The acting company working on new plays and musicals as part of The 2005 Sundance Theatre Lab, starting July 11 in Utah, has been announced.
The troupe in residence in Sundance, UT, through July 31 includes Emily Bergl, Suzanne Bertish, Daniel Breaker, Ian Brennan, Reg E. Cathey, Harriett D. Foy, Joanna Glushak, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gerrit Graham, Danny Gurwin, Jenny Jensen, Wayne Knight, Austin Lysy, Lynne McCollough, Nick Mennell, Euan Morton, Naomi Peters, Angela Robinson, John Livingston Rolle, Ken Ruta, Tom Sadoski, Adriana Sevan, Emily Swallow, Tony Torn, Daniel Torres and Josie Whittlesey.
The 2005 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah will include developmental opportunities for eight projects, including Most Wanted, the musical about the killer of fashion mogul Gianni Versace. The Sundance Theatre Program's 2005 Lab, as in the past, has artists interacting, rehearsing, testing and presenting material without pressure of production.
"The 2005 Sundance Theatre Laboratory Fellows represent both emerging and established artists writing for the stage," Philip Himberg, producing artistic director of Sundance Institute Theatre Program, said in a statement. "Their range of work surveys a wide swath of world history, and includes plays set in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as very contemporary issues. We're looking forward to the collaboration between the Lab's playwrights and directors, and to moving these pieces forward toward future production at theatres around the country."
The eight projects selected for the 2005 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab are:
Most Wanted, music and lyrics by Mark Bennett, book and lyrics by Jessica Hagedorn, directed by Michael Greif. "Inspired by the short, tragic life of Andrew Cunanan and the events leading up to and surrounding the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, Most Wanted is a music theatre piece, which explores the cult of celebrity, the contradictions between narcissism and notoriety, issues of 'passing,' sexuality, class and race."
Terre Haute by Edmund White, directed by David Drake. "Edmund White's two-character play about a young man on death row for a political crime and the visit paid him just before his execution by an old man who is a celebrated writer. There are many differences between them — one is a rich, well-connected patrician and the other is poor and friendless — but both men are facing death and worrying about their legacy. The criminal wants the writer to be a Homer to his Achilles, to justify his violent acts through his writing, and the writer is attracted to his ideas —and to his looks."
Measure for Pleasure by David Grimm, directed by Peter Dubois. "A neo-Restoration comedy of manners, set in the 18th century, but told with a uniquely contemporary feel. The play's protagonist is a 20-year-old male prostitute who passes himself off as a chambermaid, a valet, a landed gentleman and his wife, a beautiful country lass and a handsome rake. The piece looks at our obsessions with pursuing happiness and our all too often inability to recognize it when we have it within our grasp."
Blue Door Tanya Barfield. "An exploration into the rich oral history of African-Americans during slavery and Reconstruction. Written for two actors who play a wide range of roles, the play follows four generations of black men, spanning a hundred and fifty years." Blue Door was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons. Marion McClinton will direct.
BFF by Anna Ziegler. "BFF (which stands for 'best friends forever') deals with the effects of adolescence on a deep young female friendship. The story follows the journey of two teenage girls who enter puberty at different times and how that gap in their physical growth takes a serious toll on their relationship as they grow into adulthood." Lisa Peterson will direct.
Flight by Adriana Sevan, directed by Giovanna Sardella. "A solo piece from writer/performer Adriana Sevan [that] tells the story of two close friends, one of whom is seriously wounded during the 9/11 attacks in New York. The play examines the sacrifices of caregivers and the cost of giving without time out to replenish and refuel. In performance, the writer embodies two beings in pain, as they come to terms with how a human being reacts to crisis and healing."
New York Is Bleeding by Said Sayrafiezadeh, directed by Kate Whoriskey. "Set in 1863, in New York City, at the height of the Civil War…the play follows the lives of seven New Yorkers, including Irish-Americans, African-Americans and a wealthy white family as they respond to our country's first conscription army. As New York City erupts into serious rioting, the characters are forced to confront their shifting identities in a rapidly transforming country and city, and with what it ultimately means to be an American."
Passing Strange by Stew, and co-composer Heidi Rodewald, directed by Annie Dorsen with choreography by David Neumann. "Passing Strange by poet and composer Stew…began as an evening of music and spoken work in Joe's Pub at the New York Public Theater. It is the story of a young man whose search for belonging takes him from the African-American middle class culture into various Bohemias. The piece incorporates a live band, dance, and song to explore the notions of black authenticity, the double outsider status of black bohemians, and the definition of home." The first act was developed last summer at the Sundance Theatre Lab. Among past Lab works is the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, I Am My Own Wife.
The creative advisors for this year's Lab include dramaturgs Jocelyn Clarke (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Sydne Mahone, Mame Hunt and Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep. Meg Simon is the casting advisor for the 2005 Lab.