2010-2011 Main Stage Season
See what the Arizona Daily Star said about our season! [click here]
In our continuing mission to enrich the community and enhance appreciation of the arts through the production of innovative, invigorating theatre and theatrical education with the highest standards for acting and production, five plays have been chosen for the subscription series that celebrate an international mix of playwrights.
Shining City by Conor McPherson
Directed by Susan Arnold
September 10-26, 2010
Shining City has been described as a "modern day ghost story about human contact." Set in a therapist's office in Dublin, the play grapples with faith, guilt and redemption, underscoring the failures of language to communicate the truth. A middle-aged man (John) who has recently seen the ghost of his deceased wife seeks professional help from a priest-turned-therapist (Ian). The travails of the guilt-ridden John offer more than professional fodder for Ian and the routine visits become a gripping struggle to survive.
I was blown away…Conor McPherson's … play is haunting, inspired and glorious. — NY Times
One of Ireland’s most prominent contemporary playwrights, Conor McPherson has won overwhelming acclaim for his insightful, meditative plays, which focus with a quiet, unblinking eye on the big themes: the crisis of modern masculinity, spirituality, frailty, solitude and – of course – death. In a review of his twice Tony award-nominated 2004 play Shining City, the Daily Telegraph called McPherson ‘‘the finest dramatist of his generation’’. Awards for his theatre work include the Laurence Olivier Award, Evening Standard Award, Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, George Devine Award, Meyer-Whitworth Award and the Stewart Parker Award.
Susan Arnold, Director, works in theatre and film as an actor, director, writer and producer. Her directorial credits include Last of the Boys (April ’10), Dinner with Friends, and Stones in His Pockets with Beowulf Alley, where she contributes to the Artistic Development Committee. Susan served as Artistic Director for the Attic Theatre in Detroit, MI and is the recipient of several theatre excellence awards for acting and directing. She has appeared on stage in a number of productions including most recently Cleopatra in Immortal Longings and Claire in the production of The Maids at The Rogue Theatre. She is a member of Screen Actors’ Guild and Actors’ Equity Association and currently serves as Artistic Director for C.A.S.T. Clean and Sober Theatre in Tucson.
The Transylvanian Clockworks by Don Nigro
Directed by Dave Sewell
October 22-November 7, 2010
The Transylvanian Clockworks is an investigation of the Dracula myth in a powerful, complex, darkly funny and utterly terrifying vampire play unlike any you have ever experienced. Set in London and Transylvania in 1888 the year of Jack the Ripper, it captures the erotic power and poetry of Stoker's novel while looking more deeply into the characters' souls to examine the sensual and frightening undercurrents of this captivating Victorian tale. A complex labyrinth of fear, desire, violence and lurking evil spirals into a horrific and surprising conclusion. The Transylvania Clockworks is an elegant, original, subtle, poetic and exhilarating piece of Gothic theatre. What happens when a powerfully sensual Count from the dark woods of Romania obsesses with a photograph of three alluring woman, and journeys to London where Jack the Ripper is eviscerating unaccompanied ladies? The Victorian men become threatened by his hypnotic eroticism that seems to unlace corsets.
"Initially, all signs indicate a standard Dracula rehash. Then Clockworks expands into some interesting, if not altogether unexpected, regions. Playwright Don Nigro is concerned with preconceptions of the peculiar, with how moralizing begets monstrosity (and not so much vice versa)." The Stranger
Prolific American-born playwright, Don Nigro, is the author of challenging and indefinable plays that deal with madness, sex, obsession, history and love. He is considered the most published American playwright with over 200 scripts.
Dave Sewell, Director, directed Wait Until Dark and Arcadia for Beowulf Alley. He is a member of the Artistic Development Committee and currently serves as the Youth Education Director for BATC’s ActingKids@the Alley. A native of Southern California, Dave has directed over thirty productions and participated in countless others as an actor, set designer, or technician. Since moving to Tucson in 1995, He has worked with Catalina Players, Desert Players, Old Pueblo Playwrights, Stark Naked Productions, and Tucson Theatre Ensemble. He has directed plays in a wide variety of genres, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, ‘night, Mother, Measure for Measure, Galileo, and Deathtrap. Dave holds a degree in Theatre from the University of California, Riverside.
Blackbird by David Harrower
Directed by Laura Lippman
December 3-19, 2010
From the time of Adam and Eve, we have been fascinated by that which is forbidden – and nothing more so than forbidden love. David Harrower's electrifying and explosive play, Blackbird, has Ray confronting his past when Una arrives unannounced at his office. Guilt and raw emotions run high as they recollect the passionate love affair they had fifteen years earlier. As tensions rise, we are left to question: When is love abuse? And can we ever break free from the shackles of the past? A hit of the Edinburgh Festival and winner of the 2007 Olivier Award and a critically acclaimed hit in New York and London, Blackbird is a provocative, no-holds-barred drama that both chills and thrills.
Contains mature themes. No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
A fascinating and unnerving ninety-minute cat-and-mouse tale of revenge and sexual intrigue, with genuine theatricality and undeniable shock value. —Associated Press
Scottish playwright, David Harrower's plays include Knives in Hens, Kill the Old, Torture Their Young, Presence, and Dark Earth. Blackbird was shortlisted for the Saltire Society Book of the Year Award and won the 2007 Lawrence Olivier Award for Best New Play.
Laura Lippman, Director, recently relocated to Tucson from Orlando, Florida. Recent Orlando directing credits include Rockaby and Endgame for Empty Spaces Theatre Company’s Beckett Festival and movement director for Equus at Rollins College. In addition, Laura has directed and developed new plays for over a decade, including recent works such as Charm and Letters to Sala at Orlando PlayFest, The Toymaker’s War for the National New Play Network Showcase, Upright Position, Destination: Reality and Transference with the Women Playwrights’ Initiative and Songs my Brother Sang for the GLBT New Works Series. She also adapted and directed Euripides’ Cyclops for the 2008 American Philological Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago along with her husband Mike. Laura studied acting at Bennington College and The Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales. She received her MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Lydia Borowicz
January 21-February 6, 2011
Playwright Sarah Ruhl re-imagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Orpheus lives in musical reverie, Eurydice in the intrigue of words and interesting ideas. A victim of manipulation by the Lord of The Underworld, Eurydice dies on her wedding day. She is reunited with her father in the Underworld, where together they struggle to recall the memory of lost love. With characters you might meet on a NY subway, quirky plot twists, and breathtaking imagery, the play is a magical dip in the flow the unconscious.
Rhapsodically beautiful. A weird and wonderful new play [Eurydice] - an inexpressibly moving theatrical fable about love, loss and the pleasures and pains of memory. The New York Times
Sarah Ruhl is a fresh, compelling, and versatile American playwright. Her play, Eurydice, was written while a graduate student at Brown University. She received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship award. This young playwright is emerging as a powerful presence in the American theater. Ruhl’s play, The Clean House, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005. Her plays have been produced throughout the U.S. and Europe at such venues as the Lincoln Center Theater, New York, the Actor’s Centre, London, the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, among many others.
Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Sheldon Metz
February 25-March 13, 2011
Loaded with savage irony, surreal humor and a touch of melodrama, Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane looks at the malevolence of people leading hopeless lives.
Set in 1989 in the small village of Leenane (pronounced leh-nan) in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland, the play tells the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman, and Mag, her manipulative aging mother, whose interference in Maureen’s first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship set in motion a terrifying train of events.
…a proper, perfectly plotted drama that sets out, above all, to tell a story as convincingly and disarmingly as possible. –New York Times
Anglo-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh has no formal training, but a sheaf of plays he wrote during one long stretch back in 1994 turned him into one of the most celebrated new English-language dramatists of his generation. Nearly all of McDonagh's plays are set in Ireland, and draw heavily from Irish idiom and culture in their skewering of once-sacrosanct literary and political ideals.McDonagh became the first playwright since William Shakespeare to have four of his plays produced professionally in London in a single season. A school drop-out, McDonagh wrote “Beauty Queen” in just eight days and earned a London Critics Circle Award and Evening Standard Award (both in 1996), a Drama Desk Award (1998), and six Tony Award nominations, four awarded (1998).
Sheldon Metz, Director, directed the MAC Award-nominated Proof and the World Premier of Gavin Kayner’s Noche de los Muertos at Beowulf Alley. He currently serves on Beowulf Alley’s Artistic Development Committee and is Program Chair for the Old Time Radio Theatre. Sheldon is an actor, set designer, director and served as Executive Director of A.C.C.T., too! - The Association of Commercial and Community Theatres - the West Coast Theatre Conference (Los Angeles) and The Theatre Conference (New York). He also served as a Producing Director for the Playwrights Kitchen Ensemble (PKE ), under the Artistic Direction of Dan Lauria.