NEW PALTZ — The 32nd season of New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre opens June 29. This summer’s fare includes a pair of award-winning plays that are intelligent, compassionate and entertaining theatrical hits. Proof, by David Auburn, runs June 29 through July 9. Talley’s Folly, by Lanford Wilson, runs July 13 ? 23. Each production includes professional actors who are members of Actors Equity Association. For most of its history, New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre productions comprised performances by students and community members. In 2005, the Department of Theatre Arts made a move to feature professional players and directors. SUNY New Paltz students continue to develop valuable skills in technical aspects of the productions including sets, costumes, and lighting, as well as front-of house positions in box office and house management.
“This significant shift reflects a change in our theatre audiences,” says Frank Trezza, NPSRT producer and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. “As the demographics of the Hudson Valley continue to evolve, we have found that the audiences we attract have evolved as well. They are culturally sophisticated, are informed about contemporary theatre, and expect consistent, high-quality production values. The decision to move to Equity contracts reflects our commitment to staying current and relevant to the regional theatre scene.”
By David Auburn
Directed by Brant Pope
June 29 – July 9
Synopsis: Catherine is a troubled young woman who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, Robert. On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine must deal not only with his death but with the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire, and with the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that Robert left behind. As Catherine confronts Hal’s affections and Claire’s plans for her life, she struggles to solve the most perplexing problem of all: How much of her father’s madness – or genius – will she inherit?” One of the most acclaimed plays of recent seasons; Proof explores the enigmatic nature of love as much as it does the mystery of mathematics.
From an initial off-Broadway run at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Proof moved to Broadway, and then to a national tour, after picking up the Joseph Kesselring Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Drama Desk Award, and the Tony Award for Best Play of 2001.
Director Brant Pope is the Head of the MFA Acting program at Penn State University. From 1991-2001 he served as Director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory and Associate Artistic Director of the Asolo Theatre Company in Sarasota, Florida. As a member of AEA (Actor’s Equity) and SSDC (Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers), Mr. Pope’s work has been seen off-Broadway and in regional theatre, as well as film and television. Recent directing credits include ART and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK at Tennessee Repertory Theatre, MASS APPEAL at ARTPARK, DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS, at American Stage, AH! WILDERNESS and HOT’L BALTIMORE at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, SYLVIA, and LEND ME A TENOR at Nebraska Repertory Theatre, and THE THREE MUSKETEERS for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Brant directed over twenty productions at the Asolo including the regional premieres of THREE DAYS OF RAIN and BEAST ON THE MOON. Mr. Pope comes to New Paltz after directing the premier of AFGHAN WOMEN, by William Mastrosimone (Extremities) in Pennsylvania. AFGHAN WOMEN is scheduled to open in New York in spring 2007.
Laura Ames (Catherine) – Originally from Rhode Island, Laura has worked with the Trinity Repertory Company Summer Shakespeare Project. Laura spent the last 2 years in Chicago where she worked with Around the Coyote, Timeline Theatre, and Chicago Dramatists. She has played Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Regan in KING LEAR, and Phoebe in AS YOU LIKE IT with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Laura holds and MFA in Acting from Penn State University and now lives in Northern Michigan.
George Judy (Robert) is Professor of Performance and Director of the Bachelor of Arts program at the nationally recognized School of Theatre at Florida State University. He has been honored with many teaching awards and is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. His many credits as a professional actor, writer, director and educator include work with the Royal National Theatre Studio, London, the Asolo Theatre, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Centre Stage, and twelve seasons with the Tony award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. As an Associate Artist with the Festival, Professor Judy has performed such favorite roles as Bottom in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Sir Toby Belch in TWELFTH NIGHT, and Polonius in HAMLET. He was for the past six years Artistic Director of the Festival new play development series, Plays in Progress, working as producer, director and dramaturg with both young and established playwrights to develop important new works for the American Theatre. His own adaptation of ANTIGONE, which he directed in a highly praised production on the FSU MAINSTAGE, was published by Pioneer Drama and has been performed across the country. Graduates of Professor Judy’s Audition Techniques workshops are working across the country and have been admitted to some of the most prestigious graduate training programs in the country, including NYU, Yale, U of Washington, Penn State, and the Professional Theatre Training Program at the U of Delaware.
Supporting roles will be performed by Quetta Carpenter and Todd Courson. Proof will be presented June 29, 30, July 1, 6, 7, 8, at 8 p.m. and July 2 and 9 at 2 p.m.
By Lanford Wilson
Directed by George Judy
July 13-23, Parker Theatre
Synopsis: Lanford Wilson?s 1980 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award-winning play, Talley’s Folly, is a romantic comedy which shows one evening in the courtship of two unlikely lovers, Sally Talley and Matt Friedman. Sally is from a conservative, small-town wealthy family of intolerant Protestants, and Matt is a Jewish accountant twelve years older than Sally. The story of how they become brave enough to reveal their most painful secrets will touch audiences. Talley’s Folly was a Broadway hit and is considered one of Wilson’s most hopeful and affirming plays.
Director George Judy‘s bio appears above in Proof.
Sally Talley is played by Laura Ames. See her bio appears above in Proof.
Charles Pistone (Matt Friedman) – veteran actor, director, and teacher, Mr. Pistone teaches acting at SUNY Ulster, and is a member of the UCCC Theater Co-op. In addition to the recent AMERICA BUFFALO, he directed the college’s Fall 2004 production of Arthur Miller’s A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, and also assisted in their Summer 2004 musical production of VICTOR, VITCORIA. Charles is also the resident director of the Woodstock Theater Company. He is a former faculty member at the Broadway Theater Institute where he helped to develop many of their educational initiatives. Favorite directing credits include THE THREEPENNY OPERA, THE ZOO STORY, BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE, THE EFFECTS OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN IN THE MOON MARIGOLDS, AWAKE AND SING (Hartman Conservatory Theater), and DEATHTRAP (Depot Theater). Mr Pistone’s extensive acting credits include Joe in the Broadway revival of Frank Loesser’s THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Cast Album), Frank Manero in the Broadway production of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, Valentin in KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN (London and New York productions), Javert in the first National Company of LES MISERABLES, and the title role in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. He most recently created the role of Sal Penza in ROMEO AND BERNADETTE at the Papermill Playhouse. He has also been featured in numerous Off-Broadway, stock, and regional theater productions, including CHESS (Alliance), CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (Goodspeed), THE SECRET GARDEN (CLO), WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Olney), JANE EYRE (Studio Arena), GUYS AND DOLLS (Casa Manana), SOUTH PACIFIC (MUNY), and THE SEAHORSE (Hartman). Charles has participated in the development of new works under the auspices of the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, New York Shakespeare Festival, Livent of Canada, Manhattan Theater Club, York Theater, ASCAP, and BMI. Concert work includes appearances with the Hartford Symphony, BBC Radio Orchestra, BBC Symphony, and Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall. On television, he has been featured on LAW AND ORDER, ALL MY CHILDREN, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, ANOTHER WOLD, and the NBC movie: HOWARD BEACH: MAKING THE CASE FOR MURDER.
Talley’s Folly is presented July 13, 14, 15, 20 21, 22, at 8 p.m. and July 16, 23 at 2 p.m. in Parker Theatre.
Tickets to each production are $24 general reserved, $19 reserved senior/student/staff. Subscriptions to both shows are $36 regular admission, $32 senior/student/staff. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office, (845) 257-3880, located in Parker Theater. Monday ? Friday 11:30am ? 4:30pm and one hour before curtain. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.newpaltz.edu/summerrep. Parker Theatre is wheelchair accessible and equipped with an infrared listening system for the hearing impaired. -30-