"Tuesdays with Morrie," based on the book by Mitch Albom and adapted for the stage by Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher, will open the 18th Vassar College/New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Summer Theater season. Also planned on the Powerhouse mainstage this summer are productions of Christopher Durang's "Adrift in Macao," and Richard Nelson's "Left." All are world premieres.
From special presentations in the Susan Stein Shiva Theater, two weekend-long readings festivals, and free outdoor theater throughout the summer, the 2002 season promises, once again, to bring world-class theater to Poughkeepsie.
Starring Jon Tenney as Mitch Albom, "Tuesdays with Morrie' is a New York City-bound adaptation of one of the best-selling books of all time. Through wit and wisdom, an older teacher transforms his willing student with lessons in how to live. "Tuesdays with Morrie' opens on Friday, June 21, and runs through Saturday, July 6.
Opening simultaneously in the Susan Stein Shiva Theater, will be Readings Festival #1. Running though Sunday, June 23, the festival will feature "In Film" by Chris Denham, "Kitchen Drama" by Lee Kalcheim, "No Such Thing" by Brian Tanen, "The Summer Wind" by Frank Pugliese, and "String of Pearls" by Michelle Lowe.
The season continues with Christopher Durang's musical "Adrift in Macao" (Wednesday, July 10, through Saturday, July 20). Set in Rick Shaw's Surf and Turf Nightclub Gambling Casino, "Adrift in Macao" is complete with exotic locales, sexual liaisons, blackmail, danger, and romance. "Adrift" is a hilarious musical parody of film noir from the renowned author of "Betty's Summer Vacation" and "Sister Mary Ignatius."
Richard Nelson's "Left" rounds out the mainstage season from Wednesday, July 24, through Sunday, August 4. Nelson, whose plays include "James Joyce's The Dead," "Goodnight Children Everywhere," and "Return of Pinocchio," explores what time does to people and to the causes they hold dear.
The Susan Stein Shiva Theater will house special presentations of Tom Donaghy's "A New Play" (Friday, June 28-Sunday, June 30), Arthur Kopit's "Discovery of America" (Friday July 5-Sunday, July 7), "The Violence Project" conceived and directed by Elizabeth Swados (Friday, July 19-Sunday, July 21), and Edwin Sanchez's "Diosa" (Friday, August 2-Sunday, August 4).
Readings Festival #2 (Friday, July 26-Sunday, July 28) features readings of Will Eno's "The Flu Season," Alexandra Gersten and Theresa Rebeck's "A Perfect Dinner Party," Ariel Dorfman's "Picasso's Closet," Leslie Ayvazian's "Rosemary and I," and Charles Evered's "Wilderness of Mirrors."
Since its founding in 1985, the Powerhouse theater program at Vassar College has fostered emerging artists, produced new works by some of the nation's most innovative young playwrights, and trained spiring actors, directors, and designers for theater careers.
This is Vassar's 18th year of collaboration with New York Stage and Film Company and promises to be a memorable season, according to Beth Fargis-Lancaster, executive producer.
On the Rockefeller Hall lawn for three weekends in July, Powerhouse will offer free out-door abbreviated repertory performances of classic plays. William Shakespeare's "The Tempest," will be adapted and directed by Jenny Luckraft; Debbie Saivetz will direct Caridad Svich's "Twelve Ophelias," and David McCallum will direct Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice'.
Single ticket prices for mainstage productions are $25. Susan Stein Shiva Theater Special Presentations are $15. Reading Series passes are $10 each. Repertory performances are free of charge. Season tickets are also available. For more information call the box office (opening on Friday, June 1) at (845) 437-7235 or 5599 or, for a taped message on show times, call the Special Info Line at (845) 437-7645 or visit the Web site at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu/.