violin, accordion & drums in addition to a multitude of sound effects.” A 2016 graduate of Marblehead High School and rising senior at Marymount Manhattan College, Rosen has over 100 sound cues to create for The 39 Steps.

Artistic Director and The 39 Steps director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for over 20 years. Most recently, in 2018 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, 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 directed Bus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel…, and Lend 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 and Holiday 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.;Misallianceand 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 Day and 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.

Patrick Barlow’s Olivier-nominated adaptation of A Christmas Carol and his version Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur has played off-Broadway and London’s West End. Most recently his re-writing of John Milton’s Comus has played to critical acclaim at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Patrick is also celebrated in the UK for his two-man theatre company National Theatre of Brent, whose comedy epics include Wagner’s Ring Cycle, The Charles and Diana Story, The Messiah, The Wonder of Sex, The Arts and How They Was Done, The Black Hole of Calcutta, The Life and Times of the Dalai Lama and Zulu! They have won two Sony Gold Awards, a Premier Ondas Award for Best European Comedy and the New York Festival Gold Award for Best Comedy. Mr. Barlow’s screenwriting credits include Van Gogh (Prix Futura Berlin Film Festival),Revolution!! (Best Comedy Jerusalem Film Festival) and the BAFTA-winning The Young Visiters. Publications include Shakespeare: The Truth!and The Complete History of the Whole World. As an actor Mr. Barlow has also appeared in Absolutely Fabulous, Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, Nanny McPhee and Bridget Jones’s Diary. He is currently writing theatre versions of The Hound of the Baskervilles and Dracula.

Lewis D. Wheeler has also appeared at GSC in The Totalitarians, Gloucester Blue, Doubt: A Parable, An Ideal Husband, and directed Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth. His recent credits include Between Riverside and Crazy, and Hand to God at SpeakEasy Stage; Nat Turner in Jerusalem, andRichard II with Actors’ Shakespeare Project; Ideation, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and Muckrakerswith New Rep; Finish Line at Boston Theater Company; Blood on the Snow with the Bostonian Society; and five seasons with Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. Regionally he has worked at American Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Lyric Stage, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Nora Theatre, Underground Railway Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, Huntington Theatre, American Stage (FL), Publick Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Cape Rep. Mr. Wheeler was a founding member of Harbor Stage where he performed in TheSeagull and Hedda Gabler, and directed David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones. His film and TV credits include Manchester by the Sea, Black Mass,Pink Panther 2, The Company Men, Louisa May Alcott (PBS), Brotherhood, City on a Hill and the upcoming Honest Thief and Greta Gerwig’sLittle Women. Mr. Wheeler is a member of Theatre Espresso, performing interactive, historical dramas about social justice for students. He also participates in improv-based training programs at Boston Children’s Hospital, helping clinicians practice challenging situations.

Amanda Collins previously appeared at Gloucester Stage in The Totalitarians, Out of Sterno (IRNE Nomination, Best Actress), This Is Our Youth and 9 Circles. Regionally she has been seen in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Merrimack Rep for which she received the Elliot Norton Award for Best Actress; Old Money with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Back the Night and Elemeno Pea with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; Women Who Mapped The Stars and The Life of Galileo at Central Square Theater; A Behanding in Spokane, The Bald Soprano, Speech and Debate, Shortstack, Colorado, and What Then with Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater; The Seagull with Harbor Stage/Modern Theatre; Fun Home, Men on Boats and My Name Is Asher Lev at Cape Rep; Taste of Sunrise with Wheelock Family Theater;When The World Was Green andAn Ideal Husband at American Stage, Florida; and Jester’s Dead with The Outfit in NYC. Ms. Collins was a founding member of Harbor Stage Company. Her television and film credits include Olive Kitteridge (HBO); Castle Rock (Hulu); Boston’s Finest(ABC Pilot) and Sea of Trees.

2019 marks Paul Melendy’s fifth consecutive season with GSC. He has appeared in 2018’s Cyrano; 2017’s Bank Job, 2016’s The Last Schwartz,and 2015’s Sweet and Sad. His other recent area credits include Noir Hamlet with Centastage which he’ll be taking to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this coming August, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at Greater Boston Stage Company, Sorryat New Repertory Theatre, and A Confederacy of Dunceswith Nick Offerman at Huntington Theatre Company. Mr. Melendy can also be seen regularly in Boston’s Shear Madnessas Tony/Eddie and on television as The Naked Guy in a popular Bernie and Phyl’s ad. Currently, he can be seen as The Unicorn in a string of Citizen’s Bank web spots.. Some of Mr. Melendy’s upcoming theater collaborations include The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberly at Merrimack Repertory Theatre directed by Shana Gozansky of GSC’s recent Barefoot in the Park and in 2020 Miss Holmes Returns with Greater Boston Stage Company. Mr. Melendy’s film credits include Unfinished Business with Vince Vaughn; The Pink Panther Deux with Steve Martin; TheMakeover with Julia Stiles and Father of the Year with David Spade film for Netflix.

Gabriel Kuttner is a Boston-based actor, educator, producer and director. He has worked with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Lyric Stage, New Rep, Stoneham Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Israeli Stage, Publick Theatre, WHAT, Harbor Stage as well as across the US and Europe. Mr. Kuttner 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).  Mr. Kuttner has served on the faculty of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Salem State University and Northeastern University, where he has taught acting, public speaking, dialect and producing.

THE 39 STEPS PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Wednesdays – Saturdays: 7:30 pm;

Saturdays – Sundays: 2:00 pm

PLACE:

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 visit www.gloucesterstage.com

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: SATURDAY, JULY 6, 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, JULY 5, 7:30 PM; SATURDAY, JULY 6 2 PM & 7:30 PM; WEDNESDAY, JULY 10, JULY 17 & JULY 24, 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: JULY 14 & JULY 21: 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 The 39 Steps.

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

Continue reading “HITCHCOCK THRILLER “THE 39 STEPS” OPENS AT GLOUCESTER STAGE”

GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY OPENS 40TH SEASON WITH NEIL SIMON’S BAREFOOT IN THE PARK

Gloucester Stage Company

40th ANNIVERSARY SEASON:

“The readiness is all”

Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park

Opens GSC 40th Anniversary Season

Hit Romantic Comedy Features TWO Real Life Married Couples:

Paula Plum & Richard Snee

McCaela Donovan & Joe Short 

Gloucester Stage Company kicks off its 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater with Neil Simon’s romantic comedy, Barefoot in the Park from June 7 through June 30 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Neil Simon’s longest-running hit, and the tenth longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history, Barefoot in the Park opens as newlyweds Corie & Paul move into a sixth floor walk up off Third Avenue in the east 40’s of Manhattan and follows the young couple as they quickly discover there’s more to marriage than meets the eye.

Director Shana Gozansky makes her GSC debut directing two real life married couples in this Neil Simon classic: McCaela Donovan and Joe Short as newlyweds Corie and Paul, and Paula Plum and Richard Snee as Mrs. Ethel Banks and Victor Velasco. “We are so pleased to be able to honor the late Neil Simon during our 40th Anniversary Season”, points out GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh, “as well as introduce GSC audiences to dynamic Boston-based director Shana Gozansky. And, of course it is such a treat to have 2 married couples (all GSC favorites) bringing this humorous look at marriage and all its ups and downs to life on the GSC stage.”

The newlyweds of Barefoot in the Park are McCaela Donovan  as the free-spirited, Corie, and Joe Short as her new husband uptight lawyer Paul. Off the stage Ms. Donovan and Mr. Short have been married for four years. Paula Plum is Mrs. Ethel Banks, Corie’s mother and Richard Snee is Victor Velasco, Corie and Paul’s neighbor. Ms. Plum and Mr. Snee will celebrate 40 years of marriage in 2020.

   

McCaela Donovan last appeared at GSC in 2012’s Crimes of the Heart. Her credits include Huntington Theatre Company, American Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, Reagle Music Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co, ArtsEmerson, New Repertory Theatre, Brandeis Theatre Company, Greater Boston Stage Company, Actor’s Shakespeare Project, The Lyric Stage, Bridge Rep of Boston, Fiddlehead Theatre Co and Company One. She earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College; an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College; and an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University. Ms. Donovan serves as the Assistant Director of the School of Theatre at Boston University.

Joe Short appeared at GSC in 2017’s The Rainmaker, directed 2018’s True West and has been the theater’s Production Manager since 2013. He has performed in numerous theaters in Boston, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington DC. Mr. Short was a founding artistic associate of two successful New England theatre companies: Bridge Rep of Boston and The Wilbury Theater Group, in Providence, RI. He has been an instructor of acting, voice, and movement at the University of Rhode Island since 2010. Mr. Short is currently the Production Technician for  the newly created Theatre, Dance, and Media concentration at Harvard University. He earned his B.F.A. from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.F.A. from the Brown University/Trinity Rep Consortium.

Paula Plum and Richard Snee last worked together at GSC in 2015’s crucially acclaimed Out of Sterno directed by Ms. Plum and featuring Mr. Snee.  Paula Plum is the recipient of five IRNE Awards, the 1995 & 2007 Eliot Norton Award for Best Actress, the 2004 Eliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, and the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. In 2009 she was one of five actors nation-wide to receive the Fox ActorFellowship in association with SpeakEasy Theatre Co. Ms. Plum is an actress, director, writer, and teacher and has created seven one-person shows for the Undadilla Theatre of Vermont, most notably, Plum Pudding. As a founding member of The Actors’ Shakespeare Project, she has directed Macbeth and School for Scandal. For 12 years she has been the Artistic Director of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn for WGBH, a concert of traditional Celtic music, dance and poetry that tours New England in December. Original work includes Wigged Out!, a comedy about her mother’s death, and What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, a dramatic biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Richard Snee’s appearances at GSC include Table Manners, Living Together, Round and Round the Garden and Auld Lang Syne in which he appeared opposite his wife. Regionally his credits include: Othello at American Repertory Theatre; Present Laughter, and Sisters Rosensweig at Huntington Theatre Company; and Uncle Vanya, Boy Gets Girl, Something in the Air, and A Christmas Carol at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. He has been a member of the Boston Company of Shear Madness since 1987 and is a founding member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, appearing in several of their productions including Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Cherry Orchard, Richard III, and Comedy of Errors. Mr. Snee has also performed at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Nora Theatre Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, the Wilbur Theater, Hasty Pudding Theatricals and many other venues during his 30 plus year acting career.

GSC newcomer Shana Gozansky is a freelance director and teaching artist based in the Boston area. Her work has been produced at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Boston Playwrights Theater, Central Square Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, The Hangar Theatre, The Kitchen Theatre, The Calderwood Arts Pavilion, as well as multiple venues throughout New York City. She has assisted on productions at Berkeley Rep, The Geffen, Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, Henry Miller’s Theater, and Trinity Repertory Company and has taught acting and directing at Brown University, College of the Holy Cross, Clark University, the Hangar Theatre, and Trinity Repertory Company.  Ms. Gozansky holds a MFA in Directing from the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company MFA Programs and a BA in Theater from Bard College, was an Artistic Associate at The Hangar Theatre, an Artist-in-Residence at chashama and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and is a Drama League Directing Fellow

Born on July 4, 1927, in New York City, Neil Simon began writing comedy for some of radio and television’s top talents in the 1940s. Turning to the stage, he enjoyed his first major hit with Barefoot in the Park in 1963, and later scored Tony Awards for The Odd Couple (1965), Biloxi Blues (1985) and Lost in Yonkers (1991). Mr. Simon was also a successful screenwriter, earning acclaim for both original and adapted works. In addition to his numerous Tony and Academy Award nominations, Simon in 1983 became the first living playwright to have a Broadway theater named in his honor. He passed away on August 26, 2018.

Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park runs from June 7 through June 30 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, June 16 and Sunday, June 23, audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from Barefoot in the Park. 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. Gloucester Stage is committed to inclusion and diversity, including socio-economic status. Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the Saturday, June 8 matinee at 2 pm 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. Pay What You Wish tickets can only be purchased day of show at the door. Enriching our local community is key to GSC’s mission impact. Residents of Cape Ann can purchase $25 tickets for Preview Performances, June 7 at 7:30 pm and June 8 at 2:00pm and 7:30 pm and every Wednesday performance of Barefoot in the Park. Limit of 2 (two) per household. 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 http://www.gloucesterstage.com

GLOUCESTER STAGE WINS TOP CRITICS’ AWARD!!

Gloucester Stage Wins Top Boston Critics’ Award.

The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards Ceremony was held Monday, April 8, 2019 at the Ballroom of The Inn at Brookline where the awards for the 2018 Calendar Year were announced. 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. Gloucester Stage garnered one of the top awards of the evening Best Play-Midsize for: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa . Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh accepted the award for the company, “Thank you IRNE Committee, the theater community and of course, our wonderful audiences in Gloucester.” Dancing at Lughnasa cast members Lindsay Crouse, Samantha Richert , Chris Kandra and Ed Hoopman attended the award ceremony.

Gloucester Stage Company received a total of eight nominations for the 2018 season. The nominations included: 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 LughnasaBest Play-MidsizeBest Director-Play-Midsize: Benny Sato Ambush; Best Actress-PlayMidsize: Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse, and Best Supporting Actress-Play-Midsize: Samantha Richert.

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: Pictured L to R: Actor Ed Hoopman; GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh; Actors Lindsay Crouse; Samantha Richert and Chris Kandra celebrate after winning the award.
Photo 2: Cast members enjoy the evening : L to R: Chris Kandra; Ed Hoopman; Samantha Richert, Lindsay Crouse and GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh
Photo 3: L to R:  Samantha Richert and Lindsay Crouse with Robert Walsh
Photos by Chris Griffith

The Golden Goose Awards at Gloucester Stage

Thirty-five Harborlight Montessori 4th-8th Grade students have taken up residency at Gloucester Stage Company for two weeks. As one of Harborlight’s new Experience Week programs, this group of students has been learning all aspects of theater production in preparation for their World Premiere performances of The Golden Goose Awards. The Golden Goose Awards was written by Harborlight’s very own Performing Arts Director and published playwright, Katie Oberlander. The collaboration between the staff at Gloucester Stage and the staff of Harborlight Montessori has come to life with this fantastic Theater Education experience. Tickets to the 3/22 and 3/23 performances are available for purchase on Gloucester Stage Company’s website.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE

This two-week theater education session is one of several options that Harborlight students, as well as students not currently enrolled at Harborlight, can select from to supplement their academic year coursework.  Robust Experience Weeks have been carefully designed to enhance students’ learning and provide them enriching opportunities during typical school vacation weeks.  Harborlight is thrilled to be working with some amazing community partners….like, in this exciting case, Gloucester Stage Company!

For more information on other Experience Weeks, click HERE 

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GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY AND AURELIA NELSON SAVE THE DAY FOR MARBLEHEAD THEATRE!

Marblehead ‘Mockingbird’ production makes a comeback in Gloucester

By Mary Reines

Wicked Local Marblehead

Following lawsuit threat, Mugford Street Players relocate their production of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

It seemed as if the Mugford Street Players would have to completely abandon their production of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which was set to open at Marblehead Little Theatre on March 1, after receiving a cease and desist letter from Atticus Limited Liability Company last Wednesday.

“We took a big body blow last week when we were told we couldn’t go forward,” said Mugford Street Players producer Greg Mancusi-Ungaro.

In the letter, lawyers at Loeb & Loeb detailed a decades-old copyright agreement between the Harper Lee estate and play distributor Dramatic Publishing Company (DPC), which prohibited the production of “amateur performances” of the show within 25 miles of a major city during the “New York run” or “first class touring production” of the play.

The attorneys for Atticus asserted that these restrictions were being violated due to the current run of a new play adaptation of “To Kill A Mockingbird” written by Aaron Sorkin, which opened in New York in December 2018. The Players had been rehearsing an earlier play adaptation of the book, written by Christopher Sergel.

After the initial outrage and despair, the Players sent an email blast with their request for a theater more than 25 miles away from Boston that would be willing to host their production. According to Mancusi-Ungaro, Radio Host Aurelia Nelson, of North Shore 104.9 FM, spread the word and reached Chris Griffith, the interim manager at Gloucester Stage Company, who came forward and offered the space.

“John [Fogle, director] and I went and met him,” said Mancusi-Ungaro. “He’s been incredibly accommodating.”

Mancusi-Ungaro also discussed the relocation with lawyers representing the Sorkin play in New York, as well as the lawyers in Alabama representing the Lee estate, and was able to get the green light. He re-applied for a show license with DPC and was successful.

“It’s really been quite a process,” he said.

According to Griffith, Gloucester Stage Company is about 35 miles away from Boston, which is in accordance with the copyright agreement. He said he believes this is the first time that Gloucester Stage Company has come to the rescue like this.

“I think this is the first time that a situation like this has happened with a community theater production being caught between the Broadway production and the licensing company,” he said.

The Players’ near-cancellation has received national attention, as the theater company is among many others across the nation and the world that have been thwarted by this lawsuit threat, according to articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Mancusi-Ungaro thinks that the Mugford Street Players have been the only theater troupe to relocate its production, rather than cancel it altogether.

“A lot of companies have closed their shows,” he said. “I believe we’re the only company that adopted the strategy of taking our show outside the limit.”

The Mugford Street Players’ production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be playing at the Gloucester Stage Company on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from March 29 through April 14. Tickets are $15 for students, $25 for seniors and $35 general admission, available at http://gloucesterstage.com or the Arnould Gallery in Marblehead.

Read More Here

Jacqui Parker Debuts New Work about Phillis Wheatley

New Work Celebrating Famed Boston Poet Phillis Wheatley at Gloucester Stage For 3 Performances  

WRESTLING WITH FREEDOM

Written and Directed by  Roxbury’s Jacqui Parker

At Gloucester Stage Company for Three Performances Only

February 22: 7:30pm |  February 23: 4:00pm and 7:30pm

 

Freed-slave and famed Boston poet, Phillis Wheatley was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. Phillis Wheatley’s life and friendship with Obour Tanner comes alive on stage in Jacqui Parker’s (Director of 2018’s The Agitators at GSC) new play, Wrestling with Freedom. Educated and enslaved in the household of prominent Boston commercialist John Wheatley, paraded in front of the still-young American political leadership and the English empire’s aristocracy, Phillis Wheatleywas the abolitionists’ illustrative testimony that freed slaves were both artistic and intellectual. She was a household name across the world after publishing her poetry in both England and the United States – her achievements a catalyst for the fledgling antislavery movement.

Wrestling with Freedom highlights the friendship between Phillis Wheatley and Obour Tanner, another freed slave woman. Inspired by actual letters written to Obour and poems written by Phillis, this play speaks to the American Revolutionary and struggles of slavery, through two brilliant women’s minds. The cast is Candis Hilton as Phillis Wheatley and Ines de la Cruz asObour Tanner. Wrestling with Freedom is at Gloucester Stage Company on Friday, February 22 at 7:30pm and Saturday, February 23 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm. The show is approximately 80 minutes. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for Students (Under 18 years old). Tickets are available online at www.gloucesterstage.com or via phone 978-281-4433.

Roxbury resident, playwright, actor and director Jacqui Parker made her Gloucester Stage directing debut with the New England premiere of The Agitators in 2018. As an actress she last appeared at Gloucester Stage in 2014’s award winning production ofFences. Ms. Parker has won numerous awards for her work as an artist including; the Elliot Norton Award, Boston Theatre Hero Award, eight Independent Reviewers of New England Awards (IRNE) and the DRYLONGSO Award, for her struggle against racism. She is named one of Boston’s most influential people, in Don West’s book Portraits of Purpose. Ms. Parker was the visiting playwright at Hibernian Hall, where she wrote and directed five productions including A Crack in the Blue Wall, which was nominated as Best New Play, by the Independent Reviewers of New England. Her directing credits include: Glitch at the Contemporary Theatre at Boston Conservatory; Top Eye Open at Hibernian Hall; Naomi Iizuka’s Polaroid Stories at Harvard University; Intimate Apparel at Brandeis University; and Deborah Lake Fortson’s Body & Sold produced by Amy Merrill at Hibernian Hall. Ms. Parker is presently a part of the I Dream Team at Emerson College, devising New Works in High Schools across the city of Boston

Wrestling with Freedom is at Gloucester Stage Company on Friday, February 22 at 7:30pm and Saturday, February 23 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for Students (Under 18 years old). Tickets are available online atwww.gloucesterstage.com or via phone 978-281-4433.

BACKGROUND INFO ON PHILLIS WHEATLEY:https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/phillis-wheatley

L to R: Candis Hilton as Phillis Wheatley and Ines de la Cruz as Obour Tanner.

Courtesy Photo Writer/Director: Jacqui Parker Courtesy Photo

HEIDI DALLIN IS A GLOUCESTER TREASURE!

Christmas Eve I was at a wonderful party at the beautiful and welcoming home of Grace and Guiseppe Numerosi chatting with Heidi Dallin when she was suddenly surrounded by a group of girls eager to talk with her. She greeted them all warmly, laughed and joked, and was so sweet with them. Grace corralled the girls and we managed to get a phone snapshot of the energetic troupe.

Heidi teaches the Youth Acting Workshop and all four girls were in Gloucester Stage’s annual hit production of “Holiday Delights.” She gives tirelessly of herself to all the kids in the Gloucester Stage and public school plays, makes everyone feel special and uniquely deserving of their roles, and has a real gift for getting the best out of her aspiring thespians. A heartfelt thanks to Heidi Dallin for all that she does for Gloucester youth!

Heidi with (left to right) Gabrielle Cross, Bezzie Strong, Lia Numerosi, and April Smith

GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY ANNOUNCES SLATE FOR 2019 SEASON

Robert Walsh, Artistic Director | Christopher Griffith, Interim Managing Director

Gloucester Stage Company

40th ANNIVERSARY SEASON:

“The readiness is all”

 

Gloucester Stage Company Artistic Director Robert Walsh and Interim Managing Director Christopher Griffith, are proud to announce the 2019 slate for Gloucester Stage’s 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater on Boston’s Northshore.

“We are tremendously excited by our line-up of plays for this anniversary season! An absolute knockout will be Ben Butler, both funny and smart – I’m thrilled my colleague and friend Joe Discher is able to direct, following his off-Broadway premiere. Butler, a Gloucester resident and Union General, comes to life in this historic comedy – a true portrait for the Boston community. Additionally, we welcome back Paula Plum and Richard Snee, along with numerous artists who have contributed to Gloucester Stage in the past and will continue to define the future.  Through this lineup we are able to honor the late Neil Simon, introduce Karen Zacarias to our audiences, and invest in a unique partnership to impact Boston area schools by bringing Hamlet to life” shared Robert Walsh.

 

Griffith adds, “This theater has always been changing, through seasons, different buildings, market crashes, new plays, good years and bad years – we kept going. Reflecting on our 40th anniversary, there has been talk that we could never rival what we were, but we can – it’s happening now. There is a reinvigorated need to create at Gloucester Stage, beneath our feet and in our hands. We’re not going to just talk about what we’ve done in the past, but show our audiences what’s in-store for the future. I hope when you walk through our doors this season, you feel that vision coming to life.”

 

Season Opener: June 7 – June 30

Celebrating Neil Simon

Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon

Directed by Shana Gozansky

 

The romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park, award-winning playwright Neil Simon’s longest-running hit, and the tenth longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history opens Gloucester Stage’s 40thAnniversary season on June 7. The comedy opens as newlyweds Corie & Paul move into a top floor garret off Third Avenue in the east 40’s of Manhattan and follows the young couple as they quickly discover there’s more to marriage than meets the eye. Shana Gozansky makes her GSC debut directing Paula Plum, Richard Snee, McCaela Curran Donovan and Joe Short in this Neil Simon classic. Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park runs June 7 through June 30. 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.

 

 

Second: July 5 – July 28

Alfred Hitchcock’s

The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow,

Adapted from the John Buchan novel

Directed by Robert Walsh

 

A fast paced and witty mystery play, The 39 Steps follows Richard Hannay who feeling stricken with a boring life sets out for adventure. He quickly gets swept up in a murder/espionage story and must save the entire UK from peril. GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh directs this imaginative stage adaptation of the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. Lewis D.  Wheeler and Amanda Collins, last seen at GSC in the sellout To Kill a Mockingbird, return for this indomitably funny play. Patrick Barlow’s The 39 Steps runs from July 5 through July 28. 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.

           

Third: August 2 – August 25

Boston Area Premiere

Ben Butler by Richard Strand

Directed by Joe Discher (Director of the World Premiere and Off-Broadway Productions)

 

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. When an escaped slave shows up at Fort Monroe demanding sanctuary during the Civil War, Union General Benjamin Butler is faced with an impossible moral dilemma – follow the letter of the law, or make a game-changing move that could alter the course of US history? Benjamin Butler, a lawyer and former Governor of Massachusetts who championed the causes of labor and of naturalized citizens, spent his summers in the Bayview neighborhood of Gloucester (present-day Ames Estate). Joe Discher who helmed the show’s world premiere production in 2014 and the Off Broadway production in 2016, makes his GSC debut directingBen Butler. 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.

 

 Fourth: August 30 – September 22

TBA

 

Extra effort is being put into curating the final piece of the 40th Season, and with special opportunities come the need for perfect timing. Gloucester Stage looks forward to announcing the fourth production in the first quarter of 2019.

 

 

Fifth: September 27 – October 20

Native Gardens by Karen Zacarias

 

Karen Zacarias’ comedy follows the high-powered lawyer Pablo, and his very pregnant wife doctoral candidate Tania, who have just purchased a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. Soon a disagreement between the neighbors over a longstanding fence line derails their plans of realizing the American Dream. Karen Zacarias’ Native Gardens runs from September 27 through October 20. 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.

 

Sixth: October 25 – November 17

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Directed by Christopher V. Edwards, Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project 

 

Shakespeare’s classic tale of revenge comes to Gloucester Stage after two successful seasons of full-house student matinees. Responding to a need from Boston area schools to immerse students in classic literature, this performance has an adjusted schedule to impact over 2,000 middle and high school students. Hamlet’s story begins when he meets his father’s ghost, revealing that his brother, Claudius, has murdered him and taken Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, for his queen. Hamlet then begins his journey of revenge while struggling with self-doubt and facing challenges from all sides. Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project Christopher V. Edwards makes his GSC directing debut with William Shakespeare’s Hamlet running October 25 through November 17 at Gloucester Stage. Public performances are limited to weekends with student matinees weekdays. Specific show dates and times available online.

 

GLOUCESTER STAGE 2019 SEASON PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Wednesdays – Saturdays: 7:30 pm;

Saturdays – Sundays: 2:00 pm

 

PLACE:

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 visit www.gloucesterstage.com

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Season Packages start at $185 for 6 tickets to use for any show and include early access to seating, no online fees, and free ticket exchanges. This year also offers subscribers the ability to reserve their seats for the entire season with a Reserved Subscription. Interested patrons can save an additional 10% as an Early Bird Subscription by ordering before December 31st. Packages can be purchased or renewed by calling the Box Office at 978.281.4433 or by visitinggloucesterstage.com/subscribe

 

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: 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: 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.

 

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 visitwww.gloucesterstage.com

2019 Season Photos:

 

Paula Plum, Actor Barefoot in the Park
Richard Snee, Actor Barefoot in the Park
Robert Walsh, Artistic Director Gloucester Stage  & Director  of The 39 Steps
Lewis D. Wheeler, Actor The 39 Steps
Amanda Collins, Actor, The 39 Steps

MY STATION IN LIFE: A CHARACTER DRIVEN TOUR de FORCE

By Tom Hauck

A piece of Gloucester history shines in “My Station in Life,” a captivating new play by Ken Riaf making its world premier at the Gloucester Stage Company through October 28. Starring Ken Baltin, this dramatic comedy retells the battle waged by classical radio station owner-operator Simon Geller against his various enemies including the FCC, the national radio chain scheming to take over his license, his own listeners whom he regularly insulted, and most of all his own inner demons.

Ably supported by actors Meagan Gallo, James Tarantino, and Veronica A. Wiseman, under the direction of Robert Walsh, and on a cluttered set designed by Afsoon Pajoufar, Baltin holds our attention for ninety minutes as he shuffles around his radio station/apartment, whines about being broke, attacks anyone who displeases him, plays classical records, takes his insulin injections, eats canned soup, and (most famously in real life) takes audible bathroom breaks while the microphone is hot.

The very definition of “curmudgeon,” Baltin manages to make Geller incredibly annoying yet deeply likeable. His Quixotic dedication to what he calls “beautiful music,” his spasmodically quivering lower lip, his trouser belt that is rarely fully fastened, and his casual disregard for any norms of behavior melt into a portrait of a guy we all know and, at holiday parties, do our best to avoid.

His behavior is at times truly offensive. One of his flippant and erroneous “weather reports” may have had serious consequences for a fishing boat caught in an unexpected storm, and on the air he begs for donations but rudely rejects a cash gift brought to him by a caring neighbor.

Integral to the production is the sound design by David Reiffel. Indeed, aside from the occasional visitor to Geller’s pack-rat hovel, his connection with the outside world is through sound: the ring of the phone, the knock on the door, the melodies of the records he plays. Yet aside from one brief sequence in which Geller vigorously “conducts” one of the pieces he’s playing, we don’t know the root of his dedication to the music he champions; he exhibits very little knowledge about the records he slaps onto the turntable, and demands that his listeners—there were 90,000 in real life—not call him to get more information. In his mind, the commercial-free music he broadcasts is a precious gift to his audience, and we should be grateful for it and not complain.

Funny, wrenching, and always fascinating, “My Station in Life” is a stunning finale to the GSC season. Don’t miss it! Now through October 28. For tickets call 978-281-4433, or visit gloucesterstage.com.

All photos Gary Ng

Ken Riaf’s new play My Station in Life premieres October 12th thru the 28th at Gloucester Stage. Go!

kenny.jpg

Great news from multitalented creative Ken Riaf: 

“The premiere of My Station in Life a new play I wrote about Simon Geller, America’s last one-man radio broadcaster. Geller, the radio recluse who brought classical music to a hardscrabble fishing port, fights for survival against powerful forces that want what little he has. Actor Ken Baltin and supporting cast bring Geller’s quirky persona and corkscrew saga to the stage from October 12th through October 28th. ”

Produced by the Gloucester Stage Company and directed by Robert Walsh, Ken Riaf’s My Station in Life tickets are available now at My Station in Life.

Boston Globe comes to #GloucesterMA for a perfect weekend

“How to spend a perfect weekend in Gloucester and the other cape”, by Christopher Muther, Boston Globe. 

Boston Globe weekend article Gloucester and the other cape only Gloucester Aug 15 2018.jpg

Article describes some Gloucester highlights: Cape Ann Museum and Harrison Cady exhibition, Gloucester Beaches, Stage Fort Park, Half Moon Beach, Gloucester Shuttle, Cape Ann Cinema, Gloucester Stage, Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, Hammond Castle Museum, Perfect Storm, Wicked Tuna, Rocky Neck, Latitude 43, Lobsta Land, Zeke’s Place, Willow Rest, Beauport Hotel, Ocean Hotel at Bass Rocks, Beth Williams, and (couldn’t get a reservation at) Duckworth’s Bistro.

detail from Harrison Cady on exhibit Cape Ann Museum through October 2018 ©c ryan.jpg
Detail from Harrison Cady on exhibition Cape Ann Museum 

 

SEE MADAME DEFARGE AT THE GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY BEFORE IT GOES TO BROADWAY!

See Madame Defarge at GSC Before It Goes to Broadway

By Tom Hauck

In the world of theatre there’s nothing more thrilling than attending a new work and, after the curtain falls and the applause dies away, you get up from your seat convinced the show you’ve just seen is destined for Broadway.

Such is the case with Madame Defarge, the new musical by Wendy Kesselman now making its world premiere at the Gloucester Stage Company. Directed by Ellie Heyman, this grand historical epic, based on the Charles Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities, packs a solid emotional punch while presenting themes of authoritarianism and state power that resonate today.

When entering the theater, the first thing you’ll notice is the jagged, multilevel set designed by James Fluhr. It’s an angular yet fluid space, penetrated by sharp arrows of light and given a sense of gloom by the ever-present haze in the air (absolutely safe to breathe, we’re reassured). In a bold choice, the orchestra—a superbly polished trio of piano, clarinet, and cello—occupies the middle of the space, around which the actors pursue their personal objectives and occasionally physically chase each other. The back wall of the stage is a set of prison bars—the dreaded Bastille, where Dr. Manette has been imprisoned for eighteen years and whose release ignites the story.

The cast of ten is outstanding. On the French side we find the revolutionaries Therese and Ernest Defarge (Jennifer Ellis and Benjamin Evett), the cruel and pompous Monsieur Le Marquis (John Hillner), and the lately imprisoned Dr. Manette (Rob Karma Robinson). Across the Channel reside the handsome nephew of Monsieur Le Marquis, Charles Darnay (Matthew Amira); the barrister Sydney Carton (Jason Michael Evans), who happens to look like the twin of Charles Darnay (this is key to the plot); Dr. Manette’s daughter Lucie Manette (Sabrina Koss); and her guardian, Miss Pross (Wendy Waring).

Meanwhile, expertly handling a total of five roles is John Shuman (to quickly know whom he’s playing, keep an eye on his costume changes).

While everyone on the stage shines, particular note must be made of Marissa Simeqi, who in the multiple roles of Little Lucie, Young Therese, and Street Urchin takes the spotlight with confidence.

The cast will be remembered for originating their roles, and justly so. Together they work through the complex plot with its many twists and turns, and make the emotional connections with the audience that bring the sweeping scale of the story down to a human level.

While the show’s program provides a brief introduction to the characters and setting at the beginning of the play, it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with the intricate plot of A Tale of Two Cities. If you know the story before you take your seat, you’ll be able to focus on the outstanding performances without the burden of keeping a scorecard of who’s doing what to whom.

It’s easy to imagine Madame Defarge being scaled up to a full Broadway production with big sets, lavish costumes, and a full orchestra and cast. The story is solid and the characters are well developed. In short, you have a choice: See Madame Defarge now at our own Gloucester Stage Company where the talented actors perform up close up and personal, or wait and pay $100 a ticket for nosebleed seats in a vast auditorium on Broadway.

Congratulations to the Gloucester Stage Company for opening its 2018 season with a stunning gem. Madame Defarge is playing now through June 2. For tickets, go to http://www.gloucesterstage.com or call 978-281-4433.

Cape Ann Forum announces next incredible speakers: May 6 with Sarah Chayes and May 20 with Andrew Bacevich

Cape Ann Forum logo

Mark your calendars. Kathy O’Neil shares Cape Ann Forum‘s press release for their next  (local) lectures on international issues.

May 6 Sarah Chayes at City Hall

WHY CORRUPTION THREATENS GLOBAL SECURITY: A Cape Ann Forum with Sarah Chayes

In dozens of countries, corruption can no longer be understood as merely the bad deeds of individuals. Rather, it is the operating system of sophisticated networks that cross national boundaries in their drive to maximize returns, and it has gotten to a level that it threatens global security, according to Sarah Chayes, who is speaking at the next Cape Ann Forum at Gloucester City Hall on Sunday, May 6 at 7 pm.

Chayes, author, a former reporter for National Public Radio in Afghanistan and a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is not only exposing the extent of this problem—she’s advising policymakers on how to combat it. One of her recent studies focused on Honduras, the source of many of the refugees now seeking asylum in the United States.

“The strands of the Honduran kleptocratic network overlap, and personnel is shared among public, private, and criminal network elements. But the three sectors do retain some autonomy, interacting via exchanges of revenues and services,” writes Chayes.

“Revenues are captured at the expense of the environment as well as the people of Honduras, and some of the most resilient opponents of the network’s business model are community groups defending the land. These groups are largely ignored by international donor institutions, the bulk of whose assistance benefits the network.”

Sarah Chayes’s work explores how severe corruption can help prompt such crises as terrorism, revolutions and their violent aftermaths, and environmental degradation. She recently left her position at Carnegie to work on her next book, which will apply this framing to the United States.

Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, Chayes served as special assistant to the top-ranked American military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. She focused on governance issues, participating in cabinet-level decision-making on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Spring, building on the years she reported on the region for NPR.

Chayes says it was “a sense of historic opportunity” that prompted her to end her journalism career in early 2002 and to remain in Afghanistan to help rebuild the country. She chose to settle in the former Taliban heartland, Kandahar where she founded Arghand, a start-up manufacturing cooperative, where men and women working together produce fine skin-care products.

Her first book, The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban, was published in 2006. Her most recent book is Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security (2014), Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest. “I can’t imagine a more important book for our time.” ―Sebastian Junger

This is the Cape Ann Forum’s last major event of the 2017/2018 season, as the organization closes in its 100th presentation since it was formed in 2001, which will be commemorated next September. The May 6 forum will also feature the announcement of the organization’s annual international awareness award to a graduating Gloucester High School senior, which comes with a $500 scholarship.

Sarah Chayes
Sarah Chayes portrait by photographer Kaveh Sardari

May 20th Andrew Bacevich at Gloucester Stage

The Cape Ann Forum is also co-sponsoring a presentation by Andrew Bacevich, a West Point graduate and Vietnam War veteran, at the Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, on Sunday, May 20, at 6 p.m. The talk is part of a month-long program on Combat Art—“In War and Afterwards”—curated by Gloucester artist Ken Hruby and organized by the Rocky Neck Cultural Center, which will exhibit the work of combat veterans.

Bacevich is a two-time Forum speaker and a nationally known commentator on international affairs, a professor emeritus at Boston University, and the author of nine books, including The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism and America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.

IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck

The creative response to military service is vast.

Several Gloucester and Cape Ann artists and writers were veterans officially engaged as combat documentarians and/or military artists, like Larry O’Toole (1908-1951), marine artist, official USCG artist and WWII Veteran.

Ron Gilson visiting Larry O'Toole oils commisioned ca1945 by Ben Pine for YMCA and Master Mariners moved to Essex Shipbuilding-  then O'Maley ©c ryan.jpg
Author and historian Ron Gilson viewing Larry O’Toole murals at O’Maley Innovation School, originally commissioned by Ben Pine ca.1945; after fire and demolition, temporarily relocated to Essex Shipbuilding Museum ; rescued and returned to Gloucester by Raye Norris. When he was a teenager, Gilson helped O’Toole with general art handling-studio assistance such as readying and moving these murals.

 

Addison Center’s 1866 portrait of Ulysses S. Grant is to the left upon entry in City Hall. (On the right is a 1946 memorial commission by Marguerite Pearson to 5 WWII marines: Sherman B Ruth, Ralph Greely, Wilfred Ringer, John M. Sweet, and Robert M. Maguire.)

Others created art in response to their service experience like fine artist, Robert Stephenson (1935-2013).

Good Morning Gloucester readers have been following an indeliable original illustrated series, Stories from Vietnam, with illustrations and writing by David Hussey. The Gloucester Writers Center established a Veterans Writing Workshop in the fall of 2013 and published a compilation book, The Inner Voice and the Outer World, launched in December 2017.  Cape Ann Veterans Services brought copies of the children’s picture book, Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhoodand super volunteer readers, into local Kindergarten, first and second grades to read aloud in the classes. Copies of the book were gifted to the classroom libraries. (Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood ©2012 is by Valerie Pfundstein with illustrations by Aaron Anderson and foreword by John Vigiano Sr., a Marine Veteran and retired FDNY Captain, who honors his sons’ memories –both lost on 9/11– by volunteering his time and resources to Gold Star families and wounded heroes.) Gloucester native and Gold Star mother, Anita Coullard Dziedzic, helped support this outreach through Cape Ann Veterans Services, to honor her son Sgt. David J Coullard.

© c ryan Bradley Smith poet and veteran
Artists-veterans throughout Cape Ann. Bradley Smith, poet, veteran

NEXT MONTH, Rocky Neck Cultural Center will present a visual arts group exhibition featuring artists who are currently active or served in the military curated by fine artist and veteran Ken Hruby:

IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans, Curated by Ken Hruby
May 17 – June 24, 2018

Courtesy photos credit info and press release below from Rocky Neck.

  • Mourning the Loss of a Comrade, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR- Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Walking in Two Worlds, US Army Signals Linguist Cara Myhre, Served in Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Haunting Memories, Lt. Col. Deveon Sudduth, US Army, Served in Iraq
  • Ready for Ga Noi, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam
  • Woman Marine, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR, Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Through The Elephant Grass, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam

PRESS RELEASE – “The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) proudly presents “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans”, a multi-media, juried exhibition of over sixty works by more than thirty combat artists from the military services and by veterans making art from their experiences in zones of combat…Congressman Seth Moulton of the 6th congressional district of Massachusetts, himself a Marine Corps veteran of four tours in Iraq, states of this exhibition, The ‘incommunicable experience of war,’ as Oliver Wendel Holmes once described it, indeed often defies explanation by words alone. That veterans can share some of their experience through art can help us all better understand what they went through. And as a veteran myself, who returned to war with a camera after I left the Marines, I know how cathartic art can be for those of us who were there. The work of combat artists is important for civilians as well, to deepen their understanding of the lives of our service men and women, and their families. “In War and After” is an a very important exhibition for both communities.”

Few people are aware that when US military forces go to war, some of them carry, in addition to their weapons, their sketch pads, graphite pencils, watercolor brushes and cameras. These are combat artists, tasked to not only serve the combat mission but to record that mission in ways only an artist can.

Continue reading “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck”

BREAKING: GLOUCESTER STAGE OFFICIAL STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO ISRAEL HOROVITZ ALLEGATIONS

Gloucester Stage Company 

Press statement – November 30, 2017

 

Earlier this month, the Board of the Gloucester Stage Company received information about an allegation of sexual assault by Israel Horovitz. We cancelled plans to produce a Horovitz play in 2018 and agreed that under no circumstances would he continue to serve on the Board, ex officio, as artistic director emeritus. Mr. Horovitz denied the allegation and requested a meeting, but then resigned. We deeply regret that past complaints were mishandled. On behalf of the Board I apologize to the brave women who came forward in 1992 and 1993 but were not heard. We are individually and collectively appalled by the allegations, both old and new. Such behavior cannot be tolerated and our thoughts are with the women who were victimized. We are committed to making sure that GSC is a place where people are safe, free to do their best work, and to speak out without fear of reprisal.

Liz Neumeier, Board President

Board of Directors

Gloucester Stage Company

NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE charging Israel with sexual assault.