Artistic director Scott LaFeber directs the production of the original script (Simon has revised the work several times since its 1965 premiere), which is being kept in period.
NHT — presenting to a seasonal area audience in the tiny New Harmony hamlet founded as a religious haven and then taken over to be an experimental communal utopia — pulls from acting pools in Indiana and New York City. The sleepy town near the Wabash River is surrounded by verdant Indiana farmland.
The cast includes Matt Landers as Oscar, Jeff Talbott as Felix, Van Zeiler as Speed, Steve Small as Murray, Mark Atchison as Roy, Emanuel "Manny" Moreira as Vinnie, Tara Radcliffe as Gwendolyn Pigeon and Cynthia Leigh Heim as Cecily Pigeon.
Designers are Ron Naversen (settings), Shan Jensen (costumes), Greg Brenchley (lighting) and Andrew Moberley (sound). Stage management is by Sarah Bierenbaum.
NHT, the resident professional theatre project of the University of Southern Indiana, presents in Murphy Auditorium in New Harmony, IN. For information, call (877) 648-7469 or visit www.newharmonytheatre.com. *
In other New Harmony news, LaFeber has accepted an invitation to continue as NHT artistic director for the summer 2006 season.
The director and associate professor recently left the theatre faculty of USI at Evansville, where the NHT company rehearses, and starts a job as associate professor of musical theatre at Emerson College in Boston Sept. 1.
He told Playbill.com he will choose three works from the following list for 2006: The Importance of Being Earnest, A Thousand Clowns, The Syringa Tree, The Subject Was Roses, Side by Side by Sondheim and Jim Wann's musical, Diamond Studs: The Life of Jesse James.
LaFeber's 2006 summer will be his 10th year as artistic director of the Equity summer troupe far from the maddening crowd.
The company is not be confused with The New Harmony Project, an annual meeting of writers and artists to develop new works in the village, away from the pressure of producers and critics.