We Are a Masterpiece takes place at the dawn of the AIDS crisis, when the disease was still a mystery. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, Joan, a no-nonsense nurse, becomes a sort of fairy godmother to the town’s gay community when no one else will step up to care for them as they die one by one. She becomes their friend, their mother, their sister, as they navigate life and death with this new plague; caring for them, taking in John - an artist who becomes like a son to her, burying the dead on her property. Out of the ashes of their collective lives, lifelong bonds are forged and beauty is found even at the darkest of moments.
Produced by Retro Productions
The production stars Heather E. Cunningham, Pilar Gonzalez, Sam Heldt, Chad Miller, Ben Schnickel, Ric Sechrest, Sara Thigpen, and Matthew Trumbull.
The creative team includes set design by Rebecca Cunningham, costume design by Viviane Galloway, sound design by Jacob Subotnick, lighting design by Asa Lipton, properties design by Sara Slagle, and stage management by Elizabeth Ramsey. Heather E. Cunningham (Producing Artistic Director) and Sara Slagle (Associate Producer) serve as producers on the production.
Saturday, April 7 @ 8:00 pm (Opening Night)
About the Company: Retro Productions
It is the mission of Retro Productions to present works of retro theatre. Retro is defined as "involving, relating to, or reminiscent of things past (American Heritage Dictionary)." At Retro Productions we will strive to tell good theatrical stories which have an historical perspective -with an emphasis on the 20th century- in order to broaden our own understanding of the world we live in. We believe through stories of human lives and struggles, both dramatic and comedic, we can understand social history and culture and how it affects us today.
Retro received recognition from their first two productions of Catholic School Girls and Mrs. California (as River Heights Productions) then gathered momentum in their third season with the Retro production of Still Life. Also directed by Ric Sechrest, Still Life received accolades from playwright Emily Mann: "Your production got it...Every aspect of the experience was first rate. Retro is clearly a company dedicated to creating impeccable work that truly matters," and Heather E. Cunningham's performance was honored alongside Romeo and Juliet’s Lauren Ambrose and August: Osage County’s Deanna Dunagan as one of Backstage's ‘2007 Performances to Remember’.
Retro Productions put themselves on the map in their fourth season producing Sally Nemeth's Mill Fire and What I Did Last Summer, called "...first-rate: brisk, sweet and occasionally quite moving," by playwright A.R. Gurney. This, their first season in residence at The Spoon Theater, garnered six 2008 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations: two for performance and four for design, a New York Magazine ‘Off-off Broadway pick’ and the growing reputation of ‘the finished effect of a Retro Production’ (The Fab Marquee, Mill Fire). Kicking off with The Tender Trap and concluding with When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder? Retro's fifth season is proving that with a design team that has the ability to achieve 'theatrical time travel,' (The Fab Marquee) and "a powerful display of New York's dramatic talent," (offoffonline) Retro Productions is “...becoming a reliable source for first-class work.” (United Stages).
Theater: 14th St. Y Theater
Address: 344 East 14th Street
New York, NY
Cost:$25 (general admission) and $22 (students/seniors)
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