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BARD THEATER PROGRAM PRESENTS THE PLAY MACHINAL AT THE RICHARD B. FISHER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS AT BARD COLLEGE
Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Theater Program presents four free performances of the play Machinal by Sophie Treadwell and directed by Lisa Rothe, at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts from Saturday, May 14, through Monday, May 16. Performances will be in Theater Two and begin at 7:00 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
A play in nine episodes, Machinal was first produced in 1928. One review called it “a tragedy of submission.” Treadwell said the play is about “a young woman, ready, eager for life, for love . . . but deadened, squeezed, crushed by the machinelike quality of the life surrounding.” The setting is 1920s New York and a seaside hotel; the story follows an innocent stenographer who supports her sickly, demanding mother, and who decides, for security, to marry her avaricious boss. The story may have been suggested to Treadwell by a murder trial she once covered, where the defendants, Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray, were sentenced to
death for the murder of Snyder’s husband—and Snyder became the first woman to die in the electric chair at Sing Sing in the 20th century. In Machinal, Treadwell uses this triangle scenario as a springboard for her own speculations about what circumstances might drive a seemingly harmless stenographer to commit murder.
The cast at Bard includes Ruby Smyth Meyers McEnroe as the Woman (Helen); Julia Tadlock as the Mother and Lawyer for the Prosecution; Trevor McGinn as the Husband (George H. Jones); Ruy Iskandar as the Lover; Sarah Smith as the Telephone Operator, Second Clerk, and Reporter; Matthew Wood as the Old Man, Lawyer for the Defense, and Jailer; Elliott Dutcher as the Bellboy, Young Boy, Second Reporter (in courtroom), and Reporter (in jail); Gabe Harrel as the Adding Clerk, Doctor No. 2, Judge, and Barber/Guard; Brittany Parinello as the Stenographer, Nurse No. 1, Woman at Bar, First Clerk, and Matron; Max Forman-Mullin as the Filing Clerk, Man (friend of Lover in bar), Bailiff, and Barber/Guard; Mira Gibson as Nurse No. 2; Woman (table no. 1 in the bar), Court Reporter, and Reporter (in jail); and Patrick Stewart as Doctor No. 1, Man (table no. 1 in the bar), First Reporter, and Priest.
Director Lisa Rothe enjoys a multifaceted career as an educator, actor, voice-over artist, and director. Her recent directing credits include shows for the Summer Play Festival (Anatomy 1968 by Karen Hartman and produced by Arielle Tepper); Milwaukee Shakespeare Company (As You Like It); Tony Randall’s National Actors Theatre (associate director for The Persians); 59 E. 59th Street and Blue Heron Arts Center (premiere of Ellen McLaughlin’s Mermaid); Yale School of Drama (Balm in Gilead); NYU’s MFA acting program (Gum and Top Girls); the Culture Project (Rebecca Hart’s one woman show, Jazz Desert); the independent film, Contemplating Emily; and the world premiere of Amy Kohn’s radio-opera, One Plum Square, for WNYC. Future projects: Split Wide Open for the second year of the Summer Play Festival, Stop Kiss for NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, and Amy Kohn’s new musical, Sister’s Bathtub. Other directing credits include: Agnes of God, The Maids, Dream of a Common Language, Fen, Escape From Happiness, Between Daylight and Boonville, Bus Stop, Big Love, Cloud 9, The Glory of Living, Stop Kiss, Dancing at Lughnasa, Julius Caesar, Ah, Wilderness!, Why We Have a Body, and Trifles. Rothe has also assisted playwright Ellen McLaughlin on her productions of Tongue of a Bird and Helen (directed by Tony Kushner) at New York’s Public Theatre, and codirected a reading of Lysistrata at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). A graduate of the NYU Graduate Acting Program and Director’s Lab, as well as a Drama League alumna, Fox Fellow, and member of the Women’s Project Director’s forum, Lisa Rothe has taught and directed at NYU, Yale School of Drama, Stella Adler, The Actors Center, Long Island University, Willamette University, Cornell College, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Evansville and Chautauqua Conservatory.
For further information and reservations, call the box office at 845-758-7900.
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This event was last updated on 05-17-2005