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Penguin Rep Theatre Gets Set to Kick Off its 36th Season

Tickets on sale for plays, special events.

Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Joe Brancato and executive director Andrew M. Horn, has set its slate of plays and special events for its 36th season.

“This year’s exciting lineup is heartfelt, humorous and provocative”, said Brancato. “It’s a rich experience of the diverse theatre that finds a home at Penguin Rep”. The mainstage productions include three premieres. 

The season officially begins May 17, with the New York premiere of Class, written by Charles Evered, directed by Brancato, and starring TV star and Penguin veteran Richard Kline (of Three’s Company fame). 

In this funny and poignant new play, Sarah, a hot young megastar determined to be taken seriously as an actress, finds studying with a renowned coach (played by Kline) more challenging than she ever expected. The tables are turned though as he teaches her to act while she instructs him on the infinite possibilities of change.

This is Kline’s fourth appearance at Penguin Rep following memorable performances in Tom Dudzick’s comedies Don’t Talk to the Actors and Greetings! and Richard Strand’s Ten Percent of Molly Snyder.

Evered’s play The Size of the World was seen in its New York premiere at Penguin Rep, and his other stage works include Running Funny (premiere featured Paul Giamatti), Adopt a Sailor (premiere featured Sam Waterston and Eli Wallach), and Celadine (premiere featured Amy Irving). He has won several awards for his writing including The Berrilla Kerr Award, The Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship at The Manhattan Theatre Club, The Chesterfield/Amblin Fellowship, The Edward Albee/William Flanagan Fellowship, The Bert Linder Fellowship, The Lucas Artist Fellowship and The Crawford Playwriting Award.

Performances of Class will run through Sunday, June 9. Subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets for the 2013 season are on sale.

Next up is Catherine Trieschmann’s thought-provoking new play How the World Began, which will be performed from June 28 through July 21.

“One hundred years ago, people were talking about the conflict between science and religion,” says Horn, who is celebrating his 30th year as Executive Director of the Stony Point-based professional theatre. “We’re still talking about it today”.

In How the World Began, Susan, a high school teacher from New York City, relocates to a small Kansas town reeling from a tornado and unexpectedly sets off a firestorm of her own when she makes an off-hand comment about the origin of the universe.

Summer 2013 brings the world premiere of Erasmus Fenn’s comedy Drop Dead Perfect, staged by Brancato and starring Drama Desk Award winner Everett Quinton from the legendary Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Idris Seabright is the heartbroken, half-made mistress of a Key West cottage where mayhem and wackiness rule. When she and her ward are visited by a mysterious stranger, “fasten your seatbelts for an outrageous and bawdy ride”, says Brancato.

Drop Dead Perfect will be presented from Aug. 9 through Sept 1 and is suggested for adults.

Closing the season will be the world premiere of The Farm, an explosive modern-day spy story by Walt McGough, from Sept. 27 through Oct. 20. Something went wrong, but Finn’s not talking. Instead, he’s retiring, and Parker needs to know why. But trust doesn’t come easy at the CIA, and as the operatives match wits, it becomes clear that they may not even be on the same side.

The Farm will be directed by Mark Shanahan who staged Penguin Rep’s productions of Woman in Black and Hound of the Baskervilles, and appeared as an actor in Penguin’s Women Who Steal and Mrs. Mannerly. An Edgar Award-nominated playwright, his Off Broadway acting credits include Tryst and As Bees in Honey Drown.

Walt McGough is a Boston-based playwright and a current Playwriting Fellow at the Huntington Theatre Company. He won the 2011 Best Comedy Award from the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC, and was named one of the Boston Globe’s 2012 Artists on the Rise.

Mainstage productions are presented at Penguin’s 108-seat theatre in Stony Point.

Performance days and times for mainstage productions are: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 4 pm and 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees 2 p.m.

Penguin’s Monday evening Play With Your Food series returns beginning June 10 and features readings of new plays, preceded by picnic dinners catered by Pasta Cucina of Stony Point and followed by discussions among the authors, actors and audience. (Other dates: July 16, August 6, August 27, September 10).

For children, Penguin Rep present Hot Peas ‘N Butter, a unique children’s musical group that blends Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, folk and rock, on Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 14. Performances are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“This year, we are also offering a special pre-season event at Penguin’s barn theatre”, said Brancato, with The Rockland Shakespeare Company performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), an irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, for three performances: Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m. 

SUNY Rockland Community College’s 504-seat Cultural Arts Center in Ramapo is the venue for three special events, starting with 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, featuring Emmy Award-winning standup comic Judy Gold, on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. 

For one performance only, Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m., The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith, Angelo Parra’s acclaimed music about the trailblazing blues singer, which was a hit at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Off Broadway and throughout the U.S., is back in Rockland County where it all started.

Some of Broadway’s brightest stars gather Saturday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. at SUNY RCC to celebrate the genius of composer Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Follies, Into the Woods). According to Mr. Brancato, A Salute to Sondheim is “an amazing opportunity to see great talent singing Broadway’s greatest music in a benefit for Penguin Rep’s 36th season”.

Subscriptions to the four 2013 mainstage productions are on sale now and start as low as $104 for the four plays.

Horn said that subscribers save 25 to 35 percent off single tickets, and that the very best seats in the house go to subscribers before single tickets go on sale. 

Individual tickets went on sale April 15. Tickets for mainstage productions are  $39 each. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and young people (30 and under).  

Tickets for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) are $20 ($15 for Penguin subscribers and students).

Tickets for Hot Peas ‘N Butter are $18.00.

Tickets for Judy Gold in 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother and A Salute to Sondheim are priced at $39 each ($34 for Penguin subscribers), and tickets for The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith are priced at $30 each ($25 for Penguin subscribers).

Tickets are $21 for each Play With Your Food event, or $64 for all four.

To order tickets or for further information, visit Penguin Rep’s website at www.penguinrep.org or call 845-786-2873. 

Penguin Rep Theatre has grown in 35 years from a summer theater in a converted 1880s hay barn to become one of the Hudson Valley’s most influential nonprofit cultural institutions.

Founded in 1977, Penguin now reaches tens of thousands of theatergoers, students and artists each year at its home theatre in Stony Point, in New York City and beyond – with plays and productions premiered by Penguin moving to Off Broadway and to stages across the country and around the world.

Penguin Rep’s Barn Theatre features air conditioning, wheelchair accessible rest rooms and seating, new upholstered theatre seats, and plenty of free parking.

2013 Mainstage Productions

Class

A new play by Charles Evered                                                                                                                                                Directed by Joe Brancato

May 17 – June 9, 2013

TV star and Penguin veteran Richard Kline (Three’s Company) stars in this funny and poignant new play. Sarah, a hot young megastar determined to be taken seriously as an actress, finds studying with a renowned coach more challenging than she ever expected. The tables are turned as he teaches her to act and she instructs him on the infinite possibilities of change.  New York premiere.

 

How the World Began

A new play by Catherine Trieschmann                                                                                                                                                  Directed by Joe Brancato

June 28 – July 21, 2013

100 years ago people were talking about the conflict between science and religion; we’re still talking about it today. In this thought-provoking new play, Susan, a high school teacher from New York City, relocates to a small Kansas town reeling from a tornado and unexpectedly sets off a firestorm of her own when she makes an off-hand comment about the origin of the universe.

 

Drop Dead Perfect

A new comedy by Erasmus Fenn                                                                                                                                                        Directed by Joe Brancato

August 9 – September 1, 2012

Drama Desk Award winner Everett Quinton from the legendary Ridiculous Theatrical Company stars as Idris Seabright, the heartbroken, half-mad mistress of a Key West cottage where mayhem and wackiness rule. When she and her ward are visited by a mysterious stranger, fasten your seatbelts for an outlandishly funny ride.  World premiere. Suggested for adults.

 

The Farm

A new play by Walt McGough                                                                                                                                                                 Directed by Mark Shanahan

September 27 – October 20, 2013

Something went wrong, but Finn’s not talking. Instead, he’s retiring, and Parker needs to know why. But trust doesn’t come easy at the CIA, and as the operatives match wits, it becomes clear that they may not even be on the same side. An explosive modern-day spy story that asks how you move on from a life lived in shadow.  World premiere.

 

Special Pre-Season Event

The Rockland Shakespeare Company’s production of

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)                                                                                                                                                                     

Friday, April 26 & Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                                          Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m.

An irreverent, fast-paced romp that through the Bard’s plays performed by the Rockland Shakespeare Company.

 

Children’s Theatre

Hot Peas ‘N Butter                                                                                                                                                                     

Tuesday, August 13 at 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                          Wednesday, August 14 at 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                         

A unique children’s musical group featured on Nickelodeon that blends Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, folk and rock.

 

Special Event! One Performance Only

Judy Gold in 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother                                                                                                                                                                     

At SUNY Rockland Community College, Suffern, NY

Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.

Judy Gold, two-time Emmy Award winner for The Rosie O'Donnell Show, SiriusXM radio host and a veteran stand-up comic, brings her trademark warmth and humor to 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.

 

Special Event! One Performance Only

The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith

By Angelo Parra                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Conceived and directed by Joe Brancato                                                                                                                            Musical direction and arrangements by Miche Braden

At SUNY Rockland Community College, Suffern, NY

Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.

 

A hit at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Off Broadway and throughout the U.S., The Devil’s Music is back in Rockland County where it all started.

Special Event! One Performance Only

A Salute to Sondheim

At SUNY Rockland Community College, Suffern, NY

Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.

Some of Broadway’s brightest stars gather to celebrate the genius of composer Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Follies, Into the Woods) for the benefit of Penguin Rep’s 36th season! An amazing opportunity to see great talent singing Broadway’s greatest music.

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