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George Axelrod

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Reginald Rose

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Stage Door by Edna Ferber & George S. Kaufman

April 8-May 7, 2011
Gunston Theatre Two (directions)

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This is the kind of seldom-seen classic comedy The American Century Theater was created to produce. This epic collaboration by novelist Edna Ferber (Show Boat) and master wit George S. Kaufman (You Can’t Take It With You) chronicles the hopes, ambitions, romances and misfortunes of sixteen young women in a boarding house for aspiring New York actresses. The star-studded 1937 Hollywood version abandoned most of the Ferber-Kaufman script. TACT, as usual, will give audiences a chance to see the real thing.

Directing this production in classic 1930s style is Marie Sproul, a TACT discovery who has been directing in Maryland, including a recent production of another large-cast Kaufmann comedy. Producer Eleanor Gomberg has served TACT in many capacities, most recently producing the company’s 12th-season hit, Hellzapoppin’.

The cast of 23 includes Kate Volpe as stagestuck Terry, Nicholas Hanson as film producer Kingsley, and Allison Leigh Corke as Hollywood-bound Jean. Returning to TACT are Jane Petkofsky as Mrs. Orcutt, Steve Lebens as Aldoph Gretzl, and Leigh Anna Fry as Linda. Newcomers to TACT include Heather Benjamin, Sherry Berg, Katie Culligan, Carina Czipoth, Elizabeth Darby, Joshua Dick, Ashley Faye Dillard, Rebecca Ellis, Jacqui Farkas, Ty Hallmark, Michael Hammond, K. Clare Johnson, Shannon Listol, Emily Morrison, Bradley Foster Smith, Jennifer Speerstra, and Rachel Spicknall.

Set design is by Sarah Kendrick, costumes, by Christiane Marcus, and the lighting design is by Dave Walden (designer for TACT’s productions of The Cradle Will Rock and Moby Dick Rehearsed). Zoe Jackson is the sound designer, and Rebecca Christy (who has handled props and producer roles for TACT) and Avery Burns are properties designers. The show’s stage manager is Lindsey Moore.

It was written in Three Comedies (Applause Books, 1999) that Kaufman and Ferber “inebriated America during the Prohibition Twenties, then made everyone forget the Depression in the Thirties via gales of sophisticated laughter.” And The Wall Street Journal’s Edwin Wilson wrote of their work: “A world of style and flair and grand gesture . . . indisputable magic.”

Join us for the magic waiting behind the stage door!

Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Note: Production includes cigarette and some cigar smoking.


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