Ayvazian's New Comedy Behave Yourself to Launch Adirondack Fest

News   Ayvazian's New Comedy Behave Yourself to Launch Adirondack Fest
 
Adirondack Theatre Festival's final season programmed by ATF founder and artistic director Martha Banta will open with a world-premiere comedy.

The 13th season of ATF in Glens Falls, NY, launches June 27-July 7 with Behave Yourself by Leslie Ayvazian, who returns to ATF after performing her solo show High Dive in 2005.

The new play was developed last summer by ATF and the Cape Cod Theater Project. ATF received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for this production.

Behave Yourself "is a comedy about a suburban mom looking to break out of the roles of her marriage," according to ATF. Ayvazian is best known for her play Nine Armenians, which has been produced around the country. As an actress, she recently premiered in A Naked Girl on the Appian Way on Broadway.

Behave Yourself will be directed by ATF artistic director Martha Banta, whose successor has not yet been selected. An announcement of the new producing artistic director is expected this season.

On June 27 this play will also mark a first-time "Book Club Night" with the playwright. Members of area Book Clubs will see this performance after having read the play in May. Also on the season are the Jonathan Larson musical tick, tick…BOOM!, directed by Gabriel Barre (July 19-28) and playwright-actress Lisa Kron performing her solo show about family trips and her father's Holocaust past, 2.5 Minute Ride (July 9-14).

Composer-lyricist-librettist Larson died in 1996 before he saw his Rent become a sensation. At a January 1996 ATF benefit, the audience heard two Rent songs by an unknown composer who had suddenly died three days earlier. ATF had just commissioned Larson, who won a posthumous Pulitzer and Tony Award for Rent, to write a new musical for its 1997 season.

tick, tick is the pre-Rent musical he wrote in 1990, "about his struggle as an artist facing his 30th birthday."

Banta stated, "I saw tick, tick…BOOM! performed by Jonathan alone at a keyboard at a small Off-Broadway theatre in 1990. It was raw, emotional, and extremely personal. But it rocked. And when the story was re-written by David Auburn (Proof) for a New York production after Jonathan died, they found a way to make these great songs tell a universal story about the personal struggles we all face as we reach milestone birthdays."

Lisa Kron performed her early solo performance 101 Humiliating Stories as part of ATF's first season.

"To this day I tell the story of doing that show in an RV Park in Lake George," Kron stated, referring to ATF's first home at the French Mountain Playhouse in Lake George, one of 18 venues ATF used before the construction of the Charles Wood Theater in Glens Falls. "It was an experience I will never forget, and over the years as Martha Banta has told me about all that has been accomplished up there, I wonder if I will miss the RV Park…but seriously, I can't wait to get back there and do 2.5 Minute Ride."

The season will also include a two-night work-in-progress presentation of Tiny Feats of Cowardice July 1-2. The piece is a musical solo show by Susan Bernfield. According to ATF, "Susan is afraid of planes, vacation, cars, fire, heights, scuba gear, toasters and so much more. In this show she is brave enough to sing to us about how much of a scaredy cat she is."

ATF will also take part in 365 Plays/365 Days, a national project to present short plays being written daily by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. The short plays will be presented every evening July 9-14 following the performance of 2.5 Minute Ride, and are free. ATF artistic associate Brenny Rabine directs.

For more information see www.365days365plays.com.

ATF performances play the Charles Wood Theater in downtown Glens Falls, NY.

For ticket information, visit www.ATFestival.org.

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