From the Provincetown Banner:
Exploration & Evolution Mark 2013 Theater Season in Wellfleet
Fewer plays, extended runs. The strategy behind Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater’s 2013 season, says artistic director Dan Lombardo, gives more audiences a chance to see each show.
“We had a lot of people tell us last year they wished they’d been on the Cape to see a show that their friends were talking about but had already closed,” Lombardo says. “The fact is a lot of people who come out in the summer don’t stay for more than a week or two. And there aren’t that many of us who are out here all summer. By extending the run of the shows, we can better serve the revolving nature of our audiences.”
What’s more, he adds, “the longer a show runs, the more time the cast and crew get a chance to really dig in and explore it.”
For local audiences, Lombardo says, that means an opportunity to catch their favorite play more than once to see how the show has grown over the several weeks the actors have developed it.
The official theme of the season may be “Four Journeys of Women/Four Decades,” but it’s really all about development this year. Development of the roles of women on stage over the decades. Development of each play over each longer run. Development of Lombardo’s artistic vision from his first season to his second — notably with WHAT’s new executive director, Jeffry George, and the board’s leaner approach to management with a clear and shared artistic vision, Lombardo notes. And the development of the final play of the season, a revival of Tennessee William’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” which the company will move to the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown the last weekend of September.
“‘Cat,’ Lombardo says, “will emerge as quite a different play in many interesting ways,” not only as the production picks up and moves from WHAT’s big Julie Harris [Stage] to a more intimate venue but also as the company uses its time on stage to hone in on the characters for that new staging in Provincetown.
Lombardo says the official theme of the season emerged organically. In his second summer as artistic director, he chose plays that sounded and felt like the edgy kind of theater that built WHAT’s reputation over the past 28 years. It wasn’t until he had them all together that he realized the strong female protagonists in each play both typified how women have been portrayed on stage over the decades and also nicely dovetailed nicely with the theme of the upcoming Williams festival, “Williams and Women.”
Here’s WHAT’s line up for 2013:
“Utility Monster,” by Marina Keegan (previews May 23-June 22) — Written in the 2010s, this modern fable about love, personal sacrifice and how we value each other follows a young woman whose life is transformed when a new friend learns that an African child’s life can be saved for the price of his lunch at Taco Bell. The play also has local significance, as its author, Keegan, an emerging writer working for The New Yorker magazine who’d grow up spending summers in Wellfleet, died at the age of 22 last May on her way to the family summer home. WHAT’s premiere of this play will be a memorial for her and is expected to attract national media attention, Lombardo says.
“Six Characters in Search of an Author,” by Luigi Pirandello (June 27-July 20) — For this adaptation of the 1920s classic, Lombardo and Matt Foss shift focus to the character of the mother. Lombardo and Foss developed this fresh adaptation in WHAT’s playwrighting lab earlier this month.
“One Slight Hitch,” by Lewis Black (July 25-Aug. 24) — In this 1980s family farce that follows a mother rediscovering her own sense of self at her daughter’s wedding, the stars of stage, film and television Lizbeth MacKay and Mark Linn-Baker play the leading roles.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” by Tennessee Williams (Aug. 29-Sept. 22 at WHAT, Sept. 25-28 at Tennessee Williams Festival).
In addition, WHAT will host a summer music festival on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in July and a comedy festival on the same nights in August as well as its children’s show, traditionally directed and produced by Stephen Russell.