The Blue Raccoon

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

EURYDICE OPENS THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2008!


The Firehouse Theatre Project presents Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl. Pictured: Laine Satterfield. Jay Paul photograph.

The play opens FTP's 2008-09 Season on Thursday, September 18, and runs through Saturday, October 11. Directed by Rusty Wilson and featuring Laine Satterfield as the titular character, Joe Inscoe as her Father, Chris Hester as her lover Orpheus, and Andy Boothby, Larry Cook, Lauren Cook, and Jenny Hundley as the chorus.

Eurydice ushers in the most unique and complex technical elements ever seen at The Firehouse, including pools of water and rain, as executed by set/lighting designers Phil Hayes and Rich Mason.

Director Rusty Wilson previously directed last season's Mr. Marmalade by Noah Haidle, featuring Laine Satterfield, Andy Boothby (Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award Nominee - Best Actor, Play), and Larry Cook. Joe Inscoe was last seen on the Firehouse stage in Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard. Chris Hester (RTCC Award Nominee - Best Supporting Actor, Musical) starred in last summer's hit production of Reefer Madness: The Musical by Dan Studney and Kevin Murphy.

Pictured: Joe Inscoe (left) and Laine Satterfield. Jay Paul photograph.

Tickets: Individual - $25; Seniors - $22; Student - $10 with valid ID. Tickets may be purchased online at www.firehousetheatre.org, or by calling the 24-hour ticket line at 1-800-595-4TIX (595-4849).

Showtimes: 8:00 p.m. Thursdays - Saturdays; Sunday matinees 9/28 and 10/5 at 4:00 p.m. Doors open a half-hour before showtime.


Cast and Crew

Andrew C. Boothby (Big Stone) was seen last season as Mr. Marmalade in the FTP production of Mr. Marmalade. Since moving to Richmond in 1991, he has appeared on many of the stages around town, including performances in The Constant Wife and the world premieres of Money Matters and Turn of the Screw at Barksdale, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (twice!) and A Christmas Carol (thrice!) at Theatre IV, and A Few Good Men and Lend Me a Tenor at Swift Creek Mill. Andrew is a graduate of Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Virginia, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He is thrilled to be back at the Firehouse and to be a member of this cast.

Larry Cook (Man, Lord of the Underworld) was last seen at the Firehouse as Larry in Mr. Marmalade. Prior to that, he was a part of the ensemble of the first Firehouse Theatre Cabaret. Some of Larry’s favorite roles include Bernard Kersal in The Constant Wife, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes, Beverly Carleton in The Man Who Came To Dinner, Johnny Cantone in The 1940’s Radio Hour and Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show at the Barksdale Theatre. Audiences may also remember Larry as Bill in Lobby Hero at Theatre Gym, Harold Hill in The Music Man at Theatre IV, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Smudge in Forever Plaid, and Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl at Swift Creek Mill Theatre. Larry is so excited to “play” with some of his favorite people and to share the stage with his wife Lauren (Loud Stone) again.

Chris Hester (Orpheus) is a local Richmond actor and singer. He hails from North Carolina, where he received his degree in the arts from Duke University. Since coming to Richmond and getting back into theater, Chris has been featured in a number of shows over the past 2 years. Most recently, Chris played Jack/Jesus in Firehouse Theater Project’s production of Reefer Madness, for which he has been nominated by the Richmond Theater Critics Circle for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. Prior to this, he produced and developed his own one-man show, Stages: The Defining Phases on One Man’s Life, which debuted at the newly renovated Henrico Theater in April. Other local credits include, Donner/Prancer in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, Richard Loeb in the musical Thrill Me, and Ty Williamson in Sordid Lives – all with the Richmond Triangle Players. He also had the chance to play Billy Bigelow in Carousel, with the Theater Company at Fort Lee. Chris is a veteran of many professional, community, and college productions in his native state of North Carolina. Some of his most memorable roles include the Leading Player in Pippin, King Arthur in Camelot, and Nicely-Nicely Jonson in Guys and Dolls. In his “real life,” Chris is a Senior Information Technology Manager at Capital One Financial Corporation. Thanks to Rusty for an amazing rehearsal experience – a true joy, experiment, and adventure – and the rest of his Eurydice cohorts for being so welcoming. Let the music play.

Joe Inscoe (Father) is celebrating his 30th year as a professional actor. During that span, he has performed roles in most of Richmond’s theaters, as well as some in D.C. and Los Angeles (two world premieres). He has also done many roles in television and film, including work with screen luminaries Jodie Foster, James Earl Jones, Andy Griffith, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christopher Plummer, Colin Farrell, Geena Davis, George C. Scott, Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, James Woods, Sharon Stone, and Martin Lawrence – not to mention Lassie, Johnny Cochran, a Blue Man, two of the Desperate Housewives, and one of their on-screen sons. For two years he was a regular on Showtime’s critically acclaimed series, Lincs. Until now, he’s been able to say, “I’m not a teacher, but I’ve played some on TV.” This fall, however, he will actually be teaching acting at the University of Richmond as Artist in Residence. His last role for Firehouse was as a dreadfully abusive father in Curse of the Starving Class. Now, as Eurydice’s father, his parenting skills should appear considerably more refined.

Jenny Hundley (Little Stone) Jenny is thrilled to be working with such a talented group of folks! She received her BFA (1986) and MFA (2005) from Theatre VCU and has been performing, directing, and teaching locally for over 25 years. Jenny’s previous work at the Firehouse has been as a director for Anton in Show Business, Red, Hot and 10, and The Firehouse Cabaret (2004). Her favorite acting projects include The Kathy and Mo Show, Vagina Monologues, and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. Love and hugs to Paul, Will, and Lydia for their constant support and to her father, Bill Jones, who is the best daddy in the whole wide world! Cheers to all the “Daddy’s Girls” – Eurydice isn’t the only one!

Lauren Leinhaas-Cook (Loud Stone) made her Richmond theatre debut in 1982 as one of Major General Stanley’s daughters in Barksdale’s The Pirates of Penzance and has since appeared in over 30 productions at Barksdale Theatre, Theatre IV, Swift Creek Mill Theatre, Dogwood Dell and others. Favorite roles include Helen in And A Nightingale Sang…, Mother in Ragtime, Elieri in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Vera in Stepping Out, The Witch in Into the Woods, Phyllis in Follies, Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Kay in The Taffetas, Daughter in Quilters, Lady Angela in Patience, Peep Bo in The Mikado, and Adriana in The Comedy of Errors. Lauren is delighted to make her first appearance on the Firehouse stage with so many dear friends, including her darling husband, Larry. Many thanks to Matt and Sam for letting mom and dad “play” together!

Laine Satterfield (Eurydice) has performed in, taught, choreographed, and created theatre both nationally and internationally. Recent Richmond roles include Lucy in Mr. Marmalade (Firehouse Theatre Project), Ellen in The Little Dog Laughed, Marie-Louise in The Constant Wife (Barksdale), Vagina Monologues (Firehouse), and Lady MacBeth in MacBeth (Richmond Shakespeare). Other favorite roles include Principal in Book of the Dead (The Public Theatre, NYC), Paulina in Death and the Maiden, Elena in Uncle Vanya, Molly Ivors in James Joyces’ the Dead, Ariel in The Tempest, Beth in Dinner with Friends, Shelley in Buried Child (Company of Fools, Idaho), Morgan Le Faye in Morgana (Teatro Proskenion, Italy, Denmark – original solo show), Anna in Peter and the Wolf (Lincoln Center, NYC), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (A Cry of Players, NYC), Bride/Raven in Where Ravens Rule: a theatrical response to Bosnia (Edinburgh Fringe First award winner), Cordelia in Lear’s Daughters (New York Fringe Festival), Dame Ellen Terry in An Actor’s Nightmare (Women’s Work Festival, NYC), and others. She holds a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and has trained at the University of Eurasian Theatre (with Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret), Yoshi Oida, Stella Adler Conservatory, Carnegie-Mellon University, and the University College of London (dramaturgy - Shakespeare and modern British). She currently teaches acting for SPARC and has taught at New York University, Stella Adler Conservatory, Aquila University in Italy, Virginia Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities, Company of Fools in Idaho, Artspower, and various workshops in the states and abroad. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Rusty Wilson (Director) has been a working director, teacher, and actor for the past twenty-seven years and currently heads the theatre program at St. Christopher’s School. He also served as the founding artistic director for Company of Fools, Idaho’s leading professional theatre, from 1992-2004. Favorite directing credits during this time include The Tempest, Waiting for Godot, James Joyce’s The Dead, Uncle Vanya, How I Learned To Drive, Death and the Maiden, Eleemosynary, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and The Glass Menagerie to name a few. Recent Richmond directing credits include Where’s My Money and Mr. Marmalade for the Firehouse Theatre and Macbeth for Richmond Shakespeare. Rusty is a graduate of the SUNY, College at Purchase Professional Actor Training Program.

Sharon Gregory (Stage Manager) is happy to be returning to the Firehouse after a short stint working professionally in New York City. Favorite NY credits include Feast of 2012 for the NY International Fringe Festival ’07, Dreams of Home for Monarch Theatre Company, Welcome to New Jersey and The Littlest Light on the Christmas Tree for Vital Children’s Theatre, and the KNF Play Reading Festival. Previous Firehouse credits include As Bees in Honey Drown, Bat Boy the Musical, Reckless, Volume of Smoke, Where’s My Money, and Dinner with Friends. Other Richmond credits include The Syringa Tree and Jesus Hopped the A Train at Theatre IV/Barksdale, Long Day’s Journey into Night with Essential Theatre Company; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, and Macbeth for Richmond Shakespeare, numerous productions with the Carpenter Science Theatre Company, and she just finished serving as Assistant Production Manager for the 2008 Summer Festival of the Arts season at Dogwood Dell. She would like to thank Rusty for this opportunity to work together again as well as the Firehouse staff for hiring her back!

Amy Wight (Producer) is excited to be producing her 13th play for the Firehouse Theatre! Although her truest passion is singing, she has been involved in theatre for many years in a variety of capacities, from acting and singing, to set design and construction, to producing. Although primarily fond of producing, Amy has also appeared on stage, singing for a few Firehouse fundraisers (Hair, Red, Hot, and Ten, Firehouse Cabaret, & Hearts on Fire). Favorite Firehouse producing credits include As Bees in Honey Drown, The Last Five Years, I Am My Own Wife, The Secret of Mme. Bonnard’s Bath, Spinning Into Butter, and The Late Henry Moss. Amy wishes to thank her fiancé John for his constant support and enthusiastic encouragement.

Tad Burrell (Technical Director) Tad’s past Firehouse credits include Sound Engineer for The Heidi Chronicles and The Firehouse Cabaret, Set Designer for Kingdom of Earth and Reckless, Technical Director and Master Set Carpenter for I Am My Own Wife, This is Our Youth, Reckless, Volume of Smoke, The Last Five Years, Where’s My Money?, The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?, Birth, Compromise, and Dinner with Friends, as well as Sound Designer for Where’s My Money?, Birth, and This is Our Youth.

Bryan Harris (Sound Designer) has sound design and composition credits that include The Secret of Mme. Bonnard’s Bath, Reckless, and Kingdom of Earth for the Firehouse Theatre Project and Richmond Shakespeare Festival productions of Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest. Bryan has also served the FTP as musical director of Bat Boy: The Musical, Hair: In Concert, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In his regular life, Bryan teaches guitar at James River High School, and would like to thank Jen, Frodo, and Sam for their unwavering support.

Rich Mason (Lighting Designer) is happy to be working with Firehouse Theatre Project for the very first time. Rich is a graduate of Theatre VCU and a veteran scenic and lighting designer in the Richmond area. Rich recently moved back to the area from New York City where he was Head of Design & Production for the Horace Mann School and 2nd Stages Coordinator for Adelphi University. For the past six summers, Rich has traveled to Traverse City, Michigan, working as Faculty Instructor and Scenic Designer for Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Camp. There he has designed such shows as Guys & Dolls, Jekyll & Hyde, Rags, and The Laramie Project.

Phil Hayes (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be designing for the Firehouse for the first time and working with Rusty. Currently he finished his Master’s degree in Scene Design/Technical Theatre from VCU last May. He has also been the Assistant Technical Director for the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Richmond for the past 5 years. He has had the opportunity to travel to Russia as an Assistant Technical Director to many theatres in the cities of Samara, St. Petersburg, and Saratov. Along with being a Technical Director, Phil has been in numerous movies and television show either as an actor, stuntman, or special effects technician. His latest design was for Barksdale’s production of Doubt: A Parable, which opened in February.

Samantha Kittle (Properties Mistress/Co-Costume Designer) is pleased to be working on another great Firehouse production. She has a degree in Theatre Studies and Women’s Studies from Guilford College and plans to attend VCU’s School of Social Work next year.



Special Events: Thursday, September 18 - Opening Night Reception - provided after the show by Bacchus. Friday, September 19 - Talk Back Night - join the director, cast, and designers after the show for a discussion about the production. Thursday, September 25 - Wine Tasting - Doors open at 7:00 for a special wine tasting provided by Strawberry Street Vineyard. Show starts at 8:00 p.m.

THE STORY



On the day Eurydice is to marry her true love Orpheus, a tragic misstep sends her plummeting to the surreal depths of the Underworld. Memories are forbidden in this world of the dead, but an unexpected reunion with her father vividly awakens Eurydice's mind with the love she felt in Life.

When Orpheus braves the gates of hell to find her, Eurydice must painfully decide
whether to remain with her father or return to her Earthly love. A modern tale of loss and love, Eurydice is the classic myth of Orpheus retold from the heroine's point of view, abounding with surprising plot twists and quirky humor.

"Like all fine poems, songs, and paintings, it's a love letter to the world...a magical play...among the most moving moments I can remember seeing on a stage...you may find yourself taken to heights of emotion that theater too rarely achieves..." -The New York Times

"...wild flights of the imagination, some deeply affecting passages, and beautiful imagery provide transporting pleasures." -Variety

"...exhilarating...we enter a surreal world, as lush and limpid as a dream, where both author and audience swim in the magical and thrilling flow of the unconscious." -The New Yorker

THE PLAYWRIGHT

Playwright Sarah Ruhl studied under Paula Vogel at Brown University (A.B.,
1997; M.F.A., 2001), did graduate work at Pembroke College, Oxford, and currently lives in New York.

Ruhl gained widespread recognition for her play The Clean House, which won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2004. It was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005.

Eurydice
recently finished an extended run at New York's Second Stage Theatre. Prior to that it, had seen stagings at Yale Rep, Berkley Rep, and Circle X Theatre Company. Ruhl is also known for her Passion Play cycle that opened at Washington's Arena Stage in 2005.
Her play Dead Man's Cell Phone recently finished an extended run at New York's Playwrights Horizons theater in a production starring Mary-Louise Parker. It premiered at Washington D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in 2007. Other Plays include Orlando, Late: A Cowboy Song, and Demeter in the City.

In September, 2006, Ruhl won a MacArthur Fellowship. The announcement of that award described her as "a playwright creating vivid and adventurous theatrical works that poignantly juxtapose the mundane aspects of daily life with mythic themes of love and war."


THE 'SARAH RUHL FESTIVAL' A PARTNERSHIP WITH
THE BARKSDALE THEATRE

"I'm so thrilled and honored to be part of this festival. I confess that when I started writing plays I never imagined that there would be a festival with my moniker on it. I love the ethos of a theater town in which different companies collaborate on one large project together, and the goal of low ticket prices with great regional actors is dear to my heart. Eurydice and Clean House and Dead Man's Cell Phone are in a way linked as a cycle of plays in which I'm dealing with different versions of the afterlife. Thanks for having my plays to Richmond; I'm thrilled to be done in different theaters and a fire house." - Sarah Ruhl

Eurydice is part of the Sarah Ruhl Festival, a partnership between the Firehouse Theatre and the Barksdale Theatre. The Barksdale will present Ruhl's The Clean House starting September 26, 2008 and running through November 2. This wildly funny play takes a whimsical and poignant look at class, comedy and the true nature of love.

The Firehouse offers Barksdale season subscribers and any individual who sees both shows $5 off its regular $25 ticket price for Eurydice. Likewise, The Barksdale Theatre is offering Firehouse Theatre season suscribers and any individual who sees both shows discounted tickets of $25 ($13 off regular ticket prices) for The Clean House.

Call the Firehouse box office at 804-355-2001 and the Barksdale box office at 804-282-2620 to purchase tickets, and mention the Sarah Ruhl Festival to receive the discount.

SARAH RUHL FESTIVAL EVENTS

Eurydice - a Firehouse Theatre production
September 18 - October 11
at The Firehouse Theatre

The Clean House - a Barksdale Theatre production
September 26 - November 2
at Barksdale Theatre (Willow Lawn)

Post Show Talk-Back
September 19
Open discussion with director and cast members of Eurydice immediately following the 8 pm performance at the Firehouse Theatre

Bifocals Theatre Project
September 26, 11 am
Discussion of Contemporary Women Playwrights: Sara Ruhl, Lynn Nottage, Lisa Kron - moderated by Barksdale Artistic Director Bruce Miller at Barksdale Theatre (Willow Lawn)

Film Offering - Black Orpheus
Sundays, October 5 & 12, 7 pm
A 1959 film based on the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice provided by Yellowhouse Films at the Firehouse Theatre. $3 cover charge

Dead Man's Cell Phone
Monday, October 6, 8 pm
A reading featuring cast members from Eurydice and The Clean House, directed by Jase Smith
Invited guests to include VCU, UR drama students, all theatre artists at Barksdale Theatre (Willow Lawn)

Coffee & Conversations
Tuesday, October 14, 9:30 am
Discussion with cast members/directors from Eurydice and The Clean House - moderator TBA at Barksdale Theatre

ACTING CLASS with actor/director BILL PATTON

Starts October 2008 - Saturday Mornings
Get in on the act through theater training provided by esteemed actor/director Bill Patton. Bill will be directing his 10th Firehouse Theatre production this fall with the opening of Israel Horovitz's The Widow's Blind Date on November 13. Bill starred in two recent Firehouse productions, Fast Hands and The Late Henry Moss, and has been a judge for our Festival of New American Plays since its inception. This year, he takes on a new role as director of the winning scripts. Many students have gone on to feature in Firehouse productions. This will be our 16th session - come join the fun!

Dates: This session begins Saturday, October 4, 2008 and runs through Saturday, November 22, 2008. Classes are held on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. - noon, upstairs at the Firehouse Theatre. Students will perform a showcase of scenes at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 23, with a rehearsal the same day from 4-6 p.m.

Instructor: Bill Patton, actor/director.
Cost: New students, $160, returning students, $120 for an eight-week session.
For more information and to enroll: Call 804-355-2001 ext. 4 or register online here!


About The Firehouse Theatre Project
The Firehouse Theatre Project, a non-profit theatre company, was founded in 1993 to present important contemporary American theatre pieces with an emphasis on plays not previously produced in the metropolitan Richmond area. The company, which is under the direction of Carol Piersol, Founding Artistic Director, is housed in the former Richmond Fire Station #10 at 1609 West Broad Street. For more information about the Firehouse Theatre Project or its regular season, please call 804.355.2001 or visit the website.

Firehouse Theatre Project
1609 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
804-355-2001

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