News

Powerhouse Theater adds musical and play workshops to its 2014 season, with playwright Beth Henley and director Michael Greif among the talents returning for this year’s 30th anniversary

Vassar College and New York Stage & Film have announced the four workshops—two musicals, two plays—that will be a part of the upcoming 30th Powerhouse Theater Season, running from June 20 to July 27 at Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, New York).  Full programming will be announced at a later date.  Subscriptions will be available online on May 7, 2014, and single tickets will go on sale online May 20.  Visit http://powerhouse.vassar.edu for more info.

The four workshop productions of the 30th Powerhouse Theater Season are:

SeaWife

By Seth Moore & The Lobbyists

Directed by and developed with Liz Carlson

June 27–29 in The Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Supernatural characters, romance, tragedy and stirring original music by The Lobbyists combine in this one-of-a-kind event – part play, part concert, and part immersive experience. We follow Percy, a young sailor bred in the golden age of the American whaling boom, as he journeys through port cities and wrestles with ghosts, sea monsters, and the loss of his one true love.

A Walk on the Moon

Music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman

Book and additional lyrics by Pamela Gray

Directed by Michael Greif

July 25–27 in The Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

It’s the summer of 1969 in a Catskill Mountains bungalow colony. While her husband spends each week working in the city, Pearl Kantrowitz finds herself drawn toward a free-spirited traveling salesman. Her personal crisis plays out against one of America’s most tumultuous summers, as astronauts walk on the moon, the Vietnam War escalates, and Woodstock takes place right down the road. Michael Greif, the award-winning director of Rent, Grey Gardens and Next To Normal, returns to Powerhouse with this deeply romantic story of awakening, adapted from Pamela Gray's hit film.

Play Workshops:

The Light Years

Written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen

Developed and directed by Oliver Butler

July 11–13 in The Susan Stein Shiva Theater

From The Debate Society, a haunted love story spanning four decades. Chicago 1893: The Zoopraxiscope, cracker jacks and neon lights. The Ferris Wheel, hootchy-kootchy... hell they even had the hamburger! On the eve of a glowing new century, something terrible happens in a humble two-story home. And everything ends. Chicago 1933: When the fair returns 40 years later, so do the unfinished histories of everything that could have been. And so things begin for the hermit upstairs and the mysterious look-a-like below.

Laugh

By Beth Henley

Directed by David Schweizer

July 18–20 in The Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Mabel’s had a hard few weeks: A dynamite accident at a gold mine has left her wealthy but orphaned, and she’s shipped off to a scheming aunt and a long-lost cousin, who’s charged with seducing her to control Mabel’s fortune. This hapless courtship reveals a shared love of silent movies and a plan for greater things. A story of mishaps and moxie, the romance of Hollywood and ultimately a Hollywood-caliber romance. A slapstick comedy from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Crimes of the Heart and The Jacksonian.

As previously announced, the three mainstage productions of the 30th Powerhouse Theater Season are: The Babylon Line by Richard Greenberg and directed by Terry Kinney (June 26-July 6); In Your Arms, an unprecedented collaboration with 10 playwrights (Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, & Alfred Uhry) writing wordless vignettes that will culminate in a new dance piece directed and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, with music by Stephen Flaherty (July 5-13); and The Danish Widow written and directed by John Patrick Shanley (July 16-27). 

ABOUT POWERHOUSE THEATER

Celebrating 30 years this summer, Powerhouse Theater is a collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development and production of new works for theater and film.  The Powerhouse program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 250 professional artists and 50 apprentices in the Powerhouse Training Program live and work together to create new theater works. 

Recent highlights at Powerhouse include The Hamilton Mixtape, the latest work from In the Heights Tony® Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda; Bright Star, an original musical from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell; and The Fortress of Solitude, a musical adaptation of the best-selling novel by Jonathan Lethem.  Many shows from past seasons have found their way to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and theaters nationwide, including Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theater); Seminar by Theresa Rebeck (Golden Theater); Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash’s Murder Ballad (Manhattan Theater Club); Pulitzer finalist Nathan Englander’s The Twenty-Seventh Man (The Public Theater); and Storefront Church, John Patrick Shanley’s final installment of his “Church and State” trilogy that began with Doubt (Atlantic Theater 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.

ARTIST BIOS FOR THE 2014 POWERHOUSE THEATER WORKSHOPS

Hannah Bos (writer/performer, THE LIGHT YEARS) was recently seen in premiere of Will Eno’s The Open House (Lortel nomination) at the Signature Theatre Company. Hannah is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society, co-writing and starring in all of the company’s plays. Other NYC performances include Hostage Song (The Kraine), The Pumpkin Pie Show: Ringside Seats (The Belt), Cardiac Shadow (P.S. 122), and Junta High (P.S. 122).  Regional credits include: the premieres of Will Eno’s GNIT and Lisa Kron’s The Veri**on Play at Humana Festival, Andrei Serban’s Lysistrata, Three Farces and a Funeral and Janos Szasz’ Marat/Sade (all A.R.T). Hannah is the co-creator/writer/“Flo” of “The Mimi and Flo Show”, a choose-your-own-adventure web series that has been seen by over 3 million people. She is also the creator of the web series “Timeless Seasons” which recently played at the LA Comedy Shorts Festival and Rooftop Films. Upcoming films include “How to Follow Strangers” and “Next Life”. Hannah is a Sundance Theatre Institute fellow, an Ars Nova Artist-in-Residence and a recipient of The Six Points Fellowship. B.A. Vassar College, M.F.A from The Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University/Moscow Art Theater.

Oliver Butler (director/developer, THE LIGHT YEARS) directed the recent premiere of Will Eno’s The Open House at the Signature Theatre Company.  Oliver is a founder and co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society. He has developed and directed the world premieres of all of the company’s plays. In New York, Oliver has also directed tick, tick… Boom! (Encores! Off-Center at New York City Center) the premieres of Goodbye New York Goodbye Heart by Lally Katz (The Australian-American Production Company) and Hostage Song, a new musical by Kyle Jarrow and Clay McLeod Chapman (Horse Trade Theater Group). In 2006, at The Ontological Incubator, he directed and developed the workshop performance of Nine Days Falling written by Lally Katz and Mac Wellman. He is a Sundance Institute Fellow, Ars Nova Artist-in-Residence and a Bill Foeller Fellow (Williamstown).

Paul Thureen (writer/performer, THE LIGHT YEARS) is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society, co-writing and starring in all of the company’s plays. Other NYC performances include Annie Baker’s Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep), 41-derful (Clubbed Thumb), Core Values (Ars Nova), Hostage Song and Clay McLeod Chapman’s The Pumpkin Pie Show. Regional: The Description of the World, Façade, and Pulcinella (Theatre de la Jeune Lune) and The Odyssey Experience (McCarter). TV: “The Late Show with David Letterman,” The Revolution” (History Channel). Paul is an Obie Award winner (Blood Play), Sundance Institute Fellow and an Ars Nova Artist-in-Residence.

The Lobbyists (Co-Creators, Composers, Performers, SEAWIFE) formed in the winter of 2012 in the lobby of The Flea Theater in Tribeca, New York City while acting together in the downtown hit These Seven Sicknesses. The group began as pre-show entertainment – a concert in the lobby before every performance of the play – but quickly caught on as their inventive, collaborative songwriting and charismatic live persona charmed audiences. Their fresh sound – lush and intricate harmonies, acoustic instrumentation, with influences ranging from bluegrass to country to soul to pop – is at once unique and rooted in traditional folk music. Now a gigging band in NYC and Brooklyn, The Lobbyists have played at some of New York’s most iconic venues, including Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, MOMA and others, as well as a variety of house parties and theater-related fundraising events. The Lobbyists consist of Tommy Crawford (Music Director, Vocals, Guitar, Accordion), Eloïse Eonnet (Vocals, Tambourine), Alex Grubbs (Vocals, Mandolin, Guitar), Will Turner (Vocals, Guitar, Banjo), Tony Vo (Vocals, Percussion, Guitar), and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman (Fiddle).

Seth Moore (Co-Creator, Playwright, SEAWIFE) is an actor/playwright living in New York City. Seth has had his plays produced in Michigan and Cincinnati, as well as New York. His play Jonesin’ was produced by The University of Michigan as part of their mainstage season while he was still an undergraduate; it subsequently won The 2008 McIntyre Prize for Distinction in Undergraduate Playwriting, the Naomi Saferstein Literary Award, and The Avery Hopwood Award for Drama. In 2009 his play The Man With American Skin also received the McIntyre Prize and The Avery Hopwood Award for Drama (a record shared only by Arthur Miller). The Man... received a workshop at New York Theater Workshop and was later produced as a part of The Araca Project in 2012. Wolf Inside, a radio thriller, was produced at WNYC’s Green Space as a part of the program Blind Fear. Seth was the co-founder of Prophet in your Pocket, which creates poetry-inspired devised pieces, incorporating multi-media, puppetry, spoken word and mask. They performed in NY as well as the Midwest. Other Writing: -Catch. (Cincinnati Fringe); China Town Is Full of Rooms (Blue FireProd); Ghosts In the Tapestry (in development); #serials@theFlea (multiple plays). As an actor, Seth is a frequent collaborator with Ed Iskandar and his company, Exit Pursued By A Bear, as well as a former Bat at the Flea Theater.

Liz Carlson (Director, Developer, SEAWIFE) is a freelance director and the newest Artistic Director of Naked Angels. Her primary focus is the development of new plays and musicals. Liz has worked at The Dramatists Guild, EST, The Flea, Keen Company, Manhattan School of Music, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, New York Stage & Film, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, Studio 42, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and more. MFA: The New School for Drama. 2013 Drama League Directors Project Fellow.

Beth Henley (Playwright, LAUGH) was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Her plays have been produced internationally and translated into over ten languages. CRIMES OF THE HEART (The Golden Theatre) and THE WAKE OF JAMEY FOSTER (Eugene O'Neill Theatre) were performed on Broadway. Off-Broadway productions include: THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST, AM I BLUE, THE LUCKY SPOT, THE DEBUTANTE BALL, ABUNDANCE, IMPOSSIBLE MARRIAGE, and FAMILY WEEK. Her play RIDICULOUS FRAUD was produced at McCarter Theatre as well as South Coast Repertory Theatre. Ms. Henley’s newest work THE JACKSONIAN premiered at the Geffen Theatre in January 2012 to great acclaim. Robert Falls directed and the cast included Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, Amy Madigan and Glenne Headly. It was most recently premiered Off-Broadway at the New Group.  Beth Henley was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play for CRIMES OF THE HEART. Other awards include: American Theatre Wing 1998 Award for Distinguished Achievement in Playwriting; Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist for CRIMES OF THE HEART and RIDICULOUS FRAUD; Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award 2000; New York Stage and Film Honoree, 2007; ATHE Career Achievement Award, 2010.  Ms. Henley has the honor of serving as Theatre Arts Presidential Professor at LMU, Los Angeles. She is a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Dramatist Guild and the Academy of Arts and Science.

David Schweizer (Director, LAUGH) emerged from Yale Drama School to make his New York debut at the age of twenty-four at Lincoln Center with Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida for producer Joseph Papp. And, some decades later, he returned to Lincoln Center with his acclaimed staging of Richard Rodney Bennett's opera  The Mines of Sulphur for the New York City Opera. Over the years he has directed a vastly eclectic mix of theatrically innovative work with new plays, opera, theater and performance in a wide range of styles and venues. Some recent highlights: Charles Mee's Wintertime at Second Stage, William Hamilton's White Chocolate at Century Playhouse, Mark Campbell's Songs From an Unmade Bed at the New York Theater Workshop and his notable collaborations with composer/performer  Rinde Eckert, And God Created Great Whales (OBIE AWARD) and Horizon. His extensive work in opera theater includes Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring (Gotham Opera), Stephen Hartke's The Greater Good (Glimmerglass Festival), Verdi's  Macbetto at Boston Lyric Opera, and Giovanna D’Arco at Chicago Opera Theater. His many works for the innovative Long Beach Opera include Thomas Ades Powder Her Face, Michael Nymann's The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Antonio Vivaldi's  Motezuma and many others. He has directed extensively at most prominent American regional and many international theaters And his work with performance and solo artists includes Ann Magnuson, Sandra Tsing Loh , John Fleck, Carmelita Tropicana, Mark Wolf and most recently Marga Gomez (Los Big Names in NYC and Love Birds in San Francisco) and Mike Albo whose solo play The Junket ran at the Lynn Redgrave Theater off-Broadway this season.

Michael Greif (Director, A WALK ON THE MOON) - Broadway: If/Then, Next to Normal, Grey Gardens, Rent, Never Gonna Dance.  Delacorte: Winter's Tale, Romeo and Juliet.  Off-Broadway: new plays, musicals, revivals at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, NY Shakespeare Festival, NY Theater Workshop, Roundabout, Second Stage, Signature including the 2010  revival of Angels in America (Lortel Award), Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...(Public),  Guare's Landscape of the Body (Signature), musical adaptations of Giant, Far From Heaven, and Machinal, Dogeaters (Public), Rent (NYTW) for which he received Obie Awards. Regional: Williamstown (9 seasons), La Jolla Playhouse (Artistic Director 1995-99), Arena, Center Stage, Goodman, Taper, DTC, Trinity Rep. Education: Northwestern(BS), UCSD(MFA). Proud father of David and Hannah.

Paul Scott Goodman (Music and Lyrics, A WALK ON THE MOON) - Born and raised in Glasgow, moved to London and then L.A. before settling in NYC in 1984. Produced work includes: Alive in the World, Bright Lights Big City, ROOMS: A Rock Romance (book co-written with Miriam Gordon, Outer Critics Circle Best Score nomination), G-d Save the New Wave, Son of A Stand Up Comedian, Domestica. PSG is currently writing Open Road and A Walk on the Moon. He lives and works in Soho, New York and dedicates these performances to his wife Miriam and children, Shayna, Glory, and Gordon.

Pamela Gray (Book and additional lyrics, A WALK ON THE MOON) is the screenwriter of the critically acclaimed film A WALK ON THE MOON, starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, and Liev Schreiber, and produced by Dustin Hoffman.  Pamela received a Golden Satellite nomination for best original screenplay, and the film won a National Board of Review Award for Excellence in Filmmaking.  Entertainment Weekly rated it #9 on their list of the “50 Sexiest Movies of All Time.” Pamela’s other credits include MUSIC OF THE HEART, which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination, and CONVICTION, starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell. CONVICTION won a National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award and was chosen Best Picture at the Boston Film Festival. Variety named Pamela one of “Ten Screenwriters to Watch.”

ABOUT NEW YORK STAGE AND FILM

(Johanna Pfaelzer, artistic director; Thomas Pearson, executive director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, producing directors)  

New York Stage and Film is a 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.

ABOUT VASSAR COLLEGE

(Ed Cheetham, producing director)

Vassar 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.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, April 29, 2014