Reading of Aaron Posner's Chekhov adaptation, 7 pm, 3/23, APT-Touchstone Theatre, Spring Green. $15. americanplayers.org. 608-588-2361
American Players Theatre (APT) is excited to announce a new public play reading series titled "Winter Words", to be held in the Touchstone Theatre on Mondays in February and March, 2015. Each title is an adaptation, re-imagining or is inspired by classic works, and will be read by a selection of APT actors. The inaugural season will offer Aaron Posner's Stupid Fu##ing Bird; Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice; Lolita Chakrabarti's Red Velvet; and Timothy Findley's Elizabeth Rex.
The parts will be read by APT company members, including Tracy Michelle Arnold, Kelsey Brennan, Nate Burger, Jim DeVita, Tim Gittings, Colleen Madden, Brian Mani, James Ridge, Jonathan Smoots, Deborah Staples and Marcus Truschinski.
APT's Artistic Director Brenda DeVita says of the project: "As APT develops its dramaturgy for the coming years, we look not only to produce the classics, but also other language-based poetic works that might be a good fit for our company. This is particularly true in the Touchstone, which was created specifically to explore a new kind of play. The kind that might become the next generation of classics. We're constantly in search of stories that fit and expand our mission and our company, and it is extremely helpful to hear the more promising ones read out loud by APT actors. We're so excited to invite our amazing audience to join us in this part of the journey."
APT's acting company has been taking part in informal play readings over the past few
years. Maugham's Too Many Husbands (2013) and The Circle (2011), and Sheridan's
The Critic (2011) are all examples of recent productions that have made their way to the
APT stage via these reading sessions. This series will open these readings up to the audience for the first time, and offer them a chance to give their opinions.
Performances will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Touchstone Theatre, and each reading will be followed by an audience discussion. Run times will vary. General admission tickets will go on sale through Brown Paper Tickets on Tuesday, January 13 at noon CST. The cost is $15 per ticket, www.brownpapertickets.com.
2015 Winter Words Schedule
Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Jim DeVita
In her weird and wonderful new play, "Eurydice," the gifted young writer Sarah Ruhl has adapted this mournful legend with a fresh eye. - The New York Times
After an accident claims her life, Eurydice joins her father in the underworld. But her husband Orpheus isn't quite ready to let her go, and vows to rescue her from Hades. A poignant and funny retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus from the perspective of his wife, Eurydice, who's forced to choose between her husband and her father, and between life and death.
Featuring: Kelsey Brennan as Eurydice; Brian Mani as Eurydice's Father; Nate Burger Orpheus; Carissa Dixon; Colleen Madden; James Ridge
Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti
Directed by Brenda DeVita
Frankly, thrilling. - Time Out New York
Ira Aldredge stunned the London theater scene in the 1800s as the first black man to play Othello on stage. Now nearing the end of his life, a young reporter comes to him for his story, prompting a trip through time via the career of a brilliantly talented man battling societal conventions. Featuring Chike Johnson, who will portray Othello in the 2015 APT season.
Featuring: Chike Johnson as Ira Aldredge; Kamille Dawkins; Jim DeVita; Colleen Madden; Brian Mani; James Ridge; Deborah Staples
Elizabeth Rex by Timothy Findley
Directed by Tracy Michelle Arnold
"clever, juicy" - The Chicago Tribune
The night before a man very special to her is to be executed, Queen Elizabeth finds herself in need of some companionship. So the Virgin Queen summons an acting troupe to perform Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing as a diversion (it is, in fact, Shakespeare's own acting troupe, and the Bard himself makes an appearance). But when the show is over and Elizabeth finds herself again facing bleak facts, she finds respite in a conversation with Ned, one of the actors who has endured loss himself. An exploration of gender roles, love and the power of storytelling.
Featuring: A cast of 13, including Deborah Staples as Queen Elizabeth; Laurie Birmingham; Nate Burger; Robert R. Doyle; Chris Klopatek; Brian Mani; Jonathan Smoots; Robert Spencer
Stupid Fu##ing Bird by Aaron Posner
Directed by Hannah Greene
...a bracingly fresh take on Chekhov's "comedy". - Timeout Chicago
A family ponders art, fame, love and ego to the tune of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Smart, contemporary and hilarious, Stupid Fu##ing Bird was created by APT director Aaron Posner (The Glass Menagerie 2010; The Doctor's Dilemma, 2014).
Featuring: Tracy Michelle Arnold as Emma; Jim DeVita as Trig; Tim Gittings as Dev; James Ridge as Sorn; Anne E. Thompson as Mash; Allison Torem as Nina; Marcus Truschinski as Con
Please note: all casting may be subject to change.
About the Theatre
APT is a professional repertory theater devoted to the great and future classics. It was founded in 1979 and continues to be one of the most popular outdoor classical theaters in the nation. The Theatre is located in Spring Green, Wis., on 110 acres of hilly woods and meadows above the Wisconsin River. The APT amphitheater is built within a natural hollow atop an oak-wooded hill. Under the dome of sky, 1148 comfortably cushioned seats encircle three sides of the stage. In 2009, APT opened the indoor Touchstone Theatre, offering a different type of play and experience.
The 2015 printable schedule is now available for download at www.americanplayers.org.
Tickets go on sale to returning patrons on March 2, 2015.