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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater


Vassar & New York Stage and Film announce the 2012 Powerhouse Theater season, June 22 - July 29, 2012.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Thomas Pearson, Executive Director, Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) and Vassar College (Ed Cheetham, Producing Director) have announced the line-up of their 2012 Powerhouse Theater season.

Season highlights will include:

  •       Two fully-staged Mainstage works: award-winning playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Abigail/1702 (June 27 – July 8), directed by David Esbjornson, given a reading this past February at Powerhouse, and Emmy nominated writer Stephen Belber’s The Power of Duff, directed by Peter DuBois (July 18–29).  
  •       There will be two musical workshops: Itamar Moses & Michael Friedman’s The Fortress of Solitude, directed by Daniel Aukin, based on the novel by Jonathan Lethem (June 29 – July 1), and Julia Jordan & Juliana Nash’s Murder Ballad, directed byTrip Cullman (July 27–29).
  •       Developmental play workshops will include: Eva Anderson, Will Berson & Zach Helm‘s Fires Are Confusing, created by Teatro de Facto (July 13 –15) and Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand (July 20–22).
  •       In addition, Powerhouse will offer 10 new works during the Readings Festivals (June 22–24 and July 27–29).

Johanna Pfaelzer, the artistic director for New York Stage and Film, noted that the works in development this season “will take us from Massachusetts in 1702 to a present-day newsroom in Rochester; from 1970’s Brooklyn to New Orleans in 1836; from a Soviet prison in 1952 to the Chicago World’s Fairs. These plays and musicals are ambitious in their scope, wildly varied in their style, and each one is a story that demands to be told in a theater.”

Edward Cheetham, producing director for Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College, noted that in addition to the three outdoor classic presentations and soundpainting performances, this year will feature a residency by noted theater artist Erik Ehn that will culminate in a performance of Ehn’s Burnt Umber, directed by Mia Rovegno  (July 20).

Subscriptions to the 2012 Powerhouse Theater season are available online beginning Wednesday, May 16, with single tickets available online Friday, June 1powerhouse.vassar.edu. The Powerhouse Theater box office on the Vassar College campus (124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY) opens Wednesday, June 6: (845) 437-5599 or PHTBoxOffice@vassar.edu

Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater
2012 Season Schedule:
Mainstage (fully staged and designed works-in-progress)
/ In the Powerhouse Theater

Wednesday, June 27 – Sunday, July 8
By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Directed by David Esbjornson
Ten years after the events of The Crucible, Abigail Williams is living under a new identity in Boston and haunted by her past.  When a mysterious figure appears, she confronts Salem’s dark history head on and must atone for her role in it.  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (The Mystery Plays, Good Boys and True, Glee and Big Love) makes his Powerhouse debut with this suspenseful tale of a young woman’s quest for forgiveness.

Wednesday, July 18 – Sunday, July 29
By Stephen Belber
Directed by Peter DuBois
Charles Duff, a news anchor in a mid-market backwater, has an unexpected spiritual awakening on live TV.  His prayers, and their answers, change his audience, his family, and his own life forever. Stephen Belber (Tape, Match, Dusk Rings a Bell, Fault Lines) returns to the Powerhouse alongside Peter DuBois (Sons of the Prophet, Becky Shaw, Jack Goes Boating, All New People).

Martel Musical Workshops (concert readings of works-in-progress)
/ In the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

Friday, June 29 – Sunday, July 1
Book by Itamar Moses
Music & Lyrics by Michael Friedman
Based on the novel by Jonathan Lethem
Conceived and Directed by Daniel Aukin
Based on the best-selling novel, this is the story of black and white America in the 1970’s, of two boys, Dylan and Mingus, of impossibly joyful afternoons of games in the street and of living in a society that you don’t belong to. This is the story of prison and of college, of Brooklyn and Berkeley, of soul and rap, of murder and redemption. And this is the story of what would happen if two teens obsessed with comic book heroes actually ... maybe … had superpowers.

Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29
By Julia Jordan & Juliana Nash
Directed by Trip Cullman
A love triangle gone wrong, Murder Ballad centers on Sara, an Upper West Side mom who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. Created by composer Juliana Nash, front woman for the 90’s indie rock band Talking to Animals and award-winning playwright Julia Jordan (Tatjana in Color, Sarah, Plain and Tall), this sexy, explosive, new rock musical explores the complications of love, the compromises we make, and the small betrayals that can ultimately undo us.  

Inside Look Play Workshops (semi-staged workshops)
/ In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 15
By Eva Anderson, Will Berson & Zach Helm
Created by Teatro de Facto
From Los Angeles company Teatro de Facto, this highly theatrical piece combines dramatic invention and journalistic research to tell the real-life story of Cameron Todd Willingham. Scheduled for execution in the arson death of his children, Willingham awaits his fate while a scientist recreates his crime, casting shadows over Willingham’s conviction, and his community.

Friday, July 20 – Sunday, July 22
By Marcus Gardley
After the mysterious death of her lover, Beartrice Albans imposes a period of mourning on her household, keeping her three daughters locked in the house to embroider linens. But when the summer heat intensifies, a handsome bachelor comes calling, and a familial secret is revealed, the foundation of Beartrice’s house is rocked to its core. Set in New Orleans in 1836, this loose adaptation of Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba examines the complex system of plaçage – common-law marriages of white men and black Creole women. These free women of color became wealthy and powerful activists who fought against racial oppression pre-Civil War.

Readings Festival
/ In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Free with advance reservations suggested (seating very limited) 

Readings Festival 1: Friday, June 22 – Sunday, June 24

22 SECONDSby Michele Lowe
BIG SKYby Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros
GOOD BREAD ALLEYby April Yvette Thompson

Readings Festival 2: Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29

A SEPARATE PEACEby Warren Leight & Todd Almond
JEROMEby Ron Lagomarsino
WHILE I YET LIVEby Billy Porter

Additional readings to be announced.

The Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Company Public Performances

/ In the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
Thursdays, July 5, 12, 19.
A “Soundpainted,” dance theater piece by Mark Lindberg, created for the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center with members of the Apprentice Company
A seemingly random assortment of characters awake in an art gallery and begin a journey together that will take them beyond what can be known in this life.  The performance is created in part through the language of Soundpainting, the multidisciplinary sign language used for live composition, created by composer Walter Thompson.  Part of “Late Night at the Lehman Loeb”

Performances of the Classics
/ At the Outdoor Amphitheater
(rain location: Matthew’s Mug, College Center, Main Building)

Friday, July 6 – Monday, July 9
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Drew Cortese 

Friday, July 13 – Monday, July 16
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Brian McManamon

Friday, July 20 – Monday, July 23
By Euripides
Directed by Tomi Tsunoda 

Special Presentation
/ Location to be announced
Friday, July 20
By Erik Ehn
Directed by Mia Rovegno
Burnt Umber bridges events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rwanda and Bosnia and examines how moral carelessness and lack of empathy provide genocidal ideology with the requisite permissions. A part of Erik Ehn’s “Soulographie” play cycle, a durational performance event looking at 20th century America from the point of view of genocides in the United States (the Tulsa Race Riot), in East Africa (Rwanda and Uganda), and Central America (Guatemala and El Salvador).

Full casting for the season will be announced shortly.

About Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater

Each summer Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater presents new plays and musicals in development, many of which go on to reach wider audiences, including Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theater); Michael Mayer and Peter Parnell’s re-imagining of Lerner & Lowe’s On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (St James Theater); Seminar by Theresa Rebeck (Golden Theater); Gabriel Kahane & Seth Bockley’s new musical February House (The Public Theater); and Storefront Church, John Patrick Shanley’s final installment to his “Church and State” trilogy that began with Doubt (Atlantic Theatre Company).  Other projects developed at the Powerhouse include the Tony Award-winning Side Man and Tru; the multi-award-winning Doubt; the groundbreaking Broadway musical American Idiot, and A Steady Rain, produced on Broadway in 2009 with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.

The result of a unique collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College, the Powerhouse program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 250 professional artists and 40 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works.

New York Stage and Filmis the not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater and film.  Since 1985 New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development 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 residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region.  For more information, visit www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/.

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 services, 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 (www.vassar.edu).

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 the Powerhouse Theater Program office at (845) 437-5907 or powerhouse@vassar.edu.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, April 30, 2012