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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater


F. Murray Abraham, Jill Clayburgh, & David Strathairn highlight Powerhouse Theater's Readings Festival 1 casts (6/25 - 27).

Please note that at this point our reservation list is full for all readings. 
If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please contact the box office at (845) 437-5599.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-Vassar & New York Stage and Film are pleased to announce the casts for the free Readings Festival 1 (June 25 - 27), which opens the 26th annual Powerhouse Theater season on the Vassar campus. The casting highlights for the first four readings of the season include: F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus, Triumph of Love, Angels in America), Blair Brown (Cabaret, James Joyce's The Dead, Fringe, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd), Jill Clayburgh (An Unmarried Woman, Barefoot in the Park, Dirty Sexy Money), Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd, Assassins, In the Next Room: or the Vibrator Play, Fringe), Michael Countryman (Night Must Fall, Holiday) Caitlin Fitzgerald (It's Complicated), Santino Fontana (Billy Elliot, Sunday in the Park with George), Joanna Gleason (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Into the Woods, The Good Wife), Isabel Keating (The Boy from Oz, Enchanted April, Hairspray), Maryann Plunkett (A Man for All Seasons, Saint Joan, The Seagull), Anthony Rapp (Rent, Six Degrees of Separation), Stephen Spinella (Angels in America, 24), and David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck, Salome).

Although admission is free to the Readings Festivals, since seating is extremely limited the only way to be assured of a seat at the readings is with the purchase of a season subscription as subscribers are able to reserve their seats three days in advance of the general public. For Readings Festival 1, subscribers may visit the box office or call (845) 437-5599 from Friday, June 18 through Sunday, June 20 to make their reservation. On Tuesday, June 22, reservations then open to the general public.

Other updates to the Powerhouse season include the play A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE by Bekah Brunstetter and directed by Pippin Parker, which was originally slated as a reading and will now be workshopped as one of the four Inside Look presentations (July 9 - 11). The cast includes Brooke Bloom (Becky Shaw, He’s Just Not Into You) Cassie Beck (The Norman Conquests), Darren Goldstein (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Oohrah!), and Donnetta Lavinia Grays (In the Next Room: or the Vibrator Play, Well). [Please note that A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE replaces HANDBALL by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, which was withdrawn due to Rosenfeld's professional obligations.] In addition, Megan Mostyn-Brown's THE REST OF YOUR LIFE is the replacement for Brunstetter's work in Readings Festival 1 and Patricia Wettig's play F TO M is now slated for Readings Festival 2 (July 30 - August 1).

See the Powerhouse Theater website at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu for continuing performance updates.

June 25 - June 27

All readings are in the Susan Stein Shiva Theater. Seating is limited. Free to the public with reservations strongly recommended.
Note: reservations beginning June 18 - 20 are available for Powerhouse subscribers only; reservations open to the general public on June 22. Visit or call the Powerhouse Box Office at (845) 437-5599.

Friday, June 25, at 8:00pm
A Musical Play
Based upon a screenplay by A. Adabashyan and N. Mikhalkov, and Platonov, a play by Anton Chekhov
Written and directed by Richard Nelson
Music by Peter Golub
Lyrics conceived and adapted by Richard Nelson & Peter Golub
The cast includes Stephen Bogardus, Blair Brown, Michael Cerveris, Jon DeVries, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Barret O'Brien, Maryann Plunkett, Anthony Rapp, Marquis Rodriguez, Andrea Ross, Stephen Spinella, David Strathairn, and Michael Winther.

Saturday, June 26, at 2:00pm
By Stephen Karam
Directed by Peter DuBois
The cast includes F. Murray Abraham, Dan Bittner, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Santino Fontana, Joanna Gleason, Gideon Glick, Okieriete Onaodowan.

Saturday, June 26, at 8:00pm
By Zoe Kazan
Directed by Sam Gold
The cast includes Jill Clayburgh, Michael Countryman, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Josh Hamilton, Sarah Steele, and Jeremy Strong.

Sunday, June 27, at 2:00pm
By Megan Mostyn-Brown
Directed by Josh Hecht

THE REST OF YOUR LIFE is the winner of the first prize awarded by Leah Ryan's Fund for Emerging Women Writers. A Powerhouse Apprentice Company alumna and faculty member, Leah Ryan (1964-2008) was a playwright, essayist, writer of post-modern greeting cards, and a general woman of letters.
The cast includes Sarah Nina Hayon, Isabel Keating, Darren Pettie, Simon Pincus, Manda Siegfried.

July 9 - 11
INSIDE LOOK series (update)
By Bekah Brunstetter
Directed by Pippin Parker

Cass thinks she's finally found happiness -- perfect job, perfect apartment, perfect fiancé  -- until a brush with death forces her to reconsider. From Bekah Brunstetter, the award-winning writer of Oohrah!, You May Go Now: A Marriage Play, and To Ninevah, comes a play with humor, heart, and a high school step team! The cast includes Cassie Beck, Brooke Bloom, Toccarra Cash, Audrey Esparza, Darren Goldstein, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, and Hubert Point-DuJour.
In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater. Seating is limited. Tickets $20

The Powerhouse Theater Season, June 25 - August 1, 2010

Powerhouse Theater, now beginning its 26th season, continues its mission to offer a haven for world-class artists to gather and explore new material in an atmosphere that is both protected and challenging. Each season Powerhouse offers its audience debuts by Pulitzer, Oscar, and Tony-winning writers, directors, and actors, and introduces its patrons to exciting emerging artists, all at affordable ticket prices.

The 2010 season includes fully produced and designed productions on the Powerhouse Mainstage:
  • WE ARE HERE (June 29 - July 11) by Tracy Thorne, directed by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall), featuring Tony winner Adriane Lenox (Doubt, Chicago, Caroline or Change) and Tony nominee de'Adre Aziza (Passing Strange)

  • PIRATE (July 21 - August 1) written and directed by John Patrick Shanley (cast to be announced)

Martel Musicals:
  • BONFIRE NIGHT (July 16 - 18) with book, music, and lyrics by Justin Levine, directed by Obie winner Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and musical supervision by Kimberly Grigsby

  • ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER (July 29 - August 1) lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Burton Lane, with new book by Peter Parnell, based on the original book by Alan Jay Lerner, musical direction and arrangements by Lawrence Yurman, choreography by JoAnn Hunter, re-conceived and directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer

Inside Look series of workshops:
  • SAM BENDRIX AT THE BON SOIR (July 1 - 3) by Keith Bunin, directed by Mark Rucker, featuring Luke Macfarlane from ABC's Brothers and Sisters

  • A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE (July 9 - 11) by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Pippin Parker, featuring Cassie Beck (The Norman Conquests), Darren Goldstein (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Oohrah!), and Donnetta Lavinia Grays (In the Next Room: or the vibrator play, Well)

  • Maria Cassi in MY LIFE WITH MEN - AND OTHER ANIMALS (July 16 - 18) by Maria Cassi & Patrick Pacheco, directed by Peter Schneider

  • INTERVIEWING THE AUDIENCE (July 23 - 25) by Zach Helm, featuring Zach Helm and Powerhouse audience members

The Readings Festivals (June 25 - 27 and July 29 - August 1) will include new works by Eve Ensler, Stephen Karam, Zoe Kazan, Romulus Linney & Eleanor Cooney, Megan Mostyn-Brown, Richard Nelson & Peter Golub, Steven Sater & Duncan Sheik, Kate Walbert, Patricia Wettig, and a screenplay by Jennifer Westfeldt.

Individual tickets ($35 for "Mainstage"; $30 for "Martel Musicals"; $20 for the "Inside Look" series) are available online at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu and in person or by phone at the Powerhouse box office: (845) 437-7235 or (845) 437-5599.

This year, continuing its mission of presenting artistically exceptional and affordably priced performances, Powerhouse Theater will offer a $5 student rush ticket for students of up to 25 years of age [as available 15 minutes before curtain].

Additional details for the creative teams and casting will be announced throughout the season. For further information, see the website http://powerhouse.vassar.edu, friend Powerhouse on Facebook®, or follow Powerhouse on Twitter®.

About Powerhouse Theater

Powerhouse Theater, now entering its 26th season, is the result of a unique collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College. The program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 200 professional artists and some 40 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works. Powerhouse steadfastly supports both emerging and established artists.

The annual residency has included such writers as John Patrick Shanley, Beth Henley, Henry Kreiger, Warren Leight, Christopher Durang, Richard Greenberg, Stephen Belber, Eric Bogosian, Steve Martin, Dael Orlandersmith, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater; directors Mark Brokaw, Joe Mantello, Lisa Peterson, Roger Rees, Liz Swados, David Warren, and Michael Wilson; and actors Chris Cooper, Dana Delany, Olympia Dukakis, Edie Falco, Peter Gallagher, Joel Grey, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Johnston, Lucy Liu, Julianna Margulies, Rob Morrow, Frances McDormand, Josh Radnor, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Kyra Sedgwick, Fisher Stevens, David Strathairn, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Westfeldt, among many others.

Since its inception in 1985, Powerhouse has played a significant role in the development of hundreds of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for the Hudson Valley, the New York metropolitan area, and the surrounding region.  

About New York Stage and Film

Founded in 1985 by Producing Directors Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang, and now under the leadership of Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer and Managing Director Nicki Genovese, New York Stage and Film (SAF) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to the development and production of new works for theater and film.  SAF has developed and produced premiere works by such writers as John Patrick Shanley, Jon Robin Baitz, Steve Martin, Theresa Rebeck and Eve Ensler (www.newyorkstageandfilm.org).

About the Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program

This year, around 40 student apprentices from across the U.S. and abroad will participate and form the 2010 Powerhouse Apprentice company. These young artists - current students, recent graduates, and future theater professionals - are provided with a distinctive opportunity to create their own new work as well as work on the development of theater and musical productions headed for Broadway and top-ranked theaters nations-wide. The educational experience is not replicated anywhere else in the country. Some of the program alumnae/i include Erin Buckley, Edward Cheetham, Katherine Kovner, Melissa Errico, Amy Fox, Catherine Kellner, Kate MacCluggage, Josh Radnor, Jordan Roth, Leah Ryan, Alexandra Tolk, and Jonathan Togo.  

About Vassar College

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861. Consistently ranked as one of the country's best liberal arts colleges, Vassar is renowned for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the natural and architectural beauty of its campus. More than 50 academic departments and degree programs - from Anthropology to Cognitive Sciences to Urban Studies - encompass the arts, foreign languages, natural sciences, and social sciences, and combine to offer a curriculum of more than 1,000 courses.

Vassar College is sited in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY. Go to http://www.vassar.edu/directions for directions to the Vassar campus.

Note: All programs and artists are subject to change.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, June 14, 2010