December 29, 2009
For Immediate Release
The Rogue Theatre
presents Thornton Wilder's classic
In 1937, Thornton Wilder wrote a play that was revolutionary, yet theatrical; profound, yet simple; and heartwarming, while dealing with issues such as mortality and death. That play, Our Town, has become one of the best-loved scripts of the American Theatre and an important snapshot of life at the beginning of the 20th century. It follows the lives of the citizens of a small New Hampshire town painting an intimate portrait of a community as it strives to create lives that are stable, solid and honest and to better themselves and the world around them. Spanning a 15-year period of time, we see the folks of Grover's Corners, growing up, falling in love, dreaming of far horizons and facing death and what's beyond. Adding dimension to the story is the fact that all of this is played out on a virtually empty stage, allowing the viewer's imagination to paint the picture of Grover's Corners before them and to participate in creating this story with the actors. A masterpiece of simplicity and grace, Our Town is a brilliant creation where life, in all its brutality and wonder, is laid bare for our examination and appreciation.
In reflecting on the scope of the play, Director Joe McGrath says, "Wilder's point of view in Our Town is singular. It is not just reflections on life in a New England small town, but those reflections from the perspective of eternity. We are encouraged to see our lives from greater and greater distance, until finally--far from detaching us--life's value and delicacy is made painfully clear--a jewel in a vast universe."
- Our Town previews on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 7:30P.M. Tickets for the preview performance are $18.
- Opening Night is on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 7:30 P.M.
- Regular performances of Our Town continue on Saturday, January 9 through Sunday, January 24, 2010.
- Curtain times are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 P.M. and Sundays at 2:00P.M
- Tickets are $24 and can be purchased online at TheRogueTheatre.org or by calling our ticket and information line at 520-551-2053.
- Thursday, January 14 and January 21 are pay-what-you-will performances. Reservations are encouraged.
- Half-price student rush tickets are available 15 minutes before curtain, with student ID.
The production sponsor for Our Town is Nancy Reeder.
Our Town will be directed by Joseph McGrath, who 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, Orlando, Animal Farm and A Delicate Balance and has directed The Balcony, Endymion, The Maids (winner of the Arizona Daily Star 2007 Mac Award for Best Play), Red Noses and Immortal Longings, which he also authored. 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 has been a frequent performer with Ballet Tucson appearing in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dracula and The Nutcracker. He has also performed with Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, Tucson Art Theatre, Arizona OnStage, Green Thursday, Damesrocket Theatre, and Old Pueblo Playwrights in such plays as The Seagull, Assassins, Oleanna, Threepenny Opera and Anger Box.
The cast of Our Town includes:
- Paul Barby (Simon Stimson) studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. That was followed by classes with Lee Strasberg of Actors Studio fame. During the late 1960's, he appeared professionally in musicals with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the St. Louis Muny Opera and Houston's Sharps Town Music Theatre. While living in Albuquerque during the 1970's, he appeared in numerous plays and musicals, among them the lead roles in Boys in the Band and Promises, Promises.
- Daria Berg (Rebecca Gibbs) is remembered by Tucson theatre-goers as Amaryllis in the Arizona Repertory Theatre's Music Man and as one of the "no-neck monsters" in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. An avid softball player, Daria is an 8th-grader at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy.
- Dylan Connelly (Joe/Si Crowell) is a 6th grader at Orange Grove Middle School with interests in history and science. Our Town is Dylan's first production.
- Bill Epstein (Professor Willard) is a Professor of English at the University of Arizona. He has played leads in mummers' plays, commedia dell'arte, musicals (West Side Story, Bells Are Ringing), comedies (Plaza Suite, Light Up the Sky, I Hate Hamlet), and dramas (Old Times, Antigone, Educating Rita). In Tucson, he has acted with, among others, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Beowulf Alley Theatre Company, Borderlands Theatre, Live Theatre Workshop and Quintessential Productions. This is his second appearance with The Rogue Theatre.
- Terry Erbe (Stage Manager) returns to The Rogue Theatre after a long absence, having appeared previously in The Balcony. Terry is in his tenth year teaching and directing theatre at Catalina Foothills High School, and he can be seen occasionally around town in various productions. Recent acting credits include Leaving Iowa and The Exonerated at The Invisible Theatre and Of Mice and Men at Beowulf Alley Theatre Company.
- Todd Fitzpatrick (Howie Newsome) most recently appeared as Leslie in Beowulf Alley Theatre Company's production of Seascape. He previously performed with The Rogue Theatre in The Cherry Orchard, Red Noses and Six Characters in Search of an Author. Other roles he has performed include Linus in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and Jesus in Godspell. Todd appeared as Lon in the HBO film El Diablo and has studied at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.
- Alexandra Franklin (Emily Webb) recently moved to Tucson after earning a BFA in Acting from Illinois Wesleyan University. Prior to coming to Tucson, Ali toured the state of Tennessee with the National Theatre for Children. Ali also enjoys long form improv, which she studied at Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis for a number of years.
- Roberto Guajardo (Dr. Gibbs) has frequently appeared with Arizona Theatre Company, Borderlands Theatre, Invisible Theatre, Beowulf Alley Theatre Company and Arizona Repertory Theatre. Roberto has also worked extensively in theatres throughout the state, including Arizona Jewish Theatre, Actor's Theatre of Phoenix, Phoenix Theatre and four seasons with the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts. Regional credits include appearances at Seattle Repertory Theatre, San José Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre and The Pasadena Playhouse. In 2008, Roberto was honored to receive TPAC's Lumie Award for Lifetime Achievement for outstanding contribution to the arts in Pima County.
- Janet Lynn Henderson (Louella Soames) is acting with The Rogue Theatre for the first time. She has been seen in The Full Monty and Jewtopia with Arizona Onstage Productions; Noche de los Muertos for Beowulf Alley Theatre Company; Rags: The New American Musical for Borderlands Theatre; Pippin, Man of La Mancha and A Secret Garden with UMC Fine Arts; and All in the Timing and The Laramie Project for Pima Community College Theatre Arts.
- Art Jacobson (Constable Warren) is appearing in his sixth Rogue Theatre production. Rogue audiences saw him first as the Envoy in The Balcony and most recently as Firs in The Cherry Orchard. He has also appeared in productions by Borderlands Theatre, Old Pueblo Playwrights, and Beowulf Alley Theatre Company.
- Celia Madeoy (Mrs. Webb) is in her third year on faculty at the School of Theatre Arts' Professional BFA Training Program and a company artist/vocal coach with Arizona Repertory Theatre. Past ART credits include Joanne in Company, Grace in Bus Stop, Nurse in Medea, Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man and Josephine Strong in Urinetown. Professionally, she has performed with numerous regional theatres including the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Folger Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, Child's Play Touring Theatre, and with Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Shakespeare Festivals. She also played Kate opposite two-time OBIE award-winner Rocco Sisto in The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare & Company and was named most outstanding actress of the Berkshires that season.
- Jesse McCain (Sam Craig) is a sophomore at the University of Arizona. He was recently seen as part of Debut through the University of Arizona School of Theatre Arts, as well as Detective George Blumberg in the murder mystery Dedicated To The End for the U of A family weekend. Previously, Jesse was seen in Dracula, The Crucible and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Sabino High School.
- Cynthia Meier (Mrs. Gibbs) is the Managing and Associate Artistic Director for The Rogue Theatre for which she has adapted and directed James Joyce's The Dead, directed Animal Farm, Orlando, Happy Days, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Fever and The Cherry Orchard, and performed in A Delicate Balance, 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. 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 and Juliet and Chicago Milagro (Borderlands Theatre), A Namib Spring (1999 National Play Award winner) and Smirnova's Birthday, The Midnight Caller and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (Tucson Art Theatre).
- David Morden (Mr. Webb) has directed The Rogue Theatre's productions of A Delicate Balance, The Goat (2008 Arizona Daily Star Mac Award) and Six Characters in Search of an Author. David has appeared with The Rogue Theatre in Animal Farm, Orlando, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Red Noses, The Cherry Orchard, the preshow to The Maids and in Endymion. As a singer, he has performed in the chorus of Arizona Opera's production of The Threepenny Opera, Die Fledermaus, The Flying Dutchman, Susannah and The Mikado. He has acted locally with Arizona Onstage Productions (Assassins), Actors Theatre (The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)) and Green Thursday Theatre Project (Anger Box, Rain).
- Robert Anthony Peters (George Gibbs) completed his BS at the University of Arizona in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, was subsequently a Koch Fellow in Washington, DC, and went on to train at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City. A few of his films that are available to the purchasing public are The Pursuit of Happyness, Revolution Summer, The Village Barbershop, Wasted, and many more that have yet to see the light of day. He is the president of Laissez Faire Media (laissezfairemedia.com) and a member of SAG, AFTRA, and Theatre Bay Area.
- Dylan Stringer (Wally Webb) is currently a theatre student at Catalina Foothills High School. Dylan has played the saxophone, the piano and other instruments for several years, and has been an active member of his school's jazz program and others around town.
- Brian Taraz (Joe Stoddard) makes his debut with The Rogue with this production. Previously, Brian performed the role of Harold in Black Comedy at Beowulf Alley Theatre Company. The bulk of Brian's theatrical acting has taken place in San Diego, performing in numerous Shakespeare plays like Macbeth, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as Marat/Sade, Book of Days, The Trial and I Hate Hamlet.
- Harlan Hokin (Musical Director) 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. Harlan is an active workshop teacher and writer on topics of interest to singers and early music performers. Recent theatrical involvement has been with The Rogue Theatre as Musical Director for A Delicate Balance, Animal Farm, 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, and Arizona Onstage Productions as Vocal Director for their production of Assassins. Harlan has also served as Music Director for Arizona Theatre Company's Summer On Stage program. He is currently serving as Artistic Director for the Arizona Early Music Society and is the father of two nearly perfect children.
The Rogue Theatre's mission is to create the highest quality theatre possible;
challenging, stretching, and invigorating our community.
LANGUAGE by placing primary value on quality language and literature;
ENSEMBLE by developing performers who seek continuous improvement and creating an academy for training ourselves and emerging theatre artists;
CHALLENGING IDEAS by presenting plays which offer complex and provocative points of view
related to important social, political, and personal issues.
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