Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mr. Burns - Workshop at Playwrights Horizons

A few years ago, a group of actors along with playwright Anne Washburn and Steve Cosson got together for a kind of a workshop - not a traditional one, in that they weren't working with an early draft of a script. There was no script yet, so the actors were working together on exercises as led by Anne and Steve. In one of the week's activities, Anne asked the actors to try to retell the "Cape Fear" episode of The Simpsons. This sparked what has become her new play, MR. BURNS. The play had a traditional workshop last week at Playwrights Horizons, which culminated in a reading. Per the program notes:

"The recollection of the Simpsons episode in the first act is largely verbatim, arranged from material collected in sessions with the actors Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Maria Dizzia, Gibson Frazier, Matthew Maher, Jennifer R. Morris, Sam Breslin Wright, and Colleen Werthmann. Special thanks to Matt Maher for his superior recall."

The cast was:
Matthew Maher as Matt
Gibson Frazier as Gibson
Jennifer R. Morris as Jennifer
Colleen Werthmann as Colleen
Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Quincy
Sam Breslin Wright as Sam
Rebecca Hart as Maria

You'll probably notice that five of the original actors returned for the reading. It's worth noting that they aren't actually playing themselves, but rather fictionalized characters originally inspired by work that they did in the original workshop (and Rebecca as a fictionalized character originally inspired by Maria Dizzia's participation in the workshop). Michael Friedman has written the score, full of references to some of the really iconic pop songs of our time. For more, check out the wonderful feature in Seattle's publication, The Stranger, which was written about a workshop that we did in July of this year.

Photos by Sam Breslin Wright. For more, check out his flickr HERE!

Here's the view from the rehearsal room.

Writer's Assistant Josh Luxenberg and Playright Anne Washburn in the back
left, Director Steve Cosson and AD Jay Stull

Colleen Werthmann, Jennifer R. Morris, Josh Luxenberg, Rebecca Hart,
Gibson Frazier, Michael Friedman, and Matthew Maher

Jennifer R. Morris, Matthew Maher, and Rebecca Hart

Working on the stage where the reading was held

No comments:

Post a Comment