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The Cherry Orchard

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Madame Ranevskaya is summoned from Paris to her girlhood home to deal with the insurmountable debts incurred on her estate.  Lopakhin, a successful businessman and the son of a serf who has worked for her family urges her to sell it. Despite her efforts to prevent it, the cherry orchard is put up for auction, and Lopakhin buys it.  Devastated, all are forced to leave the estate except the old servant Firs, who is accidentally left behind.  The final sound of the play is the sound of an axe felling the old trees to make room for summer cottages.

Credits

Creative team

by

Anton Chekhov

Adapted by

Robert Brustein

Adapted by

Robert Brustein

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

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Directed by

Ron Daniels

Directed by

Ron Daniels

At the American Repertory Theater Ron Daniels has directed Hamlet, The Seagull, Dream of the Red Spider, Cakewalk, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, The Cherry Orchard, Henry V, The Threepenny Opera, The Tempest, and Long Day's Journey Into Night on the Loeb Stage and Silence, Cunning, Exile and Slaughter City for the A.R.T. New Stages; he was also associate artistic director of the A.R.T. and director of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University from 1992 to 1996. Mr. Daniels was a founding member of the Teatro Oficina in São Paulo, Brazil, where he was born. In 1977, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as artistic director of the Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon. His work in the U.S. includes Romeo and Juliet at the Guthrie Theater, Camille at Long Wharf, and Bingo, Ivanov, Man Is Man, and Mister Puntila and His Chauffeur Matti at the Yale Repertory Theatre. At the RSC, his productions included The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pericles, Timon of Athens, Richard II, A Clockwork Orange, and many more, as well as world premieres of works by David Edgar, David Rudkin, Stephen Poliakoff, Pam Gems, and others. Mr. Daniels has staged Titus Andronicus and Hamlet in Tokyo, Japan. He is an honorary associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Set design by

George Tsypin

Lighting design by

Frances Aronson

Lighting design by

Frances Aronson

Frances Aronson's work at the American Repertory Theater includes Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Cherry Orchard (for which she received a Boston Theatre Award for 1994), Henry V, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, Hamlet, Dream of the Red Spider, The Homecoming, and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. Recent work in New York includes Entertaining Mr. Sloane for CSC and Arts and Leisure for Playwrights Horizons. She designed Falsettos on Broadway and counts among her numerous off-Broadway credits Das Barbecu, Through the Leaves, Painting Churches, The Kathy and Mo Show: Parallel Lives, and The Dining Room. Her work is seen in resident theaters across the country. She received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design.

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Sound design by

Christopher Walker

Sound design by

Christopher Walker

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.

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Choreography by

Amy Spencer

Richard Colton

Choreography by

Amy Spencer

Amy Spencer was a member of Twyla Tharp Dance from 1981 to 1988. During that time she worked on the films Amadeus, Zelig, and "The Catherine Wheel," and appeared on Broadway in Singing in the Rain. She was a collaborator and performer in Martha Clark's Vienna: Lusthaus and Miracolo d'amore at the Public Theater, and has been a guest artist with Pilobolus and the White Oak Dance Project, directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ms. Spencer co-directs, creates work for, and performs in SPENCER/COLTON, a company of dancers and actors based in Boston. The company has been presented by Jacob's Pillow, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Dance Theater Workshop, Boston Dance Umbrella, and Harvard Summer Dance Center. She has choreographed productions for the American Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Theatre, and the Boston Ballet. Ms. Spencer has taught movement to actors at N.Y.U. through Playwrights Horizons and taught dance at Barnard College, Sarah Lawrence College and N.Y.U.'s Tisch School of the Arts.

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Choreography by

Richard Colton

Richard Colton performed with Twyla Tharp Dance from 1977 to 1988 and was a member of the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He was a guest performer and teacher with the White Oak Dance Project, directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, and has staged the works of Twyla Tharp for the Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Twyla Tharp Dance, where he served as rehearsal director. Mr. Colton appeared in the films Hair and Amadeus, directed by Milos Foreman, the PBS Great Performances presentation of "The Catherine Wheel," and on Broadway in Singing in the Rain. Mr. Colton currently co-directs SPENCER/COLTON, a company of dancers and actors formed in 1989 to perform his work in collaboration with Amy Spencer. The company, based in Boston, has been presented by Jacobs Pillow, Boston Dance Umbrella, the American Repertory Theater Fall Festival, Harvard Summer Dance Performance Series, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, and New York's Dance Theater Workshop. Mr. Colton has choreographed the A.R.T. productions of The Cherry Orchard; Henry V; The Threepenny Opera, directed by Ron Daniels; and Ubu Rock, directed by Andrei Belgrader. Each year since 1989, in collaboration with Amy Spencer, he has created an original dance-theater work with the actors of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Mr. Colton has choreographed productions for Trinity Repertory Theatre, Boston Conservatory Dance Theatre, and the Boston Ballet. He is currently on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory and co-directs the dance program at Concord Academy.

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Cast

Dunyasha

Maggie Rush

Dunyasha

Maggie Rush

Yermolai Alexeyebich Lopakhin

Jack Willis

Yermolai Alexeyebich Lopakhin

Jack Willis

Jack Willis appeared as Hector Malone Sr. in Man and Superman, Carl in The Old Neighborhood, The Drum Major in Woyzeck, Bruto in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and Relling in The Wild Duck in the American Repertory Theater's 1996-97 season. Previously, he appeared as Tilden in Buried Child, Caliban in The Tempest, the husband in The Accident, Man in Hot 'n' Throbbing, Jamie Cregan in A Touch of the Poet, Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard, Sir Walter Blunt in Henry IV, Part 1 and Lord Hastings in Part 2, Boss Mangan in Heartbreak House, Panin in Black Snow, Uyttersprot in Dream of the Red Spider, Aston in The Caretaker, Sal in Those the River Keeps, and Banquo in Macbeth. As a member of the resident company at the Dallas Theatre Center, his roles included Willie Stark in All the King's Men, Caliban in The Tempest, and Jack Henry Abbott in In the Belly of the Beast. He has also appeared at the Alliance Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Teatro de Dallas, the San Antonio and Dallas Shakespeare Festivals, and Cincinnati Playhouse.  Mr. Willis is also a founding member of Aruba Repertory. Television and film credits include Dallas, All My Children, Love Hurts, Problem Child, and I Come in Peace.

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Simyon Panteleyevich

Benjamin Evett

Simyon Panteleyevich

Benjamin Evett

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.

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Firs

Alvin Epstein

Alvin Epstein is a former artistic director of the Guthrie Theater and associate director of Robert Brustein's Yale Repertory Theatre. He has directed over twenty productions (five at the American Repertory Theater, including the inaugural A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1980) and performed in over one hundred (over fifty at the A.R.T.). His A.R.T. roles include Old Man in Lysistrata, the Herald in Marat/Sade, Dionisio Genoni in Enrico IV, John of Gaunt/First Gardener in Richard II, Erich Honecker in Full Circle, McLeavy in Loot, Shabelsky in Ivanov, and Lee Strasberg in Nobody Dies on Friday; Mr. Epstein has also appeared in The Doctor's Dilemma, Antigone, Three Farces and a Funeral, The Winter's Tale, Charlie in the House of Rue, The Merchant of Venice, In the Jungle of Cities, The Bacchae, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable), Slaughter City, Tartuffe, The Tempest, Beckett Trio, The Threepenny Opera, and Waiting for Godot, among many others. His twenty Broadway and off-Broadway productions include his debut with Marcel Marceau, the Fool in Orson Welles's King Lear, Lucky in the American premiere of Waiting for Godot, Clov in the American premiere of Endgame, Peachum in The Threepenny Opera (co-starring with Sting), and the world premiere of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin's When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable). For twenty years he and Martha Schlamme performed A Kurt Weill Cabaret on tour in the U.S. and South America and a year's run on Broadway. He has performed at many resident theaters throughout the U.S., in films and on television. Awards include Most Promising Actor ('56 Variety Poll), Brandeis Creative Arts Award ('66), Obie for Dynamite Tonight! ('68), Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence ('96), and the IRNE Award for Best Supporting Actor as Shabelsky in Ivanov ('99). Mr. Epstein teaches acting at the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

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Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya

Claire Bloom

Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya

Claire Bloom

Claire Bloom (Enter the Actress) has had a long association with the American Repertory Theater, dating back to a performance of her one-woman show These are Women: A Portrait of Shakespeare's Heroines in 1982. She has returned to play the roles of Mme. Ranevsky in The Cherry Orchard (1994) and Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night (1996), both under the direction of Ron Daniels. Claire Bloom's first major acting role came at the age of seventeen, when she played Ophelia at Stratford-upon-Avon opposite the alternating Hamlets of Paul Scofield and Robert Helpmann. Her first London appearance was as Alizon Eliot in John Gielgud's production of Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not for Burning, opposite Richard Burton. Her performance in Peter Brook's production of Jean Anouilh's Ring Around the Moon led to the role of Teresa in Charlie Chaplin's 1952 film, Limelight. Her many films since then have included Look Back in Anger, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, A Doll's House, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Woody Allen's latest, Mighty Aphrodite. Her many appearances on the New York stage have included major roles in Hedda Gabler, Rashomon, Vivat! Vivat! Regina, and the stage version of Henry James's A Turn of the Screw. On television she has appeared in Brideshead Revisited, Philip Roth's The Ghost Writer, and ShadowlandsLimelight and After, an autobiographical book, was published in 1982 by Harper and Row.

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Anya

Karen Phillips

Anya

Karen Phillips

Varya

Miki Whittles

Varya

Miki Whittles

Leonid Andreyevich Gayev

Jeremy Geidt

Leonid Andreyevich Gayev

Jeremy Geidt

A.R.T. Senior Actor, founding member of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the A.R.T. Yale: more than 40 productions (including The Seagull). A.R.T.: 100 productions including The Seagull (three turns as Sorin), Julius Caesar, Three Sisters, The Onion Cellar, Major Barbara (Undershaft), Heartbreak House (Shotover), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Quince four times, Snug once), Henry IV (Falstaff), Twelfth Night (Toby Belch), The Caretaker (Davies), The Homecoming (Max), Loot (Truscott), Man and Superman (Mendoza/Devil), Waiting for Godot (Vladimir), The Threepenny Opera (Peacham/Petey), Ivanov (Lebedev), Three Sisters (Chebutkin), Buried Child (Dodge), The Cherry Orchard (Gaev) and The King Stag (Pantelone). Teaches at Harvard College, Harvard’s Summer and Extension Schools and at the A.R.T/MXAT Institute. Trained at the Old Vic Theatre School and subsequently taught there. Acted at the Old Vic, Young Vic, The Royal Court, in the West End, in films and television and has been hosting his own show “The Caravan” for the BBC for five years. Came to the U.S. with the satirical revue The Establishment and acted on and off Broadway, at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and at the Lincoln Center Festival. Lectured on Shakespeare in India and the Netherlands Theatre School. Received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Boston Actor and the Jason Robards Award for Dedication to the Theatre.

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Carlotta

Patti Allison

Carlotta

Patti Allison

Remo Airaldi

Boris Simyonov-Pishtchik

Remo Airaldi

Remo Airaldi

Boris Simyonov-Pishtchik

Remo Airaldi

A.R.T.: The Lily’s Revenge, Cabaret, Paradise Lost, Endgame, The Seagull, Oliver Twist, Island of Slaves, The Onion Cellar, The Communist Dracula Pageant, Cardenio, Julius Caesar, Amerika, The Miser, Henry IV and V, The Birthday Party, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Dispute, Uncle Vanya, Enrico IV, The Winter’s Tale, The Wild Duck, Buried Child, Tartuffe, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Waiting for Godot. Regional: Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Sweeney Todd, My Fair Lady, Lyric Stage Company; Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; The Poets’ Theater; Israeli Stage; Central Square Theater; New Repertory Theater; Hartford Stage.

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Pyotr Sergeyevich Trofimov

Royal Miller

Pyotr Sergeyevich Trofimov

Royal Miller

Yasha

Ajay Naidu

Yasha

Ajay Naidu

Tramp/Station Master

Randall Jaynes

Tramp/Station Master

Randall Jaynes

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.

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Ensemble

Lorraine Chapman, Michael Langlois, Peter B Schmitz, Denise Mostacci Sklar

Ensemble

Lorraine Chapman, Michael Langlois, Peter B Schmitz, Denise Mostacci Sklar