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Powerhouse Theater announces 23rd season

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — A new musical by John Patrick Shanley – the creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt – featuring Mark Linn-Baker, with music by Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger. A new drama by Emmy-nominated writer Stephen Belber, featuring Logan Marshall-Green, former star of the FOX television show The O.C., that explores the human toll of the Iraqi war. And, a new rock opera by Pete Townshend!

[Left: Logan Marshall-Green] These are just three of the new works offered during Vassar College and New York Stage & Film's 23rd Powerhouse Theater Season. This year's lineup will include more than 16 different theatrical events, performed from June 22 through July 29, 2007 on the Vassar College campus. Online ticket sales begin May 15 and the Powerhouse box office on the Vassar campus opens June 6.

The season includes concert readings of two new musicals, R-E-S-P-E-C-T and The Boy Who Heard Music, two script-in-hand workshop presentations of plays with partial production values, and two readings festivals of new scripts – allowing audiences to get an "inside look" at developing works. The 2007 season will also offer three free shows by the Powerhouse Apprentice Company – two classic plays and one unique "soundpainting" performance, using art as a backdrop in The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.

Every summer, more than 200 professional writers, directors, performers, and designers live and work together with some 40 apprentices to create the Powerhouse Program. One of the nation's leading programs dedicated to new theater works, Powerhouse is committed to helping emerging and established artists develop new plays. That means audiences are usually the first to see a new work performed, before they go on to run at other theaters – often on or off Broadway. This year, the Powerhouse Season incorporates residencies by The Lark Theater Company, Les Freres Corbusier, and Naked Angels.

Mainstage Productions:

GEOMETRY OF FIRE

By Stephen Belber
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien
With Logan Marshall-Green
One man is a Marine reservist sniper just back from Iraq. The other is a Saudi American looking for the cause of his father's death. When their paths cross, they collide – and both men grapple with their past and their future. This timely play is an intimate, humorous exploration of the complications of war and the effects on those involved.
June 27 – July 8
(Held in the 145-seat Powerhouse Theater, 12 performances, $35/30)

About Stephen Belber

A poet and playwright, Stephen Belber received a 2002 Emmy nomination for his writing on The Laramie Project, a play that was later made into an HBO movie. His other plays include Match (2004), which appeared on Broadway; One Million Butterflies (2003), a one-person play performed in New York; and Tape (2002), which ran in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Belber has also written for the television programs Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Third Watch.

ROMANTIC POETRY: A MUSICAL PLAY

Book and lyrics by John Patrick Shanley
Music by Henry Krieger
Directed by John Patrick Shanley
With William Evans, Ivan Hernandez, Mark Linn-Baker, Chris McGarry, Patina Miller
John Patrick Shanley, writer and director of Doubt, and Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger bring you a mad musical New York champagne evening of six inter-related plays in two acts, the subject of which is the lyrical expression of amour.
July 19 – July 29
(Held in the 325-seat Martel Theater, in the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, $35/30)

John Patrick Shanley (Photo by Monique Carboni)

About John Patrick Shanley

John Patrick Shanley's Doubt went on from the 2004 Powerhouse season to Broadway, and earned the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Drama Desk Award, and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2005. During the 2005 Powerhouse Season, Shanley debuted a production of Defiance (with Chris Cooper and Dana Delany) before the play's successful run at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Shanley has also thrilled Powerhouse audiences with Savage in Limbo (1985) and The Dreamer Examines His Pillow (1986).

Martel Musicals

(Concert readings held in the 325-seat Martel Theater, in the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, $25)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Book by Stephen Fischer
Music and lyrics by artists from East Memphis Music
Directed by Oz Scott
R-E-S-P-E-C-T is set in Memphis during the sixties Civil Rights Movement, and features the legendary hits of Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett, and Sam & Dave. The story follows rival groups of Black and White high school students, whose relationships are tested by the hope, pain, turmoil, and excitement of the times.
June 29 & 30
2 performances

THE BOY WHO HEARD MUSIC

Story, music, and lyrics by Pete Townshend
Adapted and directed by Ethan Silverman
A new rock opera, The Boy Who Heard Music is a hallucinatory tale of the rise and fall of a band made up of three teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds – seen through the eyes of an aging rock star. Is he a madman or a prophet?
July 13 & 14
2 performances

Inside Look! series:

(Workshops held in the 125-seat Susan Stein Shiva Theater, 4 performances, $20)

Dance of the Holy Ghost

By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner
From the hilarious innocence of a childhood crush, to the soul-stirring taste of a sweet potato pie, to the heartbreak of a ruined marriage, this witty, emotionally raw new play follows a bitter and defiant jazz musician. The story chronicles his ability to come to terms with the three generations of family that he's laid to waste, and to the one great love of his life.
July 13 – 15

Callie's Tally

By Betsy Howie
Directed by Loy Arcenas
This irreverent and wickedly funny play provides a riotous new perspective for moms and dads. Three generations of women learn what love is and tally what it costs.
July 20 – 22

Readings Festivals:

(Held in the 125-seat Susan Stein Shiva Theater, free to the public with reservations strongly recommended)

Readings Festival 1

Substitution by Anton Dudley
Higher by Carey Perloff
Human Voices by Sarah Treem
Grasping the Sparrow's Tail by Enid Zentelis
June 22 – 24

Readings Festival 2

The Escape Artists Children by Steven Harper
The Wendy Play by Amy Herzog
Crippled Sisters by Susan Nussbaum
The Alarm by Frank Pugliese
American Hwangap by Lloyd Suh
July 27 – 29

Powerhouse Apprentice Company Performances:
(The Powerhouse Apprentice Company will perform abbreviated versions of classic plays and new works. All performances begin at 6:30 p.m., are free, and weather permitting for outdoor venues.)

Performances in the Outdoor Amphitheater on the Vassar College campus:

Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Leah Ryan, directed by Jen Wineman.

July 6 – 9
Outdoor Amphitheater

As You Like It by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by Anthony Luciano.

July 13-16
Outdoor Amphitheater

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Sarah Gmitter from the novel by Louisa May Alcott, directed by Jennie Ward.

July 20 – 23
Outdoor Amphitheater

Performances at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College:

Ruins directed and soundpainted by Tomi Tsunoda and Mark Lindberg

On four consecutive Thursdays in the galleries of Vassar's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, the Powerhouse Apprentice Company will present this series of innovative "soundpainting" performances. "Soundpainting" is a live composing sign language created by New York composer Walter Thompson for musicians, dancers, actors, poets, and visual artists. In this innovative, spontaneous type of performance, the composer/conductor utilizes more than 750 gestures to silently indicate the type of improvisation desired of the performers. Ruins is inspired by The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center's concurrent exhibition entitled Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
July 5, 12, 19, 26

Subscription, Schedule, and Box Office Information:

Online ticket sales start May 15, 2007. To purchase tickets or for more information, please go to http://powerhouse.vassar.edu. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Powerhouse box office starting June 6, 2007 or by calling (845) 437-7235 or (845) 437-5599.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Founded in 1985 by Producing Directors Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang, New York Stage and Film (SAF) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development and production of new works for theater and film.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, May 11, 2007