NIGHT SEASONS by Horton Foote

Night Seasons

The play is framed by the occasion of Josie’s 93rd birthday, on which the old woman, who has outlived her husband and daughter, begins to realize that her longevity may be her punishment…

Night Seasons is an examination of the quietly destructive effects of a life defined by bank balances.  (Daughter) Laura Lee is shown as an unwilling but passive prisoner of this sensibility, who watched as her mother, father and ambitious brother sabotaged her chances for independence. Suitors were dismissed as financially undesirable and, in her 30’s, she was still living with her parents in rented hotel rooms and, later, an apartment, while pining for a home of her own.

–Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Featuring many Quotidian favorites and directed by Jack Sbarbori. Stay tuned for more details!

Night Seasons is made possible in part due to a generous donation from The Phase Foundation and Joan Hekimian.

Acting Backwards by Elliott Kashner

elliott-kashner-headshotQuotidian Theatre welcomes Elliott Kashner, who will be playing the charismatic Father Flynn in QTC’s upcoming production of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable. Even though rehearsals have not yet begun, Elliott was asked to provide a few thoughts on his approach to taking on the enigmatic character.

“Brian O’Byrne and Cherry Jones used to joke about competing for the audience’s allegiances during their run in Doubt: A Parable. O’Byrne and Jones played Father Flynn and Sister Aloysius, the two characters whose conflict is the central focus of the play. The two ultimately compromised, estimating that they each probably had convinced roughly half of those who saw the show, with a handful in the middle who were uncertain. The good-natured ribbing between these two titans of theater revealed the delicate balancing act that is at the heart of performing Doubt. The title isn’t just a less-than-subtle hint at what the play’s theme might be; it is a directive for the actors.

“Flynn advocates for his own innocence throughout the play against Aloysius’ dogged pursuit of proving his guilt. The resulting effect of playing Flynn – and playing against him – must land somewhere between guilt and innocence. That means that the actor playing Flynn must start from viewing the character from the audience’s perspective, anticipate how that audience may perceive Flynn, and then work backward to make choices toward that effect. This is a bit different from how actors may approach acting in the world of realism. Acting realism tends to be a process of analyzing the text, making decisions about the character, playing those choices truthfully, and allowing audiences to draw their own conclusions. For Doubt, making Flynn appear neither wholly guilty or innocent places specific requirements on the character choices. Fortunately, the script gives the actor both a great deal of information about Flynn’s history and a variety of tools to obfuscate that history.

“Author John Patrick Shanley is rumored to have revealed the true backstory of Flynn to only two people: Brian O ‘Byrne and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who played Flynn in the film adaptation. (Note: I do not recommend watching the film prior to seeing the play. Although the script was adapted for the screen by Shanley himself, the film makes several choices that may unduly bias your viewing of the play.) Knowing Shanley’s version of Flynn’s backstory may be more of a hindrance than a help. Rather than communicating that backstory, the actor’s job in this play is to hide it.

“But what about the second half of the title: A Parable. Why? Well, as Father Flynn says, “You make up little stories to illustrate. In the tradition of the parable… What actually happens in life is beyond interpretation.””

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Stevie Zimmerman to Direct QTC Production of Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable

steviezQTC welcomes Stevie Zimmerman who will direct John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable opening on 7 April and playing weekends through 7 May.

Originally from London, England, Stevie received a B.A. at Oxford University and an M.A. in Directing from the University of Leeds. Stevie has lived in the U.S. since 1993, and in the D.C. area for 6 years.

Before moving to the D.C. area, Stevie lived in Connecticut, where she was an Associate Professor of Drama from 1999 to 2010 at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music and Theatre. During this time, she also worked regularly with the Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, where she directed Collected Stories, Love Letters, Driving Miss Daisy, and, in 2016, Margaret Edson’s Wit.

After relocating to D.C., Stevie directed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s By Jeeves at 1st Stage. Glowing reviews, such as “Heroic performances bespeak a heroic director; this one is Stevie Zimmerman, prompted 1st Stage to invite Stevie to return to direct the area premiere of Billy Elliott writer Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters.

For Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions, Stevie directed David Lindsey Abaire’s Rabbit Hole and Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still, which featured QTC actor Chelsea Mayo.

At the Theatre of the First Amendment, Stevie’s direction of a staged reading of Michael P. Smith’s world premiere play, Passaggio, led to her directing a full-scale production of Passaggio at George Mason University.

At the Capital Fringe, Stevie directed Alice – an evening with Alice Roosevelt Longworth as well as a revival of Our Lady of the Clouds. She has also directed staged readings for the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage festival, the Doorway Arts Ensemble, Beltway Arts inter alia.

At the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Stevie directed Yasmina Reza’s Art and the English language premiere of Aristides Vargas’ Our Lady of the Clouds.

Please join us to see Stevie bring her personal touch to Doubt at the QTC!

DOUBT: A PARABLE by John Patrick Shanley (7 April – 7 May 2017)

TICKETS and other show information available HERE.official-qtc-banner-2016

Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley

Praying hands. Free space for a text. Front view

April 7- May 7, 2017

Tickets available now!

This suspenseful, thought-provoking drama received both the Pulitzer Prize and Broadway’s Tony Award. Set in the Bronx in 1964, the play pits Catholic school principal Sister Aloysius against the new, charismatic priest, Father Flynn, when his relationship with the school’s first African American student is perceived to be suspicious. Compelled by her moral certitude, Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to unearth the truth.

Directed by Stevie Zimmerman.

Featuring Kecia Campbell, Elliott Kashner, Chelsea Mayo and Stephanie Mumford.

The Actors of THE NIGHT ALIVE Talk About Their Roles: David Dubov Tackles Doc

039_david-dubov-color-webQTC board member/actor David Dubov has been very busy at QTC this season. Besides leading QTC’s PR/marketing team, David has played major roles in QTC’s A Lesson from Aloes, The Lady with the Little Dog, and now as “Doc” in The Night Alive. And yet, David still had time to respond to a few questions posed to him by QTC Co-founder Stephanie Mumford regarding his work on the role of Doc.

What do you think of the character of Doc and his role in “The Night Alive”?

“Doc is complex, despite his simple exterior. He is supposed to exist in a brain state “five to seven seconds” behind everyone else, but his mind is far beyond the time lapse he experiences in the life of the play. Each character has his or her profound moments, but Doc’s musings take in a much wider scope than you would expect of a low-life moocher stuck in the grit of Dublin. McPherson has created this person who might be based on real life guys he’s known, but his brilliant writing has taken the whole cloth of Doc and crafted a wonder – funny, interesting, and full of a deep appreciation of life despite its sometimes desperate circumstances.”

How does your role in “The Night Alive” compare to the one you played in McPherson’s “The Seafarer”?

“I played Nicky Giblin in QTC’s The Seafarer a few years ago, and Doc shares some characteristics with Nicky. They are both good men caught in situations beyond their control and beyond their mental capacity to understand what is happening to them. Nicky may be more straightforward in his narrative through-line during the play, but Doc is a deeper person. I’ve had fun with both, of course, but Doc makes me the happiest.”

Was there a certain aspect of Doc’s nature with which you connected or that fascinated you? Was there a key physical characteristic that helped you in developing his character?

“Despite the complexities and simplicities of Doc, his shining humanity and understated good-heartedness are what I latched on to, to create him on stage. His speech pattern is distinctive, too, giving me a handhold on which to hang the layers of the character, and that gives him a depth a more straightforward portrayal by a playwright less skilled than McPherson would have neglected. The coke-bottle-bottom glasses are a great touch, too!

“It’s such a pleasure playing this man with all of his frailties and strengths. A real challenge!”

THE NIGHT ALIVE Opens Friday! 5 Reasons to See It

13221722_1148066648547609_1983080169193235724_n1) QTC is “the best stage to experience McPherson’s plays in the Washington, D.C. area”

2) Director Jack Sbarbori’s ninth McPherson production with designers Don Slater and Ed Moser

3) An all-star cast, featuring QTC favorites and fresh faces

4) A supernatural drama just in time for Halloween

5) $15 tickets every Friday for patrons 30 & under

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY: http://nightalive.bpt.me

Quotidian Theatre Company Opens Its Dynamic 2016-17 Season With Conor McPherson’s THE NIGHT ALIVE

13221722_1148066648547609_1983080169193235724_nQuotidian 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.

Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2592907) or by calling the Quotidian Theatre Company box office at 301-816-1023.