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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater


Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Apprentice Company offers performances throughout the month of July.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—This summer Vassar & New York Stage and Film welcomed 46 apprentices, drawn from throughout the United States, who form the 2011 Powerhouse Apprentice Company. In addition to the daily classes in acting, voice, text, and movement, as well as Soundpainting. This summer the apprentices will give three performances of the classics at Vassar’s Outdoor Amphitheater overlooking Sunset Lake: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (7/8-11), directed and adapted by Anthony Luciano, and Cymbeline (7/15-18), directed and adapted by Brian McManamon, as well as August Strindberg’s A Dream Play (7/22-25), in a new version by Caryl Churchill, directed by Jesse B. Hill.

In addition, the apprentice company will once again perform a new Soundpainting work Wuthering, conceived and directed by Mark Lindberg, every Thursday in July at 6:00pm during the Art Center’s Late Night at the Lehman Loeb (7/7, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28). Rewrite (7/16-17), a performance project performed in the “Mug” (located in the College Center under The Retreat), will be directed by Tomi Tsunoda.

July 8-11 at 6pm
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed & Adapted by Anthony Luciano
Assistant direction by John Moriarty
Stage Manager: Katherine Pardue
Outdoor Amphitheater

How can young love, with all its potential for chaos and change exist in a world of order and security?  Only the imagination makes it possible. The Powerhouse Apprentice company’s production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes aim at young love with a cast of characters with the voices to know: young people themselves. The cast includes: Leah Alfieri, Lena Beckenstein, Shaina Ferguson, Tyler Glover,  George Hider, Olivia Hoffman,  Shannon Kelly,  Daphne Kim, Toni Kitsopoulos,  Olivia Nielsen,  Tanner Sands,  Leana Simpson, and Meghan Smith 

July 15-18 at 6pm
By William Shakespeare
Directed & Adapted by Brian McManamon
Outdoor Amphitheater

Shakespeare’s rarely performed play, Cymbeline, defies classification.  Like a greatest hits compilation, it combines much of what Shakespeare did best into one play.  At once a comedy, romance, history and tragedy – it’s got it all: battles, poison, mistaken identities, forbidden love, a cross dressing girl, a tyrannical father, a cruel step-mother, a banished lover and a deceitful villain all neatly tucked into a lightning-paced, streamlined production. The cast includes: Nicole Boyd, Eliot Cohen, Gabriela Espinosa, Arianna Knox, Naomi Kunstler, Dayna Li, Casey McSherry, Eliza Orleans, Victoria Pollack, Minou Pourshariati, and Carl St. Goar. Shona Tucker, a Vassar drama professor and Powerhouse faculty member, portrays Cymbeline.

July 22-25 at 6pm
A Dream Play
By August Strindberg
In a new version by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Jessi D. Hill 

Agnes, a daughter of the Gods, descends to Earth to bear witness to many problems of human beings. The characters she meets multiply and dissolve; environments change in an instant as time moves forward and backward, and a mysterious locked door conceals a secret. Similar to Alice in Wonderland, August Strindberg’s groundbreaking experimental work, A Dream Play (1902) is a fantasy where the consciousness of a dreamer is our lens. Caryl Churchill, one of the most prolific female playwrights in the English-speaking world, has adapted Strindberg’s Dream in this visceral and spare version. The cast includes: Annabell Barrett, Lauren Charnow, Holly Crane,Tom Ellis, Mateo Ervin, Betty Etheredge, Libby Froeber, Corissa Goodrich, Sam Kotansky, and Cara Ronzetti. 

July 7, 14, 21, 28 at 6pm
A “Soundpainted” dance theater piece by Mark Lindberg
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

An ensemble of upscale partygoers play out a story of love and other societal forces, loosely inspired by Emily Bronte's classic novel "Wuthering Heights" and set to the 1979 disco album of the same name by composer John Ferrara and his "disco orchestra." The cast includes: Annabell Barrett, Lauren Charnow, Holly Crane,Tom Ellis, Mateo Ervin, Betty Etheredge, Libby Froeber, Corissa Goodrich, Sam Kotansky, and Cara Ronzetti. 

July 16 - 17 at 9:30pm
Directed by Tomi Tsunoda
In the "Mug" (located below The Retreat in the College Center)

The cast includes: Nicole Boyd, Eliot Cohen, Gabriela Espinosa, Arianna Knox, Naomi Kunstler, Dayna Li, Casey McSherry, Eliza Orleans, Victoria Pollack, Minou Pourshariati, and Carl St. Goar.

Powerhouse Theater’s Café on the Quad will be open on Fridays and Saturdays beginning from 6:00-8:00pm throughout the Powerhouse season and will feature Mediterranean favorites from Gigi’s Hudson Valley. Relax and have a bite before the shows at the Café, located by the Marcel Breuer-designed Ferry House on the Frances Daly Fergusson Quadrangle. Artists and audiences will gather, mingle, relax and enjoy Powerhouse’s festival atmosphere, while savoring Gigi’s signature dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients that highlight the bounty of the farms, gardens, and food artisans of the Hudson Valley, as well as wine and beer (Friday and Saturdays, through July 30). In addition, Tree City Coffee will serve as concessionaire at all performances and will feature their special brews and a selection of sweets. For more information and menus, see the website http://powerhouse.vassar.edu/visit or call (845) 437-7645.

Powerhouse Theater 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 (124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY) during which more than 250 professional artists and 40-50 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works. Award-winning writers, directors, and actors all converge in Poughkeepsie, New York, for six weeks each summer to create exciting new work in an intimate setting.

Each summer New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) and Vassar College (Ed Cheetham, Producing Director) have offered discerning audiences a chance to see new works, which have included the the multi-award-winning Doubt (2004); the re-imagined classic On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (2010), to be presented on Broadway this fall; the groundbreaking Broadway musical American Idiot (2009); and A Steady Rain (2006), produced on Broadway in 2009 with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.

This year, 405student apprentices from across the country will participate and form the 2011 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. Some of the program alumnae/i include Josh Radnor, Melissa Errico, Jordan Roth, Erin Buckley, Amy Fox, Catherine Kellner, Kate MacCluggage, Leah Ryan, Alexandra Tolk, and Jonathan Togo.

The members of the 2011 Powerhouse Apprentice Company are: Leah Alfieri, Actor, E.C. Glass High School, Lynchburg, VA; Annabel Barrett, Actor, Millbrook, NY; Lena Beckenstein, Actor (Powerhouse Apprentice ’10), Hampshire College; Nicole Boyd, Actor, The College of William and Mary; Nora Brickner, Writer, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY; Caleb Caudill, Director, The Catholic University of America; Lauren Charnow, Actor, Marymount Manhattan College; Eliot Cohen, Actor, Ithaca College; Holly Crane, Actor, Williams College; Nicole Davis, Writer, Yale University; Thomas Ellis, Actor, Albright College; Matthew (Mateo) Ervin, Actor, Austin College; Gabriela Espinosa, Actor, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA; Betty Etheredge, Actor, Christian Brothers Academy, Syracuse, NY / Syracuse University; Talia Feldberg, Director, Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York; Shaina Ferguson, Actor, Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY;  Ryan Williams French, Writer, Dartmouth College; Elizabeth Froeber, Actor, Wheaton College; Christine Gaden, Director, Gettysburg College; Tyler Glover, Actor, Vassar College; Elizabeth Goettler, Director, (Powerhouse Apprentice ’08), Barnard College; Corissa Goodrich, Actor, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Chicago, IL; George Hider, Actor, Skidmore College; Olivia Hoffman, Actor, Emerson College; Anya Josephs, Writer, Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC; Shannon Kelly, Actor, Manhattanville College; Daphne Kim, Actor, Northwestern University; Antonia Kitsopoulos, Actor, Chatham High School, Chatham, NJ; Arianna Knox, Actor, Marymount Manhattan College; Marlee Koenigsberg, Director, Adelphi University; Sam Kotansky, Actor, Susquehannock High School, Glen Rock, PA; Naomi Kunstler, Actor, Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco, CA; Dayna Li, Actor, Princeton University; Casey McSherry, Actor, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY; John Moriarty, Director, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA; Olivia Nielsen, Actor, Skidmore College; Eliza Orleans, Actor, Ithaca College; Victoria Pollack, Actor, Barnard College, Columbia University; Minou Pourshariati, Actor (Powerhouse Apprentice, ’08), Fordham University/Sarah Lawrence; Cara Ronzetti, Actor, Gulliver Preparatory School, Miami, FL; Tanner Sands, Actor, University of Colorado; Leana Simpson, Actor, Adelphi University; Meghan Smith, Actor, Niagara University; Carl St. Goar, Actor, Elon University; and Alexis Wilcock, Director, Barnard College, Columbia University.

Subscriptions to the 2011 Powerhouse Theater season and single tickets are available both online at powerhouse.vassar.edu and through the Powerhouse Theater box office on the Vassar campus: (845) 437.5599 // (845) 437.7235; PHTBoxoffice@vassar.edu; Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY.

The Powerhouse Theater Season at Vassar College strives to make its performances and facilities accessible to all our patrons. If you have questions, would like to request an accommodation or service, or would like to receive additional information about accessibility at Powerhouse Theater, Martel Theater, or the Shiva Theater, please contact us or visit our website: powerhouse.vassar.edu/accessibility. For additional information or if you have questions, need assistance, or an accommodation not mentioned on the website, please contact Matthew Bourne by telephone or email, (845) 437-7645 or powerhouse@vassar.edu.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, July 5, 2011