Tag Archives: summer theatre

Summer Series Intro + Oslo

Dear Friends,

We hope that you had a wonderful and relaxing 4th of July!

What better way to keep cool this summer than to go see a show?  We thought we would take a bit of time each week to highlight a show currently on Broadway that we think you should see.  Some are plays, some are musicals—but they all are fantastic!

We decided to start with the best–The Best Play, that is.  Winner of the Tony for Best Play,  Oslo tells the true story of the pathway to peace of 1993 Oslo Accords.  The play centers around Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul and her husband, Terje Rød-Larsen, who helped orchestrate the highly secretive peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat.

oslo

In addition to winning a Tony for Best Play, Michael Aronov won a Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play.

If you haven’t seen this yet, we urge you to go soon, as it will be closing on July 16th.  It is showing at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln center.  To purchase tickets, click here.

According to the New York Times review:

This rich drama of quixotic politics fills to the bursting point its capacious new home at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Staged (and admired) last summer at the Lincoln Center Theater’s smaller downstairs space, the Mitzi E. Newhouse, “Oslo” has now become the colossus it was always meant to be, while giving an even sharper focus to the urgent behind-the-scenes intimacy at its fast-beating heart.

You can read the full review here.

Best regards,
Philp and Marilyn

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The Power of The Bard

Dear Friends,

We received an email today from the Shakespeare Society:

Summer Shakespeare at The Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, Connecticut

A special event with scenes from Shakespeare’s effervescent comedy

As You Like It

This Sunday, August 14 at 3 PM

As you may have realized from the frequency of posts, we love Shakespeare!

It is absolutely incredible that a playwright whose 400th birthday we are celebrating continues to have such an influence on the world of theatre.  If you google “Shakespeare” you will get “about 124,000,000 in 1.02 seconds.”  You can narrow this down to only 647,000 results in 71 seconds if you search for “Shakespeare Theatres.”

We have personally known many great playwrights, but no matter how inspiring, how empowering, how influential—no one even comes close to Shakespeare.  It is not only the plays that are his, that are shown night after night in city after city, but the format of his plays.  Not only can they been seen on the stage and big screen in modern day tales like West Side Story and The Lion King, but they can be seen on the small screen in popular tv shows like House of Cards and Sons of Anarchy.

Proof that his stories transcend time and are still relevant all these years later.

And if you’re now in the mood to see a bit of live Shakespeare, go see As You Like It or whatever Shakespeare is playing near you!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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An American Theatre

Dear Friends,

Today we want to tell you about a book that we absolutely love!

It’s called An American Theatre: The Story of the Westport Country Playhouse by Richard Somerset-Ward.  It has a forward by Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.

american theatre book

We are absolutely amazed by this book because it has thousands of details about the Westport Country Playhouse.  We cannot imagine how anyone could have found so many events that happened over a 70-year period!  It even tells a story about how one certain Philip Langner forgot his lines in The Girl of the Golden West, which starred June Havoc!

While we certainly have an emotional tie to the Westport Country Playhouse, we think that anyone interested in theatre or theatre history will appreciate how detailed this book is about the story of summer theatre from the second oldest summer playhouse in the country.

You can order your copy from Amazon.

Westport was wonderful—the most fun we’ve ever had!

Also if you’re interested in visiting the Playhouse this summer, here is their list of shows:

The Invisible Hand (July 19-August 6)

What the Butler Saw (August 23-Sepember 10)

Camelot (October 4-10)

Click here to order tickets!

Happy summer theatre-ing!

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Cape’s 90th Season!

Dear Friends,

Last August, we told about the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA—which was the very first summer theatre in the US, opening in 1927.

Web-90th_banner_tickets

For their 90th Anniversary Season, they are kicking off with Last of the Red Hot Lovers (June 7-18, 2016).  The rest of the line-up includes The Music Man, Talley’s Folly, The May Queen, Cabaret, and The Mouse Trap.

If you live near Cape Cod or are planning to visit this summer, we highly recommend you visit this amazing historical Playhouse.  Their box office number is 508/385-3911 and their website for more information is www.CapePlayhouse.com

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

 

 

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Westport Playhouse

Dear Friends,

Last weekend a friend of ours took a trip to Cape Cod.  Along the way, she saw the signs for the Westport Playhouse—and mentioned it to us, knowing that we ran the Playhouse for many years.

westport

This, of course, brings to mind that it’s Spring!, and their new season will starting soon!  We wanted to urge those of you who live in Connecticut (or willing to make the drive to  this picturesque town!) that now is the best time to purchase season tickets to this amazing and historical playhouse—or know what this season’s plays are.

On the line-up for the 2016 season is:

Art/Red in Repertory (May 3-29)

Buyer and Cellar (June 14—July 3)

The Invisible Hand (July 19—August 6)

What the Butler Saw (August 23—September 10)

Camelot (October 4-30)

There are several options available for ordering season tickets.  To read more about each play or order tickets, go here.

Best regards,

Philip and Marilyn Langner

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Summer Theatre Series: Forestburgh Playhouse

For those of you on the East Coast (or interested in theatre history), we are continuing our tours of top Summer Theatres in the US. We started with the first one, which opened in 1927—The Cape Playhouse.

Today we are visiting another summer theatre—The Forestburgh Playhouse, which has just announced the show line-up for next season—that happens to be its 70th season!

forestburgh

Click here for 2016 schedule!

It had humble beginnings as a barn just outside of Monticello, NY and with the popularity of other spots in the Catskills, there was some doubt as to whether it could handle all the competition:

Nevertheless, by July 8, 1947, enough work had been done to transform the barn into a theatre, and the Forestburgh Playhouse, then called the Forestburgh Summer Theatre, opened its first of more than 250 subsequent productions, Blithe Spirit.

Today–70 years later–it has over 30,000 patrons a year and is dubbed “The Miracle of the Forest.”
You can read more about it at http://www.fbplayhouse.org

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Save The Date For The Cape!

We greatly admire The Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts, which opened in 1927—the very first summer playhouse! We at the Theatre Guild followed their arrival in 1931 with the opening of the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut. Through the years we have produced many plays together, and have served on many summer playhouse councils together. They are a great example of American Theatre at its best!

In the 1920s, founder Raymond Moore wanted to create a summer theatre close to Boston and the more affluent Cape communities. He purchased 3 ½ acres of land fronting the Old King’s Highway in Dennis and found the abandoned 19th century Nobscussett meetinghouse located in another part of Dennis.Amazingly, Moore had the large meetinghouse hauled down the road and placed on its present site.

Before air conditioning, New York was unbearable in the summer. The theatres would close and people escaped the heat by traveling to the coastal resorts. By offering actors the prospect of paid summer work in a professional theatre, away from the heat of New York City, Moore convinced the big name stars to come perform at the new theatre.                                                         [from The Cape Playhouse website]

The Cape Playhouse is having a party celebrating their anniversary on August 16, 2015 from 6-8pm. If you live near or are visiting the Cape and would like to attend the event, click on the invitation below!
You can read more about The Cape Playhouse history on their website.

cape cod save the date

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Shake Your Boot[camp]!

Time is running out!

We just received an invitation to the Summer Shakespeare Bootcamp. If you love Shakespeare, this should be a must-do this summer! Camp starts on July 20th and—at least, as of today July 8, 2015—there are still some spaces available!

According to their website, the bootcamp will be:

A summer full of Shakespearean scene-study sessions to fortify your classical technique. Six consecutive summer Monday scene-study classes in Shakespeare, with in-depth text and character analysis, and ongoing vocal and physical training to get you in tip-top classical shape. For those looking for more in-depth classical acting training throughout the summer, this is the class for you. Working with carefully assigned scenes, students will be exposed to a broad range of teachers and working professionals to develop all aspects of their craft.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity by the Red Bull Theater. Click here to learn more and sign up!

shakespeare bootcamp

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Summers Are For Theatre!

I feel that summer theatres are hidden gems, located all over the country, just waiting to be discovered. The happiest time in my life was spent at the Westport Country Playhouse, where I acted with Tyrone Power in Lilliom in 1941. And then ran the Playhouse from 1949 for a number of seasons.

Summer theatre is so great, because you can do anything—there are no limitations!

Here is a list we found of theatres throughout the country with some fantastic shows you’ll likely want to see this summer. Because the list is so long (16 pages!), you can access or download it here:

http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/static_resources/0495898074/24674/summer_theatre_companies.html

It’s great because you can search by state, so you can see what’s going on in your state or any states that you may have plans to visit this summer!

Here’s a sample of what you will find:

Alabama

California

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Where Theatre Can Flourish

Theatre can flourish everywhere: at sea, in a desert, or under an apple tree—wherever imagination flourishes.  —Margo Jones

Lately we have reading about a theatre on the Lower East Side of New York called Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, presented by The Drilling Company. We love this idea and feel it is important because it represents a great truth about theatre—theatre can be anywhere!

And it also brings to mind a great proponent of this theatre: Margo Jones.

Margo was a very successful Broadway director.  She co-directed the original Broadway production of Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie.  She also directed the first Broadway production of Tennessee Williams Summer and Smoke and Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Lorraine.  At that point she was able to create her dream of running a reparatory theatre in Dallas called Theatre 47.

This was America’s first modern non-profit professional resident theatre—and one of Margo’s greatest visions!  She set the stage for off-Broadway productions to flourish, be it under an apple tree or in a parking lot!

250px-Margojones1

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