The Reading Series
September 4 & October 9, 11am – Studio Theatre
Actors and words … intimate and immediate. In our Reading Series, our brilliant Ensemble members take you back to the basics, allowing your imagination to soar as they speak.
The choice of plays is always hugely varied in form and content and some have raised cheers while others caused tears, but note that several of them have ended up as full productions in later seasons.
This year we will present two plays that will spark your interest.
THE CITY OF CONVERSATIONby Anthony Giardina
directed by Diana Donnelly
In 1979, Washington DC was a place where people actually talked to each other – where adversaries fought it out on the Senate floor and then smoothed it out over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. But it was all about to change. In this play spanning 30 years and six presidential administrations, Hester Ferris throws Georgetown dinner parties that can change the course of Washington’s politics. But when her beloved son turns up with a Reaganite girlfriend and a new conservative world view, Hester must choose between preserving her family and defending the causes she’s spent her whole life fighting for.
Novelist, essayist and playwright Anthony Giardina’s The City of Conversation was nominated for two Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Desk Award for Best Play and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play.
“Mr Giardina’s stimulating play illuminates the emotional toll that living in such a house divided (and a country divided) can take on its inhabitants.” – The New York Times October 9 – 11am
FAREWELL TO THE THEATREby Richard Nelson
directed by Graeme Somerville
Harley Granville Barker finds himself adrift in America during the Great War. Widely regarded as the man who laid the foundations of modern British theatre, Granville Barker was famed both for his Shakespearean productions and his ground-breaking new plays in the early 20th Century. In Nelson’s play he has become disillusioned, with his spirit almost broken by an acrimonious divorce. In the course of a day and a night, Granville Barker and his fellow British expatriates in Williamstown Massachusetts consider their lives as exiles and artists even as the war rages in Europe. Gradually Granville Barker begins to regain his faith in humanity and his belief in the central role of theatre in the civilized community. Richard Nelson is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and librettist.
“Mr Nelson has alighted upon Granville Barker’s actual time in Massachusetts as an opportunity to dissect an array of folk whose crosscurrents of longing, disaffection and grief overlap to shimmering effect.” – The New York Times