Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the annual summer event held on the Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie, NY is set to run June 18-Aug. 1. The presentation includes developing and full productions, readings and workshops. Works presented at the event often find productions on stages in New York City and elsewhere.
Kicking off the mainstage series is the U.S premiere of Marta Goes' A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop starring Amy Irving (Three Sisters, "Yentl") under the direction of Richard Jay-Alexander. The work tells the story of the great modern American poet who fell in love on a tour of South America and didn't return to the U.S. for almost 20 years.
Musical workshop presentations will feature the world premiere of Nerds — a "musical software satire" by The Bomb-itty of Errors creators Jordan Allen Dutton and Erik Weiner with music by Hal Goldberg. The Beach Boys musical work in-progress Good Vibrations — a celebration of the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys — which features a book by Richard Dresser will also be seen at NYS&F under the direction of John Carrafa (Urinetown).
Audiences will also witness a sneak peek at Expedition 6, a work conceived and directed by Bill Pullman (The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, "Independence Day"). The multimedia conception — using "a shifting collage of visuals, found texts, music and trapeze" — tells the story of three astronauts who are stranded in space after the loss of the shuttle Columbia.
Actress Lucy Liu ("Charlie's Angels") will be featured in Zach Helm's Good Canary, a new play set in the world of the literary elite where a young woman copes with the sudden success of her husband's novel. Under the "Powerhouse Plays" title, workshop presentations of plays will include Anton Dudley's Honor and the River, Itamar Moses' In Bach at Leipzig directed by Pam MacKinnon (Peter and Jerry) and featuring a cast that includes Mark Linn-Baker (...Frog and Toad, "Perfect Strangers"), Peter Frechette (Valhalla), Rocco Sisto and Jason Butler Harner as well as My Andy by Patricia Wettig ("thirtysomething") starring Robert Joy.
Rock band The Petersons teams with director Trip Cullman to present The Petersons Project about an unorthodox hard-rockin' family who face corporate interests that threaten to shut down their business.
Two weekends-worth of readings will take place over June 18-20 and July 23-25 including John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, Douglas Carter Beane's The Little Dog Laughed, Carey Perloff's Luminescence Dating, Stuart Spencer's Painted from Memory featuring actor Rob Morrow, Alexandra Gersten Vassilaros' The Argument, David Marshall Grant's Pen featuring Marcia Gay Harden and James Lapine's Fran's Bed starring Mia Farrow.
The summer season also include the Free Outdoor Theater in Repertory featuring the apprentice company performing on the Vassar campus green in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Coriolanus and Fanny Kemble an adaption of Kemble's journals by Laura Marks and Davis McCallum.
The NYS&F lineup is as follows (subject to change):
Readings Festival 1 (June 18-20)
Painted from Memory by Stuart Spencer, starring Rob Morrow A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop starring Amy Irving (June 23-July 3) - Powerhouse Theater
Expedition 6 conceived and directed by Bill Pullman (June 25 and 26) Martel Theater
Honor and the River (July 7-10) Powerhouse
Good Canary starring Lucy Liu (July 9-11) - Susan Stein Shiva Theater
Bach at Leipzig starring Mark Linn-Baker (July 14-17) - Powerhouse
Free Outdoor Theater in Repertory (July 14-25)
Coriolanus by William Shakespeare, directed by Emily Mendelson Nerds (July 15-18) - Martel
Readings Festival 2 (July 23-25)
Pen by David Marshall Grant, starring Marcia Gay Harden Good Vibrations (July 29-Aug. 1) - Martel
My Andy by (July 22-24) Powerhouse
The Petersons Project (July 30-Aug. 1) - Shiva
For tickets and memberships for the season, call (845) 437-7235 starting June 2 or visit them online at www.newyorkstageandfilm.org where you can also find more information on all events.