Vogel's Hot 'n' Throbbing, Baltimore Waltz and Oldest Profession Slated for Signature in 2004-05

News   Vogel's Hot 'n' Throbbing, Baltimore Waltz and Oldest Profession Slated for Signature in 2004-05
Signature Theatre Company will present the New York premieres of Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel's The Oldest Profession and Hot 'n' Throbbing, as well as a revival of The Baltimore Waltz in the all Vogel 2004-05 season, the Off-Broadway company announced.

Founding artistic director James Houghton is taking a year off and leaving his duties to "guest artistic director" Kate Loewald, founding producer of The Play Company. Signature's executive director is Kathryn M. Lipuma.

The troupe, as its name suggests, devotes each season to one playwright-in-residence's unique voice; Bill Irwin's work is currently featured in 2003-04.

Houghton will return for the 15th Anniversary Season (2005-06) with August Wilson as the featured playwright.

Casting and specific dates for the Vogel productions will be announced shortly. Here's the 2004-05 season:

  • The Oldest Profession, directed by David Esbjornson: "As Ronald Reagan enters the White House, five aging practitioners of the oldest profession are faced with a diminishing clientele, increased competition for their niche market, and arthritis. With wit, compassion and humor, they struggle to find and learn new tricks as they fight to stay in the Life. The Oldest Profession has been performed internationally in Mexico, Canada, Czechoslovakia and Poland."
  • The Baltimore Waltz, directed by Mark Brokaw: "When elementary school teacher Anna acquires a mysterious illness, her brother Carl whisks her away to Europe in search of a secret cure. While Carl conducts cloak and dagger routines to procure black market medication, Anna indulges in all sensual pleasures as if each day is her last. A revival of Vogel's 1992 Obie Award winning play, a funny and touching tribute to her brother, who died of AIDS in 1988."
  • Hot 'n' Throbbing, directed by Les Waters: "Charlene writes erotic screenplays to support her troubled teenage son and daughter while trying to keep her estranged, obsessive husband away from the three of them. Their living room sets the scene for Hot 'n' Throbbing, a highly theatrical, surprisingly funny, provocative and potent exploration of sex, power and violence." The 2004-05 Paula Vogel season will also feature "supplementary events" hosted by Paula Vogel, including a student playwriting series and several playwriting boot camps (one-day intensive workshops).

    Vogel won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for How I Learned to Drive. Her other plays include The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, Desdemona and And Baby Makes Seven.

    Vogel won the Obie for Best Play in 1992, the Rhode Island Pell Award in the Arts, the Hull-Warriner Award, The Laura Pels Award, the Pew Charitable Trust Senior Award, a Guggenheim, an AT&T New Plays Award, the Fund for New American Plays, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the McKnight Fellowship, the Bunting Fellowship, and the Governor's Award for the Arts.

    Vogel is the Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Creative Writing at Brown University, where she directs the MFA playwriting program.

    "Paula Vogel is such a crucial voice in the American theatre, willing to tackle so many important topics with her truly individual style," James Houghton said in a statement. "We are excited to present three of her wonderful plays in this season-long exploration of her work."

    Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space is located at 555 W. 42nd Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues). For additional information, visit www.signaturetheatre.org. For subscription and ticket information, call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).

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