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Wednesday, 13 July 2011 10:48

TACT/The Actors Company Theatre Announces 2011-12 Season

TACT/THE ACTORS COMPANY THEATRE
ANNOUNCES 2011/2012 SEASON

“C H I L D R E N”
BY A.R. GURNEY
DIRECTED BY SCOTT ALAN EVANS

“L O S T   I N   Y O N K E R S”
BY NEIL SIMON
DIRECTED BY JENN THOMPSON

IN RESIDENCE AT THE BECKETT THEATRE AT THEATRE ROW

New York, NY  (July 13, 2011) – TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris and Jenn Thompson, Co-Artistic Directors) has announced its 2011/2012 Season.   The critically-acclaimed company dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit will offer Mainstage productions of Children by A.R. Gurney, and Lost in Yonkersby Neil Simon at The Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street) at Theatre Row. 

In a statement, Scott Alan Evans, the Co-Artistic Director of TACT, said “After pouring through literally hundreds of plays searching for just the right ones for our 19th season, we found two that we not only love, but feel go beautifully together.   Both are by iconic American playwrights; both haven’t been done in New York in decades; and both fit the company beautifully.  While both of these works examine two very different American families from distinct and singular perspectives, they none the less share a remarkable commonality.”

TACT will open the 2011/2012 season with Children, one of the earliest plays by A.R. Gurney (The Cocktail HourThe Dining Room).  Set in 1970, a wealthy family gathers to celebrate the Fourth of July in their summer home on an island off the New England coast. With the return of an estranged and mysterious brother secrets are revealed, loyalties tested, and the shifting tides of generations challenge everyone’s assumptions about their place in the family. Loosely based on John Cheever’s short story “Goodbye, My Brother,” Children probes the heart of one family to discover wider truths about the American social landscape.

First produced in London in 1974, Children gave the first glimpse of Gurney’s talent long before he became the well-known playwright he is today. It was also the first work of his to depict the well-healed Northeastern WASP’s on which so many of his plays are centered.  Although Children has had three different East Coast productions over the years, TACT’s staging will mark its New York City debut.

TACT Co-Artistic Director Scott Alan Evans directs.  Performances begin on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011.   Opening night is Thursday, October 27that 7:30pm. Performances will continue through Saturday, November 19th. 

TACT will continue its 2011/2012 season with Lost in Yonkers, the 1991 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Neil Simon (The Odd CoupleChapter Two). In this memory play set in 1942 Yonkers, Bella is 35-years-old, mentally challenged and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne'r do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hood in a strange new world called Yonkers.

Lost in Yonkers opened on Broadway on February 21, 1991 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and closed on January 3, 1993 after playing 780 performances. Directed by Gene Saks, the original cast included Irene WorthMercedes Ruehl and Kevin Spacey (all of whom won Tony Awards for their performances) and was awarded a Drama Desk and Tony Award for Best Play of 1991.  Simon adapted the play for the screen in a 1993 film directed by Martha Coolidge, starring Richard Dreyfus with Worth and Ruehl reprising their roles.  TACT is thrilled to present this great American play which hasn’t been seen in New York in 20 years.

TACT Co-Artistic Director Jenn Thompson directs.  Performances begin Tuesday, March 14th, 2012.  Opening Night is Thursday, March 22nd at 7:30pm.  Performances will continue through April 14th.

The cast and creative team for both productions will be announced at a later date.

Childrenand Lost in Yonkers will both have the following performance schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 7:30pm; Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm & 8pm; Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $20 - $56.25 and will be available through TeleCharge - www.telecharge.com/(212) 239-6200. They will also be available at the Theatre Row box office (410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) between 12pm and 6pm daily. To learn about the benefits of TACT membership, please visit www.tactnyc.org or call (212) 645-8228.

TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris & Jenn Thompson, Co-Artistic Directors) is dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit, with a focus on creating theatre from its essence: the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life.

TACT’s celebrated company of actors was drawn together in 1992 by a love of the literature of the theatre.  Since that time, they have grown to become a true ensemble: a group that has developed a common vocabulary and a technique based on their specific artistic vision and collective body of work.  TACT company members, whose cumulative experience includes scores of significant roles on and off Broadway, in the country’s finest regional theatres and in many films and television shows, have received Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards, in addition to several Tony nominations.

After presenting thirteen seasons of “in-concert” performances, the company took a leap with its 2006-07 season by presenting fully staged productions of David Storey’s Home and The Sea by Edward Bond at The Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row. TACT became a resident company on Theatre Row with its 2007-08 season when they presented critically-acclaimed productions of The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt and TheEccentricities of a Nightingale, by Tennessee Williams,which The New York Times included in its “Top 10 Theatre Picks for 2008.”   The company’s productions of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce, Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy, Sidney Howard’s The Late Christopher Bean and last season’s production of Three Men on a Horse became instant hits and enjoyed extended runs.

Bios                                                                                                                                                   

Scott Alan Evans (Director, ChildrenTACT Founding Co-Artistic & Executive Director. Since 1993, TACT has unearthed and Evans has produced and/or directed over 100 forgotten or neglected plays, bringing many back to the cannon of plays produced.  Evans’ production of T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party was among TACT’s most successful and was recently cited as one of the best revival of the season by the Wall Street Journal. ForTACT, Evans adapted & directed the US premiere of Nöel Coward’s Long Island Sound, and conceived, co-wrote & directed the world premiere of The Triangle Factory Project.  The New York Post called Triangle “the theatrical event of the season.” The play has been published by Dramatists Play Services and continues to enjoy productions across the country.  More recently, Evans has produced ten and directed six of TACT’s productions presented at their current home at Theater Row, including Home, The Sea, The Runner Stumbles, Incident at Vichy, The Cocktail Party, and most recently, the critically acclaimed Three Men on a Horse.  In addition to his work with TACT, Evans wrote & directed the musical, Goose! Beyond the Nursery (3 Outer Critic Circle Award nominations including Best Off-Broadway Prod.). Other recent NY Theatre: Joseph Hayden’s The Seven Last Words… (Chamber Music Society - Lincoln Center); The Constant Wife (NYU Grad. Acting).  Mr. Evans served for 10 years as Artistic Director of the American Musicals Project, producing an annual concert series at the New-York Historical Society celebrating great musical theatre writers and featuring Broadway headliners. Education: BFA, Boston Univ., School for the Arts (magna cum laude), and a former student and assistant to Michael Howard at the Michael Howard Studios.  He is a member of SDC and the Dramatist Guild.\

Jenn Thompson (Director, Lost in Yonkers) was recently named C0-Artistic Director, replacing the departing Simon Jones. A TACT Company Member since 2002 and named Associate Producer in 2007, Ms. Thompson has appeared in several productions and, most recently, directed last season’s critically-acclaimed production of The Memorandum. Other directing credits for TACT include The Late Christopher BeanBedroom Farce,The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (which was included in The New York Times “Top Ten Theatre Picks for 2008”), Ladies in RetirementMy 3 Angels,Rain and Kind Lady. Other NYC directing credits include the world-premiere boxing musical Seeing Stars, (NYMF), Badge by Matthew Schneck (Rattlestick), Term Limit (AGT), The Brilliance Of Bernstein (American Musicals Project) and Big Doolie (FringeNYC). She has developed new work at Primary Stages, The York, Abingdon Theatre Company, among others and served as a Producing Director and founding company member of Connecticut’s award-winning River Rep Theatre Company for over 10 seasons, where she performed in over 40 plays and musicals, directing productions of The ForeignerDinner with FriendsThe Heiress and Damn Yankees. Other regional credits include this past spring's production of The Syringa Tree (Portland Stage Company) and the upcoming Noises Off (Dorset Theatre Festival). As an actress her credits include extensive theatre, TV and film appearances including the Tony Award-winning Broadway productions of Ah, Wilderness!The Heiress, and Annie. She is married to actor Stephen Kunken.

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