Stages doing 'Yankee Tavern'

Stages continues its 2010-2011 season with the regional premiere of Steven Dietz’s new thriller Yankee Tavern, playing March 16 – April 10 in Stages’ Yeager Theater. Headed by Stages favorite Philip Lehl, the Stages production features an ensemble cast including Rachael Logue, Adam Gibbs and David Matranga. Stages Producing Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin directs. Tickets start at $19, with special rates available for groups of 10 or more.

“Directing a thriller is akin to playing a huge shell game with the audience,” says McLaughlin. “The actors have to know what is going on at all times and where the ball is, but part of the fun is keeping that secret from the audience. I love a show that challenges the perceptions of what the audience has seen and this show does that in a huge way.”

McLaughlin is especially excited to be working with playwright Steven Dietz to make sure Houston audiences get the best possible production.

“Steven has been involved with us from the beginning and is a great help in guiding us through the puzzle that he has written. The play is so intricate and surprising – even the final moment of the play is mysterious and unexpected – it all makes for a heart-pumping night in the theatre.”

In a broken-down Manhattan pub, a homeless drunkard named Ray (Philip Lehl) spars with bar-owner Adam (Adam Gibbs) and his fiancée Janet (Rachael Logue), spouting wild conspiracy theories on everything from Yoko Ono and Starbucks coffee to an alleged cover-up of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But when a mysterious stranger enters the conversation, what seemed like crazy fantasies lead to a series of surprising revelations in this funny, thought-provoking theatrical thriller.

“The play dares to present a host of seemingly preposterous conspiracy theories, then creates a context wherein some of the most outrageous claims might be true,” McLaughlin said. “The audience is left to determine who and what to believe and in the end, that process –our human capacity to trust and believe our government, our loved ones and even our own senses – is what the play is all about.”

Yankee Tavern premiered in 2009 at Curious Theater and Florida Stage as a rolling world premiere in conjunction with the National New Play Network. Author Steven Dietz is one of America’s most widely-produced and published contemporary playwrights. Since 1983, his 20-plus plays have been seen at over 100 regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway. International productions have been seen in England, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, Sweden, Austria, Russia, Slovenia, Argentina, Peru, Singapore and South Africa.

Yankee Tavern is part of a new initiative at Stages, called the “Get Talking” series, two stunning plays that are sure to invigorate thinking and get audiences talking! 

Now entering its 32nd season, Stages is a member of the Fresh Arts Coalition and a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for not-for-profit theatres. Stages operates under an agreement with Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the U.S.

 


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