This is the company's inaugural Off-Broadway production. "We are following and honoring the inspiration and poetic insight of Tennessee Williams," director Tlaloc Rivas said in production notes. "It is our endeavor to rediscover this intimate and powerful love story that underscores the contradictions of the human heart."
Earlier this spring, also at Theatre Row, The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Williams' own rewrite of Summer and Smoke, was presented to acclaim by TACT/The Actors Company Theatre. Fans can now catch the source material and debate the qualities of the two works.
"This startlingly modern love story will transport audiences to the poetic and sensual world of Williams' Gothic South," according to Big Sky.
The Summer and Smoke cast includes Mary Sheridan, Michael Frederic, Samuel Adams, Jessica Angleskhan, Mia Bankston, Harry Barandes, Rachael Hip-Flores, Lena Hurt, Clyde Kelley, Jorge Montenegro, Stu Richel and Melodie Wolford.
In the play, "a lonely minister's daughter, Alma Winemiller (Mary Sheridan), lives in her stifling parents' home in a small-minded Mississippi town. Her only solace: a secret lifelong love for the former boy-next-door, Dr. John Buchanan (Michael Frederic), now a fully-grown, wandering-eye bachelor. Tortured by her unrequited passion, Alma's spiritual devotion becomes pitted against John's sensuous need for physical desire, and their turbulent relationship becomes an emotional battle of wills that will irrevocably alter each of them forever." Summer and Smoke will be performed Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM and Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets are $18 and are available at Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or online at www.ticketcentral.com.
The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Manhattan. Visit www.theatrerow.org.
Director Rivas' recent productions include Generic Hispanic for Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, A Contribution To Domestic Architecture for Vital Theater Company, The Dumb Waiter for Ward 10, Crimes Against Humanity and Lonesome for NYU's First Look Theater Company and undone for INTAR — all in Manhattan. Rivas was the artistic director of Venture Theater in Philadelphia, where he directed the Barrymore Award-winning El Paso Blue by Octavio Solis and Steven Dietz's Rocket Man. He has worked with El Teatro Campesino, The Public Theater, The Wilma Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, Long Wharf Theater, The Group Theatre, Penobscot Theater Company, Trinity Rep, McCarter Theater, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He's a member of NoPassport — a theatre alliance devoted to cross-cultural action, advocacy and change — where his participation in the "Brownout" panel on ethnicity and performance was featured in the April 2008 issue of American Theater. He graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he received the UC Regents Presidential Award, Chancellor's Honors and Dean of the Arts Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for his production of Luis Valdez's The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa — and received his MFA in Directing from the University of Washington's School of Drama. Upcoming projects include the New York premiere of Shelagh Stephenson's Five Kinds of Silence for Boundless Theater Company.