IN MEMORIAM: Barbara Cook

Posted on: August 8th, 2017 by Roundabout


Barbara Cook and Vanessa Williams in Sondheim on Sondheim presented by Roundabout Theatre Comapany. Photo by Richard Termine.

Roundabout Theatre Company mourns the passing of Broadway icon Barbara Cook, who left us today at the age of 89. Barbara’s legendary soprano changed the landscape of Broadway, creating iconic roles like Marian Paroo in The Music Man, Cunegonde in Candide and Amalia Balash in She Loves Me. Barbara’s career spanned decades, sharing her vocal gifts with multiple generations, all the way through her retirement in May of this year. We were honored that, after 23 years away, Barbara made her return to Broadway in Roundabout’s production of Sondheim on Sondheim in 2010, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Her performance in the show was so special to all of us, as was her unforgettable appearance at Roundabout’s 50th Anniversary Gala, and we will cherish these times of learning from a true legend. Barbara will be missed by her family here at Roundabout, as well as the entire theatrical community. We send our deepest sympathies to all who loved her.

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In Memoriam

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Marvin’s Room: Read, Watch, Listen

Posted on: August 1st, 2017 by Morgan Grambo



The Baltimore Waltz
By Paula Vogel

Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz premiered in 1992 and won the Obie Award for Best Play. As her first play to gain national attention, Vogel’s work became a founding member of the “second generation of AIDS plays” along with Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room. While McPherson’s inspiration for the play centered on his childhood experiences, he later acknowledged that the play was deeply influenced by his experience as a caretaker for his friends and loved ones during the AIDS epidemic. Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz directly addressing the crisis (the main character suffers from “Acquired Toilet Disease”) and was dedicated to her brother who succumbed to the AIDS virus in 1988.


Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
By Roz Chast

Roz Chast’s memoir focuses on the last years of the lives of her aging parents and her role as their only child. Written as a graphic novel, Chast’s humor and talent as a cartoonist landed Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? on The New York Times list of “10 Best Books” and a 2014 National Book Award Finalist distinction. Like McPherson’s Marvin’s Room, Chast’s prodigious use of comedic relief is a necessity, allowing readers a moment of comfort in an otherwise heart wrenching story. Read an excerpt here.


To Watch

Marvin’s Room
1997 Film
Screenplay by Scott McPherson & Directed by Jerry Zaks

Shortly after the play’s critical success in New York City, Scott McPherson began penning the screenplay for the film adaptation of Marvin’s Room. With a stellar cast, including Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film earned Diane Keaton an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Bessie. While the film does not stray far from the play, there are lovely and surprising moments to be found throughout the adaptation. If you enjoyed the play, watch the trailer for the 1996 film of Marvin’s Room here.


To Listen

Good Life Project
By Jonathan Fields

If Marvin’s Room is “a play about living and dying...but mostly living”, then the Good Life Project is the podcast that will help you navigate and live your life to the fullest. Founded by Jonathan Fields, GLP manifested from an idea to seek out meaning, joy, and connection in our lives. Scott McPherson’s play examines the moments that make us most human and shows compassion in our lowest points. Good Life Project embraces those moments and interviews the leading minds on topics such as love, religion, self-care, and creativity. Listen here.

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2016-2017 Season, Marvin's Room

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Celebrating 20 Years of Education: Gina Suriano

Posted on: July 27th, 2017 by Gina Suriano


This year, Education at Roundabout celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Since 1996, Education at Roundabout has served as a national leader in arts education, using theatrical disciplines to create responsive programming that serves students, educators, early career professionals, and audiences. To celebrate this milestone, we asked members of the Education at Roundabout community to reflect on how Roundabout’s programs have impacted their lives.

Below, Gina Suriano, Roundabout's 2016-17 Special Events Apprentice, looks back on her season at Roundabout.

Gina and Roundabout's 2016-17 Apprentice Class.

My name is Gina Suriano and I was Roundabout’s Special Events Apprentice for the 2016-2017 season. Originally from Long Island, I graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo in May 2016 with a degree in Communication and Sociology, where I was involved in Student and Campus Life, First Year Programs, Residence Life, Greek Life, Club Sports, and lots of other organizations and activities. Prior to Roundabout, I interned for my local Chamber of Commerce, held multiple internships with different departments at Geneseo, and interned at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY.

I first saw The Phantom of the Opera when I was five, which sparked my love of theatre. During college, I participated in theatre and the arts by creating print materials and house managing for Geneseo’s Musical Theatre Club and A Cappella groups, as I am not an actor or singer! I’ve always had an interest in events as well, planning multiple major events for different departments and organizations at Geneseo, as well as through many internship positions.

I started at Roundabout in early September as the Special Events Apprentice in the Development Department. My main tasks included recruiting volunteers and creating volunteer timelines for all opening nights and the Gala; soliciting and organizing items for Roundabout’s major fundraisers, including the Holiday Auction, Gala Online Auction, and Casino Night; drafting and sending correspondence to donors; running a Donor Playreading; and doing other tasks related to event preparation for events including donor dinners, opening nights, fundraising events, and institutional events. In addition to the tasks I was individually responsible for, I also assisted members of the Special Events Team and Development Department with tasks as they arose. My time consisted of a wide variety of short-term and long-term projects, as well as balancing unexpected tasks.

Roundabout’s Apprentice Program was truly a learning experience, and was really designed for the Apprentices to learn about Roundabout and the different roles staff members hold in the organization. We had weekly meetings in which different Senior staff members spoke to us each week about their positions and the paths they took to get there, and we each had a Junior Staff mentor so we could learn about another department we were interested in. As the culminating experience for the apprenticeship program, we planned an event for Roundabout alumni as an Apprentice class; utilizing the skills we had gained throughout the year.

After completing the season-long Apprenticeship, I have learned so much about not just Special Events, Development and working at a not for profit, but also about what kind of work the other departments do. I have gained so much experience, and feel ready to enter the workforce. In addition to the experience I’ve gained, the people I’ve met in my Apprentice class have become some of my closest friends. Roundabout served as the perfect bridge between my college experience and the workforce, and I’m excited to tackle new challenges with the support of the Roundabout team as a Career Development Alumna!

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Education @ Roundabout

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