August 18, 2009
For Immediate Release
The Rogue Theatre
opens a new season and a new theatre with
In 1945, George Orwell wrote a satirical novel that sought to expose Stalinist Communism for the empty promise that it was. He created a world in which farm animals decide that they can run the world better than the farmers who exploit them by creating a utopian world in which everyone is equal. Except that some seem to be more equal than others. It still serves, today, as one of the best cautionary tales about power and corruption and the importance of vigilance in creating a working social system.
An innovative new adaptation by Andrew Periale gives us a fresh look at the classic story of revolution and assimilation. Told through puppetry and live action, six actors create all the residents of Manor Farm, both animal and human, and encourage the audience members to participate in the rebellion. From pigs to chickens, horses to crows, and, of course, the evil Farmer Jones, Animal Farm is a thoughtful, entertaining and contemporary look at a brilliant piece of classic literature.
Director Cynthia Meier says "When we were deciding with which play to open the new season in our new theatre, the vote was unanimous--ANIMAL FARM. The play includes many of the Rogue signature qualities--ensemble playing, creative staging, live music, storytelling, and as always, ideas worthy of our audience's time and thoughts."
Animal Farm previews on Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 7:30 P.M. Tickets for the preview performance are $18. Opening Night, on Friday, September 11 will be a special evening to celebrate the opening of the new Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y. The evening will begin at 6:00 P.M. with beverages and hors d'oeuvres from Delectables Restaurant & Catering on 4th Avenue and music by Bill Ronstadt, Bill Martin and Mindy Ronstadt. At 6:45, playwright Andrew Periale will welcome the audience with a few words about his adaptation. At 7:15, The Rogue Theatre's traditional musical pre-show begins at 7:15 and the performance will start at 7:30 P.M. Tickets for the Grand Opening Night celebration are $50.
Regular performances of Animal Farm will continue on Saturday, September 12 through Sunday, September 27. Curtain times are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 P.M. and Sundays at 2:00 P.M. The Rogue's musical pre-show begins 15 minutes before all performances. Tickets are $24; tickets for all performances can be purchased online at TheRogueTheatre.org or by calling our box office at 520-551-2053. Thursdays, September 17 and September 24 are pay-what-you-will performances. Reservations are encouraged. Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to the theatre, off Herbert Avenue, on the east side of the building.
The production sponsor for Animal Farm is Norma Davenport.
Animal Farm will be directed by The Rogue Theatre's Managing and Associate Artistic Director Cynthia Meier. For The Rogue, Ms. Meier has adapted and directed James Joyce's The Dead, directed Happy Days, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Fever, The Cherry Orchard and Orlando, and performed in Immortal Longings, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Red Noses, The Goat (Best Actress, Arizona Daily Star 2008 Mac Award), The Maids, Endymion and The Balcony. She also directed The Seagull (featuring Ken Ruta) for Tucson Art Theatre. For Chamber Music Plus Southwest, she has directed Talia Shire in Sister Mendelssohn and Edward Herrmann in Beloved Brahms. A co-founder of Bloodhut Productions, Cynthia has also performed in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Arizona Repertory Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire (Arizona Theatre Company), Blithe Spirit and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Michigan Repertory Theatre), Romeo & Juliet and Chicago Milagro (Borderlands Theatre), and A Namib Spring (1999 National Play Award winner). Cynthia is a Faculty member in Speech at Pima Community College and holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of Arizona. In 2000, Cynthia was awarded the Tucson YWCA Women on the Move Award.
The cast of Animal Farm includes:
- Jill Baker, who has previously performed with The Rogue Theatre in The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Cherry Orchard and Red Noses. Her favorite roles include Catherine in Proof at Beowulf Alley Theatre and Bertha in The Father at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. She has recently spent time acting in film in Mattie and D.I.Y., which she is also co-directing. She enjoys teaching theatre to young people and has directed numerous children's productions, including CYT's Narnia. She graduated with her BFA in Theatre Performance from Missouri State University.
- Avis Judd has previously performed with The Rogue Theatre in The Good Woman of Setzuan, as Dunyasha in The Cherry Orchard, as Sasha in Orlando, and Beatrice in Immortal Longings. Avis received her theatre degree from Northwestern University. Favorite roles include Olga in The Three Sisters, Fury in the English language premier of Héléne Cixious' The Perjured City, or the Awakening of the Furies; Faith in Invisible Theatre's production of Kindertransport, Emilia in Othello; and the title role in a one woman show, which she adapted and directed, about Bahá'í heroine Martha Root.
- Joseph McGrath is the Artistic Director for The Rogue Theatre where he has performed in The Fever, The Dead, Endymion, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Cherry Orchard, The Goat, Happy Days, Red Noses, Six Characters in Search of an Author, and Orlando, and has directed Immortal Longings, The Balcony, Endymion, The Maids (winner of the Arizona Daily Star 2007 Mac Award for Best Play) and Red Noses. Joe is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Drama. He has toured with John Houseman's Acting Company and performed with the Utah Shakespearean Festival. In Tucson, he is a frequent performer with Ballet Tucson. He has also performed with Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, Tucson Art Theatre, Arizona OnStage, Green Thursday Theatre Project, Damesrocket Theatre, and Old Pueblo Playwrights.
- David Morden has appeared with The Rogue Theatre in the ensemble of Orlando, Madame Pace in Six Characters in Search of an Author, The Pope in Red Noses, Yephikhov in The Cherry Orchard, The Man in the Silver Dress in the preshow to The Maids and Glaucus in Endymion. David has directed The Rogue Theatre's production of The Goat (2008 Mac Award for Best Director and Best Play) and Six Characters in Search of an Author. He has performed locally in the chorus at Arizona Opera, as well as with Arizona Onstage Productions, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Phoenix and Green Thursday Theatre Project, of which he was a co-founder. David has directed productions with Green Thursday, Oasis Chamber Opera, DreamerGirl Productions and Arts For All.
- John Shartzer has performed with The Rogue Theatre in Orlando and Six Characters in Search of an Author and with the Now Theatre in The Zoo Story and Cigarettes & Chocolate. A senior at the University of Arizona, John has performed with the Arizona Repertory Theatre in Titus Andronicus and Candide, S.O.S. Productions in Lucky Stiff, Arizona Broadway Theatre in Grease, Arizona Opera in Semele, and in the UA Review 'S Wonderful. John is a member of the improv troupe The Charles Darwin Experience.
- Daved Wilkins began his acting career (arguably at birth) doing community theatre in Austin, Texas and, after an ill-advised stint in the corporate world (complete with a B.S. in Business from ASU), Daved is now devoted full time to acting, thanks to the loving support of his perfect wife Melissa. Daved has spent the last year working with The Gaslight Theatre and even managed to film a couple of commercials you can see if you live in Phoenix.
Harlan Hokin returns, once again, as Musical Director for Animal Farm. Previous shows with The Rogue Theatre include Immortal Longings, Orlando, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Red Noses, The Goat, The Cherry Orchard, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Maids, Endymion, The Dead and The Balcony. He has performed extensively as a singer in Europe and the United States, including a stint with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He earned a doctorate in historical performance practice from Stanford, and has taught at Stanford and UC Santa Cruz. Other local theatre work includes Vocal Director for Arizona Onstage Productions' production of Assassins and Music Director for Arizona Theatre Company's Summer On Stage program. He is currently serving as Artistic Director for the Arizona Early Music Society.
David Shack, the stage manager for Animal Farm, has held many different positions in the performing arts field. As a stage manager he has worked for New Mexico Repertory Theatre, Grove Shakespeare Festival, University of Oklahoma, and SRT in Santa Rosa, California. He worked as a Production and Program Coordinator for the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival and New York University, where he was also an Event Coordinator. David spent many years at The Santa Fe Opera, first as Box Office Manager and later as Assistant Marketing Director. He was Assistant Box Office Manager/Group Sales Coordinator at UApresents. At Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, David worked as both the Community Engagement Coordinator and, subsequently, Community Marketing Associate. He holds a BFA in Stage Management from CalArts and is completing his MA in Performing Arts Administration at New York University.
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