Oldcastle Theatre Announces 2018 Season
What do history, silliness, Cole Porter, genius, comedy, George Washington, new works, Herman Melville, a Nobel Prize, mystery, a Pulitzer Prize, music, Ethan Allen, the Civil War, Ben Franklin and the Tony Award all have in common? Each will be found in Oldcastle Theatre’s 2018 season, opening June 15 and running through October 14.
“Programming theatre seasons in this era of rapid, often disturbing change, is difficult,” according to producing artistic director, Eric Peterson. “By looking back in history to plays that deal with the American Revolution, the Civil War and always relevant family dynamics, we’re hoping to give insight and historical resonance to some of the issues facing us today. In addition, of course, we will entertain audiences giving them an opportunity to put aside their burdens for a couple of hours, simply sit back and enjoy some laughs and some music.”
The season kicks off with Herman Melville’s captivating novel, ‘The Almost True and Truly Remarkable Adventures of Israel Potter,’ transformed into a rollicking new play by Joe Bravaco and Lary Rosler. Join young Israel as he goes from a small Berkshire town to the American Revolution, then on to motherland England and back again. Along the way he meets historical figures, falls in love, fights the British, becomes a spy, escapes imminent death a few times, and sings some songs. The cast will include Oldcastle veterans Richard Howe, the company’s associate artistic director, Christine Decker and Gary Allan Poe, directed by Nathan Stith who directed Oldcastle’s production of ‘39 Steps.’
‘The Whipping Man’ by Matthew Lopez, set during the American Civil War, is an extraordinary play about redemption and forgiveness, the scars of slavery and the responsibility of freedom. The cast will include Herb Parker who returns to Oldcastle having previously been seen in the company’s productions of ‘I’m Not Rappaport’ and ‘My Children! My Africa!’
Oldcastle has produced nine of AR Gurney’s plays, but none quite like ‘The Fourth Wall,’ a thoughtful comedy that includes five Cole Porter songs. Audiences will enjoy witty tunes while contemplating what is real and what is theatrical artifice with a splendid cast that includes Sarah Cory and Amy Hayes, both of whom were in last season’s acclaimed production of ‘Broadway Bound,’ and David Joseph, who was seen in Oldcastle productions of ‘Shipwrecked’ and ‘The Consul, the Tramp and America’s Sweetheart.’ Director is Tim Howard, who was at the helm of Oldcastle’s hugely successful production of the musical ‘Big River.’
David Auburn’s ‘Proof,’ winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony for Best Play, combines elements of mystery, romance and surprise with old-fashioned storytelling in a compelling, smart and compassionate play. On the eve of her 25th birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous math matician. Over a long weekend a burgeoning romance, and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draws Catherine into the the most difficult problem of all. How much of her father’s madness – or genius – will she inherit? Richard Howe plays Catherine’s mathematical genius of a father. The rest of the cast will be announced at a later date.
Spanning one day in the life of a tumultuous family, ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ is considered by many the greatest play by America’s greatest dramatist. Eugene O’Neill changed American drama forever and his play is a living testament to the power of theatre. The cast of this towering drama will include Nigel Gore, fondly remembered by Oldcastle audiences for his performances in ‘Lion in Winter’ and ‘The Ride Down Mt. Morgan,’ along with Chiristine Decker and David Joseph. Eric Peterson will direct. Oldcastle Theatre is located at 331 Main Street in downtown Bennington. For further information, visit oldcastletheatre.org or call 802-447-0564.