THE 45th SEASON – 2005-2006
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
Michael J. Muldoon directed Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Award winning drama, Death of a Salesman, to open YCP TheaterWorks’ 45th season in October 2004 at the Van Cortlandtville School Theater. The stellar cast wsa headed up by Ray Eckerle as Willy Loman and Elaine Hartel as his wife with Rick Apicella and Dave Berman playing their sons, Happy and Biff. Randy Zapakin portrayed Charlie, Willy’s neighbor and Cynthia Anderson played the “other woman.” The cast was rounded out with Kevin Cannon, Jay Reiner, Ed Fonzo and Taryn King.
First produced in 1949, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman has been the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as well as numerous Tony Awards. Considered by many to be one of the finest American plays ever written, it is also considered to be the playwright’s masterpiece. The main character, Willy Loman, is a tragic hero who embodies the failure of the American dream. First performed by Lee J. Cobb, it has been brought to life on Broadway by George C. Scott, Dustin Hoffman and most recently Brian Dennehy in an acclaimed revival.
Audiences have responded to the tragedy not only because of its universal theme but also because of the gripping story and dramatic force of the writing. In many ways, it penetrates to the heart of the American experience, to the dark side of the capitalistic ideal. It is also a sensitive, family oriented drama. Michael J. Muldoon, Director of the production said “the play remains as pertinent and true to ordinary American life today as when it was written. Willy Loman, who attempts to find success and love and fails, both in business and in his family relations, is a poignant reminder our own strivings and failures. The play views reality through Willy’s tortured mind, moving back and forth in both time and place. The staging of our production will incorporate this, surrealistic view, much like a Magritte painting.”
Seasoned director Melinda O’Brien directd David Bottrell and Jessie Jones’ hilarious comedy Dearly Departed for YCP TheaterWorks. Performances were in January and February 2005 at the Van Cortlandtville School Theater. Set in the Bible Belt of the deep South, this riotous romp puts the fun back into dysFUNctional. The beleaguered Turpin family try to pull themselves together to plan a funeral for the patriarch Daddy Bud Turpin, sorting through the marital flings, feuds, money problems and headstone engraving options. A laugh out loud chain of events is unleashed in this highly campy and yet surprisingly touching comedy.
The colorful ensemble cast featured Carol Katz, Kevin Cannon, Alexandra W. Scheer, Phyllis Kirigin, Joe Ben Deal, Joe Efferen, Lori Franzese and John Xenakis, Anne Rodgers Pearl, Elise Godfrey, Rebecca Caputo Carreras, Daphne Platt, Kristina Daniel, Violet Benny, Karen Muendell, Mark Snyder and Regina Sweeney. The children in the cast were portrayed by Alex Kastner, Chloe Kastner, Laurel Kastner, Danielle Lewandowski, Devon Muendell, Kyan Muendell, Emma Sweeney and Hannah Sweeney.
RAISED IN CAPTIVITY
Raised in Captivity, a black comedy about personal relationships and self-discovery, by award winning playwright Nicky Silver, opened April 29, 2005 at the Van Cortlandtville School Theatre, directed by Marie Gelston. The play focuses on Sebastian Bliss played by Ryan Dietzen, a gay man who has been an emotional celibate ever since his lover died eleven years ago. Following the funeral of his mother, Miranda, portrayed by Betty Slack, Sebastian finds himself thrust into situations occupying that watery line between reality and fantasy. His twin sister Bernadette, played by Dawn Bernitt-Perito, is completely unstable and her husband Kip, Brian DeToma is a dentist who hates teeth. Sebastian’s psychiatrist Hillary, Violet Benny is a self-mutilating basket case, and his only friend is Dylan, Paul DiRito a convicted murderer to whom he writes letters but has never seen. Paul also plays Roger, a hustler picked up by Sebastian. In an article about the original New York production, the New York Times stated, “Raised in Captivity is about guilt, redemption and self-punishment, and, against all odds, it is also very funny. The dialogue skillfully juxtaposes the banal and the outlandishly whimsical and has the shimmer of an opal . . .”