The Purchase Repertory Theatre presents New Plays Rep, featuring Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, December 7-15 in the Purchase College Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20; $15, seniors & non-Purchase students, and can be ordered by calling the Box Office at 914-251-6200 or visiting www.artscenter.org.
Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.
The Laramie Project, directed by Victoria Holloway, will be presented December 8, 12, 13 and 14 at 8 PM. Intimate Apparel, directed by A. Dean Irby, will be presented December 7 and 15 at 8 PM, and December 9 and 15 at 2 PM.
On October 7, 1998, a young gay college student was discovered bound to a fence in the hills outside Laramie, Wyoming, beaten and left to die in an act of hate that shocked the nation. Matthew Shepard's death became a national symbol of intolerance, but for the people of Laramie the event was very personal, and it is their voices we hear on stage.
The Laramie Project chronicles the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder, using 11 actors to embody more than 60 people in their own words—from rural ranchers to university professors. The Laramie Project is a winner of the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Award, and was considered one of the 10 best plays for the year 2000. The Laramie Project was written by Moises Kaufman and the members of the Tectonic Theatre Project.
Intimate Apparel tells the story of Ester, a shy, uneducated African-American seamstress in lower Manhattan around the turn of the century. Her sewing of intimate undergarments for woman of all walks of life makes her privy to their intimate secrets and lives. Her correspondence with George, a Barbadian working on the Panama Canal, begins to reveal the passionate and sensual side of an otherwise "Plain Jane." Their letter writing ultimately leads to a proposal and marriage, and the tender intimacy of their courtship by mail fades in the real world.
A. Dean Irby, co-chair of the Acting program in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film, is a veteran director and actor with more than 80 Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, regional and college productions over the past 20 years. He directed the Off-Broadway and national touring productions of One ‘Mo Time and Stagger Lee, and the Off-Broadway and London productions of Vernel Bagneris’ Jelly Roll, which received the 1995 Lucielle Lortel Award and Outer Critics Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. He has received two AUDELCO awards and has also directed at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, Crossroads Theatres and the Negro Ensemble Company, among others. As an actor, Mr. Irby has appeared in the Broadway and National Touring of The River Niger; the PBS children’s show Ghostwriter, for which he was also an acting coach; and was recurring as Marshall Taylor on the NBC daytime drama Another World. He has also appeared in over 80 national commercials. Mr. Irby served as acting coach on The Cosby Show and has appeared on that show, as well as Cosby.
Victoria Holloway, an actor and director in the professional regional theatre movement for the past 27 years, served as artistic director of three regional theatre companies—the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the Sun Valley Repertory Theatre and American Stage, Tampa Bay’s professional theatre. Ms. Holloway also served as the artistic director for Arizona State University’s theatre department in Tempe, where she taught in the directing program with Marshall W. Mason and is a Professor Emerita of Directing. Holloway is a resident director at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, where she directed the regional premier of The Lieutenant of Inishmore last season. She returns to Arizona State University in February to direct a workshop production of The Monster Inside, a new play by Laurie Brookes.
The Purchase Repertory Theatre, featuring students from the School of the Arts, Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film, creates exciting and bold interpretations of classic and contemporary plays while bringing to the stage for the first time the next generation of actors, designers and technicians.
The Purchase Repertory Theatre Season continues with Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, February 8-16; Derek Walcott’s The Odyssey, February 29-March 8; and Tennessee Williams’ American Blues, April 25-May 3.