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PTP/NYC: Territories

September 15 and 17, Thursday and Saturday
8:00 PM each evening
Mahaney Center for the Arts, Seeler Studio Theatre

The off-Broadway company PTP/NYC is a theatre powerhouse affiliated with Middlebury College, under the direction of founders Cheryl Faraone, Jim Petosa, and Richard Romagnoli. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, PTP/NYC comes to Middlebury to present two of this year’s offerings. Territories—a double bill of short plays by Steven Dykes—serves up The Spoils, the tale of an army official whose idealism is sorely tested by the women he is tasked with interrogating, and a light gathering of dust, an erotic, darkly humorous study of the damage inflicted on lovers by a state that successfully institutionalized personal betrayal. Directed by Cheryl Faraone. Post-performance discussion with the artists Thursday; 25thanniversary celebration Saturday. Sponsored by the Performing Arts Series and the Theatre Program.

Tickets: $25/20/6; on sale now or 802-443-MIDD (6433).

Please see the associated PTP/NYC performance of Spatter Pattern on Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. More info>>

Read press release here>>

About the Plays



a light gathering of dust


3........... Alex Draper ’88

2........... Megan Byrne ’96.5

1........... Stephanie Janssen ’99

Setting: A state in which personal betrayal has been effectively institutionalized.

Time:Two periods. Present Day and the Past. A distance of some years apart.


**10-minute Intermission**


The Spoils


Shilling, an interpreter...Alex Draper ’88

Loti, a secretary...........Nesba Crenshaw

Tala, a secretary..........Cori Hundt ’11

Dobra, a secretary........Gillian Durkee ’11.5

Kyat, a secretary..........Lilli Stein ’11

Guards ......................Michael Kessler ’11 and Christo Grabowski ’12

Setting: An occupied territory. The confines of an office / interrogation room: Upstage, a cell


Territories is directed by Cheryl Faraone (see bio below)

The Spoils was originally commissioned by Shady Dolls Theatre and premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008. The company revived it last year at the Sala El Granero Theatre in Cuenca, Spain and the ‘Grimeborn’ Festival at the Arcola Theatre, London.

a light gathering of dust was originally commissioned by NXT (New Cross Theatre) and premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2001.

(TERRITORIES opened July 7, 2011, Atlantic Stage 2 NYC for 12 performances  as part of PTP/NYC’s 25th season)



Notes on the plays:

Both The Spoils and a light gathering of dust are inspired by specific historical moments and movements.  It is a mistake, however, to make the assumption that the issues of betrayal, mistrust or the need to believe in some ideology (religious or secular) which promises redemption and progress are in any way limited by time, space or geography.  They are recognizably historical and perennially human issues.





Steven Dykes (Playwright, The Spoils and a light gathering of dust) Other plays include Homestead (Courtyard Theatre, London); Kolonists (Bridge Lane, London & the Pelican Studio, New York); The Happiness Compartment (Soho Rep, New York and Greenwich Playhouse, London); and The Swing Left (Unlimited Theatre, Oxford and Leeds). He has provided English versions of the Estonian play Cold Come, Cranes Gone (Bridge Lane, London and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh) and Leoncavallo’s La Bohéme for the ENO (Coliseum). Territories is the fruition of a long association with PTP/NYC, including staged readings of both plays as well as Dykes and Englishby’s Amnesia and Other Means of Escape.

Paul Englishby (Composer, Territories) A graduate of Goldsmiths’ College and the Royal Academy of Music, he received the Academy’s Charles Lucas prize for composition. Paul wrote the music for the film Ten Minutes Older featuring works from award winning directors Spike Lee, Werner Herzog, Bernardo Bertolucci, Mike Figgis and Jean Luc-Goddard and his score for Miss Pettigrew Lives for Day won the 2009 ASCAP award (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). Recent projects include the original scores for the Oscar nominated An Education; ITV’s An Englishman in New York starring John Hurt; The Thief of Baghdad for the Royal Opera House, choreographed by Will Tuckett; and the music for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s critically acclaimed season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labours Lost and David Tennant’s Hamlet (and the subsequent film version). Composition for BBC television includes the thriller Luther starring Idris Elba and the science fiction epic, Outcasts.

Englishby & Dykes 
Over the past twenty years, Paul Englishby and Steven Dykes have collaborated on an impressive range of projects for stage and screen. Musical Theatre productions include amnesia and other means of escape (Young Vic); coming to our senses (Barn Theatre, Rose Bruford); and Visitation (Oval House). Dykes provided lyrics for Englishby’s BBC ‘Sound on Films’ Pictures On A Piano and The Score; music-documentary Hidden Voices (BBC); and oratorio, The Flood, recorded by the Tallis Chamber Choir. Englishby composed music for Dykes’ plays The Process and a light gathering of dust and the String Quartet for Dykes’ and Annabelle Comyn’s screenplay Sonata.


The Acting Company

Megan Byrne ’96.5 (2, a light gathering of dust) is currently teaching in the Middlebury College Theatre Department for the fall semester. She has previously appeared in PTP/NYC’s The EuropeansNo End of Blame (NYIT Award - Best Featured Actress) and ...we’re having fun NOW! New York credits include: Alice in War (SPF), Speak Truth to Power (The Culture Project), Silent Laughter (Lamb’s Theatre), The Voice of the Turtle (Keen Company), Either/OrDido Furens (New York Fringe Festival).   Regional credits: Denver Center Theatre Company (5 plays including the world premiere of When Tang Met Laika - Ovation Award Nomination), O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Virginia Stage Company, Geva Theatre, Pioneer Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center and the Kennedy Center.  Film: Julie & Julia (with Meryl Streep), The ReboundGhost TownBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead. TV: Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, Blue Bloods, The Prince of Motor City (ABC pilot), Kings, All My Children, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 3 Lbs., Ed, and a recurring role on Law & Order.  She received an MFA from UC Irvine, and a BA from Middlebury College.


Nesba Crenshaw (Loti, The Spoils) has performed in the U.S. and the U.K. and is pleased to be back in the States making her debut with the PTP/NYC. Her work in theatre includes Chapter Two at the Gielgud Theatre and An Argentinian Moment at the Old Vic (West End, U.K.); The Spoils, NXT/ Shady Dolls Co-production, simultaneous broadcast on-line/ live performance (U.K.); A Light Gathering of Dust at the Gateway Theatre (U.K.); Pinter’s Women, NXT (U.K.), Safety, Unlimited Theatre national tour (U.K.); Laughter on the 23rd Floor at the Library Theatre Manchester (U.K.); F**king Martin, the Gay Sweatshop national tour (U.K.); Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theatre, MN; Serious Money at the Theatre Exchange, MN; Katzelmacher at Frank Theatre, MN; Jupiter and Elsewhere at Capitol Rep, NY; Six Characters at Chicago Dramatist’s Workshop. Her work in television includes The Untouchables, Civil War Letters, Calypso, Coronation Street, and Goodbye, My Love.

Alex Draper ’88 (3, a light gathering of dust; Shilling, The Spoils) is a graduate of Middlebury College, and a founding member of PTP/NYC, appearing most recently in their productions of Plevna: Meditations on Hatred, Lovesong of the Electric Bear, No End of Blame, and Scenes from an Execution. Theatre credits include the New York premieres of Terrorism (New Group/Play Company); Get What You Need (Atlantic 457); Rose’s Dilemma (MTC); Endpapers (Variety Arts); Saint Crispin’s Day (Rattlestick); The Pitchfork Disney (Blue Light); and Oedipus (CSC/Blue Light); revivals of Waiting for Lefty and Golden Boy (Blue Light); and Scapin and The Triumph of Love (CSC); and regional productions at Yale Rep, Williamstown, Arena Stage, the Westport Playhouse, The McCarter, The Huntington, George Street, and The Berkshire Theatre Festival. Film: Yellowbrickroad, Joshua, Hysterical Blindness, Simply Irresistible, The Photographer, Kalapani, and Hard Shell.  TV: John Adams, Sex and the City, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, “Law and Order: CI, Suddenly Susan, and Ed.  Alex trained at the Yale School of Drama, and teaches at Middlebury College.

Stephanie Janssen ’99 (1, a light gathering of dust)Broadway: Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Roundabout Theatre). Off-Broadway and regional includes: PTSD, Beirut Rocks (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Absalom (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville/ Humana Festival), Against the Rising Sea (Queens Theatre in the Park), Amadeus (The Guthrie), Crave and Vampire (PTP), Blackbird (u/s Manhattan Theatre Club). Wrote and acted in The Umbrella Plays at NYC Fringe 2008 (Winner, Outstanding Play). TV/ Film: Law & Order, Everything is Ordinary. BA, Middlebury College; MFA, NYU.

Gillian Durkee ’11.5 (Dobra, The Spoils) is a student at Middlebury College pursuing a BA in Theatre.  Middlebury Credits include Reefer Madness, The Man Who Turned into a Stick (Hippie Girl), Comings and Goings, Talk Radio, Uncommon Women and Others (Samantha), The Europeans, and Eurydice (Eurydice). She will appear in Big Love later this semester.  She has also studied with the National Theatre Institute at the Moscow Art Theatre.

Cori Hundt ’11 (Tala, The Spoils) is a recent graduate of Middlebury College with a BA in Theatre and English. Middlebury credits include: Vanya, Hecuba, Voices of the Class, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Lovesong of the Electric Bear, The Europeans, Uncommon Women and Others, The Vagina Monologues, Severed Headshots and The 24-Hour Play Festival. She has also studied at the British American Drama Academy in London where credits include: The Arsonists and The Relapse. In 2010 she worked as an acting apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Michael Kessler ’11 (Guard) holds a BA from Middlebury College in Theatre and English. He performed in the 2011 PTP/NYC production of Victory (Ensemble)and the 2009 PTP/NYC production of Therese Raquin (Grivet). Middlebury acting credits include Victory (Clegg, ensemble), Vanya (Astrov), The Good Woman of Setzuan (Wong; Irene Ryan nomination), Hecuba (Talthybius), The Wild Party (Eddie), Road (Joey), The Credeaux Canvas (Winston), Twelfth Night (Sebastian), Jumpers (Ensemble), and Sweeney Todd (Ensemble).


Lilli Stein ’11 (Kyat, The Spoils) is a recent graduate of Middlebury College with a BA in Theatre and Russian. This is her second season with PTP/NYC; she appeared last summer in Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong of The Electric Bear. Recent Middlebury College roles include: Howard Barker’s Victory (Devonshire), George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara (Barbara), Tennessee Williams’ 27 Wagons Full of Cotton (Flora), Polly Teale’s After Mrs. Rochester (Jean Rhys), and Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong of the Electric Bear (Porgy Bear).




Off-Broadway theatre company Potomac Theatre Project reflects "the nightmares and hoaxes by which we live." The company, which is operated in association with Middlebury College, was founded in 1987 by the artistic triumvirate of Cheryl Faraone, Jim Petosa and Richard Romagnoli. PTP is an outgrowth of The New York Theatre Studio, an Off-Off Broadway company founded by Richard Romagnoli and Cheryl Faraone which produced in Manhattan from 1977-1985. During its 20 seasons (1987-2006) in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, the company produced 75 main stage productions along with numerous new play readings and late night experimental productions.

In the summer of 2007, Potomac Theatre Project (now PTP/NYC) returned to New York, continuing to redefine political theatre for the 21st century with an annual month-long repertory season encompassing full productions, readings and a variety of ancillary events.

In its 25 seasons, the voices of PTP/NYC’s writers have addressed the necessity and difficulty of art, pornography, AIDS, homelessness, censorship, totalitarianism, apartheid and gender wars, always in passionate, deeply human terms.
PTP/NYC’s association with Middlebury College is the only such collaboration in the country between a professional theatre company and an undergraduate liberal arts college.

Cheryl Faraone (Co-Artistic Director, PTP/NYC) is a co-founder and co-director of the company; she has produced all of PTP’s 25 seasons. Productions directed for PTP/NYC include Territories, Lovesong of the Electric Bear, Politics of Passion: the Plays of Anthony MinghellaAn Experiment with an Air Pump, Perfect Pie,After Dinner-JokeArcadia,StanleyMad Forest,  and more. She directed and produced in NY for eight seasons with PTP’s predecessor, the New York Theatre Studio. For the Olney Theatre Center she directed King of the Jews, The Real Thing and Anna Karenina. In New York, she worked on The American Clock and An Evening with Comden and Greene. Her work at Middlebury College, where she has taught theatre and women and gender studies since 1986, includes some 27 productions;most recently of The Good Woman of Setzuan, JumpersThe Heidi ChroniclesThe Five Hysterical Girls TheoremAn Experiment with an Air Pump,Top Girls,Anna Karenina and Perfect Pie. She is a graduate of Catholic University and Florida State University’s School of Theatre, and has been involved with ART/NY and the League of Washington Theatres.

Jim Petosa (Co-Artistic Director, PTP/NYC) is Director of the Boston University (BU) School of Theatre and Artistic Director of Maryland’s Olney Theatre Center (OTC) and the National Players educational touring company. Most recently in New York, Petosa directed Tom Stoppard and André Previn’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (Town Hall) and the operas Carmen and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (Helen Mills Theater) as part of the 2008/9 BU InCite Arts Festivals.  PTP credits include: Spatter Pattern, A Question of Mercy, Therese Raquin, Somewhere in the Pacific, Marisol, Dog Plays,Statements after an Arrest, and Good. Some OTC directing credits:DemocracyBrooklyn BoyCopenhagen,The Laramie Project, Art, The Miracle WorkerJacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Helen Hayes Award—Outstanding Musical Production). Theatre J’s Collected Stories (Helen Hayes nomination—Outstanding Direction). A member of AEA and the Dramatists Guild, Petosa has also served on the boards of SDC, Catalyst Theatre, and Playwrights Forum.

Richard Romagnoli(Co-Artistic Director, PTP/NYC) is a co-founder and co-director of the Potomac Theatre Project; his most recent productions for the company are Victory: Choices in Reaction, Gary the Thief & Plevna, The Europeans, Scenes from an Execution, No End of BlameThe American Dream and Press Conference/One for the Road.Other notable work for PTP includesThe Best ManNo Man’s LandPinter BriefsHavel: The Passion of Thought, The Castle and A Hard HeartMountain Language/New WorldOrder; and Vampire. His work for the Olney Theatre Center includes Private LivesCandidaThe HomecomingThe Importance of Being EarnestCamille. He is a professor of theatre at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he has directed numerous plays; most recently, Peter Barnes’ The Bewitched (American premiere), which was performed at the Kennedy Center as part of the American College Theatre Festival and Road. He also directed Italian-American Reconciliation for Project Y in Washington DC and A Hard Heart for Whistler in the Dark in Boston. Mr. Romagnoli trained at the School of Theatre at Florida State University.

Company website:



Press Reviews

"As is always the case with anything the Potomac Theatre Project creates, the production values are excellent, the direction is sure-handed, and the acting is vibrant, spacious, and assured. …it is a delight to watch the ease with which the three actors navigate the time and emotional shifts of the play in "The Spoils," the professorially bearded Alex Draper strikes just the right balance between idealism and pomposity as a music-loving interpreter stationed in an unnamed occupied territory."--Scene 4 Magazine

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