By Clifford Odets & Levi Alpert Nafe Katter Theatre
WAITING FOR LEFTY Clifford Odets’ passionate and politically-charged play Waiting for Lefty is a timeless piece of classic American theatre that you won’t readily forget. In 1930’s New York City the Great Depression takes full force and working families are put out on the streets to starve. As people fight for their lives, a union of cab drivers decide ‘no more’ and wait for their leader, Lefty Castello, to choose if they will strike or not. The demand for social change drives this classic Group Theatre production into modern times leaving us to answer: “what are we waiting for?”
SEVERANCE by Levi Alpert is a new short play that provides an additional modern context to the themes of workers rights.
Artistic Director Michael Bradford says, “In the original 1935 production of Waiting For Lefty, Odets was asked to write a “curtain raiser” to create a full night of theatre. “Severance” is a new short play by a recent UCONN grad, Levi Alpert. I asked Levi to consider writing a “curtain closer” that brought us a little closer to our present lives as a way to look at how wonderfully far and sadly how little we have “traveled.” Levi’s writing is beautifully severe and insightful and yet it again offers us a different vision of the same choice Odet’s offered, a choice at the core of our existence, humanity or fear.”
STORRS. Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present “Waiting for Lefty”, which will be the first play directed by new Artistic Director Michael Bradford. “Waiting for Lefty” will be paired with “Severance”, a new one-act play by Levi Alpert. Performances will be held in the Nafe Katter Theatre from February 23rd through March 5th 2017. For tickets and information please visit crt.uconn.edu or call (860) 486-2113.
Clifford Odets’ passionate and politically-charged play “Waiting for Lefty” is a timeless piece of classic American theatre that you won’t readily forget. In 1930’s New York City the Great Depression takes full force and working families are put out on the streets to starve. As people fight for their lives, a union of cab drivers decide ‘no more’ and wait for their leader, Lefty Costello, to choose if they will strike or not. The demand for social change drives this classic Group Theatre production into modern times leaving us to answer: “what are we waiting for?”
Director Michael Bradford says, “’Waiting for Lefty’ centers on the choice Odets’ characters must make; on the surface, should we strike, but at the core, will I choose to live in my humanity or in my fear, a nameless, faceless fear devoid of past or future. In the original 1935 production of Waiting For Lefty, Odets was asked to write a “curtain raiser” to create a full night of theatre. “Severance” is a new short play by a recent UCONN grad, Levi Alpert. I asked Levi to consider writing a “curtain closer” that brought us a little closer to our present lives as a way to look at how wonderfully far and sadly how little we have “traveled.” Levi’s writing is beautifully severe and insightful and yet it again offers us a different vision of the same choice Odet’s offered, a choice at the core of our existence, humanity or fear.”
Michael Lewis leads the cast of “Waiting for Lefty” as Harry Fatt. Lewis has performed in many New York City venues, as well as regional theaters across this country and Europe. Favorite roles include Claudius, Pistol, Malcolm, Dogberry, Bassanio, Costard, the Shepherd’s Son, Bottom, and the Fool. He also relished Quasimodo in “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, Tom in “The Glass Menagerie”, and Carson in the original cast of Horton Foote’s Pulitzer-Prize winning “Young Man From Atlanta.” In NYC he has appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Primary Stages, NY Theater Workshop, the Transport Group, the Vineyard, as well as featured acting roles at the Metropolitan Opera. Television and film work includes “Blue Bloods”, “Unforgettable”, “Law and Order(s)”, “666 Park Avenue”, “Billions”, “The Detour” and the feature films “Darrow” and “Signs of Life.”
Robin Haynes plays Dr. Barnes. Haynes’ Broadway credits include “Blood Brothers” (original cast), and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”. He performed in the National Tour of “My Fair Lady”, “Buddy”, and “Jekyll & Hyde.” Off-Broadway credits include: “Collaborators”, “The Return of The Prodigal”, “Perfect Crime”, “Twelfth Night”, “Minor Demons”, “She Loves Me”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Billy Bishop Goes To War”, etc. Film: T”o Be Or Not To Be”, “Hot Dog! The Movie”, “Homecoming”, “Soldier’s Heart.” Television: “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”, “Third Watch”, “Cosby”, “M*A*S*H,” “Dallas,” “House Calls”, “Quincy”, “M.E.” Regional: Goodspeed, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park, Hartford Stage Company, The Wick, Florida Studio Theatre, and Seattle Repertory Theatre.
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
The design team includes: Michael Bradford (Director), Brett Calvo (Scenic Design), Margaret Peebles (Lighting Design), Brighid DeAngelis (Costume Design), Abby Golec (Sound Design), and Tom Kosis (Stage Manager).
The cast also includes MFA Actors: Michael Bobenhausen, Darren Brown, Natalia Cuevas, Jeffry DeSisto, Sam Kebede, Curtis Longfellow, Emile Saba, and Meredith Saran. BFA Actors: Mikaila Baca-Dorian, Aaron Bantum, Rebekah Berger, Shavana Clarke, Derrick Holmes, Aiden Marchetti, Gavin McNicholl, Scott Redmond, Ben Senkowski, Ryan Shea, and Jacob Wright.
PERFORMANCE AND TICKET INFORMATION
Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Select matinee performances start at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Single tickets are available now. Single tickets range from $7 to $36. All student tickets are only $7.
Please call the box office at 860.486.2113 for tickets and additional information or visit www.crt.uconn.edu for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary and are subject to change. The Nafe Katter Theatre is located on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.
STORRS. Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) is pleased to announce that three-time Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann will return to CRT as the Artistic Director of the theatre’s popular Nutmeg Summer Series. He will begin his position in November 2016 taking over from Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal.
Anne D’Alleva, Dean of the School of Fine Arts said, “ We’re thrilled to have Terrence Mann join us as Artistic Director of our beloved Nutmeg Summer Series. His creative energy and passion for musical theatre will transform the summer season.”
Terrence Mann previously appeared onstage at Connecticut Repertory Theatre over the course of the last several seasons starring in productions of “My Fair Lady”, “Man of La Mancha”, “Peter Pan”, and “Les Misérables”, in which he reprised his performance in the role of Javert. He previously directed CRT Nutmeg Summer Series productions of “Les Misérables” and “Pirates of Penzance”.
As an actor, Mann made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning musical “Barnum” at the St. James Theatre, but his breakout performance came in the role of Rum Tum Tugger in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats”. Mann received his first Tony Award nomination for his work as Javert in “Les Misérables”, his second for his performance as the Beast in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” and his most recent nomination came in 2013 for his portrayal of King Charles in “Pippin”. Mann’s many Broadway credits include starring and featured roles in “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, “Rags”, “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway”, “Getting Away with Murder”, “The Rocky Horror Show”, “Lennon”, “The Addams Family”, and most recently as Charles Frohman in “Finding Neverland”, and the Man in the Yellow Suit in “Tuck Everlasting”.
Mann is the founding artistic director of the Carolina Arts Festival and served as artistic director of the North Carolina Theatre for 10 years, directing more than 25 musical productions. He was also Artistic Director of North Carolina’s long running outdoor drama “The Lost Colony”.
“I’m am thrilled to be joining the Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Nutmeg Summer Series as Artistic Director. Six years ago Vince Cardinal brought me to Storrs for my first summer to do ‘My Fair Lady’ and ever since I’ve been trying to get back as often as I can. There is no greater joy than to be in a company of actors, young and old alike, whose sole purpose is to share the gift of great storytelling with folks who make it apart of their lives to support and nurture live theatre. The Storrs community has made a commitment to CRT. I hope to honor that commitment by continuing this great tradition of bringing exciting, accessible theatre to everyone! Thank you for your support and inspiration,” said Mann.
Connecticut Repertory Theatre is a resident professional company that serves as the professional producing arm of UConn’s Department of Dramatic Arts. The Nutmeg Summer Series has grown over the last six years bringing theatrical professionals and top university students together from around the country. Mann will work alongside CRT’s newly appointed Artistic Director and Department Head Michael Bradford and CRT Managing Director and Nutmeg Summer Series Executive Producer Matthew J. Pugliese to lead the theatre’s summer series.
CRT Artistic Director Michael Bradford said, “We were already fortunate to have Terrence work with us over the past several summers, and now of course to have him at the helm of our Nutmeg Summer Series. I couldn’t be more pleased and excited about the creative energy Terrence will bring to CRT and to our community.”
CRT is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. CRT productions are directed, designed by, and cast with visiting professional artists, including Equity actors, faculty members, and the department’s most advanced student artists. The synergy between professional and advanced student artists creates extraordinary theatre and a unique learning environment
CRT, part of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut, is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts. CRT stages an array of the best in theatre, from classic plays and musicals to premieres of the latest contemporary work, featuring some of the nation’s finest theatre professionals on stage with the department’s most promising students. The synergy between professionals and advanced student artists creates extraordinary theatre and a unique learning environment.