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The God Game author Suzanne Bradbeer among winners of third annual showcase of new works at Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre.

SCHENECTADY, NY—OCT. 14, 2014—William Kennedy’s The Light Of The World anchors NEXT ACT! New Play Summit 3, Nov. 1-3 at Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre. The play—still in development—has undergone a number of public readings, but this is the first opportunity for fans of the Pulitzer Prize winner’s work to experience the current edition of the much-anticipated script.

NEXT ACT!, a joint venture of theREP and Proctors, brings writers, actors and audience members together for three days of workshops and readings.

The Summit seeks to highlight new works that reflect the values and changes that accompany the growth of Upstate New York’s Tech Valley. A national call for entries in April resulted in more than 300 submissions. After three months of blind reading and analysis by theatre professionals drawn from across the Capital Region and NYC, three plays were selected for staged readings at this year’s NEXT ACT!, including The God Game author Suzanne Bradbeer’s Naked Influence.

“This year, we are honored to be doing a staged reading of William Kennedy’s new play,” says Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, producing artistic director of theREP. “The Light Of The World lays bear the curse of the Phelan family, whose members dominate the Albany cycle of Mr. Kennedy’s works. We are also thrilled to welcome back Suzanne Bradbeer, whose play The God Game was the hit of the first summit, two years ago.”

Subsequently, The God Game was given a well-praised fully-staged world premiere production at theREP, and has since gone on to productions downstate and in Houston, Texas.

“Three very diverse plays rose to the top from 300 submissions,” says Mancinelli-Cahill. “It’s always interesting to see what writers have on their minds, and this year we had many plays that dealt with drones, surveillance, the recession and university politics.”

Bradbeer’s new play, Naked Influence (Sun, Nov 2 • 1pm, GE Theatre at Proctors), is intended as the second installment in a planned trilogy about politics; it delves into the not so disparate worlds of Washington ethics, pole dancing and damage control.

Gino DiIorio’s Crib (Sat, Nov 1 • 7pm, GE Theatre at Proctors), finds sports, academics and university politics colliding in an engaging potboiler. As the stakes rise, heads roll; and values about race, sex, education and integrity all get put under the dramatic microscope.

Zack Calhoon’s Blanquita (Sun, Nov 2 • 5pm, GE Theatre at Proctors), peppered with Spanish and set in the American Southwest, is a fresh and sexy update of Strindberg’s Miss Julie. When a Senator’s daughter crosses class lines and spends a wild night with the family’s Mexican chauffeur, there are witnesses—and consequences.

Kennedy’s, The Light Of The World (Mon Nov 3 • 7pm, Capital Repertory Theatre), reveals the source of the Phelan curse, which has haunted the characters of Kennedy’s Albany cycle books. The play opens on the occasion of the Phelan matriarch’s funeral, when vagabond and prodigal son Francis returns home and stirs up the deep history and secrets of the family.

In addition to the readings, the three-day summit includes the return of the much-loved event, The First 15 (3 p.m. Sat. Nov. 1, GE Theatre at Proctors), featuring excerpts from the top five semi-finalist plays and a chance for participants to weigh in with their opinions and be in the producer’s seat. A new addition to the summit, Next Voices (1 p.m. Sat. Nov. 1, GE Theatre at Proctors), will introduce three short works written by younger playwrights from Albany High School, to be read by a cast of seasoned actors.

Complimentary refreshments will be available at all events. All events are open to the public and activities take place at GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady and Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl Street, Albany.

Tickets for a full day’s events are $15, $10 for students (with I.D., not available online). Tickets are for general seating, first come, first served basis. Some events sell out. For tickets and information call TICKETS BY PROCTORS at 455-SHOW (455-7469).

Next Act! New Play Summit 3 is made possible, in part, by a legacy gift from Samson O.A. Ullmann, professor of English at Union College, 1957-1992.

Join us for a special, one time only, public performance of PURE POE, part of our On-the-Go! in school tour. The perfect show for the fall season, this is your chance to witness Edgar Allan Poe’s famous characters come to life.

Veteran actor Wynn Harmon, last seen on theREP’s stage in RACE, reprises his role as Poe in a spellbinding performance. As Poe’s ghost returns to recite his famous poem, The Raven, and much loved stories The Tell-Tale Heart and Masque of the Red Death, the audience is regaled with tales of lost love, mad murderers, and a prosperous prince who attempts to defy death and doom. 

The only public performance of the production will be held Saturday, October 25 at 7pm at Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 North Pearl Street, Albany. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for 17 and under. Call the TICKETS BY PROCTORS Box Office at 518-445-SHOW (7469) or visit capitalrep.org for tickets. 

By Downtown Albany Businesss Improvement District

"There are few words that do Parker's performance justice. She is presented with no easy task, as Polly works to keep her family together and simultaneously threatens to tear it apart."

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By Greg Haymes, Nippertown

Brenny Rabine delivers a simply stunning performance - a delicate balance of needy puppy and vicious bulldog - as Brooke, the prodigal daughter returning to her parents' lavish, modern-cool Palm Springs home for the first time in 6 years.

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Other Desert Cities

By The Staff, Metroland

Playwright (and Pulitzer Prize nominee) Jon Robin Baitz brings back the Reagan years with his Broadway smash Other Desert Cities, which is opening this week at Capital Repertory Theatre. Starring Ellen Parker and Kevin McGuire, Other Desert Cities takes us into the dark heart of the American family. Capital Rep’s producing artist director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill says, “A lot of us lived through that period of time and remember the tension and paranoia. [This play] is, in many ways, about the cost of secrets.”

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Michael Bush
By Joseph Dalton, blog.timesunion.com
 
With an intimate performance space in the heart of downtown Albany, any visit to Capital Rep can foster a feeling of community.  Director Michael Bush, now at work on his fifth production for the company, has started to feel at home there.  He directs the upcoming season opener, “Other Desert Cities,” Jon Robin Baitz’s drama of family and politics.  It follows closely on the heals of Bush’s last effort for the company, an imaginative treatment of “A Christmas Carol.”
 

By Bob Goepfert, The Record

“It’s a wonderfully talented group of people,” Parker said. “It’s been a terrific experience to explore the various levels on which families love each other.”

For Parker, “Other Desert Cities” is more than a great role in a terrific play — it’s a return home. Her mother was the Sophie of the legendary Chez Sophie restaurant, and Parker remembers waiting on tables in the original Hadley location before it moved to Saratoga Springs. Her brother Paul took over the restaurant after their mother died and he and his wife, Cheryl, recently opened their own place, Rare Earth in Glens Falls.

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After six years away, prodigal daughter Brooke Wyeth returns to her Palm Springs Desert home to celebrate the holidays and announce plans to publish her childhood memoir – complete with revelations of deep family secrets. Retired ambassador dad, savvy mom, rehabbing aunt and ne'er-do-well brother team up to stop her and the joys of the family reunion quickly unravel in a surprising twist.

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW with cast members Kevin McGuire and Emmy Award Winner Ellen Parker.

Broadway veteran Kevin McGuire and Emmy Award-winner Ellen Parker star under director Michael Bush

SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—AUG. 6, 2014—Primary casting has been announced for the Capital Repertory Theatre production of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, directed by Michael Bush, opening in previews Sept. 26 and playing Sept. 30-Oct. 19.

Broadway veteran Kevin McGuire and Emmy Award-winner Ellen Parker will lead the cast as Lyman and Polly Wyeth. Other Desert Cities, a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is an intriguing play about family, politics and the past.

McGuire has been a recent staple at theREP, with leading roles in Man of La Mancha, Red and A Christmas Carol. McGuire has starred on Broadway and in national and international tours of Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre. As founder of The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall, in Cambridge, N.Y., he directed and starred in nine seasons of inventive stagings of classics, including Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Uncle Vanya and Much Ado About Nothing.

He will direct Shakespeare’s Hamlet for theREP later in the season.

Parker—who starred for eight years, and won a 1993 Emmy Award, as Maureen Reardon Bauer on the daytime television staple Guiding Light—makes her Capital Repertory Theatre debut with Other Desert Cities.

On Broadway, Parker appeared in The Heidi Chronicles, Plenty and Equus; off-Broadway work includes Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden and Absent Friends; Mrs. Klein with Uta Hagen; As You Like It at La MaMa; and Aunt Dan and Lemon and Fen at the Public. She has performed widely in regional theater and spent seven summers acting at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. She was awarded an Obie for "Sustained Excellence of Performance" and an Emmy for Best Featured Actress.

Parker, like McGuire, has local connections. Her parents founded Chez Sophie in Hadley, N.Y. and her brother Paul recently opened The Rare Earth Wine Bar in Glens Falls, N.Y.

Michael Bush returns to theREP for Other Desert Cities, where he has also directed Cactus Flower, Uptown Downtown and A Christmas Carol.

by Christopher Clemente

"That play between characters is what makes Smokey Joe’s Café truly intimate and special. Whether it’s the slapstick comedy played between Jason Veasey and Christopher Brasfield, or a scene stolen from the romance between Justin Scott Brown and Gizel Jimenez, the constant between each song rests in the matching of characters to performers. With each song, relationships are established from the show’s beginning to end. This chemistry creates great unity and makes each tear, laugh, and heartbreak even more earnest and sincere."

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