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BARD SUMMERSCAPE TO PRESENT CLIFFORD ODETS’S DRAMATIC MASTERWORK ROCKET TO THE MOON JULY 14 - 24
Directed by Daniel Fish
Presented by True Love Productions in
Association with the Richard B. Fisher Center
for the Performing Arts
SUMMERSCAPE 2005 FOCUSES ON MAJOR ARTISTIC FIGURES OF
“THE AMERICAN CENTURY” –– THE TWENTIETH — WITH
SEVEN WEEKS OF DRAMA, DANCE, MUSIC AND FILM
“No American playwright since O’Neill has been more greatly gifted than Odets.”
– Harold Clurman, original director of Rocket to the Moon
Bard SummerScape will present Rocket to the Moon, a rarely performed 1938 play by Clifford Odets (1906-1963), beginning July 14. Produced by True Love Productions in association with the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, “Rocket to the Moon” will be staged in Theater Two of Bard’s Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center and will run seven performances over two weekends. Harold Clurman, legendary founder of the Group Theater and the original director of Rocket to the Moon, believed the work to be Odets’s best, containing his finest writing.
Odets was a hugely gifted playwright and was once considered the successor to Eugene O’Neill. In the prime of his career, he wrote many brilliant plays and several successful Hollywood screenplays; his sharp and stylized writing in the screenplay of The Sweet Smell of Success alone is unforgettable. His plays were reflective of deeply felt political and social beliefs and were forged in the cruelty, despair and inhumanity of the Great Depression.
Clifford Odets, the son of Jewish immigrants, left school in Philadelphia at 17 and moved to New York, where he eventually helped form the famous Group Theater. The Group Theater’s work had a profound impact on American cultural life for decades and is still considered one of the most influential forces in American theatrical history.
SummerScape’s Rocket to the Moon will be directed by Daniel Fish, an inventive young talent who has directed plays ranging from Shakespeare to Stoppard. In 2002, the New York Times called his direction of Charles L. Mee’s True Love
(presented at New York’s off-Broadway Zipper Theater) “the directorial effort of the year.” Fish’s work has been shown at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles, Princeton’s McCarter, Washington’s Shakespeare, and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. His spare, modern production of Hamlet currently playing at the McCarter Theater is receiving glowing reviews. Fish is on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama and has taught in the Bard theater department.
True Love Productions is a commercial production company formed in 2001 by Jeanne Donovan Fisher and Laurie Williams with a mission to present unique voices in theater. Outside the commercial arena they regularly work with, support and select not-for-profit theaters. True Love’s Broadway credits include Deborah Warner’s Medea; the Tony-nominated The Retreat from Moscow; and upcoming The Mambo Kings: The Musical. Off-Broadway productions include Charles L. Mee’s True Love, and Shockheaded Peter at the Little Shubert. In addition they co-produced Anne Bogart and the SITI company’s production of Charles Mee’s bobrauschenbergamerica at the BAM Next Wave festival in 2003 and Martha Clarke’s Vienna Lusthaus: revisited at the New York Theater Workshop.
Throughout July and August, SummerScape 2005 will focus on American performing arts of “the American Century.” During the period from the Great Depression through the postwar boom, America was the stage as well as the mirror of world events — cultural as well as economic and political — whose effects continue today. Bard SummerScape will provide an opportunity to examine an extraordinary and entertaining array of mid-century American performing arts.
Rocket to the Moon
A play by Clifford Odets
Directed by Daniel Fish
Produced by True Love Productions
Andrew Lieberman, set designer
Kaye Voyce, costume designer
Jane Cox, lighting designer
Seven performances in Theater Two:
Thursday, July 14, 8:00 pm (preview)
Friday, July 15, 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 16, 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 17, 3:00 pm
Friday, July 22, 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 23, 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 24, 3:00 pm
Check Bard’s website, http://summerscape.bard.edu/ for full details on getting to Bard, buying tickets, where to eat and stay in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and much more.
This event was last updated on 08-09-2005