Artistic Director Michael Stevenson &
|by Joshua Harmon|
Directed by Michael Stevenson
Live Theatre & Virtually On Demand
October 13 - November 14, 2021
Performance Length: 95 minutes, no intermission
Amy Resnick* Richard B. Watson*
|Sponsored by Gloriette C. Fong|
ADMISSIONS is presented by special arrangement with
|*Member Actors' Equity Association|
Capital Stage’s mission is to entertain, engage and challenge our audience with bold, thought provoking theatre.
THINGS TO KNOW
To attend a performance everyone in your party must present proof of vaccination for COVID-19 (with a second dose at least 14 days prior to the date of the performance) with a valid photo ID. Masks also must be worn in the theatre and interior lobby areas at all times. NO FOOD OR BEVERAGES ARE ALLOWED INSIDE THE THEATRE.
Recording and photography of any kind are prohibited at Capital Stage.
Patrons are asked to turn communication devices off upon entering the theatre.
LATE SEATING & RE-SEATING:
Due to the design of our theatre, we cannot guarantee seating for late arrivals or for patrons who leave the theatre during the performance. As a courtesy to our artists and our audiences, late arrivals will be seated in a suitable location by our staff if possible and at the appropriate intervals.
Only concession items purchased in the Wine & Dessert Bar are allowed. Concessions will be limited and can only be consumed while on our Patio. NO FOOD OR BEVERAGES ARE ALLOWED IN THE THEATRE.
Capital Stage is noted for bringing intimate bold productions to our region and we encourage young adults to experience a live performance. Children age sixteen and up are welcome at Capital Stage unless specifically noted in the production’s description.
Seating locations at Capital Stage for patrons using wheelchairs or with a disability are located in the first row. Tickets for these seats may be purchased in person or by calling the Box Office at 916-995-5464.
Restroom facilities are located in the lounge behind the Wine & Dessert Bar.
Brochures and information about upcoming Capital Stage productions and events are available in the box office or by visiting capstage.org.
Capital Stage is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
Capital Stage is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre.
Capital Stage is a member of the National New Play Network, the country’s alliance of leading nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production and continued life of new plays.
Capital Stage is a member of Blue Star Theatres, offering discounts to Military personnel, Military family members, and Veterans.
The play takes place at Hillcrest, a second-tier, on-the-cusp-of-being-a-first-tier prep/boarding school in rural New Hampshire, and in the home of the Mason family.
It begins just before Christmas and ends shortly after Easter, during the 2015-2016 academic year.
About The Play
By Stephanie Tucker, PhD, Dramaturg Emerita
"Joshua Harmon has a gift for provocation. The last play of his we [Londoners] saw, BAD JEWS, took a swipe at dogmatic certainties. Now he takes aim at the smug pieties of bien-pensant white liberals."
- Michael Billington, The Guardian
"Although the play is called ADMISSIONS and is about an Admissions officer, it’s not really about applying to college. That’s the container, I suppose, to be able to ask the larger questions with which the play is trying to engage. At its core, this play is an examination of whiteness: white privilege, white power, white anxiety, white guilt, all of it." - Joshua Harmon
First produced in 2018, ADMISSIONS is set in a New England prep school during “the 2015-2016 academic year.” The playwright characterizes Hillcrest as “a second-tier, on-the-cusp-of-being-a-first-tier prep/boarding school in rural New Hampshire.” This description speaks volumes about subjects Harmon explores in his three-part play—including, apparently, Hillcrest’s (or its officials’) self-awareness of the school’s position on the social/academic ladder of New England prep schools. Hillcrest is not up there with St. Paul’s or Andover, no more than Middlebury College is in the same league as Harvard or Yale. But, teasingly, Hillcrest is “on-the-cusp-of-being” in the first tier—as its name suggests and its admissions officer would have it become.
Another early stage direction, “TIME,” is similarly telling: the play “begins just before Christmas and ends shortly after Easter.” Indeed, these holidays mirror the academic calendars for colleges’ and universities’ advising applicants of early acceptance (December) and deferred admissions (Spring). However the playwright’s specifying the two most important celebrations in the Christian calendar suggests very real traditional/historical reasons for inclusion (or its inverse) into elite east-coast institutions—religious and cultural. As if punctuating this, one of the play’s two mothers, Ginnie, is described as a “very liberal WASP,” and the other, Sherri, a “very liberal secular Jewish woman,” which, if unspoken, suggests White, Anglo-Saxon. Protestant privilege prevalent in the world of Hillcrest, and other similarly exclusive institutions.
When ADMISSIONS opened Off-Broadway, at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater, Jesse Green, in the New York Times, called it “...an extraordinarily useful and excruciating satire—of the left, by the left, for the left—for today.” Adam Feldman, in Time Out, suggested that the “...nuanced and competing truths in Harmon’s 90-minute play are like a first act that dares its spectators to create a second out of post-show conversations.” The play was named the Outstanding Play of 2018 by both the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama Desk. It has since been produced throughout the United States and the United Kingdom—to critical and popular acclaim—due, to be sure, to its dramatic distinction, and also, perhaps, to its topicality. As the playwright notes:
It’s easy in times like these, to point at someone else as the problem. We see it on the right, and we see it on the left. What we see too rarely is self-reflection. This play, I hope, creates a space for some self-reflection, to look within, to consider the ways in which, even with the best of intentions, we can remain complicit in the perpetuation of something we simultaneously abhor.
ADMISSIONS explores issues of race, inclusion, equality and opportunity through its recognizable on-stage characters, while alluding to many more “players” who exist off-stage, out of sight—and perhaps, at critical times, in calendars, academic and otherwise, out of mind.
Samantha McLean Haas
Jim Hensley, President Abbey Flooring, Inc.
Production Manager - KATIE CANNON
Technical Director - CARLOS LLONTOP
Lead Carpenter - RICH KIRLIN
Scenic Charge Artist - SAMANTHA McLEAN HAAS
Sound Designer & Engineer - ED LEE
Lead Electrician - MARI OYAIZU CARSON
Props Coordinators - REBEKAH FEGAN, RICH KIRLIN
Stage Manager - ANDREANNA KONOMOS*
Stage Management Production Assistant - ANDREW FRIDAE^
Paint Assistant - CECILIA CASTILLO JUAREZ^
Sound & Projections Assistant - NICHOLAS RABORN^
Lighting Assistant - RAND DOERNING^
Properties & Production Management Assistant - KAITLIN WEINSTEIN^
Costume Assistant - ANA MUNTEAN^
Build Crew - KYLE DODGIN, RICH KIRLIN, CARLOS LLONTOP, TIM MCNAMARA. 2021/20 Apprentices: RAND DOERNING^, ANDREW FRIDAE^, CECILIA CASTILLO JUAREZ^, ANA MUNTEAN^, NICHOLAS RABORN^, KAITLIN WEINSTEIN^. 2019/20 Apprentices: MILANIA CARDONA^, JOHN CAROLL^, OLLIN CHOI^, ROBIN LILLIE^, BRANDON NAKAGAKI^, LINDSEY PLATT^, ALEXANDRIA XIONG^.
COVID-19 Safety Managers - KATIE CANNON, KEITH RIEDELL, MICHAEL STEVENSON
Associate Dramaturgs - OLGA KOROLEV, STEPHANIE TUCKER, PhD
Graphic Designers - DAN LYDERSEN, MISTY MCDOWELL
Photographer - CHARR CRAIL
Webmaster - MISTY MCDOWELL
^ Capital Stage Apprentice | * Member Actors' Equity Association
About The Playwright
By Stephanie Tucker, PhD, Dramaturg Emerita
Joshua Harmon was born in 1983 and, to quote the playwright,
...spent what I like to call my formative ‘year’ in Brooklyn before my parents basically ruined my life and moved us to the suburbs, which is where I grew up. The suburbs are fine, but I think I understood from an early age that if I ever had a shot at being cool, I would have had to stay in Brooklyn.
However, the suburbs were close enough to Manhattan for the young boy to see some pretty sophisticated plays—including musicals such as SHOWBOAT and LES MISERABLES, whose subjects (miscegenation, segregation and revolution) are not the usual fare of kids’ theater—no more than those by ancient Greek tragedians.
My Nana took me to see MEDEA when I was ten. She said, ‘If you read the play, I’ll take you to see it.’
As you’ll recall, Euripedes’ eponymous character, betrayed and abandoned by her lover, takes revenge by murdering their two sons and his new bride. Nonetheless, the 10-year-old Harmon read this grim tragedy. After seeing it, he decided to become a playwright!
Four years later, Harmon saw Alfred Uhry’s THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO, which examines the social stratification of Southern Jews on the eve of World War II. The 14-year-old Harmon loved the play and wrote its author a 2-page letter—in pencil. Graciously, Uhry responded:
If you want it badly enough, you can have a career in the theater.
Harmon got his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and then attended Carnegie Mellon’s playwriting program. After completing the program, he moved back into his parents’ home:
I was pretty despondent. I had an MFA and was back where I started, and gearing up for the 10-year winter of my discontent.
Nonetheless, he continued to write. In 2010, he became the National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence, during which he continued to work on what would become his first play to “run more than three nights,” Bad Jews—which Capital Stage produced in 2017.
In 2012, Harmon was accepted into Julliard’s playwriting program, the result, in part, of his submitting a draft of Bad Jews with his application. While studying with Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang at Julliard, Harmon’s first play was picked up by Roundabout Theatre’s Off-Broadway Black Box Theatre.
His next play, SIGNIFICANT OTHER, was also produced by the Roundabout Theatre, opening in 2015. And in 2018, Harmon had two plays open Off-Broadway, SKINTIGHT and ADMISSIONS—both receiving prestigious awards and excellent reviews.
Clearly, the 14-year-old kid who penciled a fan letter to Alfred Uhry did indeed want a career in the theatre “badly enough.”
Meet the Company
Michelle takes great delight performing in and around the Sacramento area. Favorite local productions include: VERONICA’S ROOM, BALM IN GILEAD, COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN and recently, ANGELS IN AMERICA as Ethel Rosenberg. ADMISSIONS is Michelle’s debut performance at Capital Stage and she is thrilled. Michelle received her BA in Theatre/Dance from CSUS and attended American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco.
Beth comes to Capital Stage from Florida where she has lived and worked for the past 30 years. Prior to the shutdown and coming to Cap Stage, Beth led a co-production with Palm Beach Dramaworks and Gablestage of a world premiere of ORDINARY AMERICANS, a play she helped conceive about the work of Gertrude Berg and the Blacklist. Some credits include two decades of work with both Caldwell Theatre and Florida Stage, and mulitple productions at Actors' Playhouse, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Asolo Rep, Theatre Zone, Gulfshore Playhouse, Pirates Playhouse, Theatre Lab, Mosaic Theatre, Key West Theatre Festival, Women's Theatre Project, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Gablestage, American Stage, City Theatre and Theatre West. She is a 4 time Carbonell winner, for her work in QUILLS, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, BILLY ELLIOT and SOUVENIR.
Jacob Shea Flekier
Jacob is so excited to be making his debut at Capital Stage! Originally from Kansas City, and now based out of LA and NYC, Jacob’s regional credits include: Eugene in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (New Jewish Theatre); 9 TO 5, JOSEPH…DREAMCOAT, and DISNEY’S 101 DALMATIANS (STAGES St. Louis); NEWSIES (Grandstreet Theatre); A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, WILL MR. MERRIWETHER RETURN FROM MEMPHIS (Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis). Jacob received his BFA in Musical Theatre from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. www.jacobflekier.com @FlekinAround
Amy is very happy to be back at CapStage, where she last appeared in SWEAT, LUNA GALE, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, BLACKBERRY WINTER and directed BAD JEWS. New York: Lincoln Center, Synchronicity Place, Cherry Lane, Barrow Theatre, Westbeth Theatre, Women’s Project. Regional: Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Rep, Alliance Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Wilma Theatre, Magic Theatre, Arena Stage, B Street Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Theatreworks, Arizona Theatre, San Jose Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, South Coast Rep. World Premieres: by Annie Baker, Aaron Sorkin, Stephen Belber, Claire Chafee, Leigh Fondakowski, Carlos LaCamara, Moisés Kaufman, Steve Yockey, Wendy MacCleoud, Allison Moore, and Jon Jory. TV: Law & Order, Picket Fences, St. Elsewhere, Simon & Simon, Paper Dolls, Paper Chase, Back To The Streets Of San Francisco, Midnight Caller. Film: Beautiful Dreamer with Wendy Malick, The Sure Thing, Haiku Tunnel, Love & Taxes, The Californians. B Street Theatre Company Member. Recipient of two Bay Area Critics Circle Awards, two Drama-Logue Awards and the Irene Ryan Award.
Richard B. Watson*
Richard was born and raised in Wilmington, NC, and lives in NYC. Most recently closed MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Maltz Jupiter, Richard was Henry Higgins with Kate Baldwin in MY FAIR LADY Sacramento Music Circus and Sherlock in SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE WEST END HORROR at Asolo and Pioneer theaters. NYC: DEVILS DISCIPLE Irish Rep, SERENDIB Ensemble Studio Theater, and VENUS FLYTRAP Active Theater. Film/TV: FBI Most Wanted; PS, I Love You; Mozart In The Jungle; Law & Order CI; Delocated; Onion Sports Network; Art=(Love)²; and a pilot Powerless for FX. Richard recently played George in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and is an inaugural company member at American Stage in FL. He was awarded his MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University / Shakespeare Theatre Company. Proud union member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. www.
Joshua Harmon is a New York City-based playwright, whose works include BAD JEWS (Roundabout Underground; Roundabout/Laura Pels; West End), SIGNIFICANT OTHER (Roundabout; Broadway/Booth Theatre), ADMISSIONS (Lincoln Center Theater; West End), and SKINTIGHT (Roundabout). His plays have been produced across the country at Studio Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Speakeasy, Actor’s Express, The Magic, and Theater Wit, among others, and internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and throughout the U.K. He is a two-time MacDowell fellow and an Associate Artist at Roundabout. Graduate of Juilliard.
For Capital Stage, Michael has directed THE HUMANS, THE OTHER PLACE, SWEAT, THE THANKSGIVING PLAY, LUNA GALE, STUPID F##KING BIRD, HOW TO USE A KNIFE, DISGRACED, MR. BURNS, IDEATION, CLYBOURNE PARK, MAURITIUS, ERRATICA (World Premiere), and LES LIAISONS DANGERUSES. He has directed at regional theatres including: B Street Theatre, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Company, Perseverance Theatre Company, and Sacramento Theatre Company. As an actor he has appeared at many regional theatres including: 42nd Street Moon, American Conservatory Theatre, The Aurora Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, Capital Stage, B Street Theatre, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre. He holds an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory Theatre.
Katie is thrilled to be returning to this production in 2021! She is in her 4th season as Production & Company Manager for Capital Stage, after several years with them as an AEA Stage Manager. Favorite shows stage managed for Capital Stage include AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, BETRAYAL, DISGRACED and ANNA KARENINA. She has also stage managed for Broadway at Music Circus for 17 seasons, most recently for SHREK, as well as being their Production Stage Manager at the Cosmopolitan Cabaret. Additional stage management credits include productions for the Sacramento Opera, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Musical Theatre West & Main Street Theatre in the greater Los Angeles Area.
Having been a Technical Director for Folsom Lake College for many years as well as a Lead Technician at the Harris Center of the Arts, Carlos is excited to make his debut with Capital Stage during their reopening season. Some of his favorite productions include Spring Awakening, The Who’s Tommy, Hair, and Marat/ Sade. He wants to take a moment to thank his previous professors and mentors Ian Wallace, Rebecca Redmond, David Harris and Sam Coquerille. He would also like to thank his amazing team of apprentices for all their hard work and dedication. He is looking forward to making some magic and creating art with his fellow artists for time to come.
Andreanna is extremely happy to be returning to Capital Stage after 15 years and stage managing after a 4 year hiatus. She was the first stage manager when Capital Stage became professional on the Delta King, the show was Art. She has been fortunate to have a career as a Stage Manager for over 25 years in the Sacramento area. She has worked for B Street Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company and Music Circus now known as Broadway Sacramento. She is a very proud IATSE local 50 and Actors Equity member.
This is Brian's second production with Capital Stage, the first being SLOWGIRL. Elsewhere, Brian has designed the scenery for more than 100 productions at theatres including: The Old Globe, San Diego Rep, Cygnet Theatre Company, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, The Welk Resort, Sierra Rep, Summer Rep Theatre Festival, and several others. Brian is currently assistant professor of theatre design and technology at North Central College in Naperville, IL and is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local USA829. www.brianredferndesign.com.
Pamila has been a working designer for thirty years, designing musicals, opera, plays, dance and industrials. Her designs have been seen in the San Francisco Bay area as well as Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Colorado Springs, Ft. Lauderdale, and Washington, DC. Her design work includes the World Premieres of PRIDE & PREJUDICE, MY ANTONIA, KEPT, BABY TAJ, the American Premiere of THE 3 MUSKETEERS, and the West Coast Premiere of SILENT NIGHT. Ms. Gray is a graduate of Northwestern University and a member of United Scenic Artists.
Collaborating with Capital Stage for over a decade, favorite shows include: MARJORIE PRIME, AN OCTOROON, BETRAYAL, THE HOMECOMING, A DOLL’S HOUSE, IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR, DANGEROUS LIASONS. Other local credits include STC’s KATE, THE WHIPPING MAN, GEM OF THE OCEAN; Fair Oaks Theatre Festival’s SUESSICAL, WILLY WONKA, SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER; BECOMING JULIA MORGAN, and LOVE ISADORA California Stage; HAIRSPRAY, THE SEAGULL, JEKYLL AND HYDE, BEAUX STRATAGEM, STOP KISS, and JULIUS CAESAR at American River College where she also teaches in the Theatre Arts and Fashion departments. Gail is the recipient of several SARTA Elly Awards for Costume Design.
Ed is delighted to be part of another season at Capital Stage. He has been involved in almost every production since the company’s aquatic days at the Delta King, from artwork for SPEECH AND DEBATE to appearing in FIRST PERSON SHOOTER. Favorite sound design credits include: MASTER CLASS; SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME; 4000 MILES; MISTAKES WERE MADE; RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN; and UNCANNY VALLEY.
Christa is excited to be returning to Capital Stage this season! Born and raised in Sacramento, she earned her B.A. in Theatre from CSU Sacramento and now works at a variety of theatre companies in this city. Her most recent work can be seen in BYHALIA, MISSISSIPPI with B Street Theatre. You might have also seen her work in OKLAHOMA!, GUYS & DOLLS, and IN THE HEIGHTS with Broadway at Music Circus. She hopes you enjoy this production as much as she has: down to the meticulous little details.
Rebekah is a local freelance Stage Manager, Theatre Technician, and Art Director. She was a part of the 2017/18 Apprentice Company at Capital Stage, and most recently graduated from UC San Diego with her MFA in Stage Management. Rebekah is thrilled to be back at Capital Stage, who shares her love of thought provoking new works and authentic collaboration. Favorite local credits include: THE NETHER (Asst. Stage Manager, Capital Stage), Playwright’s Revolution 2019 (Stage Manager, Capital Stage) THE ROOMMATE (Wardrobe Supervisor, Capital Stage), THE NUTCRACKER, 2019 & 2021 (Stage Manager, Sacramento Ballet), PACERVILLE (Feature Film, Nick Leisure Productions).
Samantha McLean Haas
Samantha McLean Haas has been painting sets for 11 years. She's worked at Sacramento City College, University of California Davis, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Music Circus. This is her eighth show with Capital Stage.
Capital Stage Announces 2021/22 Season
Capital Stage is reopening its doors on August 25, 2021. The 2021-2022 Season will mark their 17th season beginning with Jeanne Sakata's HOLD THESE TRUTHS, directed by Jeffrey Lo (VIETGONE, THE GREAT LEAP - A VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE), and starring Jomar Tagatac (VIETGONE). HOLD THESE TRUTHS is a Co-Production with SF Playhouse, and will be offered as live in person performances, as well as virtually with a performance filmed at SF Playhouse.
Subscription sales will begin on July 19, 2021 and range from $150-$228 per person. Regular tickets will go on sale August 16, 2021, and range from $25-$49 per person. Patrons who subscribed to the 2020-2021 Season (during the pandemic) will roll over automatically to this coming season. The Box Office is available for any questions or concerns regarding tickets and subscriptions at 916-995-5464, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tue-Thu 12-4pm.
ADMISSIONS by Joshua Harmon
Directed by Michael Stevenson
2018 Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Awards Winner for Outstanding Play
October 13 - November 14, 2021
Sherri Rosen-Mason is head of the admissions department at a New England prep school, fighting to diversify the student body. Alongside her husband, the school's Headmaster, they've largely succeeded in bringing a stodgy institution into the twenty-first century. But when their only son sets his sights on an Ivy League university, personal ambition collides with progressive values with convulsive results.
THE GREAT LEAP by Lauren Yee
Directed by Jeffrey Lo
2017 Kesselring Prize Winner
January 26 - February 27, 2022
When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for a "friendship" game in the post-Cultural Revolution 1980s, both countries try to tease out the politics behind this newly popular sport. Cultures clash as the Chinese coach tries to pick up moves from the Americans and Chinese-American player Manford spies on his opponents. Inspired by events in her own father's life, Yee "applies a devilishly keen satiric eye to...her generation (and its parents)."
i??PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu
Directed by TBD
2018 New York Times Critics Pick
March 16 - April 17, 2022
Moses and Kitch stand around on the corner - talking shit, passing the time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space with his own agenda and derails their plans. Emotional and lyrical, PASS OVER crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, exposing the unquestionable human spirit of young men stuck in a cycle just looking for a way out.
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT by Jeremy Karekan, David Murell & Gordon Farrell
Directed by Michael Stevenson
May 4 - June 5, 2022
Based on the true story of reporter John D'Agata's essay 'What Happens There', THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT follows Fingal, who has a small job: to fact-check articles for one of the best magazines in the country. His boss has given him a big assignment: to apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by legendary author D'Agata. But now Fingal has a huge problem: D'Agata made up a lot of his article. What starts professional quickly becomes profane. A brilliant comedy grappling with a seminal issue of our time.
SMART PEOPLE by Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Judith Moreland
June 22 - July 24, 2022
It is the eve of Obama's first election. Four of Harvard University's brightest; a surgeon, an actress, a psychologist, and a neuro-psychiatrist, are all interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to race. But like all smart people, they are also searching for love, success, and identity in their own lives. Lydia R. Diamond brings these characters together in this sharp, witty play about social and sexual politics.
Special Holiday Production
MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY by Lauren Gunderson & Margot Melcon
Special Holiday Production
December 1 - 26, 2021
In this charmingly imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice, Mary Bennet is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings' romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary's hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love. This romantic comedy picks up two years after Jane Austen's beloved tale ended, with a clever and captivating style that will delight Austen aficionados and newcomers alike!
Joshua Harmon and Nicole Cox Win Inaugural Prizes for Jewish Plays, Presented by Theater J
Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr and Managing Director Jojo Ruf have announced the winners of two new play prizes: Joshua Harmon wins the Theater J Trish Vradenburg Jewish Play Prize for Prayer for the French Republic and Nicole Cox wins the Theater J Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize for Abomination. This is the inaugural year for the two prizes, each of which recognizes a new play that celebrates, explores, and/or struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience.
The Vradenburg Prize awards $15,000 to an established playwright and is dedicated to the memory of philanthropist, playwright, and Alzheimer's research advocate Trish Vradenburg, who served on Theater J's Council for 13 years. Commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club, Harmon's new play is a moving and powerful reflection of the history of trauma and prejudice embedded within five generations of one extraordinary Jewish family. An excerpt from Prayer for the French Republic will be performed as part of Theater J's virtual Benefit on November 18, directed by David Cromer, Tony Award-winning director of The Band's Visit and 2010 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and featuring Tony Shalhoub, Tony Award-winning actor of The Band's Visit and TV star (Monk, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).
"As the Artistic Director of a Jewish theater company, it is rare for me to read a play that transforms my understanding of what it is to be Jewish in America today," says Immerwahr. "Set in France, Prayer for the French Republic is about being Jewish, being American, and being part of a tribe. It's moving, powerful, and one of the most exquisite new plays I've read in many years. A writer of stage and screen, Trish Vradenburg was one of the funniest people I have ever met-I know she would have seen in Harmon a kindred spirit, seeking to illuminate the shadows of our world with humor and joy."
"Trish was a playwright herself," adds her widower George Vradenburg, "and she loved the collaborative process of creating something brand new that engaged the audience with its story, humor, and wit. It is incredibly meaningful that the inaugural winner is Joshua Harmon, who creates the kinds of plays that reach audiences of all kinds so effectively. Trish loved Theater J and would be so excited that the J is attracting such great American writers as Joshua."
"I am honored and humbled to be the first recipient of the Vradenburg Prize," says Joshua Harmon. "When I first began working on this play more than five years ago, my curiosity about the rising tide of antisemitism in Europe led me to want to write a play about what was happening over there; I could not have anticipated, when I first set out, the extent to which we would soon be grappling with those same, wrenching questions over here. I am grateful to Theater J and the committee which chose my play to receive this honor, and eagerly anticipate the moment when we can once again gather, in person, to experience a story together in a theatre."
47 plays were submitted to the Vradenburg Prize and adjudicated by Theater J staff. Two finalists were also selected: A Model City by Brooke Berman and Picture of a House in Shaker Heights by David Grimm.
The Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize awards $3,000 and a stage reading to a promising emerging woman, trans, or non-binary playwright in recognition of a new play. The Prize is dedicated to the memory of philanthropist and venture capitalist Patty Abramson. Based on a true story, Abomination is a captivating look at identity, faith, and belonging as a small group of queer yeshiva graduates take to the courts to hold a conversion therapy organization accountable for decades of abuse. Abomination will receive a workshop in December of 2020.
"It is a testament to the enduring power of Jewish storytelling and Jewish stories that the Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize received over eighty submissions in its inaugural year," says Immerwahr. "It took an army of forty volunteer readers to evaluate the submitted plays. Cox's loving and engaging story of young, gay, Orthodox Jews is a marvelous and captivating story that readers adored. I look forward to seeing productions of this play around the country, at Jewish and non-Jewish theaters alike. We are all so grateful to the Abramson/Silverman family for honoring and celebrating Patty Abramson's longtime commitment to nurturing women in their careers with this one-of-a-kind prize."
"Patty would be pleased to know that the prize named for her honors women playwrights, since the passion of her professional career was supporting young women," adds her widower Les Silverman. "I look forward to the Theater J community being introduced to Nicole's voice."
"What an honor to win the inaugural Patty Abramson prize." says Cox. "It's thrilling to be included in her huge circle of influence, and I'm deeply grateful to Theater J for recognizing and supporting my play."
85 plays were submitted to the Abramson prize and read by over 40 members of the Theater J community, from artists to Council members to staff. A committee made up of philanthropist Michele Berman, director Johanna Gruenhut, Theater J Managing Director Jojo Ruf, and director and Abramson's stepdaughter Leigh Silverman selected the winner and two finalists: Belfast Kind by Margot Connolly and Grains of Wheat by Abigail Weaver.
Joshua Harmon's plays include Bad Jews (Roundabout Underground; Roundabout/Laura Pels; West End), Significant Other (Roundabout; Broadway/Booth Theatre), Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater; West End), and Skintight (Roundabout). His plays have been produced across the country including at The Magic, Geffen Playhouse, Studio Theatre, Theater Wit, Speakeasy, and Actor's Express, and internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and throughout the U.K. He is a two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow and under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout, where he is an Associate Artist. Education: Juilliard.
Nicole Cox is a writer in DC. Her play, Office of the Speaker, won Best Drama at Capital Fringe 2019, and her poem, "I Want Lou Reed" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She's had productions and readings at the 1-Minute Play Festival, Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage, and Citizens Play Festival. Paula Vogel and Dan O'Brien invited Nicole to workshop her play, All Other Nights, at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her work is published in literary magazines including American Book Review, Tablet Magazine, Split Lip, Electric Literature, Briar Cliff Review, and Hanging Loose. Nicole earned her MFA from Emerson College.
ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA)
Founded in 1913, this union represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.
Capital Stage Staff
MICHAEL STEVENSON - Artistic Director
PETER MOHRMANN - Co-Founder, Associate Artist
KEITH RIEDELL - Managing Director
KATIE CANNON - Production & Company Manager
MISTY MCDOWELL - Marketing Manager
AALIYAH PETERS - Audience Services Manager
CARLOS LLONTOP - Technical Director
ED LEE - Resident Sound Designer & Engineer
RICH KIRLIN - Lead Carpenter
LOGAN HELLER – Box Office Assistant
RUBY SKETCHLY – Front of House Assistant
JAMIE JONES, GAIL RUSSELL, JANIS STEVENS – Associate Artists
KATHY DAVENPORT – Bookkeeping Assistant
DEEDEE WALKER – Volunteer Coordinator
RAND DOERNING, ANDREW FRIDAE, ANA MUNTEAN, KAITLIN WIENSTEIN, CECILIA CASTILLO JUAREZ, NICK RABORN - Apprentices
KATIE CANNON, MICHAEL STEVENSON, KEITH RIEDELL - COVID Safety Officers
Capital Stage Board Members
Chastity E. Benson
California State Association of Counties
National Grape Research Alliance
Dan Brunner, Treasurer
Seed Communications Design
Kathryn E. Doi
Hanson Bridgett LLP
Theresa Harvath, Secretary
Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing – University of California, Davis
Sherry Hartel Haus
Kristi Quesada Mathisen
Sacramento Country Day School
Peter Mohrmann, Co-founder
Lori Abbott Moreland
Damaris L. Perez
Mike Tentis, Board President
UC Davis Strategic Communications
California Hospital Association
Stephanie Gularte, Founding Artistic Director
Jonathan Williams, Co-Founder