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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater


The Powerhouse Apprentice Company presents performances of classic and new work this summer.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY--Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater Training Program will present two classic works - Sophie Treadwell's Machinal (July 9 - 12) and William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (July 16 - 19) - performed by the Powerhouse Apprentice Company at Vassar's Outdoor Amphitheater. In 2007, these performances were named by Hudson Valley Magazine as the "Best Way to Introduce Kids to the Classics" in the annual "Best of the Hudson Valley." All the programs will begin at 6:00pm each evening. (In case of rain, the performances will be held in the Mug in the basement of the College Center.) 

In addition, the Powerhouse Apprentice Company will present Jennifer Tullock's original work The Projectionist (July 23-24) in Matthew's Mug, located in the basement of the College Center.

Rounding out the season, the apprentice company will join with members of the professional company to present a workshop presentation of Walton Jones' 1940's Radio Hour, directed by New York Stage and Film co-founder and producing director, Mark Linn-Baker on Saturday, July 31, at 8:00pm in the Martel Theater of the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film. Although the performance is free, reservations are required. Call the box office at (845) 437-5599 for additional information.

"These young artists of the Powerhouse Apprentice Company are here to find their voice among their peers, their contemporaries, and, perhaps, some of their idols," noted Edward Cheetham, producing director of the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College. "They are guided on this journey by a group of committed teaching artists who round out the creative and supportive community of artists gathered here all summer. Each of these projects - directed by Tomi Tsunoda, Drew Cortese & Mark Lindberg, Jared Mezzocchi, and Mark Linn-Baker - provide different opportunities for the apprentices, ranging in age from 17 to mid-20s, to find and express their individual voices."

All the Powerhouse Apprentice Company performances are open to the public without charge. Only 1940's Radio Hour requires reservations in advance, all other performances are first-come, first-seated. For additional information, see the website, friend Powerhouse on Facebook® (Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater), or follow Powerhouse (powerhouse2010) on Twitter®.

July 9 - 12 
by Sophie Treadwell
Directed by Tomi Tsunoda

Written in 1928 by feminist playwright and journalist Sophie Treadwell, MACHINAL tells the story of a young woman trapped between her own desires and the expectations and limitations of the societal machine.

The cast includes: Christopher Adams-Cohen, Richard Bastuck, Daniel Belford, Maureen Boman, Ross Carmichael, Talia Heller, Emily Kaplan, Rachel Katz, Jonathan Patterson, Leslie Roth , Brian Shaffer, Alexa Smith, Gracierae Smith-Gallegos, Rashaad Spence, and Michael Wachowiak

Performance dates: July 9, 10, 11, 12 at 6:00pm at the Outdoor Amphitheater on the Vassar College campus. No reservations are necessary.

July 16 - 19
by William Shakespeare
Co-directed by Drew Cortese and Mark Lindberg

Cortese and Lindberg adapt Shakespeare's classic tragic romance, ROMEO & JULIET, with an all-female cast.

The cast includes: Frankie Allegra, Marissa Bergman, Katherine Burns, Mara Dale, Genevieve Fowler, Juliet Garrett, Margaux LeBlanc, Diane Machin, Elisabeth Mitchell, Victoria McNaughton, Francesca Placidi, Clare Redden, Laura Schramm, Bria Schultz, Rachel Sedwick, and Kate Wachsman.

Performance dates: July 16, 17, 18, 19 at 6:00pm at the Outdoor Amphitheater on the Vassar College campus. No reservations are necessary.

July 23 - 24


by Jennifer Tullock

Directed by Jared Mezzocchi 

THE PROJECTIONIST is a collaborative multimedia presentation of a new work written by Jennifer Tullock.

The cast includes: Christopher Adams-Cohen, Richard Bastuck, Daniel Belford, Maureen Boman, Ross Carmichael, Talia Heller, Emily Kaplan, Rachel Katz, Jonathan Patterson, Leslie Roth, Brian Shaffer, Alexa Smith, Gracierae Smith-Gallegos, Rashaad Spence, and Michael Wachowiak.

Performance dates: July 23, 24 at 6:00pm in Matthew's Mug in the basement of the College Center. No reservations are necessary.

July 31

Concert Reading


by Walton Jones

Directed by Mark Linn-Baker

Musical direction by Andrew Gerle

This concert reading is the result of a collaboration between the apprentice and professional companies based on Walton Jones' 1940's RADIO HOUR. Filled to the brim with favorite period songs, the concert version whisks you behind the scenes of a live Hudson Valley radio broadcast at Christmas-time in 1942. Additional information, including cast, to be announced.

Performance date: July 31 at 8:00pm in the Martel Theater of the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film. Advance reservations required. Call the box office at (845) 437-5599 for information.

About the Creative Teams:

This is Drew Cortese's (Co-director, Romeo & Juliet) seventh summer at Vassar College & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater, his sixth as a member of the Theater Training Faculty. He first appeared at Powerhouse in Anton Dudley'sHonor and the River. Cortese's New York theater credits include P73's production of 1001, Erica Schmidt's As You Like It at The Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival, Honor and the River at the Summer Play Festival, The Life and Death of Pier Paolo Pasolini at the ActFrench Festival, As I Lay Dying at the Ohio Theater, and expat/inferno at FringeNYC. Regionally, he has been seen at ACT, Guthrie Theater, Denver Center Theater Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Papermill Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company, Kansas City Rep, and the Clarence Brown Theater. He can be heard on the recordings of The Sourcebooks Shakespeare editions of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Julius Caesar. Cortese has guest lectured for Duke University's Leadership and the Arts Program, University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, and Actors Theatre of Louisville's Apprentice Program. He is a graduate of Duke University and New York University's Graduate Acting Program, and a volunteer for both the 52nd Street Project and Falconworks' Off The Hook.

Mark Lindberg (Co-director, Romeo & Juliet) teaches movement for actors and Soundpainting for Powerhouse and creating original work for the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at New York University. His directing credits at Powerhouse includeMissing Pieces by Powerhouse alum Jillian Fletcher, and three Soundpainting pieces performed in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center: Ruins(with Tomi Tsunoda), Profile Pictures, and last summer's Dances at an Exhibition. Outside of teaching, Lindberg is a multidisciplinary theater artist with credits in acting, dance, playwrighting, and directing all around New York City. Some of his acting and dance credits include work with Breedingground productions, Knife, inc. (Oph3lia- New York Innovative Theater Award nomination), Collective Dance NY,Dreamscape Theatre, Quo Vadimus Arts, and others. As a playwright, his work has been produced by End Times Productions (Serling Award - Best Script Drama), Dreamscape Theatre, for the NY International Fringe Festival and more. He is a founding member of the Brooklyn Soundpainting Company. Lindberg received a B.F.A. from N.Y.U./Playwrights Horizons (Outstanding Achievement Award).

Mark Linn-Baker (Director, 1940's Radio Hour), producing director and co-founder, New York Stage and Film can be seen this year in James L. Brooks soon to be released film with Jack Nicholson.  On stage in New York City, he has most recently starred in the new musical Romantic Poetry by John Patrick Shanley and Henry Krieger at MTC and in Ethan Coen's Almost An Evening for Atlantic Theater.  In 1978 he made his New York stage debut in Andre Serban's Sganarelle and went on to play Bertram in All's Well That Ends Well for Joseph Papp.  Other productions for Joseph Papp include The Death of Von RichthofenThe Laundry Hour with Lewis Black, and Alice In Concert with Meryl Streep.  On Broadway Linn-Baker starred in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Neil Simon's Laughter On The 23rd FloorA Year With Frog And ToadLosing Louis, David Henry Hwang's Face Value, and Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury.  Off-Broadway credits include Lee Blessing's ChesapeakeA Flea In Her Ear directed by Bill Irwin, The Miss Firecracker Contest by Beth Henley, Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong directed by Joan Micklin Silver, among others.  For eight seasons Mark Linn-Baker starred as Larry Appleton on the ABC-TV series Perfect Strangers and for one season as Alan Arnold on Twins with Melanie Griffith.  Other television credits include Electric Company for PBS, Law And OrderL&O: Criminal Intent, Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor,  Life On MarsAlly McBealSesame StreetGhost WriterSpin CityFull HouseCooperMiami Vice, and Moonlighting.  Film credits include Woody Allen's Manhattan, Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year, and Peter Bogdanovich's Noises Off.  As a director, credits include Christopher Durang's Baby With The Bathwater at ART in Boston, and John Patrick Shanley's Savage In Limbo at The Powerhouse and off-Broadway, Lewis Black's LA Freewheeling, two seasons of ABC's Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, as well as numerous series episodes for Lorimar and Warner Bros Television.  Linn-Baker is one of the co-founders and co-directors of the New York Stage and Film Company whose productions over the last 26 years include the Tony award winners Side Man and Tru.

Jared Mezzocchi  (Director, The Projectionist) is a multimedia director and designer for live interactive performances. He holds an MFA at Brooklyn College for Performance and Interactive Media Arts and a BA in Theater and New Media from Fairfield University. As director, he has directed at Andy's Summer Playhouse for two years (Donkey Xote, 2009; Dick Tracy, 2010). As a video systems designer, he has programmed systems for performances by Caden Manson's Big Art Group (Flesh Tone, SOS, The Sleep) and Rob Roth (Screen Test), touring much of Europe as well as in the Vienna Festival in 2008. Currently, he is designing video for Christine Evans' The Underpass which is in workshops at ART, Georgetown, and will be produced at UNC in 2011. For the past year, he designed video and lights nightly as the director of visuals at Santos Party House, a two story dance club/concert venue in Lower Manhattan. Mezzocchi currently teaches multimedia courses at NYU's Playwrights Horizons studio and the Performance and Interactive Media Arts program at Brooklyn College.

Tomi Tsunoda (Director, Machinal) is a multi-disciplinary artist. She has been performing as a singer, actor, and visual artist with The Walter Thompson Orchestra since 1998, The New York Soundpainting Orchestra since 2005, and has been working as a Soundpainting composer with her own theater ensembles since 2000. Tsunoda studied directing, acting, design, writing, and music composition at New York University where she graduated with an award for Outstanding Achievement. She teaches directing, Soundpainting, composition, and creating original work at NYU's Playwrights Horizons Theatre School and the Powerhouse Theater Training Program. She was a program director and teacher for the Harlem Educational Activities Fund and is currently the creative director and founder of Breedingground Productions, a collective of independent artists, with whom she has helped to develop more than 100 projects across all creative disciplines since August 2000. She is a founding member of the Brooklyn Soundpainting Company.

Jennifer Tullock  (writer, The Projectionist) is an actor and writer whose work has been featured at Lincoln Center, Second City, New York Fringe, Anthology Film Center, and Broadway Comedy Club. She is the former singer/songwriter for New York jazz band Punch & Judy and the creator of the 1940's radio satire The Out of Hand Radio Hour. Selected stage credits include: Stop Kiss (Raven Theatre Chicago), Anastasia, Mrs. Warren's Profession (Liz Hodes Studio), Fabulous! (Oracle Theatre Chicago),Love in a Tub (Broadway Comedy Club), George & Laura Bush Perform (New York Fringe). Film: Today's SpecialIn the Hot Seat, Marcel.  She is the former head writer for the Chicago news satire The Tangy Pepper and can currently be read as a contributor for brooklyntheborough.com.  www.jentullock.com

About the Powerhouse Theater Training Program

Each of the student apprentices choose a specific discipline to focus on during the six week program: acting, design, directing, or playwriting. During the course of the summer, an apprentice company of actors, designers, directors, and writers is formed and work within the larger framework of the whole season.

Apprentices have the opportunity to work alongside some of the country's leading and emerging theater artists such as John Patrick Shanley, Duncan Sheik, and Tomi Tsunoda. Master classes for all disciplines are scheduled based upon the availability of visiting artists and professionals who are on campus working on various productions.

The 2010 Powerhouse Theater Training Program artist faculty includes: Nastaran Ahmadi, Drew Cortese, Michael Early, Christa Kimlicko-Jones (associate education director), Casey Kurtti, Mark Lindberg, Brian McManamon, Emily Mendelsohn, Jared Mezzochi, Tom Pacio (education director), Tomi Tsunoda, Shona Tucker, Jennifer Tullock, and Scott Wojcik.

Throughout the summer, apprentices work in their own theater company. They write, perform, and direct two-minute plays and site-specific work - and each week host table readings of works in progress by the apprentice writers. All acting apprentices are cast in one of the outdoor productions of classical texts, which are open to the public. Recent performances have included the works of Shakespeare, Brecht, Chekhov, and Aeschylus, all presented under the direction of professional directors and writers. In 2007, these performances were named by Hudson Valley Magazine as the "Best Way to Introduce Kids to the Classics" in the annual "Best of the Hudson Valley."

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 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. 

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact the Campus Activities Office, (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.

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 Thursday, July 8, 2010