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DRAMASHOP’S 2014-15 SEASON REVEALED!

 

Mainstage:
BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON
Book by Alex Timbers, Music and Lyrics by  Michael Friedman
Fridays & Saturdays, September 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27, 2014

This satirical musical about the seventh U.S. president, reinvented as an “emo” rock star will definitely leave people talking. BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON tells the story of America’s first political maverick who fought the British, screwed the Indians and knocked down the Spaniards, all for the U.S.A. From frontier to the White House, ‘Old Hickory’ is kicking ass and taking names, because manifest destiny. It’s weird, rowdy, funny, loud, crude, self-centered and, well, American, for better or worse.

OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION: On opening night, we’ll hold a special season-opener event. All tickets to the September 12 performance will include admission to a pre-show reception, much like last year’s HOMEMADE FUSION event. The rest of the run will follow our regular ticket pricing.

 

Studio Series:
DORIAN GREY
Adapted from the Oscar Wilde novel by Jess Flock
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, October 30, 31, November 1, 6, 7 & 8, 2014

DORIAN GREY is a reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s 1890 gothic novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” This new adaptation by Jess Flock brings the story into a contemporary setting and flips the gender of several main characters. Alaina Manchester will direct, with Jessica Annunziata as assistant director. This studio production will be a collaborative effort molded by both the creative team and the cast. Dealing with topics of gender, beauty, sexuality and morality, DORIAN GREY is a thrilling tale and powerful work.

 

Staged Reading Series:
CLYBOURNE PARK
By Bruce Norris
Tuesdays, December 9 & 16, 2014

Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the 2012 Tony Award, CLYBOURNE PARK features two intriguing acts set in the same house, but fifty years apart. Act One takes place in 1959, as neighbors are trying to stop an African-American family from moving to their quiet, suburban street.  Act Two is present-day, and the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification. Funny, witty, challenging and timely, it’s a perfect fit for Dramashop.

 

Staged Reading Series:
AN ORIGINAL PLAY
Author TBD
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, February 3, 4, 10 & 11, 2015

Following the success of Dan Johnson’s LOVE ACTUALLY ISN’T, we’re rolling the dice once more and searching for a new, unpublished play, to be staged as a part of Fringe Fest Erie. The submission deadline is November 1, 2014, so start writing – your play could be next!

 

Mainstage:
THIRD
By Wendy Wasserstein

March 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28, 2015

From the author of THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, this 2005 play will have you picking sides. Woodson Bull III, aka “Third,” and Professor Laurie Jameson do not get along. She sees him as an entitled conservative, he sees her as liberal academic.  When he submits a sophisticated essay on King Lear, she thinks he couldn’t possibly have written it and reports it as plagiarism. Who will you side with in this provocative he-said / she-said battle of words?

 

Staged Reading Series:
THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE
By Charles Busch

Tuesdays, April 28 & May 5, 2015

A middle-aged Upper West Side Doctor’s wife is plunged into a mid-life crisis and thrown for a loop by the reappearance of a fascinating and mysterious childhood friend. This intelligent, hilarious comedy earned Charles Busch some of his greatest acclaim, winning the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award and garnering fantastic reviews from The New York Times, The New York Daily News, and New York Magazine.

 

Mainstage:
ANGELS IN AMERICA, PART ONE: MILLENIUM APPROACHES
By Tony Kushner
June 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27, 2015

In Tony Kushner’s 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, set in 1980s New York City, a gay man is abandoned by his lover when he contracts the AIDS virus, and a closeted Mormon lawyer’s marriage to his pill-popping wife unravels. Other characters include the infamous lawyer Roy Cohn, Ethel Rosenberg, a former drag queen turned nurse, and, of course, an angel.

More than 20 years after it premiered, ANGELS IN AMERICA remains one of the most powerful plays in American history. While the HIV/AIDS epidemic has improved, it’s not gone, and it’s a part of our history. Oppression, discrimination, acceptance, tolerance and understanding are struggles you see in the news every day. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

 

Studio Series:
GERTRUDE, QUEEN OF DENMARK
By Robert Michael Morris
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, July 30, 31, August 1, 6, 7 & 8, 2015

A compelling take on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” the play covers the same timeframe, but from the point of view of his mother, Gertrude. Haunted by dreams of her dead husband – or is it his ghost? – Gertrude struggles with accusations of adultery and a deeply tormented son. This production will be presented at Dramashop, in partnership with Gannon University’s Shakespeare Summer Nights.

Audition for OTHER DESERT CITIES

Auditions for our third and final mainstage production of the season, OTHER DESERT CITIES by Jon Robin Baitz, will be held on Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Dramashop, Renaissance Centre, 2nd Floor, 1001 State Street, Erie, PA. This production is directed by Zach Flock, artistic director of Dramashop. The production will rehearse for approximately seven weeks, beginning the week of April 6 through the May 22 opening.

A 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist, OTHER DESERT CITIES is a riveting family drama set in 2004 and concerning the adult children of a California couple. A family divided by politics is driven further apart by the rehashing of an old family secret. OTHER DESERT CITIES provides a searing look at the dramatics of life in the American family, and the tension of political rivalries when they intersect with philosophical and moral beliefs.

PERFORMANCES:
Thursday, May 22, 2014, 8pm
Friday, May 23, 2014, 8pm
Saturday, May 24, 2014, 8pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014, 8pm
Friday. May 30, 2014, 8pm
Saturday, May 31, 2014, 8pm

WHAT TO PREPARE: Prepared monologues are welcome but not required. Cold readings from the script will be provided at auditions.

AVAILABLE ROLES: All roles are open and will be cast based on auditions. Age ranges listed below are approximations based on the director’s vision for the production – don’t let your actual age prevent you from auditioning; anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to audition!

Brooke Wyeth – (Early 30s/ early 40s)
Polly Wyeth – Brooke’s mother (Late 50s/60s)
Lyman Wyeth – Brooke’s father (Similar age to Polly)
Silda Grauman – Polly’s sister of a similar age
Trip Wyeth – Brooke’s brother, about 10 years younger

We prefer that you audition during the scheduled times out of respect to the director and other auditionees, but if you are unable to make it and are interested in auditioning, you may contact us VIA EMAIL PRIOR TO AUDITIONS to potentially audition at another time. While we understand conflicts arise, we cannot guarantee auditions outside of the scheduled audition hours. We will not schedule auditions after Sunday, March 30 so as not to delay the release of the cast list.

We have a home!

For the last two years, we’ve performed and rehearsed anywhere we could. Rehearsals have been held everywhere from the conference room at a law firm to my living room. We’ve performed in the Schuster Theatre, the Renaissance Centre, PACA, and even in a coffeehouse at Gannon. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has opened their doors, often free of charge, to give us a chance to establish ourselves and find our footing.

Well, good news – we’ve found our footing, and we’re ready to stand on our own. After two years of growth and incredible support from the community – from all of you – we’re taking what we consider to be the biggest step forward since our launch in 2011. Starting in August and for at least the next year, we have a home. Right here:

rencenter

Earlier today, we signed a one-year lease for the Renaissance Centre theatre. This was not a decision made in haste. After much discussion and conversation, it became increasingly apparent to our board of directors that we can’t produce the amount of theatre we produce without having a space of our own. We don’t just need a theatre during the weeks we have a show. We need a rehearsal space, an audition space, a space where scenery doesn’t have to be assembled off-site and loaded in at the last minute. And above all that, we need a space that answers the question “Where is Dramashop?” Starting in August, that question has a much simpler answer. Where is Dramashop?  Second floor of the Renaissance Centre at 10th and State.

The 48 seat venue will host the entire season, including mainstage shows, specials events, and staged readings.

Of course, there is a significant cost involved with leasing a space, and we didn’t make the commitment lightly. We’re counting on you to help us by buying tickets all season long, bringing friends to the theatre, advertising in our programs, and of course, donating to our Supporting Players Drive.

We haven’t yet hit our stretch goal of $3,000 for this year, so it’s not too late to make a donation. Now more than ever, your donation makes a difference. Your donation gives us a home theatre.

Season lineup revealed!

2013-14-Season-FeatureDramashop’s season three lineup was announced by Zach Flock, artistic director, at our Curtain Call Happy Hour on June 26. The season is similar in scope to Dramashop’s recently completed 2012-13 season, with a strong slate of mainstage productions, staged readings, a studio show and a special event. Here’s the rundown in chronological order:

SPECIAL EVENT:
HOMEMADE FUSION by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond
August 30, 2013

Brash, witty, and very tongue-in-cheek, this concert-style song cycle attempts to (in the creator’s words) “make sense of an increasingly senseless world.” This special event will be held as a fundraiser, with tickets at $25 per person. Tickets will also include appetizers and drinks. HOMEMADE FUSION will be presented for one night only and tickets will go on sale in July.

STAGED READING:
HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE by Paula Vogel
September 17 and 18, 2013 @ 8pm

Vogel’s script explores the troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man through the lens of learning to drive. HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE presents a devastating and surprisingly humorous tale of survival, grounded in the recognizable milestones of growing up. HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE is the winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, co-winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and co-winner of the 1998 Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding play.

MAINSTAGE:
SEMINAR by Theresa Rebeck
November 7-9 and 14-16, 2013 @ 8pm

A provocative comedy about young writers, SEMINAR embodies many aspects of theatre that Dramashop strives to feature. A clever script, biting dialogue, and well-developed characters earned this show acclaim during its Broadway run. As a review of the show notes, “The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting Broadway comedy.” SEMINAR was nominated for the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play in 2012, and its author is a Pulitzer Prize nominee.

STAGED READING:
RABBIT HOLE by David Lindsay-Abaire
December 10 and 11, 2013 @ 8pm

Intimate and emotional, RABBIT HOLE captivates audiences with brutal honesty and well-placed humor. A 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner and the source of a 2010 movie adaptation starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest.

MAINSTAGE:
COPENHAGEN by Michael Frayn
January 30-February 1 and February 6-8, 2014 @ 8pm

Werner Heisenberg and Neils Bohr, pioneers in atomic science, meet after their deaths to discuss the ramifications and philosophical truths behind an encounter they had in 1941 in Copenhagen.  Frayn conducted exhaustive historical research in his writing, and the resulting play is a truthful and contemplative look at the way science has shaped morality in the past and future. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, COPENHAGEN addresses timely, relevant themes like the use of technology in warfare – and the moral conflicts that result.

STAGED READING:
AN ORIGINAL PLAY submitted by the author
March 18 and 19, 2014 @ 8pm
Part of Gannon University’s Fringe Festival

This year, Dramashop introduces a new twist on our staged reading series. The author of our third and final staged reading of the season – could be you. In the next few months, we’ll invite community members to submit their original works. Anyone can enter – as long as it’s an unpublished, original piece. In January, Dramashop’s board will select one of the submissions for a staged reading, to be held in March. The original submission will be staged for two nights, with a portion of donations received benefitting the GU Theatre Department’s 2014 trip to the International Fringe Festival in Scotland.

MAINSTAGE:
OTHER DESERT CITIES by Jon Robin Baitz
May 22-24 and 29-31, 2014 @ 8pm

A 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist, OTHER DESERT CITIES is a riveting family drama set in 2004 and concerning the adult children of a California couple. A family divided by politics is driven further apart by the rehashing of an old family secret. OTHER DESERT CITIES provides a searing look at the dramatics of life in the American family, and the tension of political rivalries when they intersect with philosophical and moral beliefs.

STUDIO SHOW:
FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood
July 31-August 2 and August 7-9, 2014 @ 8pm

Another new element to the Dramashop season is our Studio Show. Similar in scope and content to our Fringe Festival shows of the past. it’s slightly more subversive, perhaps a bit more avant-garde than the mainstage offerings.

This year’s Studio Show, direct from the NYC Fringe Festival and is currently playing off-Broadway, An absurdist look at a ladies’ society in the 1950s, FIVE LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE delivers exactly what it promises. The play is packed with tongue-in-cheek humor, absurdist comedy, and subtle social satire, all of which combine to form a rollicking and sometimes shocking theatrical ride.

What’s next?

Join us in celebration of our recently completed 2012-13 season — and as we reveal an exciting line-up for 2013-14!

The event goes from 5-7pm, with remarks from Dramashop’s president, Bryan Rall, and the reveal of our upcoming third season by our artistic director, Zach Flock, at 5:30pm. We’ve got BIG stuff to share with you!

Light snacks will be provided by Dramashop. Cash bar and kitchen service is available.

RSVP to the event on Facebook!

ERIE TIMES-NEWS: Dramashop closes second season with amusing ‘[title of show]’

The following exerpt by Erin McCarty was published in the Erie Times-News SHOWCASE on Thursday, May 30, 2013:

When theater enthusiasts see a musical, they may not put much thought into the process that led to its creation. Behind every string of rousing numbers is not only an extensive rehearsal process, but a writing process preceding that.

Dramashop’s “[title of show],” a witty, self-referential musical crafted by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, charts that progress from the germ of an idea to completion and moderate success.

Zach Flock directs the show, which runs 90 minutes with no intermission. Seating is on three sides of the sparse stage, giving audience members slightly different perspectives depending on their location. The set is limited to four rickety-looking chairs, with props such as a notebook or a sandwich occasionally providing a deeper sense of the organic nature of this process.

Lighting is used to especially good effect as the characters break theater conventions by discussing musical moments, dream sequences and the like while they are happening. A shift in the spotlights jars the audience out of the moment and back into the notion of a show as a vital creation that is constantly changing and growing.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE…

Dramashop makes Erie Reader cover

Erie Reader coverIt’s a chilly Tuesday night, one of those unsurprising Erie evenings when the weather doesn’t seem to want to cooperate with the average person’s wishes. Luckily, I’m indoors, where the room is warm and the walls are bright. Bright green, in fact, with the edges of the room seemingly pushed back with shelves full of books, photos, and trophies, all surrounding seven souls solely focused on the task at hand: rehearsal for “[title of show],” Dramashop’s final show of its current season.

Now, if you’ve ever read a Reader before, you may already be familiar with the not-for-profit contemporary theater company called Dramashop, as we at the Reader have covered a fair number of the troupe’s productions since the minds behind the Drama founded theshop back in May 2011. The scene was in trouble, no one was running the show, and the public was losing out on some great alternative theater.

Fast forward to now – a room full of 85.7 percent acting-types and 14.3 percent me is engaged in rehearsing the theater company’s very first musical. The four actors take their positions while the director and his assistant focus on the quartet. And then it begins.

“I’m sorry, are we in this scene now?”

The words part from Rebecca Coleman’s lips and I quickly glance up from my notepad. It’s kind of an anticlimactic beginning for my inside look into the process of getting “[title of show]” ready for when its Schuster Theatre run starts May 23. While I wait for the scene to start over, the other actors continue running through lines like nothing out of the ordinary happened. Suddenly, I realize that Rebecca wasn’t the one that got lost – I was.

You see, “[title of show]” isn’t your prototypical song-and-dance kind of musical – it’s a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. Where I had thought Rebecca had simply forgotten her place in the script, she was merely acting as her character Heidi, and I was being treated to an inside look at how the inside of a show’s humble beginnings – almost a sort of rehearsal “Inception.”

“It’s very much a musical about the process of doing theater, and we’re a company that’s all about focusing on the process,” Dramashop Artistic Director Zach Flock explains to me after the rehearsal. “There are lines in the show that when I hear them or say them, I just think that it’s true to how we as a company function. It almost kind of feels like ‘Dramashop the musical’ at times.”

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Flock and the rest of the Dramashop crew are big fans of the process behind theater. Hell, you don’t even have to talk to them to figure that one out, given that the phrase “theater in process” is emblazoned next to the logo on their website and is the main focus of their “About” section on the official Dramashop Facebook page.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE > 

[title of show]

Dramashop ends its second season with a thrilling mainstage production, [title of show] by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell. The first and only musical of Dramashop’s 2012-2013 season, the script follows two men desperately trying to write a musical. Their trials and tribulations are raucously funny, while the music is comprised of witty lyrics and catchy melodies. Theatre lovers and newcomers alike will be enchanted with this musical offering, and Dramashop is thrilled to present it to the Erie community.

What’s the big deal about race?

It’s a dicey subject. We all have our own notions of its importance. Frankly, it’s a topic most people avoid discussing at all. So we here at Dramashop are wondering: what’s the big deal about race?

David Mamet’s play, “Race” is a cleverly crafted play. The author manages to take on the issue of race without coming off as heavy-handed and preachy, but he doesn’t handle the subject with kid gloves either. Two black lawyers and a white lawyer are asked to represent a white man charged with a crime against black woman. Do they take the case? If so, how do they represent him? Is he innocent or guilty? What are the facts? Do the facts matter?

Mamet’s signature banter makes for a fast-moving, hard-hitting production (heads up: adult language, folks), directed by Evan O’Polka and featuring Shawn Clerkin, Rebecca Coleman, Nick Kikola and Bill Williams. Dramashop’s first foray into the works of Mamet, “Race” is an exciting production you don’t want to miss.

We’re once again offering discount tickets online only for $10 ($15 at the door). Seating is limited to just 48 patrons per night, so get your tickets early to secure your spot!

I hope you’ll join us for another solid mainstage production, opening a week from tonight at the Renaissance Centre.

 

Best,

Zach Flock

Artistic Director