|The East End Plays: A Festival of Works by George F. Walker
| Open: 10/29/05 Close: 11/20/05
Sightlines Theatre Company honors acclaimed Canadian playwright George F. Walker
with a festival of six award-winning plays
Set in what is transparently a single neighborhood, THE EAST END PLAYS by George F. Walker is a series of related plays that explore the margins of contemporary urban life in the global village. Three of THE EAST END PLAYS -- "Love and Anger," "Criminals in Love," and "Tough!" -- will be presented for the first time ever in repertory. The remaining three -- "Better Living," "Escape from Happiness," and "Beautiful City" -- will be presented as readings.
Often cited as Canada's most frequently produced playwright, George F. Walker made his leap from cab driver to professional playwright in the early seventies by responding to a flyer seeking new works for The Factory Theatre in Toronto. After quickly becoming The Factory Theatre's resident playwright, Walker had a prolific career that spans over thirty years, includes twenty-six published plays, five Chalmer's Awards and two Governor General's Awards. His plays have been translated into German, French, Hebrew, Turkish, Polish and Czech, and receive continued success worldwide. In spite of his international popularity, Walker is still relatively unknown to the New York theater community.
The three EAST END PLAYS that will have fully staged productions, with lighting design by Evan O'Brient, sets by Ryan Kravetz, costumes by Cady Zuckerman and dramaturgy by Olivia Brinton, are:
CRIMINALS IN LOVE
October 29- November 20 -- Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8pm
Walker's award-winning play explores the lives--and modest fantasies of future happiness--of Gail and Junior, two young people in love. Overwhelmed by the pervasiveness of Junior's extended family of felons, he and Gail are forced to fall back upon a neighborhood philosopher/bum. Together, they make comic, yet poetic, attempts at a strategy to avoid not only the inevitability of Junior's destiny, but also the great shadow of the abyss.
Directed by Eileen Phelan, CRIMINALS IN LOVE costars Franklin Clay Boyd, David Colacci, Lila Donnolo, Faryl Millet, Melanie Rey and John Taylor.
LOVE AND ANGER
November 2-20; Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm
Walker's hilarious play follows a ragtag group of would-be activists hell-bent on defeating the corruption caused by a media mogul who runs the town. Their unlikely leader is Petie Maxwell, voice of the underdog and former corporate lawyer. Born-again after suffering a stroke, Maxwell becomes a social revolutionary with the will to remake the world -- one hopeless lawsuit at a time.
Directed by Lee Gundersheimer, LOVE AND ANGER costars Bill Balzac, Ted Hannan, Michael Kuhn, Cecil MacKinon, Jaquita Ta'le and Rae C. Wright.
November 12-November 20 -- Saturdays and Sundays at 5pm
Walker's dark comedy looks at a relationship on the edge of success or failure. Tina and Bobby face a tough decision: stay together and face the world or go their separate ways, hoping one day they'll come back together. Sometimes love has to be fierce.
Directed by Chris Mirto, TOUGH! costars Mary Cavett, Nick Scoullar and Nell Teare.
This first-ever George F. Walker festival also features three "Sunday Brunch Readings": BEAUTIFUL CITY (November 6th at 2:00pm) -- a journey through a city that has been given over to the interests and values of criminal developers, directed by Shelly Wyant; BETTER LIVING (November 13th at 1:00pm) -- an "Chekhovian vision" of a family paralyzed by a tyrannical father and husband, directed by Donna Linderman; and ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS (November 20th at 1:00pm) -- one of the most popular and funniest of THE EAST END PLAYS, directed by Gaye-Taylor Upchurch. Readings are free and open to the public with complimentary food and refreshments. Cast to be announced.