2nd Annual "Master Playwright Series" will begin Oct. 27th
Celebrated playwrights: Eugene O’Neill, Eugene Ionesco, and Anton Chekhov will be the focus of Palm Beach Dramaworks’ 2nd annual "Master Playwright Series," beginning October 27th (7PM) and running through June 2nd at their intimate downtown theatre (322 Banyan Boulevard). Sponsored by Nancy and Jay Parker, "The Master Playwright Series" is scheduled in three segments and will devote several evenings to each playwright. Scenes from the author’s plays as well as full staged readings will be presented including: "The Hairy Ape" by Eugene O’Neill, "The Bald Soprano" by Eugene Ionesco and "Uncle Vanya" by Anton Chekhov. In addition to the readings, the evenings will invite audience participation, discussion and an overview of the work and themes. (See full schedule below.) The "Master Playwright Series," was developed as part of the Dramaworks’ educational initiative. Three young theatre artists will participate as directorial assistants for each of the productions. The students will work side by side with a professional director and participate in research and preparation associated with the overview of selected works by the individual playwright. The first of the three segments will be hosted by Dramaworks Board Chairman Mark Perlberg and devoted to Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Eugene O’Neill. "O’Neill Overview," a series of scenes from various O’Neill plays, will be presented on October 27th, 28th and on November 3rd & 4th followed by a staged reading of The Hairy Ape on November 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th. The Hairy Ape, written in 1922, centers around Yank, a brutish worker on an ocean-liner searching for an identity in a world controlled by the wealthy. This thought provoking play focuses on themes of oppression in the industrial working class and the superficial world of the affluent. Hosted by Dramaworks' Resident Director J. Barry Lewis, an "Ionesco Overview" will follow on December 29th & 30th and January 5th & 6th with a reading of The Bald Soprano on January 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th. Eugene Ionesco, one of the foremost playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd often depicted the insignificance of the human existence. His first play, The Bald Soprano, written in 1950 takes place in London; the Smiths have invited the Martins over for a visit, the two couples begin to banter and engage in meaningless story telling, giving the impression that these characters are not listening to each other at all. This absurdist play explores communication in a modern society -- do people speak only to hear themselves talk? Segment three will be hosted by Dramaworks' Producing Artistic Director William Hayes, and highlight the work of Anton Chekhov. On May 11th, 12th, 18th & 19th scenes from his plays will be performed as part of "Chekhov Overview" followed by a reading of Uncle Vanya on May 26th & 29th and June 1st & 2nd. An over laying theme of Chekhov’s work is the character’s search for meaning in their respective unimpressive lives. Completed in 1896, Uncle Vanya, focuses on an extended family living on a country estate. In an atmosphere surrounded by prolonged gloom, we see characters who have lost their zest for life in this family drama. For more information about the 2008-09 Master Playwright Series, click here.