PHOTO BY VINCENT SCARANO
What good is a big secret if you can't share it with someone? The big
summer secret in Connecticut is the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in
Waterford. Considering it has been around for a glorious 50 years, it's about
time the creativecat is let out of the bag. Founded in 1964, it is the official
workshop of new works and new artists. Every summer it opens its lovely
campus in the rolling hills of Waterford for weeks of "incubating new babies"
for the American stage and, the most wonderful part, you are invited to
attend and be directly involved in theexciting birthing process.
here to welcome a pair of new musicals for you to enjoy. The first is
THE WAR DEPTwith Libretto, Music, & Lyrics by Jim Bauer and Libretto,
Art, & Video Direction by Ruth Bauer, with staged readings: Wednesday,
July 2 at 8pm and Friday, July 4 at 7pm. The American Civil War has ended
and Private William T. Clarke finds himself working in a dark place to find
answers for himself and for a trio of others. Unfortunately, Clarke may
not be up for the challenge.
Music by Avi Amon, with staged readings: Saturday, July 5 at 8pm; Sunday,
July 6 at 3pm; Wednesday, July 9 at 8pm; Friday, July 11 at 3pm.
It's Chicago, 1893 and the World’s Columbian Exposition. Lucy, a sharp-
shooter from Buffalo Bill's Wild West, explores the Fair, and is thrilled by
the fast-paced world until she discovers that a serial killer of young girls
may be on the loose.
Breaking the 2013 conference's records, the National Music Theater
Conference received over 200 submissions for 2014. Under the leadership of
conference Artistic Director Paulette Haupt, each selected work will undergo
the O'Neill's signature development process, employing acclaimed professional
actors, dramaturgs, directors, and music directors.
Six new plays will highlight the National Playwrights Conference this summer,
under the direction of Wendy Goldberg. The selections include:
Tiger Style! By Mike Lew, about a brother and sister who shake up their
unsuccessful lives by going on a tour of Asia, with staged readings that took
place on July 2 & 3, featuring MaryAnn Hu, Jennifer Ikeda, Francis Jue,
Jason Liebman, and Eugene Young.
I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard by Halley Feiffer, about the tempestous
relationship of an actress daughter with her most critical fan, her father,with
staged readings July 4 at 7:15 pm & July 5 at 8:15 pm , featuring Reed Birney
and Betty Gilpin.
Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, about a woman who returns
from war traumatized to find her home life in shreds of despair, with
staged readings July 9 at 8:15 pm & July 10 at 8:15 pm, featuring Cassie Beck,
Rebecca Henderson, Jedidiah Schultz, Chris Sullivan, and Sally Wingert.
The Imaginary Music Critic Who Doesn’t Exist by David Mitchell Robinson,
about a well-respected music site on the internet that ventures out of control, with
staged readings July 12 at 8:15 p.m. & July 13 at 7:15 p.m., featuring
Eva Kaminsky, Ronete Levinson,
Terrell Donnell Sledge, and Michelle Wilson.
A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-Name by A. Rey Pamatmat, about a politician
who risks everything, including supernatural powers, to win, with staged
readings July 16 at 8:15 pm & July 17 at 8:15 pm, featuring Teresa Avia,
Scott Drummond, Morgan Everitt, Naomi Lorrain,
Johnny McKeown, Brian McManamon, Alfredo Narcisco,
Jon Norman Schneider, Makela Spielman,and DeWanda Wise.
Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield, about moments of love over a quarter
of a century, with staged readings July 18 at 7:15 pm & July 19 at 8:15 pm,
featuring Eisa Davis and Sue Jean Kim.
Schedule is subject to change. All performances are at the Eugene O’Neill
Theater Center, 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT 06385. Tickets for the
National Playwrights Conference may be purchased online
at www.theoneill.org or through the O’Neill Box Office at (860) 443-1238
at $28 each.
As if that weren't enough, the Eugene O'Neil hosts a Cabaret Conference each
summer and this year is no exception.
Artistic Director John McDaniel announced headliners for the ten-day conference
that begins July 23 with nightly performances. The Grand Finale ends the O’Neill
summer season on August 2.
The conference brings some of the biggest names in Cabaret Theater to perform
at the O’Neill each summer, providing valuable development and performance
training for select Cabaret Fellows – up-and-coming performers on the cabaret
scene. Says McDaniel, “This year’s conference is all about putting cabaret into
perspective. Looking Back. Looking Ahead. I couldn’t be
happier to welcome these amazing talents to our little cabaret in the woods for my
second season at the O’Neill.”
The offerings include:
Cabaret Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday, July 23 at 8 pm,
free and open to the public.
Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch will hold court on July 24 at 8 pm with their
professional act of humor and musicianship, straight from New York City.
Mimi Hines – July 25 at 8 pm
Best known for replacing Barbra Streisand on Broadway in Funny Girl, and
running the show on her own steam for 18 months, Mimi also starred coast
to coast in I Do! I Do!, Sugar Babies, Hello, Dolly!, Nunsense, Pippin,
Anything Goes, The Full Monty, and many more. This show business
legend is widely known to television audiences for her appearances on
"The Jack Paar Show" and
"The Ed Sullivan Show," dating back to 1958!
Susie Mosher and the New Faces of 2014 – July 26 at 8 pm
Known throughout New York for her ability to find and showcase the best
new talent, Susie will bring a fabulous lineup of new faces to the O’Neill
stage for this special night.
“Susan Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe; on second
thought, let's just say you need to see her, and stop there." - Adam Feldman,
The Man in the Long Black Coat: Barb Jungr sings Bob Dylan – July 27
at 8 pm. Back by popular demand, this amazing, unique talent from the UK
is sure to bring down the house! Tracy Stark, Conference music director and a
frequent collaborator of Barb’s, will be at the piano.
"An exhilarating and revelatory evening, in which Dylan's songs are
ravishingly illuminated,revealing heretofore unheard joys and sorrows. I came
away in a trance, which lasted until the following week when I returned and
my mind was blown even further. The best show in New York hands down,
in forever." - Jon Robin Baitz
Betty Buckley – August 1at 8 pm
An evening with “The Voice of Broadway.” A Tony Award winning actress and
singer whose career spans theater, film, television and concert halls around
the world, Buckley is one of theater’s most respected and legendary leading
ladies. She makes her debut at the O’Neill this summer.
Conference Fellows & Junior Fellows hone their presentational skills, learning the
artof stage performance and training under the guidance of Conference special
guests and headliners and they will perform on July 30 and 31 at 8 pm.
The Cabaret's Grand Finale will take place at 8 pm on Saturday, August 1 .
Barb Jungr will serve as Master Teacher
for the 2014 Cabaret Fellows.Tickets for the Cabaret performances
range from $35 to $220. Call the O'Neill at 860-443-1238 or online at
Don't keep this secret. Shout it to the world at large and Connecticut
audiences inparticular. If you've never taken a ride up I-95 to exit 75,
you are missing a great entertainment treat. Come and enjoy all that
the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center has to offer.
It's the 50th Anniversary but you don't need to bring a present...