MATTHEW BARBER (Playwright) was born in Los Angeles, California, and studied literature and drama at UCLA. His first stage play, Enchanted April, premiered at Hartford Stage in 2000, followed by a Broadway production in 2003, earning the John Gassner Award for Outstanding New American Play and Drama League and Tony Award nominations for Best Play. Subsequently published in both the U.S. and UK, Enchanted April continues to enjoy award-winning productions throughout the world. Matthew currently lives in New York City. His original screenplay, Independence, and a new stage play, Eleanor & Abel, are in development.
This Sunday Night
February 22nd • 3pm & 7pm
Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl, Director: Pat Kight. The play was awarded a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play in 2008. It’s a quirky, surrealistic, hallucinatory and bizarre fantasy. A woman answers the cell phone of a stranger who dies in a café. Instead of turning the phone over to authorities she keeps it and takes messages from the dead man’s business associates, friends, family members, even his mistress. The more we learn about the man the more we realize he was a terrible person who loved himself far more than anyone else in his life. However, the woman’s imaginative reinvention of his character brings peace to his family.
Sarah Ruhl’s thoughts on dressed down or “poor theater”.
Auditions for Enchanted April, Tragedy Full of Joy: Stories by Bernard Malamud, and The Language Archive are Feb 2-3 2015 7:30 PM at the Majestic Theater. Report to the Community Room on the second floor of the Majestic Theater. Scripts for these shows are available for checkout at the Majestic Theater business office.
Attached is the Audition Form 2 that you can print out and fill out in advance. Bring it with you to the auditions. You can also forward this form to friends who you think might be interested.
March 29, 2015 – Director: Leigh Matthews Bock, Enchanted April by Matthew Barber . When two unhappy London housewives rent a villa in Italy for an impulsive holiday away from their husbands, they recruit a pair of independent upper-class women to share the cost and the experience. Alone together under the Mediterranean sun, all four women clash — and then begin to bloom — until men once again upset the balance. A classic fable of loss, hope, and romantic rebirth. (3 men, 5 women)
April 26, 2015 – Director: Robert Leff, Tragedy Full of Joy: Stories by Bernard Malamud. Malamud was a novelist famous for writing The Natural and author of many short stories. Leff has read all 55 of Malamud stories and has adapted four to the stage. Malamud taught at Oregon State College from 1949 to 1961. The performance date is the 101st anniversary of Malamud’s birth.
The chosen four are: Steady Customer 1943; The Magic Barrel, The Jewbird 1963 and A Wig 1980.
May 24, 2015 – Director Michael Winder, The Language Archive by Julia Cho. George is a man consumed with preserving and documenting the dying languages of far-flung cultures. Closer to home, language is failing him. He doesn’t know what to say to his wife and he doesn’t recognize the deep feelings that his lab assistant has for him. (2 men 3 women)
He knows not, who lives most easily on land ,
How I have spent my winter on ice cold sea,
Wretched and anxious, in the paths of exile
Lacking dear friends, hung round by Icicles
While hail flew past in showers….
Playwright Conor McPherson chose this quote from a 1,200 year old Anglo Saxon poem to preface and inform his contemporary play “The Seafarer” in which four friends gather for a Christmas Eve poker game. The outwardly convivial atmosphere masks the loneliness and anxiety the men all feel as they grow older but no wiser. Richard has recently gone blind and his estranged younger brother “Sharky” has reluctantly come home to take care of him. Nicky and Ivan spend more time in a casual alcoholic haze in pubs than with the wives and children they do care for. When the mysterious Mr Lockhart joins the game he, too, reveals a soul shaping experience of the ice cold depths, for he has come to settle an old debt and play for one of their souls. Faust meets The Christmas Carol in present day Dublin.
Ireland has long been a land where folklore, legend, myth, and reality coexist, where leprechauns and fairies gather in the glens from which St Patrick banished the snakes and the Devil lurks in the shadows of a cobblestoned lane to tempt the unwary. So in this play the Devil and the Banshee are just as concrete as the streets of modern Dublin. You can walk up Suffolk street and down Grafton Street. You can pause for a pint in each of the pubs Nicky describes. You can be chilled by the cold silent moon Lockhart contemplates and you will be warmed by the Christmas sunrise behind Bin Edar.
Our December production Greetings! directed by Don Taco opens in a week, Sunday December 28th for two performances 3 PM and 7 PM. Do you must know somebody who will be aching for entertainment via a feel-good Christmas story between the Holidays? Please invite them this week. Here is the story: Andy (Gary Prince) has a sweet Catholic mother (Wendy McCoy), a sour Catholic father (Rus Roberts) and a severely retarded younger brother named Mickey (Chuck Skinner). When Andy brings his Jewish atheist fiancé (Catherine Polan Orzech) to meet the folks on Christmas Eve, his worst fears about family blow-ups are realized. But when Mickey, whose entire vocabulary has been limited to “oh boy” and “wow,” suddenly spouts the word “Greetings!” the entire family’s belief system is turned upside down. For it seems an ancient, wise and witty spirit who is set upon healing the family’s wounds has borrowed Mickey’s body! Think “Abie’s Irish Rose” meets “All in the Family” with a mixture of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. Depending on your age Google as many of the previous references you need to.
Get your tickets here now.
PLAYWRIGHT Actor-turned-playwright Tom Dudzick has written two other familiar pieces: Over The Tavern and King of The Moon.
Mr. Dudzick attended Catholic school in 1950’s New York and incorporates many personal experiences into his writing.