TACT/The Actors Company Theatre Announces 2010/2011 Season
Rick Miramontez/Richard Hillman
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TACT/THE ACTORS COMPANY THEATRE
ANNOUNCES 2010/2011 SEASON
BY VACLAV HAVEL
DIRECTED BY JENN THOMPSON
“THREE MEN ON A HORSE”
BY GEORGE ABBOTT & JOHN CECIL HOLM
DIRECTED BY SCOTT ALAN EVANS
IN RESIDENCE AT THE BECKETT THEATRE ON THEATER ROW
New York, NY (July 27, 2010) – TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris and Simon Jones, Co-Artistic Directors) has announced its 2010/2011 Season. The critically-acclaimed company dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit will offer Mainstage productions of The Memorandum by Vaclav Havel, and Three Men on a Horse by George Abbott and John Cecil Holm at The Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street) on Theatre Row.
In a statement, Scott Alan Evans, the Co-Artistic Director of TACT, said, “This season we’re loaded with comedies – with everything that’s going on in the world today, we figure we could all use a good laugh. Both plays are big: big ideas, big laughs and big casts. In Havel’s brilliant satire of bureaucracy gone mad, and in Abbott and Holm’s daffy get-rich-quick comedy, the desire to somehow take control of a world gone crazy is the overarching need. We think that might be something people can relate to these days.”
Opening the season is The Memorandum, one of the best known and most popular plays by renowned playwright, former political prisoner and the first president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel. When the managing director of an enormous corporation discovers that all office communications are suddenly being written in “Ptydepe,” a newly invented and impossibly complicated language, his attempts to get one memo translated lead him through an increasingly ridiculous maze of red tape.
Inspired by the absurdities of life in Eastern Europe under Communism, Havel began writing The Memorandum as early as 1960. Rewritten many times over the next few years, it became the second of Havel’s plays produced at Prague’s Theatre of the Balustrade, where he was then literary manager. The play had its American debut in 1968 as part of Joseph Papp’s inaugural season at The Public Theatre winning an Obie Award for Best Foreign Play. First produced in London in 1977 (and revived in 1995), The Memorandum has been presented regularly around the world. TACT is staging the first major Off Broadway revival in over 40 years.
TACT Company Member and Associate Producer Jenn Thompson directs. Performances begin on Monday, October 25th, 2010. Opening night is Thursday, November 4th at 7:30pm. Performances will continue through Saturday, November 27th.
TACT continues its 2010/2011 season with Three Men on a Horse, the dizzy and delightful Depression era comedy by George Abbott and John Cecil Holm, one of the American theatre’s most accomplished showmen. Hen-pecked greeting-card writer, Erwin Trowbridge, has an uncanny ability for predicting the winners of horse races. For Erwin it’s just a hobby, but when his extraordinary talent is discovered by a down-and-out pack of gamblers, Erwin suddenly finds himself very far from his safe suburban home in Ozone Heights.
Three Men on a Horse has enjoyed four Broadway productions since it debuted at the Playhouse Theatre on January 30, 1935 where it remained until November 1936. It then transferred to the Fulton Theatre to complete its run of 835 performances. Directed by George Abbott, the opening night cast included Garson Kanin, Shirley Booth, and Sam Levene. The first revival opened at the Forrest Theatre on October 9, 1942 and ran for 28 performances. Directed by John Cecil Holm, the cast included Horace McMahon. The second revival (directed by George Abbott) opened at the Lyceum Theatre on October 16, 1969 and ran for four previews and 100 performances. The cast included Sam Levene, Jack Gilford, Dorothy Loudon, Butterfly McQueen, Paul Ford, Hal Linden, and Rosemary Prinz. The third revival (also at the Lyceum Theatre) was staged by the National Actors Theatre. It began previews on March 23, 1993, opened on April 13, and closed on May 16 after 24 previews and 39 performances. Directed by John Tillinger, the cast included Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Jerry Stiller, Ellen Greene, and Julie Hagerty. In the spring of 1987, the play was presented at the Royal National Theatre and because it was the first time it was produced in London, it was eligible for nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, which it won. A 1936 film adaptation was produced and directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starred Frank McHugh, Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, and Sam Levene. TACT presented a concert performance of Three Men on a Horse in 1998 at its first home, The NY Historical Society.
TACT Co-Artistic Director Scott Alan Evans directs. Performances begin Tuesday, March 15th, 2011. Opening Night is Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:30pm. Performances will continue through April 16th.
The cast and creative team for both productions will be announced at a later date.
The Memorandum and Three Men on a Horse will both have the following performance schedule: Monday, Wednesday – Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2pm & 8pm; Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $20 – $56.25 and will be available through TeleCharge – www.telecharge.com/(212) 279-6200. They will also be available at the Theatre Row box office (410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) between 12pm and 8pm daily.
TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris & Simon Jones, Co-Artistic Directors) is dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit, with a focus on creating theatre from its essence: the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life.
TACT’s celebrated company of actors was drawn together in 1992 by a love of the literature of the theatre. Since that time, they have grown to become a true ensemble: a group that has developed a common vocabulary and a technique based on their specific artistic vision and collective body of work. TACT company members, whose cumulative experience includes scores of significant roles on and off Broadway, in the country’s finest regional theatres and in many films and television shows, have received Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards, in addition to several Tony nominations.
After presenting thirteen seasons of “in-concert” performances, the company took a leap with its 2006-07 season by presenting fully staged productions of David Storey’s Home and The Sea by Edward Bond at The Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row. TACT became a resident company on Theatre Row with its 2007-08 season when they presented critically-acclaimed productions of The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, by Tennessee Williams, which The New York Times included in its “Top 10 Theatre Picks for 2008.” The company’s productions of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce, Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy, and last season’s productions of The Late Christopher Bean and The Cocktail Party became instant hits and enjoyed extended runs.
Jenn Thompson (Director, The Memorandum) is both a company member and Associate Producer of TACT, having appeared in several productions and, most recently, directed last season’s critically-acclaimed production of The Late Christopher Bean. Other directing credits for TACT include Bedroom Farce, Eccentricities of a Nightingale (which was included in The New York Times “Top Ten Theatre Picks for 2008”), Ladies in Retirement, My 3 Angels, Rain and Kind Lady. Last fall Ms. Thompson directed the world premiere of the new musical Seeing Stars at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). Other recent NYC directing credits include the world premieres of Badge by Matthew Schneck (Rattlestick), Term Limit by Viki Boyle (American Globe Theatre), The Brilliance of Bernstein (featuring Phyllis Newman – American Musicals Project at the NY Historical Society) and Richard Thompson’s critically acclaimed play Big Doolie, which sold out its run at the 10th Anniversary NYC Fringe Festival. As a Producing Director and founding company member of Connecticut’s award-winning River Rep Theatre Company, she has performed in over 40 plays and musicals and has, most recently, directed productions of The Foreigner, Dinner with Friends, The Heiress and Damn Yankees. As an actress, Ms. Thompson’s credits include extensive appearances in TV and Film, as well as in the Tony Award-winning Broadway productions of Ah, Wilderness!, The Heiress and Annie, and in Off-Broadway productions at Playwrights’ Horizons, the Public Theatre, Soho Rep, The York, American Jewish Theatre, The Hudson Guild, W.P.A., Protean Theatre Company, Perry Street Theatre and Ubu Rep, as well as work at many of the finest regional theatres across the country.
Scott Alan Evans (Director, Three Men on a Horse) is Co-Artistic and Executive Director of TACT (The Actors Company Theatre). Since 1993, TACT has unearthed and Evans has produced and/or directed over 90 forgotten or neglected plays, bringing many back to the cannon of plays produced. Evans' most recent productions, T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party and Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy were among TACT’s most successful. For TACT, Evans adapted & directed the US premiere of Nöel Coward’s Long Island Sound, and conceived, co-wrote & directed the world premiere of The Triangle Factory Project. The New York Post called Triangle “the theatrical event of the season.” The play has been published by Dramatists Play Services and continues to enjoy productions across the country. More recently, Evans and has produced eight and directed five of TACT's productions presented at their current home at Theater Row, including Home, The Sea, The Runner Stumbles, Incident at Vichy and The Cocktail Party. In addition to his work with TACT, Evans wrote & directed the musical, Goose! Beyond the Nursery (3 Outer Critic Circle Award nominations including Best Off-Broadway Prod.). Outside of TACT, Mr. Evans has worked with many NYC companies, last year he directed a theater version of Handel’s Seven Last Words with the Lincoln Center Chamber Society. Mr. Evans served for 10 years as Artistic Director of the American Musicals Project, producing an annual concert series at the New-York Historical Society celebrating great musical theatre writers and featuring Broadway headliners. He is member of SDC and the Dramatist Guild.