Entertainment Magazine: Tucson / Phoenix: Arizona Theatre Co.: 2011 Season

Romance, comedy and drama in ATC's Ten Chimneys

Jeffrey Hatcher's new play offers a look at the private lives of artists who are always on the stage

Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art from January 22, 2011 - February 12, 2011
Phoenix downtown at the Herberger Theater Center February 17, 2011 - March 6, 2011

Take a visit to ATC's Ten Chimneys

In the lavish world premiere production TEN CHIMNEYS, Arizona Theatre Company reveals what every Broadway star already knows - that the real drama on stage happens when the curtain is down.  Commissioned by Arizona Theatre Company and written by nationally acclaimed playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, TEN CHIMNEYS brings Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne to life in a romantically charged, comic drama that offers a revealing look at the private lives of artists who are always on the stage. 

This world premiere directed by ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein runs in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art from January 22, 2011 - February 12, 2011.  It continues its run in Phoenix downtown at the Herberger Theater Center February 17, 2011 - March 6, 2011.

TEN CHIMNEYS is sponsored by "Friends of Ten Chimneys," a group of individual donors dedicated to the advancement of new works and preservation of the Ten Chimneys estate. The Tucson media sponsors for the 2010-2011 Season are KGUN9, MIX-FM and Tucson Lifestyle.  This production is also sponsored in part by the Edgerton Foundation.  Arizona Theatre Company's season sponsors are I. Michael and Beth Kasser.

Love, intrigue, romance and suicide.  And that's just in the play they're rehearsing.  In the late 1930s, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the two most revered stars of the Broadway stage, decide to perform Chekhov's masterpiece The Sea Gull.  But first they must retreat to 'investigate' the play at Ten Chimneys, their legendary Wisconsin estate, where they are surrounded by actors, family and hangers-on.  When a young actress named Uta Hagen arrives, a romantic triangle begins to mirror the events in Chekov's play about passion and art.   

"In life and in the theatre, things have a way of circling back," said TEN CHIMNEYS playwright Jeffrey Hatcher. "I was a college freshman sitting in the Lunt-Fontanne Theater in New York the night they dimmed the lights for Alfred Lunt, who had died earlier that day.  The next year in acting class, I read Uta Hagen's Respect for Acting for the first time.  Two years later, when I was a senior, I played Trigorin in my college production of The Sea Gull.  When David Ira Goldstein and I toured Ten Chimneys and someone pointed out that the Lunts had performed The Sea Gull with Uta Hagen in 1938, the strands came together in a flash.  Working on TEN CHIMNEYS has been one of the most enjoyable - and meaningful - experiences I've had in the theater.  Here's hoping it honors the ghosts."

"Jeffrey's witty and delightful new play is a work of imagination, speculation and outright invention about the Lunts and their circle. But it is based on very real people who lived and worked in a very real place," said TEN CHIMNEYS director and ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein. "The Lunts loved everything to do with the stage, so TEN CHIMNEYS is a celebration of what we still hold dear about the theatre: the sense of fun, the very real work of exploring a play and the hot-house humanity of artists working in close collaboration. Like all of Jeffrey's plays it is full of delights with delicious roles for actors and an energetic intelligence for audiences."

(Photo by Ed Flores)

Jeffrey Hatcher (Playwright) is the author of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which made its world premiere at ATC), Ella and co-author of Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright and Tuesdays with Morrie - all of which have been seen on Arizona Theatre Company's stages. Mr. Hatcher authored the book for the Broadway musical, Never Gonna Dance. Off-Broadway, he has had several plays produced, including Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club, Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages, Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at Minetta Lane Theatre, Murder by Poe and The Turn of the Screw with The Acting Company, Neddy at The American Place Theatre and Fellow Travelers at Manhattan Punchline.

His plays - among them, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, and Work Song (with Eric Simonson) - have been seen at such theatres as Yale Rep, The Old Globe, The Guthrie, Milwaukee Rep, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Intiman Theatre, Florida Stage, Illusion Theater, Denver Center Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, City Theatre, and dozens more in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Hatcher wrote the screenplays for Stage Beauty, The Duchess and Casanova.

David Ira Goldstein (Director) this year celebrates his nineteenth season as Artistic Director of ATC.  He has directed over 35 mainstage productions for ATC ranging from classics to musicals to numerous world premieres including Jeffrey Hatcher's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and seven original plays by Steven Dietz.  He has been a guest director at theatres from coast to coast including Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, Florida Stage, San Jose Rep, Geva Theatre, The Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis and Northlight Theatre. As Artistic Director, he has produced over 165 mainstage plays, workshops and presentations including acclaimed appearances by the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and the Theatre Royal Bath.

Returning to Arizona Theatre Company are Suzanne Bouchard (Lynn Fontanne), who has appeared at ATC as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, The Illusion, Other People's Money, Dracula, Amadeus and others.

Most recently, she appeared in Edward Albee's Three Tall Women at Seattle Repertory Theatre.  In 2009 was honored as one of ten regional actors in the inaugural class of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship at Ten Chimneys, studying under Lynn Redgrave; Anna Bullard (Uta Hagen) was last seen at ATC in the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Her recent regional credits include Vivie in Mrs. Warren's Profession at California Shakespeare Theatre, Rosalind in As You Like It at San Jose Rep, Equivocation, Goldfish, and Collected Stories. 

Other credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, Laguna Playhouse, San Jose Rep, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Porchlight Theatre Company, and the NYC Fringe and Dorset Theatre Festivals; Michael Winters (Sydney Greenstreet) last appeared at ATC inSteven Dietz's  Rocket Man. On Broadway, Mr. Winters appeared in Wrong Mountain. He has also worked for Seattle Rep, ACT Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre and Seattle Shakespeare Company in Seattle; Mark Taper Forum, The Matrix Theatre Company, Andak Stage Company and The Open Fist Theatre Company in Los Angeles; as well as American Conservatory Theater, Denver Center Theatre Company and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among others. He has also appeared extensively on television.
 
Making their Arizona Theatre Company debut are Steve Hendrickson (Alfred Lunt), who has appeared in Jeffrey Hatcher's productions of Fellow Travelers, Scotland Road, Turn of the Screw, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mercy of a Storm, The Fabulous Invalid, The Falls, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and, most recently, Tyrone and Ralph.  Mr. Hendrickson has appeared at Circle in the Square, Playwrights Horizons, Guthrie Theater, The Children's Theatre Company, The Old Globe, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, PlayMakers Rep, Yale Rep, Florida Stage and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Naomi Jacobson (Louise Greene), who most recently played Katherine of Aragon in King Henry VIII at the Folger Theatre in Washington D.C.

Other credits include Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Kennedy Center, Ford's Theatre, Round House Theatre, Signature Theatre, Theater J, Olney Theatre Center, Theatre of the First Amendment and The D.C. Fringe Festival. In 2009 she was honored as one of ten regional actors in the inaugural class of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship at Ten Chimneys, studying under Lynn Redgrave; Linda Stephens (Hattie Sederholm), who has previously appeared on Broadway as Meg in the 1994 revival of Damn Yankees, The Man Who Came to Dinner, the 50th Anniversary production of All My Sons at Roundabout Theatre Company, and in the musical version of Arthur Kopit's Wings at The Public Theater.

Her work at Chicago theatres includes the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Apollo Theatre and Marriott Theatre; and Marcus Truschinski (Carl Sederholm), who most recently appeared in the world premiere of The Gift of the Magi, a new musical by Josh Schmidt and James DeVita at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin. He has also appeared as Orlando in As You Like It and Rat in the world premiere of Old Glory at Writer's Theatre in Chicago.  He has been a company member with American Players Theatre since 2003, where his favorite roles include Ben Hubbard in Another Part of the Forest, Antipholus of Syracuse in A Comedy of Errors and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The creative team for TEN CHIMNEYS includes John Ezell (Scenic Designer) who designed the scenery for ATC's productions of [title of show] and Hair.  He has designed for Broadway, New York Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater, as well as Roundabout Theatre Company, Crossroads Theatre Company and Shakespeare Theatre Company, among many others.  His work has received the Award for Experimental Television Art in Milan, two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards for Excellence and eleven Critics' Circle Awards; Marcia Dixcy Jory (Costume Designer) returns to ATC where she designed costumes for Somebody/Nobody.  Ms. Jory's regional theatre credits include ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, Opera Company of Boston, Kentucky Opera, Manhattan Theatre Club and Circle in the Square Downtown.

As a Resident Costume Designer for Actors Theatre of Louisville, she designed over seventy productions; Dennis Parichy (Lighting Designer) designed ATC's productions of To Kill a Mockingbird, The Pajama Game, Twelfth Night, A Streecar Named Desire, Talley's Folly, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Ghosts and the world premiere of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, among others.  He has been designing for forty years and has worked on Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and in regional theatre and opera.

Mr. Parichy's Broadway credits include Talley's Folly (Tony nomination), Crimes of the Heart, As Is, Burn This, Penn & Teller: The Refrigerator Tour, Redwood Curtain (Tony nomination), Coastal Disturbances, The Water Engine, and Fifth of July (Tony nomination).  He served as Resident Lighting Designer for Circle Repertory Company from 1975 to 1995 and he is an Affiliate Artist of People's Light & Theatre Company. He has received an Obie, several DramaLogue Awards, the Drama Desk Award and an ariZoni Award for his designs; Josh Schmidt (Composer/Sound Designer) designed the Broadway production of Brighton Beach Memoirs.  Off-Broadway, he has worked as Composer/Co-Author on ADD1NG MACH1N3 and Whida Peru.  He has composed incidental scores for When the Rain Stops Falling, Fifty Words and was Sound Designer for Crime and Punishment among many others.  In Chicago, he was Composer/Co-Author of A Minister's Wife and has been Composer/Sound Designer for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Writers' Theatre (Associate Artist) and many others.  His regional credits include over 100 productions at venues across the country including The Kennedy Center, Ford's Theatre, Seattle Rep, Alley Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Kansas City Rep, South Coast Rep, American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, and many others; Glenn Bruner is the Production Stage Manager; and Jennifer Bazzell is the Dramaturg.

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Arizona Theatre Company offers accessibility services for patrons with disabilities for select performances.  Audio Description provides patrons with vision loss a running audio description of the movement and activities onstage through an infrared broadcast system. 

An Audio-described performance is offered on February 10 at 2:00 PM.  Interested patrons with vision loss may request a tactile tour one hour prior to curtain.  American Sign Language Interpretation is presented by professional, theatrically-trained ASL-interpreters for people who have deafness or hearing impairment. 

An ASL-interpreted performance is offered on February 11, 2011 at 7:30 PM.  Open-captioning allows patrons to read the play's dialogue on an LED screen as the play progresses.

An open-captioned performance is offered on February 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM.  For open-captioned or ASL-interpreted performances, patrons should request seats best suited to ASL interpretation or captioning when purchasing tickets.  Large print and Braille playbills and infrared listening amplification devices are also available at every ATC performance with reservation.  TTY access for the box office is available in Tucson at (520) 884-9723 or via Arizona Relay at (800) 367-8939 (TTY/ASCII).

Tickets start at $30 depending on date and section choice and are available at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling the box office at (520) 622-2823.

Discounts are available for students, seniors and active military on specific performance days.  Half-price rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability).

Ten Dollar Tuesday for TEN CHIMNEYS is January 25 at 7:30 PM.  Balcony seats for this preview performance are available for a suggested $10 donation.  (Tickets must be purchased at the ATC box office starting at 10 AM on January 25.  Seating is first-come first served and is not guaranteed.  Cash only, please.  Two tickets per person maximum.)

For discounts on groups of eight or more, call (520) 622-2823. Or, visit www.arizonatheatre.org.