MIDDLEBURY, Vt. and NEW YORK, NY – PTP/NYC (Potomac Theatre Project), in association with Middlebury College, has announced its 28th repertory season, running from July 8-August 10 at The Atlantic Stage 2, located at 330 West 16th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in New York City. The Off-Broadway company, which was founded by Middlebury professors Richard Romagnoli and Cheryl Faraone, along with Boston University's Jim Petosa, specializes in creating socially and politically acute theatre for the 21st century.
This season’s line-up includes the U.S. Premiere of Howard Barker’s Gertrude: The Cry, directed by Romagnoli, and a revival of David Edgar’s Pentecost, directed by Faraone. Previews begin on July 8 and openings begin on July 15.
Middlebury's theatre program first staged Pentecost on campus in the fall of 2013, then brought the massive production to the National American College Theatre Festival, where it won eight national awards, including production, direction, design, acting, and ensemble work.
Gertrude: The Cry is Barker’s startling response to Hamlet. In this new world of Elsinore, Barker defends Hamlet’s reviled mother and her adulterous affair with Claudius, depicting them as lovers driven beyond reason.
|A scene from Howard Barker's Gertrude: The Cry.
This summer, 12 Middlebury students will be joining the PTP/NYC company, 10 in acting and two in costume design. Prior to taking residence at The Atlantic Stage 2, the company spends three weeks in preparation at Middlebury, including daily 5-hour rehearsals for each show. Company members also work on sets, props, and costumes.
The long days in Middlebury pay off when the company arrives in New York, says Faraone. "The actors and crew all get to know each other very well, which is a positive process that is invaluable for creating the onstage chemistry and trust-building that make for exciting acting."
The 10 Middlebury student actors will be joined by 20 additional actors, including 13 Middlebury graduates from the years 1988-2014, two of whom are now Middlebury professors. Faraone says it is by far the largest PTP company in the organization's 28-year history.
For most of the students, it's their first foray into New York's professional theatre world. "PTP is incredible for the members of the student company because we have the opportunity to work and act alongside professional actors," said Mari Vial-Golden ’14, who is going into her second season with the company. "We also serve as the crew for both shows, which lets us see behind the scenes of a professional theatre company, and gain the technical skills necessary for putting on a full production."
For detailed descriptions of this summer's productions, as well as show times and ticket information, visit PTP/NYC online.
By Stephen Diehl, Photos: PTP/NYC