POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Vassar College and New York Stage and Film announce their 2005 series of free outdoor theatre, three separate productions to be performed by the Powerhouse Apprentice Company in a new campus setting, the college's Outdoor Amphitheatre. The three works, Iphigenia, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Tamer Tamed, will feature all 48 Powerhouse apprentices, aspiring actors, writers, technicians, and directors in residence through the summer at Vassar.
"These productions embrace the outdoors," said Ed Cheetham, director of the Powerhouse Apprentice Program. Cheetham notes, for example, that the choice of an outdoor venue means increased emphasis on costumes and staging, rather than large changes of scenery.
Iphigenia, by P. Seth Bauer, will be presented July 7-10 at the outdoor amphitheatre, with shows at 6:30 p.m. each evening. This adaptation of Euripides' drama centers on the beautiful Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, caught in the middle of the Trojan War. Emily Mendelsohn will direct.
The Powerhouse debut of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing will run July 14-17, with shows 6:30 each evening. Shelley Butler will direct this abridged performance of Shakespeare's play.
John Fletcher, a contemporary of Shakespeare, penned The Tamer Tamed as the sequel to The Taming of the Shrew in hopes of attracting Shakespeare's attention. The play was recently revived from its three-century slumber by the Royal Shakespeare Company, which performed the play in England early 2004. The Apprentice Company will perform The Tamer Tamed from July 21-24 with shows at 6:30 p.m. each evening at the outdoor amphitheatre, directed by Alyse Rothman.
The change of venue will move the 2005 Powerhouse apprentice productions from the college green to Vassar's majestic outdoor amphitheatre, overlooking Sunset Lake and framed by historic pine trees. The outdoor amphitheater is where Vassar holds its annual commencement ceremonies.
Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Season has premiered numerous new works destined for on- and off-Broadway production, and made Poughkeepsie a theater destination for thousands of theatre lovers. Powerhouse has also trained an entire generation of young artists through its annual summer apprentice training program, which produces an outdoor repertory series on the Vassar campus. More than 200 professional playwrights, directors, actors, and designers, and more than 50 apprentices from high schools and colleges across the United States, live and work together each summer in a rich collaborative environment on the Vassar campus.
Further information on the Vassar and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Season can be found at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.