American Theatre of Actors

Todays Date: 12/07/19
Last Update: 05/09/16 01:14:04 AM
 
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The American Theatre of Actors was founded in 1976 by James Jennings, who continues as its President and Artistic Director. It is a repertory theatre company consisting of 50 actors, 20 playwrights and 10 directors. Its purpose is to promote the development of new playwrights, directors and actors and provide them a creative atmosphere in which to work without the pressures of commerical theatre. The plays are dramas and comedies dealing with the social and ethical problems of contemporary society. Over 800 new works have been presented and more than 8000 actors have worked at ATA, including Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Dan Lauria, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin O'Connor, Kevin Spacey, William Fichtner and Edie Falco.


Schedule of Upcoming Productions

No New Productions Scheduled

Production History

Ajax  | Open: 05/25/16 Close: 05/29/16
Ajax tells the story of the great Greek general during the Trojan War, who, deprived of the recognition due to him, goes insane and commits suicide.  

Prior to the beginning of the play, Ajax is enraged because his cousin Achilles' armor was awarded to Odysseus, rather than to him. He vows to kill the Greek leaders who disgraced him. Before he can enact his extraordinary revenge, though, he is tricked by the goddess Athena into believing that the sheep and cattle that were taken by the Achaeans as spoil are the Greek leaders. He slaughters some of them, and takes the others back to his home to torture, including a ram which he believes to be his main rival, Odysseus.

Ajax realizes what he has done and is in agony over his actions. Ajax’s pain is not because of his wish to kill Agamemnon and Odysseus. He is extremely upset that Athena fooled him and is sure that the other Greek warriors are laughing at him. Ajax contemplates ending his life due to his shame. His concubine, Tecmessa, pleads for him not to leave her and her child unprotected. Ajax then gives his son, Eurysakes, his shield. Ajax leaves the house saying that he is going out to purify himself and bury the sword given to him by Hector. Teucer, Ajax’s brother, arrives in the Greek camp to taunting from his fellow soldiers. Kalchas warns that Ajax should not be allowed to leave his tent until the end of the day or he will die. Teucer sends a messenger to Ajax’s campsite with word of Kalchas’ prophecy. Tecmessa and soldiers try to track him down, but are too late. Ajax had indeed buried the sword, but has left the blade sticking out of the ground and has impaled himself upon it.

Sophocles lets us hear the speech Ajax gives immediately before his suicide (which, unlike in most Greek tragedies, where action and death are reported, is called for to take place onstage), in which he calls for vengeance against the sons of Atreus (Menelaus and Agamemnon) and the whole Greek army. Ajax also wishes for the first to find his body to be Teucer, so that he is not found by an enemy and his body left without a proper burial. Tecmessa is the first to discover Ajax impaled on his sword, with Teucer arriving shortly after. He orders that Eurysakes be brought to him so that he will be safe from Ajax’s foes. Menelaus appears on the scene and orders the body not to be moved.

The last part of the play revolves around the dispute over what to do with Ajax's body. Ajax's half brother Teucer intends on burying him despite the demands of Menelaus and Agamemnon that the corpse is not to be buried. Odysseus, although previously Ajax's enemy, steps in and persuades them to allow Ajax a proper funeral by pointing out that even one's enemies deserve respect in death, if they were noble. The play ends with Teucer making arrangements for the burial (which is to take place without Odysseus, out of respect for Ajax).

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As You Like It  | Open: 09/06/06 Close: 09/23/06
The American Theatre of Actors presents in its outdoor theater As You Like It, Shakespeare's popular, light-hearted comedy, which contrasts civilized court life with pastoral innocence and skewers many conventions of love and society. Banished from the "envious" court and seeking refuge in the idyllic Forest of Arden, Rosalind (Jessica Lynn Jennings), disguised as a boy, woos and eventually marries her love, Orlando (Raul Julia, Jr.), also banished there. Along the way she is reunited with her banished father, the duke, and manages to arrange the marriages of three other couples frolicking in the forest.

The company, directed by James Jennings, includes Jane Bacon (Phoebe, a disdainful shepherdess), Charles Baker (Corin, a shepherd), Michael Bordwell (William, a country youth in love with Audrey, Dennis, and a Lord), Ned Cray (Duke Senior, the exiled duke), Marie Darden (Audrey, a goat keeper), Tim Dudek (Touchstone, a court Fool), Bill Growney (Silvius, a young shepherd in love), William Greville (Duke Frederick, the usurping duke, and Hymen, god of marriage), Paul Hansen (Le Beau, a courtier at Duke Fredrick's court, and Amiens, a lord attending Duke Senior in exile), Jessica Lynn Jennings (Rosalind, daughter to Duke Senior), Raul Julia, Jr. (Orlando, youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys), Katherine Poklemba (Celia, Rosalind's cousin, daughter to Duke Frederick), Stephan Scheck (Charles, wrestler at Duke Frederick's court, and Jaques, a lord attending Duke Senior in exile), Marvin Schwartz (Adam, servant to Oliver and friend to Orlando), and James Wirt (Oliver, Orlando's elder brother).

For reservations call 212-581-3044

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Avoid Direct Sunlight  | Open: 10/28/09 Close: 11/01/09
A man in his thirties, on the verge of divorce, moves back with his parents and has to deal with the family dynamics, especially with his younger brother who has retreated from the world.  The cast features:  William Greville, Thomas Leverton, Valerie O'Hara, and Adam Smith.

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By The Sea  | Open: 01/18/06 Close: 01/22/06
At the end of summer on Cape Cod, three lovers come to terms with their relationships and confront their futures with the choices love has helped them make.
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Coffee & Fools  | Open: 06/11/08 Close: 06/15/08
Brian, a young, aspiring writer, and the resident poster boy for Romantics 'R Us, struggles with post collegiate life as his ex-girlfriend suddenly reinserts herself in his life when his roommate and best friend, Nicole, bursts into their living room and unceremoniously delivers the news that she "saw Debbie." Brian immediately becomes consumed by the thought of Debbie being in the same state, the same city, possibly even the same neighborhood as him again, and peppers Nicole with every question that comes to mind: "How'd she look?...What was she wearing?...A jacket?...What type of jacket?...A hat?...What color?...Does she still drink hazelnut butterscotch coffee?"

Like all tortured writers, Brian decides to brew in his anxiety for several days while Nicole dutifully plays the role of a good friend who is there to catch you when you hit bottom - a friend who is also willing to use your fall down to rock bottom as her own personal entertainment. After waffling over his options, Brian decides to face his inner demon, which just so happens to be an aging hipster named Spencer who is engaged to his ex-girlfriend. Spencer, who insists everyone calls him "Spence," wears a leather fedora, lives his life by a gold-leafed book of clichéd Chinese proverbs, and staunchly conforms to non-conformity while writing lyrical non fiction essays about things like poison ivy. Spencer is the anti-Brian, and like anyone who has ever met an ex's new crush, Brian can't believe that they are in the same league.

Debbie's resurfacing forces Brian to ask a question that has been plaguing him since the end of their relationship; a question that could potentially end the angst that has been fueling his career if he asks, but risks losing who he has always been if he does not; a question that anyone who has had a relationship go South has asked themselves hundreds of thousands of times: "Can people change?"

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Edward II  | Open: 03/30/05 Close: 04/17/05
Edward II, the first great history play in English, tells the story of the problematic reign and tragic death of Edward II, who reigned from 1307-1327. Edward was unable to control the rebellious English barons and was defeated miserably by the Scots in the Battle of Bannockburn. His reign was further complicated by his infatuation with two homosexual lovers--first Piers Gaveston, then Hugh Spencer (an ancestor of the late Princess of Wales). All of this makes for a a tremendously exciting play.
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Greyhounds  | Open: 07/13/05 Close: 07/17/05
Circumstance brings together two vastly different women at a rural Oklahoma bus stop in the wee hours of the morning, beginning a dance of hurt, humor, and intense longing for connection that could bridge the gap over two painful pasts. A horrible discovery mid-way through the night proves to be a catalyst for revelation, transformation, and, ultimately, that desperate link. Are these women truly opposites? Who will they be when the next bus comes?
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Hamlet  | Open: 06/29/05 Close: 07/10/05
After a successful run in May, James Jennings' tightly-paced production of the entire, uncut text of HAMLET re-opens at the American Theatre of Actors

In modern performance, Shakespeare's plays are often cut, and further adapted somehow. While such productions may be excellent, too often they end up losing—first by cutting, then by dressing up—the heart of the play. This show does the opposite, favoring the style of Shakespeare's original productions: It lays bare the drama, with a nearly empty stage and simple costumes letting the focus fall on a play that deserves it.

At the opening of HAMLET, the title character is mourning the recent death of his father, the king of Denmark, as well as his mother's swift marriage to his uncle Claudius, who has now ascended to the throne. Even as Hamlet bemoans these events, he is visited by his father's ghost, who tells how he was in fact murdered by the scheming Claudius. This sets in motion a plot that eventually consumes the whole of the monarchy. The powerful ensemble performance by this talented cast allows the audience to fully understand and appreciate this great play.

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Measure for Measure  | Open: 06/07/06 Close: 06/24/06
For its twenty-sixth Shakespeare production, American Theatre of Actors presents in its Outdoor Theater "Measure for Measure," Shakespeare's comedy about the law, in which a judge falls in love with the sister of a man he has sentenced to die and apparently finds himself guilty of the same offense as the condemed brother. The scene between brother and sister is "one of the dramatic pinnacles of Shakespeare" (Goddard). Directed by James Jennings.

Michael Henry Harris, The Duke; David Demato, Angelo, the Deputy; Lauren Waisbren, Isabella, sister to Claudio; Chad Mills, Claudio, a young gentleman; Gregory O'Conner, Lucio, a worldly gentleman; Dustin Smallheer, Pompey, tapster to Mistress Overdone; Erin Maya Darke, Mistress Overdone/Francisca, the Nun; Kevin C. Woods, Elbow, the Constable; Charles Baker, Escalus, an ancient Lord; Christopher Thornton, Provost; Paul Hansen, Justice/Executioner/Friar Thomas and Friar Peter; Brett Fleischer, Froth, a gentleman /Barnadine, a prisoner; Cara Maltz, Mariana, betrothed to Angelo; Katherine Poklema, Juliet, beloved of Claudio/Gentleman; Marie Darden, Gentleman

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North To Maine: A Journey On The Appalachian Trail  | Open: 07/16/14 Close: 08/03/14
Inspired by the playwrights own personal experiences while walking the full length of the Appalachian Trail, North To Maine is the first play ever written about this treasure of the American landscape and the thru-hikers who attempt to walk every one of its estimated 2,180 miles within a single season. The story follows five such thru-hikers as they travel north. Adam, a recent college graduate searching for purpose is joined by Kevin, a sagely former marine and Vietnam veteran; “Creature Man,” a young and judgmental entrepreneur who has lost his business (and maybe some of his mind); “Juice-Box,” a young schoolteacher who is one of the few women on the trail; and “Rock-Stabber,” a former marine/gear tester/jazz singer who has the unfortunate (and annoying) habit of constantly singing, especially late into the evenings when everyone else is trying to go to sleep. Note: North To Maine contains brief nudity.

Eric Parness directs a cast of five including Samantha Rivers Cole, Tim Dowd, Michael Raymond Fox, Adam La Faci, and Winston Shaw.

 


About the Company: American Theatre of Actors

The American Theatre of Actors was founded in 1976 by James Jennings, who continues as its President and Artistic Director. It is a repertory theatre company consisting of 50 actors, 20 playwrights and 10 directors. Its purpose is to promote the development of new playwrights, directors and actors and provide them a creative atmosphere in which to work without the pressures of commerical theatre. The plays are dramas and comedies dealing with the social and ethical problems of contemporary society. Over 800 new works have been presented and more than 8000 actors have worked at ATA, including Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Dan Lauria, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin O'Connor, Kevin Spacey, William Fichtner and Edie Falco.

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Puleio Dance Festival  | Open: 05/14/09 Close: 05/16/09
Dante Puleio of  Lifetime TV's Your Mama Don't Dance along with Royal Family Productions brings you Puleio Dance Festival. An evening of contemporary dance featuring the works of Puleio with guest choreographers Phoebe Kelly and Jonathan Fredrickson. Puleio is dedicated to being the vehicle for making modern dance accessible to everyone. The goal of Puleio is to strip away the walls of mystery that sometimes shroud modern dance and keep it from becoming a stale artform. Puleio is a company soon to be forced into the spotlight, being recognized for its clarity and viewpoint, and the dancers for their elegance, beauty, fierce athleticism, and their boundless energy. 

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The Clouds  | Open: 07/08/09 Close: 07/25/09
In this satire on education, a middle-aged buffoon goes back to school in order to learn how to cheat his creditors out of the money he owes them.  When he cannot comprehend the lessons taught by the famous Socrates, he sends his son instead.  But the son learns the lessons too well and turns on his father.  Appearing in the production are:  Ned Lynch, Joseph Scura, Vincent Bivona, David James Olsen, Vincent Ianuzzi, Erin King, Emily Gallagher, and Jessica Cermak.

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The Mozart Plays--mozart & Salieri And The Stone Guest  | Open: 08/12/15 Close: 08/16/15
Two short plays about Mozart by Alexander Pushkin, taken from his Little Tragedies.  

"Mozart and Salieri," conceived the year after Salieri's death in 1836, dramatizes the theory that the older composer poisoned Mozart out of jealousy.

"The Stone Guest" is Pushkin's re-telling of the plot of Mozart's Don Giovanni, with a number of changes.

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The Taming Of The Shrew  | Open: 03/03/10 Close: 03/14/10
In THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Kate, the witty waspish shrew must be married off before her younger tamer sister. Petruchio who comes in search of a wife, must woo the wildcat Kate. A touching battle-of-the-sexes ensues, in which an unwilling bride has it out with her husband-to-be while he starves her out of her sulks! This slapstick, misogynistic, controversial tale will leave you laughing all the way home!

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We Will Always Talk This Way  | Open: 06/17/15 Close: 06/27/15
Six characters cross paths in a Park. Are they living out the same situation over and over? Will they always talk this way?
Claude is sweeping the leaves; James, is chasing his mother; Sarah is chasing James; and Bill is stalking Sarah... All the while a supernatural MAN is passing from past to present and offering new life choices. Will anyone break their cycle?

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Wondrous Day  | Open: 08/05/10 Close: 08/08/10
Guilt caused by a girlfriend’s death and a reunion with a deranged school chum ruin Trevor’s plans for a holiday of substance induced bliss

starring:

Joseph Aniska, Peter Bryan, Carolina Mesarina, Raúl Sigmund Juliá, and Elizabeth Weitzen

*created and revised by Joseph Aniska, Alex Hurt, and Larry Traiger

 

www.assiduityarts.com

 

(American Theater of Actors Presents: An Assiduity Arts Creation)


About the Company: American Theatre of Actors

The American Theatre of Actors was founded in 1976 by James Jennings, who continues as its President and Artistic Director. It is a repertory theatre company consisting of 50 actors, 20 playwrights and 10 directors. Its purpose is to promote the development of new playwrights, directors and actors and provide them a creative atmosphere in which to work without the pressures of commerical theatre. The plays are dramas and comedies dealing with the social and ethical problems of contemporary society. Over 800 new works have been presented and more than 8000 actors have worked at ATA, including Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Dan Lauria, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin O'Connor, Kevin Spacey, William Fichtner and Edie Falco.


 

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