Indiana's New Harmony Has Moon to Dance By, Premiere About D.H. Lawrence's Lover

News   Indiana's New Harmony Has Moon to Dance By, Premiere About D.H. Lawrence's Lover The New Harmony Theatre, the resident Equity summer company nestled in the rustling cornfields near the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana, will stage three productions — including a world premiere — in its 2005 season.

A Moon to Dance By is New Harmony's first world premiere production in 18 seasons. Thom Thomas' drama, July 8-24, "is a romantic, poignant drama set just months before the start of World War II," according to New Harmony production notes. "Based on actual events, the play centers on Frieda Weekley, whose passionate affair with D.H. Lawrence led her to leave her husband and children in England. Years later, after Lawrence's death, Frieda lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her Italian lover Angelo. Her grown son Monty unexpectedly comes to see her for the first time in years. Questions of forgiveness and love are explored through humor, grace and the mythos of the American southwest."

New Harmony artistic director Scott LaFeber directed a reading of the play in New York City in spring 2004. It featured Salome Jens as Frieda, Robert Cuccioli as Angelo and Larry Gleason as Monty. This summer, Jana Robbins (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) will play Frieda, Gleason will play her son. Jeremy Holm is also featured. The actor playing Angelo will be announced.

The play contains adult language and situations and is placed between the season opener, Irving Berlin and Moss Hart's As Thousands Cheer (June 10-26) and Neil Simon's The Odd Couple (July 29-Aug. 14).

As Thousands Cheer was one of the original Depression-era "Music Box Revues." Staged as a "living newspaper," it's packed with Hart's sketches and Berlin's tunes, including "Easter Parade," "Heat Wave" and "Suppertime." In recent years, Off-Broadway's Drama Dept. revived a small-cast version of the show that captured the score (with piano-and-voice) on a new cast album.

Sponsored by the University of Southern Indiana, The New Harmony Theatre is under the artistic direction of LaFeber, who has acted on Broadway (Corpse!, The Golden Age), Off-Broadway, in London, regionally, on television (including two years on "Search For Tomorrow"), feature and industrial films and commercials. He spent 13 years as an actor, stage manager and cabaret performer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. A native New Yorker, LaFeber received acting training at The Circle In The Square Theatre School and the Oval in London. He has taught at universities such as Duke and Rollins College (Florida). He holds an M.F.A. from The University of Texas, Austin and he received a B.A. in English and Art History from Colgate University. He currently teaches at USI in the fall and resides in New York in the spring where he is a freelance director, teaches at Circle In The Square and coaches actors and singers in his Studio For The Working Actor. The Odd Couple will mark his 26th production directed at New Harmony. For season subscription information, call (877) NHT-SHOW or visit www.newharmonytheatre.com.

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New Harmony, in the middle of farmland, is on the banks of the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. Now in its second decade, NHT operates under an Actors' Equity Association LORT contract. Rehearsals are in Evansville, IN, and performances are in New Harmony, founded as a spiritual sanctuary that later "became a haven for international scientists, scholars and educators who sought equality in communal living," according to newharmony.org.