Peter Prideau, an alienated widowed professor at the Harvard Divinity School, longs for the chance to bring his wife back to life. He sells his soul to a couple of wisecracking devils only to find himself in a more complicated reality than ever before.
As founding director of the Yale Repertory and American Repertory Theaters, Robert Brustein has supervised well over two hundred productions, acting in eight and directing twelve. He has written eleven adaptations for the American Repertory Theater and is the author of thirteen books on theater and society. His latest book, The Tainted Muse: Prejudices and Preconceptions in Shakespeare's Works and Times, was released earlier this year. Mr. Brustein also served for twenty years as director of the Loeb Drama Center, is a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University and drama critic for The New Republic. He is a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is the recipient numerous awards including the George Polk Award in Journalism, the Commonweath (Massachusetts) Award for Organizational Leadership, and most recently the Eugene O'Neill Foundation's Tao House Award for serving the American theatre with distinction.
His Six Characters in Search of an Author won the Boston Theatre Award for Best Production of 1996. His play Demons, which was broadcast on WGBH radio in 1993, had its stage world premiere as part of the A.R.T. New Stages. His play Nobody Dies on Friday was given its world premiere in the same series and was presented at the Singapore Festival of Arts and the Pushkin Theatre in Moscow. His play Spring Forward, Fall Back was performed in 2006 at Theater J in Washington, D.C., and at the Vineyard Playhouse. His newest play, The English Channel, was produced in 2007 in Boston and at the Vineyard Playhouse. In the Fall of 2008, it played at the Abingdon Theatre in New York where it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Brustein also wrote Shlemiel the First, based on the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer and set to traditional klezmer music, which was directed and choreographed by David Gordon. After the original presentation in 1994 at ART and in Philadelphia at the American Music Theatre Festival, which co-produced the show, Shlemiel the First was revived several times in Cambridge and subsequently played at the Lincoln Center Serious Fun Festival, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, as well as touring theatres in Florida and in Stamford, Connecticut. The play has also been produced at Theater J in Washington, DC. Shlemiel the First comes to Peak Performances @ Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ, in January 2010. His short plays Poker Face, Chekhov on Ice, Divestiture, AnchorBimbo, Noises, Terrorist Skit, Airport Hell, Beachman’s Last Poetry Reading, and Enter William Shakespeare were all presented by the Boston Playwrights' Theatre. Brustein is also the author of Doctor Hippocrates is Out: Please Leave a Message, an anthology of theatrical and cinematic satire on medicine and physicians, commissioned by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for its 2008 convention in Nashville. He was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2002.
Brustein is a former professor of English at Harvard University (now a Senior Research Fellow), Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Suffolk University in Boston, the drama critic for The New Republic, and former dean of the Yale School of Drama. In 2003 he served as a Senior Fellow with the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, and in 2004 and 2005 was a senior fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts' Arts Journalism Institute in Theatre and Musical Theatre at the University of Southern California
He was the founding director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theater and served for twenty years as director of the Loeb Drama Center, where he founded the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. He retired from the artistic directorship of ART in 2002 and now serves as Founding Director and Creative Consultant. He is also a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and the Open University.
During his tenure at ART, Brustein wrote eleven adaptations, including Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck, The Master Builder, and When We Dead Awaken, the last directed by Robert Wilson; Three Farces and a Funeral, adapted from the works and life of Anton Chekhov; Luigi Pirandello's Enrico IV; and Brustein's final production at ART, Lysistrata by Aristophanes, directed by Andrei Serban. He also directed numerous adaptations while at ART including a Pirandello trilogy: Six Characters in Search of an Author, which won the Boston Theatre Award for Best Production of 1996, Right You Are (If You Think You Are); Tonight We Improvise; Ibsen's Ghosts, Strindberg's The Father, and Thomas Middleton's The Changeling.
Over the course of his long career as director, playwright, and teacher, he has participated in the artistic development of such theater artists as Meryl Streep, Christopher Durang, Christopher Walken, Cherry Jones, Ted Talley, Michael Feingold, Sigourney Weaver, James Naughton, Mark Linn-Baker, Henry Winkler, James Lapine, Tony Shalhoub, Tommy Derrah, Rocco Landesman, Linda Lavin, Michael Yearga, William Ivey Long, Derek Maclane, Steve Zahn, Peter Sellars, Santo Loquasto, Tom Moore, Albert Innaurato, and many others.
Mr. Brustein is the recipient of many coveted awards, including:
- Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Nottingham
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
- Twice winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism
- George Polk Award for Journalism (Criticism)
- The 2nd Elliot Norton Award For Professional Excellence in Boston Theatre (formerly the Norton Prize), presented by the Boston Theatre District Associatione
- New England Theatre Conference's Major Award for outstanding creative achievement in the American theatre
- American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts
- Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- Association for Theatre in Higher Education Career Achievement Award for Professional Theatre
- The Commonwealth Award for Organizational Leadership
- Inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame
- United States Institute for Theatre Technology Lifetime Achievement Award
- National Corporate Theatre Fund Chairman's Award for Achievement in Theatre
- Gann Academy Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts
- Eugene O'Neill Foundation's Tao House Award for serving the American theatre with distinction
Set design by
Set design by
Allison Koturbash, the set designer for Woyzeck, previously created the sets for the American Repertory Theater productions of Buried Child, The Accident, Demons, and The America Play. Her work includes Juliet of the Spirits at Theater Neumarkt, Zurich; Life Is a Dream at the Los Angeles Theatre Center; Largo Desolato at the Yale Repertory Theatre; Phoebe Got Three Sisters at La Cucaracha Theater; Hamletmachine at the Yale School of Drama; Rough for Radio II and Catastrophe at Home for Contemporary Theatre.
Costume design by
Costume design by
Catherine Zuber has created the costumes for Richard II, The Doctor's Dilemma, and over forty other A.R.T. productions including Three Farces and a Funeral, Antigone, Loot, The Idiots Karamazov, Ivanov, Phaedra, The Merchant of Venice, Valparaiso, The Imaginary Invalid, The Taming of the Shrew, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Bacchae, Man and Superman, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, Woyzeck, The Wild Duck, The Naked Eye, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Tartuffe, Ubu Rock, Waiting for Godot, The Oresteia, Shlemiel the First, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, A Touch of the Poet, What the Butler Saw, The Cherry Orchard, and Orphée. Ms. Zuber's credits include work at Lincoln Center, The Joseph Papp Public Theater, Goodman Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. Her Broadway credits include The Triumph of Love (Connecticut Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk nomination), Ivanov (Drama Desk nomination), The Sound of Music, Twelfth Night, The Red Shoes, London Assurance, The Rose Tattoo, and Philadelphia Here I Come. Ms. Zuber was the recipient of the 1997 Obie Award for sustained achievement in design. She is the costume designer for La Fête des Vignerons de 1999, the massive Festival of the Winegrowers in Vevey, Switzerland.
Lighting design by
Lighting design by
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, Ivanov, The 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.
Sound design by
Sound design by
Christopher Walker has composed music and designed sound for We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!, Phaedra, Beckett Trio: Eh Joe, Ghost Trio, and Nacht und Traüme, and An Evening of Beckett, and designed sound for The King Stag, Loot, The Idiots Karamazov, Ivanov, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Charlie in the House of Rue, The Merchant of Venice, Valparaiso, The Taming of the Shrew, The Bacchae, The Wild Duck, Woyzeck, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Wild Duck, Alice in Bed, Slaughter City, Buried Child, Ubu Rock, The Threepenny Opera, The Accident, Demons, Waiting for Godot, The Oresteia, Hot 'n' Throbbing, The America Play, A Touch of the Poet, The Cherry Orchard, What the Butler Saw, and Those the River Keeps at the A.R.T. Previously he composed music and designed sound for productions at the Intiman Theatre, the Bathhouse Theatre, and the Alice B. Theatre. He also scores for dance and has composed for the Allegro Dance Festival, the Bumbershoot Festival, and On The Boards.
Video design by
A.R.T.: The White Card, Demons. ArtsEmerson: The White Card. Broadway: Plenty, High Society, The Homecoming, Enchanted April. Off-Broadway: Shadowlands, Intimacy, Lost in the Stars, The Dear Boy, Psychopathia Sexualis, The Importance of Being Earnest. Regional: My Fair Lady, Amadeus, Seminar, Much Ado About Nothing, A Christmas Carol, The Royal Family, Pygmalion. Film/TV: Still Alice, Those People, The Namesake, Big Business, Chariots of Fire, “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” “The Starter Wife,” “Cashmere Mafia,” “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods,” “Sisters.” Awards: Obie Award, Theatre World Award, Outer Critics Circle Award.
A.R.T.: 119 productions, including R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Myster) OF THE UNIVERSE (R. Buckminster Fuller), Cabaret (Fraulein Schneider), Endgame (Clov), The Seagull (Dorn), Oliver Twist (also at Theatre for a New Audience and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), The Birthday Party (Stanley), Highway Ulysses (Ulysses), Uncle Vanya (Vanya), Marat/Sade (Marquis de Sade), Richard II (Richard). Broadway: Jackie: An American Life (23 roles). Off-Broadway: Johan Padan (Johan), Big Time (Ted). Tours with the Company across the U.S., with residencies in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and throughout Europe, Canada, Israel, Taiwan, Japan and Moscow, and has recently been performing Julius Caesar in France. Other: I Am My Own Wife, Boston TheatreWorks; Approaching Moomtaj, New Repertory Theatre; Twelfth Night and The Tempest, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.; London’s Battersea Arts Center; five productions at Houston’s Alley Theatre, including Our Town (Dr. Gibbs, directed by José Quintero); and many theatres throughout the U.S. Awards: 1994 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, 2000 and 2004 IRNE Awards for Best Actor, 1997 Los Angeles DramaLogue Award (for title role of Shlemiel the First). Television: Julie Taymor’s film Fool’s Fire (PBS American Playhouse), "Unsolved Mysteries," "Del and Alex" (Alex, A&E Network). Film: Mystic River (directed by Clint Eastwood), The Pink Panther II. He is on the faculty of the A.R.T. Institute, teaches acting at Harvard University and Emerson College, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
Murray the Tummler
Murray the Tummler
Vlad Tepes/the Functionary in The Communist Dracula Pageant. A.R.T.: Fifty-four productions, including Alfed in Cardenio, Conspirator in Julius Caesar, Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, Eddie Darko in Donnie Darko, A Marvelous Party!, Mr. Brownlow in Oliver Twist (also at Theatre for a New Audience and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Garcin in No Exit, Kulygin in Three Sisters, Uncle Jacob, Innkeeperess, Head Waiter in Amerika, Jupiter in Dido, Queen of Carthage, Valère in The Miser, Goldberg in The Birthday Party, Egeus and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream, several roles in Highway Ulysses, the President of the Senate in Lysistrata, Marat in Marat/Sade, Brabantio and Lodovico in Othello, Dantly in Animals and Plants, the Father in Nocturne, Sir Ralph Bloomfield Bonington in The Doctor's Dilemma, Gregory Smirnov and Gonov in Three Farces and a Funeral, Heiner Müller in Full Circle, Borkin in Ivanov, the State Trooper, Policeman, Grave Digger, and Grandfather in We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!, Dr. McSharry in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Karl Hudlocke in The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Argan in The Imaginary Invalid, Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew, Tiresias in The Bacchae, the title role and other parts in Shlemiel the First, the Doctor in Woyzeck, Hjalmar in The Wild Duck, Brighella in The King Stag, Will in Six Characters in Search of an Author, Mother/Father in Alice in Bed, King Wenceslas/McGreedy in Ubu Rock, Cléante in Tartuffe, Sebastian in The Tempest, Murray in Demons, Exeter in Henry V, Aegisthus and Chorus in The Oresteia, Sagot in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, the Earl of Westmoreland in Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and Lord Chief Justice in Part 2. Other credits include The Rivals and Melinda Lopez's Sonia Flew (Huntington Theatre), Twelfth Night (Feste, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Brian Friel's Faith Healer (Gloucester Stage Company), Shear Madness (all male roles), the Boston Pops premiere of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (narrator). Film: Next Stop Wonderland. Television: the Cable Ace Award–winning animated series Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist (voice of Stanley).
Benjamin Evett has appeared at the American Repertory Theater in La Dispute, as Ilya Ilych Telegin in Uncle Vanya, Kinesias in Lysistrata, Jacques Roux in Marat/Sade, Peter in Absolution, Cassio in Othello, Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk/Sir Stephen Scroope in Richard II, Burris in Animals and Plants, the General in Mother Courage, the Messenger in Antigone, Time in The Winter's Tale, Lvov in Ivanov, the Policeman in Charlie in the House of Rue, Babbybobby in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Hyppolytus in Phaedra, Clèante in The Imaginary Invalid, Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew, Pentheus in The Bacchae, Zalman Tippish/Chaim Rascal/Dopey Petzel in Shlemiel the First, the Dreamer in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Leandro in The King Stag, the Son in Six Characters in Search of an Author, Punch 2/Judy Bell/Taxi Judy in Punch and Judy Get Divorced, Bouggerslas in Ubu Rock, Vince in Buried Child, Ariel in The Tempest, Charles Filch/Walt Dreary/Beggar Joe in The Threepenny Opera, Bardolph/Montjoy in Henry V, Lucky in Waiting for Godot, Herald/Chorus/Pylades/Hermes in The Oresteia, Epihodov in The Cherry Orchard, Nicholas Beckett in What the Butler Saw, Pistol in Henry IV, Part 2, and as Sir Richard Vernon in Part 1, in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, and in Platonov. He has also performed at the Missouri Repertory Theatre, where he played the title roles in Billy Bishop Goes to War and Amadeus, and at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, where he played Swiss Cheese in Mother Courage. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Mr. Evett currently serves as artistic director of the Actors' Shakespeare Company in Boston.
Randall Jaynes, a graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, returns to the A.R.T. to play Boo in The Marriage of Bette and Boo. He was previously seen on the A.R.T. stage in Henry V, Hot 'n' Throbbing, The Cherry Orchard, Winter Circus, and Demons. Mr. Jaynes has performed in and directed Blue Man Group: Tubes at the Astor Place Theatre in New York City, was a writer of and performer in The Pinocchio Experiment at the Moscow Solo Arts Festival and at the Ontological, and wrote and performed in The Bird Catchers at the Henson Festival, P.S. 122. He has performed a great variety of other roles, including the Soldier in A Soldier's Tale, the title role in Amphitryon, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Horner in The Country Wife, Frank in Mrs. Warren's Profession, and Ronnie in The House of Blue Leaves, among others.
Alfredo Archangelo Sandiavolo
Alfredo Archangelo Sandiavolo
Vontress Mitchell appeared as Zeinvel Shmeckel in the American Repertory Theater's world premiere of Shlemiel the First and as the Man in the A.R.T. New Stages production of The America Play. He has recently appeared as Rodrigo in Othello with the Juggernaut Theatre in New York, which will be performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in spring 1997. Other A.R.T. credits include Henry IV, Black Snow, and The Threepenny Opera. He is also a 1995 graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.