ROUNDABOUT BLOG

2012-2013 Season

 

The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, written by Steven Levenson and directed by Scott Ellis begins previews this week.

This production will be the world premiere of Steven’s new play, which we commissioned him to write after producing his first professional work, The Language of Trees, in our Roundabout Underground program in 2008. That trajectory makes this show a particularly fulfilling one for me, as it demonstrates exactly what I had always hoped would come from launching the New Play Initiative. We didn’t just produce a play and then send the young writer on his merry way to figure out what comes next; we gave Steven Levenson (like Stephen Karam before him) an artistic home where we could support whatever he did next. Happily, what he did next has turned out to be an utterly moving piece of work.

The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin is blessed with a complicated title and a simple theme: what are we owed in life? The play poses that question on several levels, ranging from the familial to the global. At its core is the query of what a son owes to his father. If a man has loved you and raised you, are you obligated to forgive him for even the most egregious mistakes he has made? Is it fair for him to assume that you will? Tom Durnin fully expects to be welcomed home with open arms by his son James, but when it comes to that particular dynamic, nothing is ever that easy.

Set in 2009 against the backdrop of the recession and housing bust, the play also forces us to question what we as a society think we are owed by the “bad guys” of that period. Do we derive satisfaction from watching the Madoffs and Abramoffs put behind bars? Why do we feel this need to assign blame? What does it say about us if our outrage will only be calmed by watching the few individuals we can prosecute continue to suffer?

Tom Durnin is, ultimately, a play about finding the strength to move forward. When the world seems like it’s turned against these characters, plowing ahead can feel impossible. But if they are able to tap into their better selves, allowing love or forgiveness to sneak back into their lives, they might just stand a chance. And those who choose to look ahead and not dwell on what is owed to them from the past will find the best odds of reclaiming happiness.

I’m so happy to be bringing you this deeply felt new play. It’s a beautiful, mature work from a playwright who I know will be with us for years to come. I hope you enjoy Tom Durnin, and I will, as always, be eager to hear your response to the piece. Please remember to email me with your thoughts at artisticoffice@roundabouttheatre.org.

I look forward to seeing you at the theatre!

Sincerely,

Todd Haimes
Artistic Director

 


Related Categories:
2012-2013 Season, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin


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2013 Award Season

Posted on: April 22nd, 2013 by Roundabout

 

Roundabout has been racking up the nominations!

Tony Award Nominations:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Best Revival of a Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical  — Stephanie J. Block
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical —  Will Chase
Best Direction of a Musical —  Scott Ellis
Best Scenic Design of a Musical —  Anna Louizos 

The Big Knife
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play —  Richard Kind 

Cyrano de Bergerac
Best Costume Design of a Play — Soutra Gilmour

Full list of nominees.

 

Bobby Cannavale, Richard Kind and Reg Rogers in 'The Big Knife';
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2013

Drama Desk Nominations:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue
Outstanding Actor in a Musical — Jim Norton
Outstanding Actress in a Musical — Stephanie J. Block
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical — Andy Karl
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical — Jessie Mueller
Outstanding Set Design — Anna Louizos
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical — Tony Meola

The Big Knife
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play — Richard Kind

If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play — Brían F. O'Byrne

Full list of nominees.

 

Tracee Chimo and Michael Zegen in 'Bad Jews'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2012

Drama League Nominations:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
Distinguished Performance Award — Jim Norton
Distinguished Performance Award — Chita Rivera

Harvey
Distinguished Performance Award — Jessica Hecht

If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet
Distinguished Performance Award — Jake Gyllenhaal

Bad Jews
Distinguished Performance Award — Tracee Chimo

Talley's Folly
Distinguished Performance Award — Danny Burstein

The Big Knife
Distinguished Performance Award — Bobby Cannavale

Read the full list of nominees.

 

The cast of 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2012

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Outstanding Director of a Musical — Scott Ellis
Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical) — William Ivey Long
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical — Will Chase

Bad Jews
Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Outstanding Actress in a Play — Tracee Chimo
John Gassner Award — Joshua Harmon

The Big Knife
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play — Richard Kind

Read the full list of nominees.

 

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annie Funke in 'If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet';
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2012

Lucille Lortel Award Nominations:

If There Is I Haven't Found it Yet
Outstanding Featured Actor — Jake Gyllenhaal
Outstanding Featured Actress — Annie Funke
Outstanding Scenic Design — Beowulf Boritt

Talley's Folly
Outstanding Revival
Outstanding Lead Actor — Danny Burstein

Lifetime Achievement Award — Todd Haimes

Read the full list of nominees.


Related Categories:
2012-2013 Season


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A Conversation with Costume Designer, Catherine Zuber

Posted on: April 9th, 2013 by Roundabout

 

Costume Designer Catherine Zuber shared some of her insights and experiences with Education Dramaturg Ted Sod.

 

Ted Sod: Would you tell us about yourself? Where were you born? When did you realize you wanted to design costumes?

Catherine Zuber: I was born in London. My family immigrated to New York when I was nine.  The excitement of being in New York was thrilling. All the details reverberated with the exotic. The architecture was different, the cars were different, the way of life and what people ate and wore were all new to me. I think those differences informed how I examine what makes a particular world what it is. In costuming a play or an opera, I love to do the research and get inside a specific time and place. I try to inhabit the lives of the characters that are telling the story.

 

After I went to art school and majored in photography, I moved to New Haven with a boyfriend who was going to Yale. While I was there, I discovered costume design. I applied to the Yale School of Drama and was accepted. It was an amazing environment to learn the craft of costume design. What I really love about theatre is the collaboration among the designers, the actors, the director, the writers, the musicians, the technical people and the stage managers; the way we all come together to create something, it’s very fulfilling and exciting. Other disciplines can be very solitary in their execution.

 

TS: Can we talk about your first response to the play The Big Knife?

CZ: The journey of Charlie Castle is a Faustian story.  Charlie Castle’s naturalism is appealing to Hollywood and it has made him very successful.  In the process of embracing this world, he loses his soul.

Costume sketches: Catherine Zuber

 

TS: Tell us about your research process on this show. Did you study period newspapers or magazines?

CZ: Yes. I have a personal collection of magazines from the time period: Harper’s, Vogue, and some sewing pamphlets from various pattern companies. Also, I often go to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), which is a great resource. They have a library with a great collection of publications from all different time periods. They have plates from various department stores with images of what was for sale in a given time period. You need to think about where the characters you are designing would have shopped for their clothes. Sometimes the character is somebody who would have ordered from a Sears catalogue, or they could be a person attends the Paris couture collections for  their wardrobe. You have to consider what a character is thinking when it comes to their clothing. What is particularly interesting about The Big Knife is that it is set in Hollywood. Image is, then as now, extremely important. Flamboyance contributes to the choices that are made. Photographic research of post-war California indicates how high-style casual clothing was becoming popular. There were amazing prints and colors. Color in film was becoming more prevalent. There were leisure clothes for men where the shirts are beautifully cut, but it is a casual look.

Marin Ireland and Bobby Cannavale. Photo by Joan Marcus.

TS: Which designers influenced style at the time the play takes place?

CZ: Movie designers like Adrian had a huge influence on fashion. Hollywood costume design had a certain aesthetic that translated into what was then available in department stores. I think that, for the most part, fashions were dictated by what was happening in Paris. When you look at the late 1940s, Dior was starting to introduce the new look, which was such a departure visually from what was happening up until that point. Of course, during the war years with fabric shortages, a lot of design choices were influenced by the materials that were available. That’s why women’s dresses were quite short. After the war, there was a real interest in embracing color. Garments used more fabric and it was a very different look.

... Read More →


Related Categories:
2012-2013 Season, The Big Knife


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