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Absolution

  • Mar 29, 2002 - Apr 14, 2002

  • Loeb Drama Center

  • Run Time: 90 minutes with no intermission

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Fifteen years ago, three high school friends committed a heinous crime in a drunken haze. Having learned to conceal their involvement, they go their separate ways—Gordon to the business world, Peter to farming, and David to academia. After several years spent teaching, David, terminally disconnected from the world around him, has settled into a nondescript life as a newspaper proofreader. But even that life is shattered when he receives a call from the past that summons him back to Vancouver. Peter, wracked by guilt, has decided that the three must seek forgiveness and confess their crime, and Gordon calls upon David to help him change Peter’s mind. After a journey across Canada to his boyhood home, David finds that everything has changed, and his last chance to reconnect with his life—with his past—is slipping through his fingers. A tautly plotted thriller from a brilliant young writer, Absolution is a gripping meditation on retribution and revenge.

Credits

Creative team

by

Robert William Sherwood

While Robert William Sherwood was born in Canada and lives in London, most of his plays revolve around American characters and situations (Absolution, set in Vancouver, being the sole exception), and he has difficulty getting his work professionally staged in London. "There's a palpable anti-American bias in theater there. If you're not David Mamet or Arthur Miller or Sam Shepard, you're not going to get produced," he says, "and for better or worse, I'm classified as an American playwright." Sherwood, however, has never been one to quail in the face of adversity. After he wrote his first play, a drama in verse called Nero, he helped found a theater festival in Toronto just to get it produced. Now in its twelfth year, SummerWorks continues as a festival devoted to the work of Toronto-based playwrights and theater groups. In 1999, ten thousand spectators enjoyed the work of more than thirty-five companies.

Arriving in London and finding the producing community lukewarm toward his "American" plays, Sherwood again took the reins. He self-produced five of his plays in a small theater at the back of the White Bear pub. The productions were well-received, but he finds the small size of the venue limiting. "The work I'm doing now is for bigger stages," he says, "so I can't see myself doing any more plays at the White Bear. I suppose I'm going to have to be produced in the United States." That doesn't seem to be a problem. His last three plays have all received American premieres at major theaters: Absolution at the Steppenwolf in Chicago, Spin at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, and, most recently The Last True Believer—a post–Cold War tale of a British spy haunted by his last act of treachery—at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. "The irony of opening my only explicitly British play in Seattle after five consecutive world premieres of 'American' plays in London," says Sherwood, "is not lost on me."

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Directed by

Scott Zigler

Scott Zigler

Directed by

Scott Zigler

Director of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Founding member and past Artistic Director of New York’s Atlantic Theater Company and past Director of the Atlantic Theater Acting School, where he still serves as Senior Acting Teacher. Co-author of the widely used text A Practical Handbook for the Actor.  Mr. Zigler has taught acting at universities around the country as well as in Canada, Italy, and Australia.  Directing:  Broadway: The Old Neighborhood by David Mamet; Off-Broadway: Dust (World Premiere); Atlantic Theater Company: Premiere of Tom Donaghy’s adaptation of The Cherry Orchard; The Woods; Sure Thing; Strawberry Fields; Suburban News; As You Like It; National Tour: Oleanna; Regional: Phildelphia Theatre Company: Race; Steppenwolf Theatre Company: The Cryptogram; A Fair Country; American Repertory Theater: Romance; world premiere of Ellen McLaughlin’s Ajax in Iraq (ART Institute); Copenhagen; Animals and Plants; Absolution; The Cripple of Inishmaan; The Old Neighborhood (world premiere); Other Regional: Glengarry Glen Ross (McCarter Theatre); The Cryptogram (Alley Theatre); Spinning Into Butter (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis).

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Set design by

Christine Jones

Set design by

Christine Jones

Christine Jones, the set designer for Nocturne, previously designed The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Man and Superman, When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable), Hot 'n' Throbbing, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Silence, Cunning, Exile, and The L.A. Plays for the American Repertory Theater. Her other credits include The Green Bird (for which she received Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle Award nominations) for the New Victory Theatre in New York, Texts for Nothing and Richard II for the New York Shakespeare Festival, Tartuffe and Richard III for Hartford Stage, and sets and costumes for Iolanthe at Glimmerglass Opera.

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Costume design by

Karen Eister

Costume design by

Karen Eister

Costume designer Karen Eister's designs at the American Repertory Theater prior to The Marriage of Bette and Boo include An Evening of Beckett, Beckett Trio, Macbeth; the A.R.T. New Stages productions of Silence, Cunning, ExileThe Lost Boys, Claptrap, Two by Korder, and Mrs. Sorkin Presents … ; and for the A.R.T. New Stages premiere and 1987 mainstage production of The Day Room. Ms. Eister earned her MFA in design at New York University. After several years of freelancing for television, fashion, and theater, she returned to Cambridge, where she has been cutting and draping costumes for the A.R.T.

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Lighting design by

John Ambrosone

Lighting design by

John Ambrosone

Lighting Designer John Ambrosone has designed over thirty productions for the American Repertory Theater, including Lysistrata, Absolution, Marat/Sade, Othello, Animals and Plants, Mother Courage (2001 Elliot Norton Design Award), The Doctor's Dilemma, Three Farces and a Funeral, Nocturne, IvanovThe Cripple of Inishmaan, The King Stag, Boston Marriage, Charlie in the House of Rue, Valparaiso, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, How I Learned to Drive, Nobody Dies on Friday, Man and Superman, The Old Neighborhood, When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable), Alice in Bed, Slaughter City, and Buried Child. On Broadway he designed The Old Neighborhood. Work in resident theaters includes the Alley Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Walnut Street Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, and Arena Stage. Mr. Ambrosone also has designed in Singapore, Moscow, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Mexico, Germany, and France.

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Sound design by

David Remedios

Sound design by

David Remedios

Sound designs by David Remedios have been heard in Sexual Perversity in Chicago/The Duck Variations, Romance, Trojan Barbie, Endgame, The Seagull, The Communist Dracula Pageant, Let Me Down Easy, When It’s Hot It’s Cole, Cardenio, Julius Caesar, Copenhagen, Donnie Darko, A Marvelous Party, No Man's Land, Oliver Twist, Britannicus, The Onion Cellar, The Island of SlavesOrpheus X, Romeo and Juliet, No Exit, Three Sisters (2005), The Keening, Amerika, Olly's Prison, Desire Under the Elms, Dido Queen of Carthage, The Provok'd Wife (original music and sound), The Miser, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2003), Snow in June, Lady with a Lapdog, The Sound of a Voice, Pericles, Highway Ulysses, Uncle Vanya, Lysistrata, Absolution, Marat/Sade, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Enrico IV, Othello, Animals and Plants, The Doctor's Dilemma, Mother Courage and Her Children, Three Farces and a Funeral, Antigone, Nocturne, How I Learned to Drive, and Man and Superman. He has also toured regionally and internationally with the A.R.T.  Other credits include Farragut North and Yankee Tavern (Contemporary American Theater Festival), The Merchant of Venice (Actor’s Shakespeare Project), Ah, Wilderness! (CenterStage Baltimore), The Diary of Anne Frank (New Rep), The Scottish Play (La Jolla Playhouse), Leap (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Daughter of Venus, Action Jesus and Dressed Up! Wigged Out! (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Sideways Stories from Wayside School, All of a Kind Family and The Fabulous Invalid (Emerson Stage), Samson Agonistes (92nd St. Y), Our Town (Boston Theatre Works), Far East (Vineyard Playhouse), Only You (Efron Entertainment). Dance soundscapes include works for Concord Academy Dance, Snappy Dance Theater Company, and Lorraine Chapman.  Awards: 2007 Connecticut Critics Circle Award (No Exit, Hartford Stage), 2001 Elliot Norton Award (Mother Courage and Her Children, A.R.T.), seven Independent Reviewers of New England Award nominations.

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Gordon Jordan Lage
David Brennan Brown
Peter Benjamin Evett
Lorraine Peggy Trecker
Anne Sarah Howe