Announcing American Players Theatre: Out of the Woods Readings

EDITOR’S NOTE: The videos of the readings have been extended and are available for viewing through AUGUST 9! Here’s the link: https://pbswisconsin.org/out-of-the-woods/

This is very exciting news. I have been hugely disappointed that I won’t be making a trip to Spring Green this season to see one or two or three shows:

Beginning Friday June 12 and for several consecutive Fridays, American Players Theatre of Spring Green Wisconsin will be joining PBS Wisconsin in presenting six play readings performed and directed by members of APT. The readings will be performed and recorded live. That opening Friday will feature three one-act plays by Anton Chekhov.

APT’s Core Acting Company, along with other APT actors, will be reading a selection of plays using Zoom virtual meeting software. The readings are streamed live and recorded by PBS Wisconsin. Play readings will be posted on Fridays at 7:00 PM CST on pbswisconsin.org, and free to view. On opening night, they will also stream on both APT’s and PBS Wisconsin’s Facebook pages. All six readings will be available on PBS Wisconsin’s website the week of July 12 –19.

Artistic Director Brenda DeVita said of the play-reading series, “As it became increasingly clear that we would not be able to safely produce plays this summer, we knew we would need to find new ways to connect our art with our audience. Sharing stories can be healing; creating conversations and remaining curious is more important than ever -so we knew we had to do that in whatever way we could. So we’re so thankful to PBS for partnering with us on this beautiful project. And thankful that we will be able to continue to bring the words of these great playwrights, and the talent and voices of these phenomenal actors, and just this little piece of our Hill to our audience where they live. We encourage you all to stay safe and take care of each other.”

Here is the entire schedule:

June 12 Chekhov One Acts By Anton Chekhov. Directed by Aaron Posner. Three stories about the complexities of love and life; marriage and moving on. These one-act plays were produced at APT in 1985 and 1986. The Bear featuring Tracy Michelle Arnold (Popova), Brian Mani (Smirnov), James Ridge (Luka). On the Harmfulness of Tobacco, featuring David Daniel (Nyukhin). The Proposal, Sarah Day (Chubukov), Colleen Madden (Natalya Stepanova), Marcus Truschinski (Lomov).

June 19 As You Like It By William Shakespeare. Directed by John Langs. A quite-nearly-perfect Shakespearean comedy, featuring one of his greatest heroines. As sure as anything to make you feel like you’re at home in our woods for an evening. Featuring: Tracy Michelle Arnold (Jaques), Kelsey Brennan (Phoebe), Nate Burger (Orlando), David Daniel (Touchstone), Sarah Day (Madame Le Beau/Reverend Olive Martext), Jim DeVita (Charles/William), Alys Dickerson (Celia), Tim Gittings (Corin/Jaques de Boys),Gavin Lawrence (Silvius), Colleen Madden (Audrey), Brian Mani (Duke Frederick/Duke Senior), Melisa Pereyra (Rosalind), James Ridge (Adam/Hymen), Marcus Truschinski (Oliver/Amiens), Marco Lama (Lucius).

June 26 Arms and The Man By George Bernard Shaw. Directed by William Brown. Love and war collide in a uniquely Shavian fashion when an “enemy” soldier climbs in through the idealistic Raina’s window, throwing her life and worldview into disarray. Featuring: Kelsey Brennan (Louka), Nate Burger (Bluntschli), David Daniel (Russian Officer)Sarah Day (Catherine), Tim Gittings (Nicola),Melisa Pereyra (Raina), James Ridge (Petkoff), Marcus Truschinski (Sergius).

July 3 Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare. Directed by Stephen Brown-Fried. Growing unease over Caesar’s popularity spreads through Rome, spurring good people to do terrible deeds. A riveting political thriller about blood spilled in the name of the republic, and hands that hold the blades. Featuring: Tracy Michelle Arnold (Cassius), Kelsey Brennan (Marulius/Metellus/Titinius/Ensemble), Nate Burger (Flavius/Trebonius/Pindarus/Ensemble), David Daniel (Carpenter/Decius/Lucilius/Ensemble), Sarah Day (Caska/Dardanius/Ensemble), Jim DeVita (Brutus), Tim Gittings (Cinna/Caesar’s Servant/Messala/Ensemble), Gavin Lawrence (Marc Antony), Colleen Madden (Soothsayer/Portia/Cinna the Poet, Volumnius/Ensemble), Brian Mani (Julius Caesar/Ghost), Melisa Pereyra (Calphurnia/Octavius’s Servant/Clitus/Ensemble), James Ridge (Cicero/Ligarius/Lepidus/Ensemble), Marcus Truschinski (Cobbler/Artemidorus/Octavius/Ensemble), Marco Lama (Lucius).

July 10 Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…By Carlyle Brown. Directed by David Daniel. Writer and activist Langston Hughes faces down his fears by writing a poem on the eve of his appearance before the Senate Permanent-Sub-Committee on Investigations on Un-American Activities. Featuring: Jim DeVita (Senator Dirksen), Jamal James (Frank Reeve), Gavin Lawrence (Langston Hughes), Brian Mani (Senator McCarthy), James Ridge (Roy Cohn), Marcus Truschinski (David Schine).

July 17 An Improbable Fiction By James DeVita. Directed by Tim Ocel. A world-premiere reading of James DeVita’s new play, told largely in Shakespeare’s own words. It’s plague time, and Shakespeare’s characters are out of sorts (and out of work). Several of our favorites reunite at The Boar’s Head Tavern to celebrate life, and ruminate on the state of the world. Featuring: Brian Mani (Falstaff), Sarah Day (Mistress Quickly). Also featuring Tracy Michelle Arnold, Nate Burger, Gavin Lawrence, Melisa Pereyra.

For more information, visit their website here!

About the Theatre: APT is a professional repertory theater devoted to the great and future classics. It was founded in 1979 and continues to be one of the most popular outdoor classical theaters in the nation.

The Theatre is located in Spring Green, Wis., on 110 acres of hilly woods and meadows above the Wisconsin River. The outdoor amphitheater is built within a natural hollow atop an oak-wooded hill. Under the dome of sky, 1,089 comfortably cushioned seats encircle three sides of the stage. In 2009, APT opened the 201-seat indoor Touchstone Theatre, offering a different type of play and experience.

and that’s not enough? try these:

Out of the Woods joins other virtual content APT and its acting company have been involved in creating, such as the Words from the Woods poetry-reading series and APT Diversions newsletter including Artist at Home videos and behind-the-scenes stories–these videos can be found at americanplayers.org/news.

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