For Immediate Release
August 20, 2008
Bevan Brunelle Bluemer: 520.884.8210 Ext. 8205
ATC SEASON OPENS WITH AN ENCHANTED APRIL
A romantic comedy about rediscovering life’s joy on a vacation in Italy
Arizona Theatre Company opens its 2008-2009 season with the heartwarming Enchanted April, a magical tale of love, longing and reawakening to life’s simple pleasures. Beginning in London, Enchanted April travels from the gloom of a British winter to an Italian castle situated in a paradise overflowing with foliage and warmth. Adapted for the stage by Matthew Barber from Elizabeth Von Armin’s beloved novel, this Tony-nominated play has charmed virtually everyone who has experienced it. The Los Angeles Times called it “a lush, thoroughly refreshing theatrical holiday. A magical triumph.” Directed by Timothy Near, Enchanted April plays in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art from September 13 through October 4. It continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from October 9 through October 26. Arizona Theatre Company’s season underwriters are I. Michael and Beth Kasser.
“To those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine. Small castle on the Mediterranean, Northern Italy, to be let for the month of April.” That simple newspaper notice inspires a quartet of British women to rent a villa for one blissful spring in 1922, where their lives of ordered regularity blossom into glorious disarray. Seduced by cinnamon breezes, they learn to let their hair, and their guards, down and awaken to the simple joys of friendship, love and marriage. Enchanted April is a heartwarming, verdant comedy about the romantic rediscovery of life's enchantments.
“The play is a marvelous reminder that the true value of adventure is to discover not only who we are but who we could be given an entirely different environment,” says director Timothy Near, “Enchanted April is the most hopeful play I have ever read. It is an adventure love story about changing your life. Real change is easy to say and hard to do. It takes great courage and great faith, and Lottie and Rose are willing to risk everything - even Italian plumbing. I am so happy to be able to live in this material for awhile and to be working at ATC, one of the most respected theatre companies in America.”
Matthew Barber (Playwright) had his first full-length play, Enchanted April, make its Broadway debut in 2003, garnering that year’s John Gassner Award for Outstanding New American Play and a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. Subsequently published in both the U.S. and U.K., Enchanted April continues to enjoy award-winning productions throughout North America and Europe. Barber’s 2005 screenplay, Independence, was named a finalist in that year’s Slamdance Screenwriting Competition and is currently in development. He resides in Los Angeles and is working on several new projects. He is a UCLA graduate in literature and drama.
Timothy Near (Director) recently concluded 21 years of service as Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre during which time she directed over 30 plays and led the company to be among the most respected and artistically adventurous resident theatres in the country. In the spring of 2008, she left her Artistic Director position to resume her career as a free lance director. Ms. Near has directed at numerous theatres throughout the U.S., including Intiman Theatre, ACT Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, The New York Shakespeare Festival, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Center Repertory Theatre and Portland Center Stage. She has directed two operas, The Crucible and Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera San Jose. She is also an actress and is the recipient of New York’s Obie Award for her performance in Still Life.
Portraying the women at the center of Enchanted April are four distinguished actresses: Kathryn Meisle (Rose Arnott), who most recently appeared in A Flea in her Ear at The Williamstown Theater Festival. Her Broadway credits include Tartuffe (Tony Award nomination and Calloway Award), A Touch of the Poet, The Constant Wife, London Assurance, The Rehearsal and Racing Demon. Off-Broadway appearances include Living Out (Second Stage), Old Money (Lincoln Center Theater), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (New York Theatre Workshop) and Twelfth Night, As You Like It (Drama Desk nomination) and Othello (New York Shakespeare Festival); Finnerty Steeves (Lotty Wilton), who has performed in New York in Almost, Maine, Marion Bridge, Tumor and Diary of a Chambermaid. Regionally, she has appeared in The Norman Conquests at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Hedda Gabler at American Conservatory Theatre, Lost in Yonkers at the Guthrie Theater and Picnic at CENTERSTAGE, among others; Patricia Kilgarriff (Mrs. Graves) who has appeared on Broadway in Steel Magnolias, Tartuffe, James Joyce's The Dead, A Delicate Balance, Night Must Fall, Lettice and Lovage, Shirley Valentine, Noises Off! (also National Tour) and The Man Who Had Three Arms, among others. Off-Broadway, her appearances include Time and Again, Kinderstransport, All's Well That Ends Well and Counting the Ways. Ms. Kilgarriff’s regional appearances include A Woman of No Importance (Connecticut Critics Outstanding Performance Award), Happy Days (directed by Edward Albee) and Shirley Valentine (Drammy Award); Monette Magrath (Lady Caroline) who has appeared in New York productions of The Seagull; Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean; and The Stronger. Her regional credits include Stick Fly at McCarter Theatre Center, Book of Days at Arena Stage, The Night is a Child (world premiere) at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Ice-Breaker and The Laramie Project at The Laguna Playhouse and Enchanted April at both The Cleveland Play House and Pasadena Playhouse.
The men in their lives are played by Al Espinosa (Frederick Arnott), who was last seen at ATC in Anna and the Tropics. Mr. Espinosa appeared most recently as Lennie in Of Mice and Men at Pasadena Playhouse. On Broadway, he has been seen in Getting Away with Murder and Sacrilege. Off-Broadway, he has appeared in As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Santa Concepcion at New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre and The Knee Desires the Dirt at WP&P. Tony Roach (Antony Wilding) is making his ATC debut. His New York credits include Officer/Brett Arrow In Cop Out and Glen in The Life I’ve Chosen. Regionally, he has played Cleante in The Imaginary Invalid (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Pip/Theo in Three Days of Rain, (Vermont Stage Company), Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis), Paris/Romeo in Romeo & Juliet (American Repertory Theatre) and Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Birmingham Festival Theatre). Internationally, he has appeared as Stavrogin in Dostoevsky's Devil's and Pentheus in Bacchae (Moscow Art Theatre Second Stage). Matthew Floyd Miller (Mellersh Wilton) appeared on Broadway in Not About Nightingales at Circle in the Square and The Invention of Love at Lincoln Center Theatre. Off-Broadway, he has been seen in Of Mice and Men at Urban Stages, Letters from Cuba at Signature Theatre and The Seagull at NYU Director's Lab. His regional credits include Katurian in The Pillowman (ACT Theatre), This Wonderful Life (Portland Center Stage), A Prayer For Owen Meany (Playmakers Repertory Company), Desire Under The Elms (1999 Dean Goodman Choice, Bay Area Theatre Award, San Jose Rep.) and The Bald Soprano (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey).
Also featured is Lynne Soffer (Costanza) who most recently appeared in Heartbreak House at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Rabbit Hole at San Jose Repertory Theatre and Ambition Facing West at Theaterworks. She has also acted in productions with American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Opera, California Shakespeare Theater, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Magic Theatre, among others.
The artistic team for Enchanted April includes Kent Dorsey (Scenic Designer) who returns to ATC where his many designs include Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, For Better or Worse, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Work Song (ariZoni Award). His New York credits include About Time, Alligator Tales, Another Antigone, The Cocktail Hour, Silence, Suds and Yankee Dawg You Die. Mr. Dorsey has also designed scenery and/or lighting for most of the major resident theatre companies including over 95 productions for the Old Globe Theatre; Maggie Morgan (Costume Designer) has designed costumes in New York for Soho Repertory Theatre, HB Playwrights and NADA, as well as A Little Traveling Music at The Hideaway Room @ Helen’s (Nightlife Award). Her recent west coast credits include the national tour of The Caine Mutiny for L.A. Theatre Works, Sunset Boulevard at the Hollywood Bowl, Pasadena Playhouse, Deaf/West, South Coast Repertory and the Mark Taper Forum; David Lee Cuthbert (Lighting Designer) designed the Broadway, National and International productions of Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays. He also designed the national tour of The History (and Mystery) of the Universe and two tours with The New Pickle Family Circus. Internationally, he designed Terminal, directed by Joseph Chaikin. Mr. Cuthbert has also designed for San Jose Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, South Coast Rep, The Group Theatre, Magic Theatre, ACT Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Syracuse Stage and PS122; Brian Jerome Peterson (Sound Designer) celebrates his 23rd season and 55th sound design for ATC, where he has designed, among many others, Touch the Names, I Am My Own Wife, Molly’s Delicious, Tuesdays with Morrie, Crowns, Macbeth, Permanent Collection, The Pirates of Penzance, and the world premieres of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Inventing van Gogh, Rocket Man, Minor Demons, and The Holy Terror. His designs have also been heard at Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, Cleveland Play House, Coconut Grove, Northlight, Kansas City Rep, Portland Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville and San Jose Rep. Glenn Bruner is the Production Stage Manager.
Arizona Theatre Company offers accessibility services for patrons with disabilities for select performances. Audio Description provides patrons with vision loss a running audio description of the movement and activities onstage through an infrared broadcast system. Audio-described performances are offered on October 1st at 2 PM and October 2nd at 2 PM. Interested patrons may request a tactile tour one hour prior to curtain. American Sign Language interpretation is presented by professional theatrically-trained ASL-interpreters for people who have deafness or hearing impairment. An ASL-interpreted performance is offered on October 2nd at 7:30 PM. Open-captioning allows patrons to read the play’s dialogue on an LED screen as the play progresses. An open-captioned performance is offered on October 2nd at 2 PM. For Open-captioned or ASL-interpreted performances, patrons should request seats best suited to ASL interpretation or captioning when purchasing tickets. Large Print and Braille playbills and Infrared listening amplification devices are also available at every ATC performance with reservation. TTY access for the box office is available in Tucson at (520) 884-9723 or via Arizona Relay at (800) 367-8939 (TTY/ASCII).
Tickets range from $26-$50 depending on date and section choice and are available at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling the box office at (520) 622-2823. Discounts are available for students, seniors and active military on specific performance days. Half-price student rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability; must show ID). Ten Dollar Tuesday for Enchanted April is September 16. Balcony seats for this preview performance are available for a suggested $10 donation. (Tickets must be purchased at the ATC Box Office starting at 11 AM on September 16. Seating is first-come, first served and is not guaranteed. Cash only, please. Two tickets per person maximum.) For discounts on groups of eight or more, call (520) 622-2823.
For more information about Arizona Theatre Company's 2008-2009 Season, visit www.arizonatheatre.org.
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