Monthly archive

The Secret Garden
By The Staff, Metroland

"Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill is directing the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic The Secret Garden, which opens this week (Tuesday) and is Capital Repertory Theatre’s holiday gift to the Capital Region."

"This version is performed in “actor/muso” style, with the musical score performed by the cast onstage and in character. Capital Rep promises that this “immersive, hypnotic style of theater” is “perfectly suited” for the magic of Burnett’s well-loved tale of regeneration and hope."


Playtime: “The Secret Garden” comes to Cap Rep
By Joseph Dalton

“I was doing Bob Cratchit in ‘A Christmas Carol’ last year in Colorado,” he recalls.  “There was so much heart and power and redemption in that. And there are certainly similarities in this story.”

Burden is right on with the comparison of themes between the two shows.  While he points out that “The Secret Garden” is secular, he adds:  “This is similar in that it’s about transformation.  It’s perfect for the holidays.”

“Sometimes we don’t want to move on but would rather stay in the darkness of pain because it’s familiar,” he says.  “We forget that moving on is growth and is beautiful, hence the garden.  There’s a lot of magic with the garden and in the show, and that’s heightened by the live music.”

“We’re telling a children’s story, a fairy tale of a little girl,” continues Burden.  “It has a lot of heart and is a show everyone, really anyone who’s human.”


The Secret Garden

Set Serves the Play in "Secret Garden"
By Bob Goepfert - The Saratogian

"The set should not overwhelm the action of the story," he says. Instead, he sees his job as adding to the emotions within the material. "I believe the job of a designer is to evoke the right emotional tone for a show. We should not illustrate those emotions.”

"Simpson makes it clear that his goal is to serve the director's (Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill) vision. That vision is especially demanding for this production as the director's concept includes having several of the performers play musical instruments and serve as the orchestra as well as being actors."


NEXT ACT! New Play Summit a venture by Cap Rep, Proctors
By Phil Drew,
The proof that NEXT ACT! has paid off for its participants is the 2013-14 season that closed last May saw a well-regarded full staging of “The God Game” at Cap Rep, a work by playwright Susan Bradbeer that got an airing at the first NEXT ACT! two years ago. It has since gone on to two subsequent regional stagings.

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 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."


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.


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.”


Michael Bush
By Joseph Dalton,
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.”