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BARD THEATER PRESENTS CARYL CHURCHILL’S SERIOUS MONEY DIRECTED BY ROGER BENINGTON FROM OCTOBER 12–15
Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard Theater presents British dramatist Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money, directed by Roger Benington, for four performances from Thursday, October 12, through Sunday, October 15. Free and open to the public, the play begins at 8:00 p.m. each evening in Theater Two of the Fisher Center on the Bard College campus.
“The play is a lot of fun to watch and its satire is very sharp,” says director Benington. “Considerting that it was written at a time when most of the students acting in it had just been born, I have chosen to underscore the inherent politics of the piece by imagining that the play is staged by a group of punks in protest of Margaret Thatcher’s politics and economic policies. The end of the production features an appearance by Margaret Thatcher, played by an actor in drag, lip-synching to a recording of Thatcher.”
One of Churchill’s best-known comedies, Serious Money is a scathing attack on selfishness and greed in the London stock market. Jake Todd, a stockbroker who was implicated in an insider trading scandal, is found shot dead. At first he is thought a suicide, but his sister believes it was murder. While she hunts for his killers, she also discovers his guilt—and searches for his illegal profits. Frank Rich, in the New York Times, notes that Serious Money “travels to the trading pits and board rooms of London’s financial district, the City, to find the precise pitch of the arena of arbitrage, inside trading, greenmail, corporate raiding and leveraged buyouts. Serious Money wants us to hear the very sound of megascale greed as it is practiced on that circuit of telephone wires and computer screens blinking 24 hours a day from Tokyo to New York.”
The production’s set and costume designs are by Rodney Cuellar, the lighting design by Stephen Terry, sound design by Josh Schmidt, and choreography by Jonathan Ciccarelli ’05.
The cast includes Nicol Auld as Melissa, Joann, and Lady Vere; Caleb Bark as Grimes, Gleason, and Farmer; Arla Berman as Marylou, Dolcie Starr, and Jill; T. Alex Davis as Margaret Thatcher; Emma Decorsey as Mrs. Hackwell, Brown, and Mandy; Rachel Faison as Jacinta and Mary; Max Forman-Mullin as Zac and Jobber 1; Adam Gallinat as Greville and Merrison; Veronica Hunsinger-Loe as Carruthers, Sales 2, and Sherill; Ruy Iskandar as Corman and Brian; Lucy Kaminsky as Scilla and Biddulph; Nat Kusinitz as Jobber 2, Martin, and Smith; Trevor McGinn as Hackwell, Major, Dealer, and Dick; Sarah Paden as Etherington and Kathy; Josh Schwartz as Durkfeld and Vince; Evan Spigelman as Terry and Sales 1; Dana Steinhoff as Annie; Patrick Stewart as Jake and Grevett; and Matthew Waldron as Frosby, Duckett, and Soat.
Director Roger Benington was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds an M.F.A. in theatre directing from the University of Utah and was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Young Artist Fellowship to study directing at The Juilliard School with JoAnne Akalaitis, Michael Kahn, and Garland Wright. Benington was a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors (2003–05).In New York Benington directed Strindberg’s The Pelican in an Off-Broadway production at Classic Stage Company, and created Diviners, an original play about August Strindberg and Eugene Marais, for the Lincoln Center Theatre’s Director’s Lab. In Salt Lake City, where he is the artistic director of Tooth & Nail Theatre, his directing credits include Ibsen’s Little Eyolf, Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries, his own adaptation of Arabian Nights, Sarah Kane’s Crave, Becky Mode’s Fully Committed, Ferdinand Bruckner’s The Pains of Youth, and Project Fabulocity!, an original play based on the stories of queer youth in Salt Lake City. He has worked extensively for Sundance Children’s Theatre, directing their productions of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; The Little Prince; and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which he was also commissioned to adapt. As a director and playwright, Benington developed his adaptation of Paul Monette’s Sanctuary at the 1998 Sundance Theatre Laboratory. His original plays for children include The Dark Shadow, Ivona & the Voice Within, The Secret in the Shoebox, and Timocina & the Crocodiles, which was selected by the Drama League for development in their New Directors/New Works project. Among numerous grants awarded Benington for his work in theatre are a Jim Henson Foundation grant, two Arts Grants from the Salt Lake City Arts Council, and four Individual Artist Grants from the Utah Arts Council. Recent projects include Sarah Kane’s Crave for Washington Ensemble Theatre in Seattle and the Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize—winning play I Am My Own Wife for Madison Rep. Benington recently completed the second installment of Project Fabulocity! in Salt Lake City.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information, call 845-758-7900.
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This event was last updated on 12-13-2011