Press Release: Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Presents Caryl Churchill One-Acts Blue Kettle and Here We Go

For Immediate release: September 27, 2018
Contact: Kati Mitchell 617-470-3378
[email protected]

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
presents first production of 2018-2019 Season:
Caryl Churchill double-bill Blue Kettle & Here We Go
Directed by Bryn Boice
November 7-18
Sorenson Center, Babson College

Wellesley, MA — Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler, announced the cast of the first production of its 2018-19 Season: Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle & Here We Go, two one-act plays by Caryl Churchill, directed by Bryn Boice. The production runs November 7-18 at the Black Box Theater, Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College in Wellesley.

Performance dates are as follows:
November 7-10 at 7:30pm, November 15-17 at 7:30pm, November 11, 17, 18 at 3pm.
Press opening on Thursday, November 8, 2019 at 7:30pm.
Press invitations will be sent out in October.

Tickets: $40, Seniors (65+) $36, Babson faculty, staff, and non-Babson students $15, Babson students $5

Season Sponsors: WGBH, The Boston Globe, Improper Bostonian

Commonalities with a surrealist bent are explored in two one-acts by renowned playwright Caryl Churchill. In Blue Kettle, anxieties emerge and language is tested when a troubled man claims to be the long lost son of several different women. In Here We Go a funeral party for a man with an adventurous past forces a group of women to capture flickering moments of their own lives as they grapple with their own mortality.

The Company includes Siobhan Carroll as Miss Clarence/Mother/Partygoer, Maureen Keiller as Mrs. Oliver/Mr. Vane/Partygoer, Karen MacDonald as Mrs. Plant/Mrs. Vane/Partygoer, Sarah Mass as Enid/Partygoer, and Ryan Winkles as Derek/Man.  Set design is by Cristina Todesco, costume design by Nancy Leary, Lighting Design by Jen Rock, and sound design by Dewey Dellay.

About the Company:

Siobhan Carroll’s Boston credits include Audra in Dark Room (Bridge Repertory Theater), Margret/ Betty/ Halina in Red Velvet (O.W.I.), Irina in The Three Sisters (Apollinaire Theatre), Natalie in Next to Normal (Arts After Hours), and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Classic Repertory Company). Siobhan received her BFA in acting from Boston University.

Maureen Keiller last appeared in the CSC production of Our American Hamlet. Other theatre credits include The Honey Trap, Faithless (Boston Playwrights), Oh God (Israeli Stage), Come Back Little Sheba (Huntington Theatre Company), Into the Woods, 33 Variations, Big River, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Speech and Debate, Epic Proportions (Lyric Stage), The Whale, Nine, The Little Dog Laughed, Almost Maine, The Women (SpeakEasy Stage). Television and film: “Olive Kitteridge,” “Spotlight,” “Fever Pitch,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Brotherhood.” Maureen is an Elliot Norton Award winner for Outstanding Actress and a three-time IRNE winner for Best Supporting Actress.

Karen MacDonald previously appeared as Maria in Twelfth Night, Volumnia in Coriolanus, The Countess in All’s Well That Ends Well, and Gertrude in Hamlet; she also directed last season’s Old Money for CSC. Karen appeared on Broadway as Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Off-Broadway as Mrs.Bumble in Oliver Twist (TFANA/A.R.T.) She was a Founding Company Member at the A.R.T., performing in 73 productions including Arkadina in The Sea Gull and in the title role of Mother Courage and her Children. Other Boston area credits includes Chris in Calendar Girls (Greater Boston Theatre Company); Liz Norden in Finish Line (Boston Theatre Company); Kate Keller in All My Sons, Jean in Good People,(Huntington Theatre Company); Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot (Lyric Stage); Mary Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night (New Repertory Theatre); Drowsy in The Drowsy Chaperone (Speakeasy Stage; Bernadette Spence in Home of the Brave, Solo Performer in The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead (Merrimack Rep Theatre). She also worked nationally from The Wilma Theatre to Berkeley Rep. Karen was awarded several IRNE and Eliot Norton Awards, most recently receiving the 2017 Eliot Norton for Best Performance by an Actress in Finish Line. She has received the Robert Brustein Prize for Sustained Achievement in the Theatre and the Eliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. She is a graduate of Boston University and teaches at Harvard University.

Sarah Mass appeared in last year’s CSC reading of Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, the production of Romeo and Juliet on the Common, and in CSC2’s production of Julius Caesar. Sarah is an alumnus of both the CSC2 company and the CSC Apprentice Program. Other local credits include Mame (Greater Boston Stage), Sense and Sensibility and The Winter’s Tale (Maiden Phoenix Theatre Co), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry V (Arts After-hours), Blinders (Flat Earth Theatre), Footfalls (Exiled Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Now!). She received her B.A. in Theatre from Boston College and also studied at the British American Drama Academy in London.

Ryan Winkles Boston area credits include Valentine’s Day SHAKE-Up (Henry V) and Mrs. Packard (Male Witnesses) at Bridge Repertory Theatre; DibbleDance: Shoes On/Shoes Off (Dapper Man) at Brandeis University; Visitors (Stephen) at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse; and All My Sons (Chris) and Merchant of Venice (Bassanio) at Elements Theatre Company. He was a long-time member of  Shakespeare & Company where his credits include The Creditors (Adolph), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Valentine), Henry V (Henry V), Complete Works (Ryan), Mother Courage (Swiss Cheese), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Dull), The Tempest (Ferdinand), King Lear (Edgar), As You Like It (Silvius), Hound of the Baskervilles (Sir Henry), Irma Vep (Jane/Lord Edgar), The Learned Ladies (Trissotin), Richard III (Tyrrel/1st Murderer), Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew), Othello (Roderigo), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Flute), Antony & Cleopatra (Pompey/Eros), Merry Wives (Fenton), the tours of Julius Caesar (Cassius) and Macbeth (Banquo).  National credits include Babylon Revisited (Lincoln) at Elements Theatre Company; Old Mezzo (Joe) at WAM Theatre;Muskie Love (Claude) at Madison Rep; Christmas Memory (Buddy) and Misalliance (Bentley) at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Film/TV: “Paper Birds”; Doug Trumbull’s “UFOTOG;” “Time Traveling Bong” (Comedy Central).  Ryan is also a Fight Choreographer and teaches at Boston University. He holds a BA from FSU and an MFA from UW-Madison.

About the creative team:

 Caryl Churchill wrote her first play, Downstairs while she was still at university; it was first staged in 1958, winning an award at the Sunday Times National Union of Students Drama Festival. She wrote a number of plays for BBC radio including The Ants, Lovesick, and AbortiveThe Judge’s Wife was televised by the BBC in 1972 and Owners, her first professional stage production, premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in the same year. She was Resident Dramatist at the Royal Court (1974-5) and spent much of the 1970s and 1980s working with the theatre groups ‘Joint Stock’ and ‘Monstrous Regiment’. Her work during this period includes Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Fen, and A Mouthful of Birds (written with David Lan), Three More Sleepless Nights, Top Girls (first staged at the Royal Court in 1982, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, and transferred to Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre in New York later that year), Serious Money (first produced at the Royal Court in 1987, won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy of the Year and the Laurence Olivier/BBC Award for Best New Play), Mad Forest, The Skriker, Far Away (premiered at the Royal Court in 2000, directed by Stephen Daldry). Her plays for television include The After-Dinner Joke and Crimes. She has also published a new translation of Seneca’s Thyestes (2001), and A Number (2002), which addresses the subject of human cloning. Her new version of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play premiered at the National Theatre in 2005. Her plays since then have included Seven Jewish Children – a play for Gaza, Love and Information, Ding Dong the Wicked, Here We Go, and most recently Escaped Alone.

Bryn Boice is a freelance director working in Boston and New York and is the artistic director of the Boston-based ensemble Anthem Theatre Company, now a Resident Performing Arts Company at Boston Center for the Arts. Recent area directing credits include the lauded all-female production of Julius Caesar for Actors’ Shakespeare Project (Elliot Norton Award Nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress for Marianna Bassham and Bobbie Steinbach and IRNE Award nomination for Bassham); the Boston premiere of Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti; Henry VI part II and Henry IV part I for CSC’s Apprentice Program; and Associate Artistic Director of WGBH’s A Christmas Celtic Sojourn 2017, starring Boston radio legend Brian O’Donovan. Recent work produced and directed for Anthem includes: her devised protest play, I, SnowflakeTwelfth Night of the Living DeadRomeo VS. Juliet; and her original Irish play with song, The Merry Way. New York and regional credits as actor and/or director include work with Asolo Repertory Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theater, Theatre Row, InProximity Theatre Company, Rebellious Subjects, Monomoy Theatre, Caroline’s on Broadway, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Bryn holds an MFA in Directing from Boston University and an MFA in Acting from the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training (FSU). She is a Lecturer at Salem State University in Voice for the Actor, Directing, and Dramatic Criticism, among others.

Set designer Cristina Todesco previously designed Coriolanus, and Twelfth Night on the Boston Common for CSC. Other credits include Actor’s Shakespeare Project, A.R.T. Institute, Company One, the Culture Project, Gloucester Stage, Huntington Theatre, Boston Playwrights, Merrimack Repertory Theater, New England Conservatory, New Repertory Theater, Olney Theater Center, Orfeo Group, Poet’s Theater, Shakespeare and Company, Speakeasy Stage Company, Harbor Stage, Summer Play Festival, Trinity Rep, Wheelock Family Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival among many more.  She has designed for the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in Boston and at Tanglewood and is a designer for Sally Taylor’s Consenses: Come to Your Senses exhibit currently showing at Mass MOCA.  For Outstanding Design, she is the recipient of four Eliot Norton Awards and an IRNE. She earned a BFA in painting from Boston University’s School of Visual Arts, and an MFA in scenic design from BU’s School of Theatre Arts, where she currently teaches.

Costume Designer Nancy Leary previously designed costumes for Love’s Labour’s LostOur American Hamlet and Twelfth Night.  Other theatre credits include Weston Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Actor’s Shakespeare Project, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, New Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Chamber Repertory Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre and Knife Edge Productions, New York. She has designed for operas including Boston Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, The Pittsburgh Symphony, Opera Saratoga, Chautauqua Opera, Mobile Opera, Juilliard Opera, Opera Boston, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory and Boston Musica Viva, including The Long Walk for Utah Opera, Burke and Hare for Boston Lyric Opera, and Samuel Barber’s Vanessa for Mannes Opera, New York. Nancy is also an Assistant Professor of Production and Design for Boston University School of Theatre.

Lighting Designer Jen Rock designed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for CSC2 in 2016.  Other design credits include productions for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Bated Breath Theatre Company, Company One Theatre, Crossroads Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Speakeasy Stage, The Brown University/ Trinity Rep Consortium, The University of Rhode Island.  Additionally, Jen serves on the faculty of Eastern Connecticut State University as a professor of lighting design and is the recipient of two Elliot Norton Awards.

Composer/Sound Designer Dewey Dellay’s recent credits include The Bakelite Masterpiece, Ideation, and Thurgood at New Repertory Theatre; Anna Christie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Miss Whitherspoon (Elliot Norton Award for Design), and 9 Parts of Desire (Elliot Norton Award for Design) at Lyric Stage Company; Constellations (Elliot Norton Award for Best Production) at Underground Railway Theater; The Women (Elliot Norton Award for Design) and Five by Tenn (IRNE Award) at Speakeasy Stage Company. His television credits include original music for Emmy nominated National Geographic’s China’s Mystery Mummies, Discovery Channel’s Miami Jail, and he was the composer for five seasons of the show Our America with Lisa Ling on the OWN Channel. He presently is contributing music to This is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN, and composing music for digital children’s books produced by Live Oak Media.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, is a non-profit theater company founded in 1996, dedicated to artistic excellence, accessibility, and education. CSC’s Free Shakespeare on the Common has served over one million audience members over its 24-year history and has become a beloved summer tradition enjoyed by nearly 50,000 people annually, including this summer’s highly acclaimed production of Richard III. In 2013, CSC became the Theatre-in-Residence at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. In addition to the annual Boston Common production, CSC now presents fully staged productions at the Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson, including the recent world premiere of Our American HamletBecket in Brief, Death and the Maiden, and Old Money; “Theatre in the Rough,” semi- staged readings including Fear and Misery in the Third Reich featuring Tony Shalhoub, Brooke Adams and local actors; as well as presentations of  “Shakespeare & the Law,” and “Shakespeare & Leadership.” CSC fulfills its educational mission with actor-training programs for pre-professional and professional actors through the summer Apprentice program and CSC2. To learn more about these programs, visit www.commshakes.org.

Blue Kettle and Here We go are presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH

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