JOANNA GLEASON TO DIRECT PHYLICIA RASHAD IN THEATRE ASPEN’S “MASTER CLASS”
Rick Miramontez / Ellie Detweiler
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
212 695 7400
Theatre Aspen Contacts:
970 925 9313
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
ASPEN MUSIC FESTIVAL AND SCHOOL
ANNOUNCE COMPLETE CASTING FOR A SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF
AT THE WHEELER OPERA HOUSE ON
JULY 9 AND JULY 10
STARRING TWO-TIME TONY AWARD® WINNER
DIRECTED BY TONY AWARD® WINNER
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Aspen, CO (May 24, 2023) – Following last year’s smash-hit production of The Sound of Music, for their 4th annual collaboration, Theatre Aspen (Jed Bernstein, Producing Director) and the Aspen Music Festival and School (Alan Fletcher, President and CEO) announced the complete casting for the special presentation of Master Class for performances on July 9 and July 10 at 7:30 PM at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, CO.
Master Class features direction by Tony®, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Joanna Gleason (Into the Woods, The Normal Heart).
Starring as opera star Maria Callas is two-time Tony Award- and two-time Drama Desk Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun, Skeleton Crew).
In the dramatic and musical roles of the students, Ms. Rashad will be joined by sopranos Anna Thompson and Marissa Moultrie and tenor Joseph Tancredi—three rising-star opera fellows of the AMFS’s Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS program—accompanied by pianist Rhys Burgess from AMFS’s Collaborative Piano program.
“I love this play – and the chance to hear glorious, rising talent bring it to life is thrilling,” said Ms. Gleason. “I’m so happy to be reuniting with Phylicia, who brings such fierce intelligence, heart and humor to every role.”
Master Class is a full-length drama by Terrence McNally as Maria Callas is brought back to life in this Tony Award-winning play, inspired by the legendary series of master classes given by the opera diva at Juilliard toward the end of her career. The play puts her center stage again as she coaxes, prods, and inspires students – “victims” as she calls them – into giving the performances of their lives while revealing the disappointments in her own life and her relationship with the shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
Tickets for this special presentation may be purchased at any time through the Aspen Music Festival and School website at www.aspenmusicfestival.com/events/buy-tickets. Tickets range from $65-125.
The AMFS Box Office is open by phone only April 12 through June 17, Monday to Friday, 12-4 PM MDT. The box office will be open daily for in-person sales and by phone, June 19 through August 20, 12-4 PM MDT, or concert time, or intermission, if applicable.
Master Class is co-presented by Aspen Music Festival and School and Theatre Aspen with special thanks to Nancy Wall and Charles Wall.
Master Class is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC, servicing the Dramatists Play Service collection. www.dramatists.com
ABOUT THEATRE ASPEN
Theatre Aspen’s 40th Anniversary Summer Season will run from June 22-September 14 and will include three mainstage productions; the Tony Award® winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and the Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt and Rent; the return of Solo Flights the organization’s developmental one-person show festival; and multiple special events, as well as three Theatre Aspen Education productions.
As Theatre Aspen celebrates its 40th Anniversary season in 2023, it continues to rekindle a sense of discovery in audiences who live in and visit the Roaring Fork Valley by producing big theatre in a small space with intimate storytelling. Each season, Theatre Aspen promises to bring world-class theatre dramatically closer, with innovative and imaginative productions of both plays and musicals. These productions are complemented by an assortment of community events, including late-night cabarets, educational programs and performances, collaborations with other Aspen arts organizations, and new works presentations. Theatre Aspen also boasts an impressive Apprentice Program, one of the largest in the country, devoted to training the next generation of theatrical artists and administrators. Starting May 16, the Theatre Aspen Box Office will be open M-F from 10 AM – 4 PM, to learn more about Theatre Aspen visit TheatreAspen.org or call (970) 925-9313.
ABOUT THE ASPEN MUSIC FESTIVAL AND SCHOOL
The Aspen Music Festival and School is one of America’s premier classical music festivals, presenting more than 200 musical events during its eight-week summer season in Aspen. The organization draws top classical musicians from around the world to this Colorado mountain retreat for an unparalleled combination of performances and music education. The nearly 500 students come from most U.S. states and more than 30 countries to play in five orchestras, sing, conduct, compose and study with 100 renowned artist-faculty members from the world’s great symphony orchestras and opera houses. Learn more here.
ABOUT THE ASPEN OPERA THEATER AND VOCALARTS PROGRAM
The Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS (AOTVA) program, under the co-artistic direction of Renée Fleming and Patrick Summers, launched in summer 2021. The program trains young singers for a future of vocal artistry including opera and concert work, emphasizing technical skill, process, and versatility. The AOTVA program performs fully and semi-staged productions in the historic Wheeler Opera House, Benedict Music Tent, and Harris Concert Hall. Learn more here.
Phylicia Rashad, an accomplished actress and stage director, became a household name when she portrayed ‘Clair Huxtable’ on The Cosby Show, a character whose enduring appeal has earned numerous awards and honors for over two decades. Film and television credits include: Jingle Jangle, Pixar’s Soul and Black Box, A Fall From Grace, Creed, Creed II, Creed III, For Colored Girls; This is Us (three Emmy nominations),Diarra From Detroit, Little America, The Crossover, The Good Fight, David Makes Man, and Empire.Inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2016, Ms. Rashad received Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her performances as ‘Faye’ in Skeleton Crew and ‘Lena Younger’ in A Raisin in the Sun, the Lucille Lortel Award for her performance as ‘Shelah’ in Head of Passes, and a Tony nomination for her portrayal of ‘Aunt Ester’ in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. Ms. Rashad has directed plays by Pearl Cleage (Blues For An Alabama Sky), August Wilson ( Gem of the Ocean, Fences, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), Stephen Adly Guirgis, ( Our Lady of 121st Street) and Paul Oakley Stovall (Immediate Family) at prestigious regional and 0ff-Broadway Theaters. Rashad, who serves as Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for the African American Cultural Heritage Fund, is currently Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University.
Joanna Gleason won a Tony for her portrayal of ‘The Baker’s Wife’ in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods. Other Broadway and Off-Broadway Credits include: The Normal Heart, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony Nom), I Love My Wife, Happiness, Joe Egg (Tony Nom), Son of the Prophet, The Real Thing, to name only a few. Television includes: “The West Wing,” “The Newsroom,” “Love and War,” “Bette” and many more. Films include Hannah and her Sisters, Boogie Nights, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Skeleton Twins, and many more. She directed Love and War for CBS, and “Oh, Baby” for Lifetime Television. She’s written and directed two films – a short, “Morning into Night”, which debuted at the Los Angeles International Short Film and was selected for the Cambridge film in England, and a feature – The Grotto, which just won the Best Narrative Feature Premiere at the Heartland International Film Festival this year, as well as being officially selected for and winning awards in seven other international film festivals.
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