PHOTO CALL: A Visit to the Blackwood Castle at Yale Rep; Backstage with Socha, Gambatese and Palmer

Photos   PHOTO CALL: A Visit to the Blackwood Castle at Yale Rep; Backstage with Socha, Gambatese and Palmer
 
The new Todd Almond-Adam Bock musical We Have Always Lived in the Castle, based upon the classic 1962 Shirley Jackson novel, is enjoying its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre.

Jackson's Gothic story, which has been referred to as a "a paean to agoraphobia," tells of the wealthy and reclusive Blackwood sisters, suspected of a horrible crime and made social outcasts in their 1950s New England town.

Alexandra Socha (Spring Awakening) plays the central role of the devious, spell-casting younger sister Mary Katherine "Merricat" Blackwood, ranked as one of the "100 Best Fictional Characters of the Century" by Book magazine. Jenn Gambatese (Tarzan, All Shook Up) portrays older sibling Constance Blackwood, an unlikely pariah hidden away from the local, gossipy villagers. Sean Palmer (The Little Mermaid) is featured as estranged cousin Charles.

Playbill.com recently paid a visit to the myserious Blackwood Castle:


 

Director Anne Kauffman's cast also includes Joy Franz (The Glass Menagerie), Richard Todd Adams (The Woman in White), Heather Ayers (A Little Night Music), Bill Buell (Equus), Carly Hughes (Ragtime), Beth McVey (Nine), Ryan Murphy, William Parry (Sunday in the Park With George) and Matt Pearson (The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island). Here is how Yale Rep describes the musical: "Acquitted of a horrible crime six years ago, Constance Blackwood (Gambatese) lives with her devoted younger sister Merricat (Socha) and their uncle Julian (Buell) in what was once the home of the richest—and most envied—family in a small New England town. Constance tends to the house and garden while Merricat invents magical charms to protect the surviving Blackwoods from the townspeople’s prying eyes and vicious gossip. But talismans may not be powerful enough to keep the sisters together when their handsome cousin Charles (Palmer) comes to visit."

Dan Lipton serves as musical director with musical staging by Seán Curran. The design team includes David Zinn (scenic design), Ilona Somogyi (costume design), Stephen Strawbridge (lighting design) and Tony Smolenski IV (sound design). Almond and Lipton co-wrote the orchestrations; Amy Boratko is dramaturg.

Performances will continue through Oct. 9. Yale Rep tickets are available by visiting YaleRep, by calling (203) 432-1234 or by visiting the Yale Rep box office (1120 Chapel Street).

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