Quotidian Theatre Company opens its amazing 2017 season with the haunting and darkly funny THE NIGHT ALIVE, by Conor McPherson.
The often dark, at times violent, drama about the relationship among five highly imperfect people is also infused with black comedy as these sad souls fumble in the darkness toward the light. The piece is set in a run-down house in Dublin which is now inhabited by Tommy, a fifty-something layabout. He does odd jobs with his friend, Doc, and has a tense relationship with his Uncle Maurice, who owns the house. These men on the margin of society live day to day, barely surviving in the junk and squalor of the bedsit.
One night, Tommy brings home Aimee, who has been beaten by her boyfriend, Kenneth, and everyone’s lives are changed forever.
“With its focus on these very flawed people, you would think this piece would be very bleak,” says Jack Sbarbori, Quotidian’s Artistic Director, and the play’s director. “But, in reality, it is a portrait of ordinary personalities, placed in extraordinary and dangerous circumstances. MacPherson’s genius lies in taking this situation, and finding the humor and warmth in it.”
Quotidian has a long history of producing McPherson’s work, including the United States premiere of THE VEIL. Join us on 6 November for a post-performance talk-back with director Jack Sbarbori and his cast, moderated by McPherson expert/author Professor Gerald Wood.
THE NIGHT ALIVE opens on October 21, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and runs through November 20.
Fans of Rick Foucheux, David Dubov, and Steve LaRocque will relish this rare opportunity to see them on stage together in Eugene O’Neill’s HUGHIE on 30 October for a QTC Fundraiser. Tickets available now!
One of the D.C.-area’s most esteemed and beloved actors, Rick Foucheux, reprises his acclaimed portrayal of Erie Smith in American master playwright Eugene O’Neill’s one-act HUGHIE in a benefit performance for QTC. Foucheux is joined by QTC favorites David Dubov and Steve LaRocque.
HUGHIE is set in the lobby of a small hotel on a West Side street in midtown New York during the summer of 1928. Small-time hustler Erie Smith (Foucheux) laments to the hotel’s new night clerk Charlie Hughes (Dubov), how Smith’s luck has gone bad since the death of Hughie, Hughes’ predecessor. LaRocque (Hickey in QTC’s THE ICEMAN COMETH and James Tyrone in A LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT) will read O’Neill’s detailed stage directions.
Foucheux’s Helen Hayes-nominated performance directed by the Washington Stage Guild’s late director, John MacDonald, was hailed by the Washington Post as “haunting” and “beautifully acted.”
Join Foucheux, Dubov, and LaRocque after the show for a drink and bite to eat in the lobby. And, come early (6 pm) to take part in the silent auction with theatre ticket donations from Signature, Round House, Flying V, and QTC, as well as spa services from Salon Fusion.
Please consider supporting QTC with a tax-deductible donation in addition to the general ticket price of $50 for this benefit. The donation can be included in one of the specially priced donor tickets for which you will receive a statement from QTC for your 2016 taxes.
“I’m also going to make a point of seeing The Night Alive, Conor McPherson’s NY-Drama-Circle-Award-Winning Play, when it comes to Quotidian on October 20. The Irish have a patent on loneliness and failure of the sexual imagination, and it gets full play in this story of two (straight) men who share a room and a hardscrabble business. When one of them rescues a prostitute from a beating and takes her home with him, it disrupts more than their lives. Quotidian, which produces its work in a small theater within the Bethesda Writer’s Center, specializes in the subtle and the underplayed, which is just perfect for this play.”
Read the glowing review of the show by Chekhov scholar and reviewer Andrew White on Broadway World.
Here’s a sample that we really like…
“As Anna, Chekhov’s heroine, Chelsea Mayo captures the quiet desperation of a woman who has been taught her whole life to deny herself everything-and who genuinely struggles with the prospect of happiness, especially because it comes so furtively. She is romanced by the shore at Yalta by Dmitry, played here with relish by Ian Blackwell Rogers, an admitted roué but one who has found in Anna the soul-harbor he had sought for so many years. Their respective spouses are played here by pianist Roberts and violinist Kharazian; in keeping with the story’s conceit, both actors portray them as the very models of stale conformity, each creating an emotional void which Anna and Dmitri are desperate to escape.
“Guiding us gently through the story’s twists and turns is none other than Anton Chekhov himself, played with discretion and charm by David Dubov. One of Mumford’s most effective strokes here is to have Anton interact constantly with his characters, so that the tale is not so much an authorial fait accompli as matter of negotiation with the characters themselves.”
A few months ago, I was talking with a long-time Quotidian subscriber (in a situation far removed from any theater) about our then-upcoming production, A Lesson from Aloes. She told me that she had already made her reservation, and that she was looking forward to seeing “intimate theater” again.
Intimate theater. I had never thought about it much, but the Quotidian theater experience does indeed deserve to be called intimate. Our 99-seat performing space at the Writer’s Center brings you close to the play, no matter where your seat is. When I am in the audience, I usually sit no closer than the sixth row – a habit that comes from my days as a director, when I had to be sure that all my actors could make themselves heard. Even up there in the high places, I never feel that I am removed from the play – and, yes, I can hear every word.
But why is this kind of theater particularly desirable? Partly because it’s harder to find. Look almost everywhere, and you see theaters – along with everything else – getting bigger, more grandiose, with legions of lights, huge projections, and turntables that snap characters and sets into place from opposite ends of the stage. All of it clever, but does the wizardry make for a good play? Not necessarily.
In fact, in a lot of ways, low-tech, close-up shows like ours are more demanding, on both sides of the curtain. On the Quotidian stage, the audience can see just about everything, including the tiny details: the framed pictures of prize fighters on the walls of Harry Hope’s bar in The Iceman Cometh; the titles of Tesman’s beloved books on the shelves in Hedda Gabler; the football club banners on the walls of the chipper in This Lime Tree Bower. Heaven help you if you don’t get the details right; somebody will let you know. We make a point of getting them right.
More importantly, an intimate setting helps the audience focus on what we all come to theater for: the characters, the lines, the story. In this respect, I will put Quotidian up against any other theater going. Think of David Dubov, as Piet Bezuidenhout in the opening scene of A Lesson from Aloes, holding an aloe plant in his hand, thumbing through his field- book, and contemplating the astounding possibility that he may have discovered a hitherto unknown species. In a scene like this, the smallest things are important: the turn of the head, a fugitive smile, the light irony in the voice as Piet tries out a Latin name for a hypothetical new species. You can savor every detail, because you are there; you could be a guest in the room. That’s intimate theater.
It’s the kind of theater that we have always tried to offer, and hope to be able to for a long time to come. No surprise, the economics of theater haven’t changed a bit: the ticket sales and subscriptions cover only a fraction of the operating expenses. And we try to keep the expenses about as low as possible. We continue to have zero – zero – full-time paid staff, so that the dollars go overwhelmingly into the productions themselves. Including every donation dollar. We only come to you once a year with our summer fundraising campaign, so please consider making a donation to Quotidian today – and be assured that you will see the results on stage, very close to wherever you happen to be sitting.
Your tax-deductible gift helps QTC give back to the DC-area community, by…
Offering free theater tickets to Veterans and their families via VetTix.
Providing discounted tickets to students, seniors, and others on fixed incomes.
Collaborating with Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, which has added QTC to its intern program.
Hiring established, outside-QTC directors Laura Giannarelli and Stevie Zimmerman.
Providing opportunities to rising local talents–director Michael Avolio and actors Sara Dabney Tisdale, Jenny Donovan, Jonathan Feuer, James Flanagan, Carolyn Kashner, David Mavricos, Chelsea Mayo, Zach Roberts, and Chris Stinson.
Enlightening patrons with free post-show discussions and dramaturg sessions for subscribers.
DC Theater Scene’s Roy Mauer in his review of The Veil honored QTC with these words about its role in the local theater community, “…distinctionis due the modest playhouse on Walsh Street for arranging the U.S. premiere of The Veil right in our own Bethesda. Quotidian has now presented seven of Conor McPherson’s works, including three area premieres, a tremendous creditto the local theater scene.”
For those of you who feel the same, please help us bring affordable, downtown-quality theater to our neighborhood. We are profoundly grateful to ALL of our loyal patrons and donors. We wouldn’t be here without you!
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Quotidian Theatre Company continues its dynamic 2016 season with the the lovely and haunting The Lady With the Little Dog, adapted from the beloved short story and directed by Stephanie Mumford.
Two strangers in 1901 Yalta – one seeking to escape his boring Moscow routine, the other in quest of a meaningful life beyond Saratov – discover what they have been searching for in each other. But, can they hold on to it? Anton Chekhov’s classic short story – his quotidian take on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina – receives an imaginative staging with live classical Russian music.
Coming off the Helen Hayes-recommended production of her adaptation of Chekhov’s A Little Trick, Mumford uses Russian classical music and artworks by Aivazovsky to create the setting for this classic love story.
“I wanted to take a story I felt deeply about, and bring it to life,” says Mumford. “There are so many elements of beauty and passion that leap off the page for the reader, the best way, I felt, was to adapt it into a theatrical experience, complete with music and art – elements that Chekhov references throughout. It will be a unique piece, and something in keeping with Quotidian’s intimate stagings of truth and beauty in the everyday.”
The Lady With the Little Dog opens on July 8, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and runs through August 7.
Dates & Times – Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm with an added 2pm Saturday matinee on 6 August
Venue – 4508 Walsh Street in Bethesda, MD 20815 (at the Writer’s Center, where QTC is the resident theater company)
Prices – $30 Regular, $25 Seniors, and $15 Students/Writer Center Members
Fri, July 8, 8pm
Sat, July 9, 8pm
Sun, July 10, 2pm
Fri, July 15, 8pm
Sat, July 16, 8pm
Sun, July 17, 2pm
Fri, July 22, 8pm
Sat, July 23, 8pm
Sun, July 24, 2pm
Fri, July 29, 8pm
Sat, July 30, 8pm
Sun, July 31, 2pm
Fri, August 5, 8pm
Sat, August 6, 2pm
Sat, August 6, 8pm
Sun, August 7, 2pm
Tickets for the general public are available at Brown Paper Tickets (http://qtclady.bpt.me/) or by calling the Quotidian Theatre Company box office at 301-816-1023.