Twelve Angry Men The American Century Theater

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Theater you can afford to see,plays you can t afford to miss. About The American Century Theater, The American Century Theater was founded in 1994 We are a professional company dedicated to. presenting great important but overlooked American plays of the twentieth century what Henry Luce. called the American Century, The company s mission is one of rediscovery enlightenment and perspective not nostalgia or. preservation Americans must not lose the extraordinary vision and wisdom of past playwrights nor can. we afford to surrender our moorings to our shared cultural heritage. Our mission is also driven by a conviction that communities need theater and theater needs audiences To. those ends this company is committed to producing plays that challenge and move all Americans of all. ages origins and points of view In particular we strive to create theatrical experiences that entire. families can watch enjoy and discuss long afterward. These audience guides are part of our effort to enhance the appreciation of these works so rich in history. content and grist for debate, The American Century Theater is a 501 c 3 professional nonprofit theater company dedicated to. producing significant 20th Century American plays and musicals at risk of being forgotten. This program is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Commission for the Arts. and Arlington Cultural Affairs a division of Arlington Economic Development the Virginia Commission. for the Arts the National Endowment for the Arts and many generous donors. The Artistic Director s Report Twenty Years of The American Century Theater 1. Life Imitates Twelve Angry Men Adam Sirois the Lone Juror 10. TV s Other Angry Funny Men and Women Too 14,The Unreliability of Witness Testimony 17.
Presumption of Innocence Burden of Proof and,Proof beyond a Reasonable Doubt 20. Twelve Angry Men the Movie and the Men 22, The Playwright Reginald Rose and His Remarkable Play 27. The Artistic Director s Report,Twenty Years of,The American Century Theater. Jack Marshall, The views expressed are those of the author alone and are not necessarily endorsed. by the company management, To be honest I never thought The American Century Theater would last twenty years.
or if it did I never thought I would be the artistic director all that time That was one. reason I decided that it was time to go in fact I had failed to hand over the job of. setting the artistic course of the company to someone else the key step in. institutionalizing it and ensuring its vitality, Another was TACT s dimming prospects of finding its own performance space where. we could set our own schedules extend popular shows this makes money while. closing those that are not doing well a little early rehearse as long as we needed to. without being screamed at by County employees demanding that we leave the theater at. 11 pm sharp on tech week often meaning that we couldn t get through some of our. longer shows and not finding ourselves deluged by Peruvian festival celebrants on. performance days or PTA members on performance nights You just can t do high. quality theater under such conditions without it affecting enthusiasm morale energy. and eventually quality, The departure of Arts Incubator champions Norma Kaplan and Jon Palmer Claridge. and the increasing narrowing of Arlington County s commitment to the arts to. Signature Theatre which I admire support and for which I directed the centerpiece. production in its inaugural season was the proverbial writing on the wall Doing. reasonably priced high quality non trendy theater in Gunston Two was only going to. get harder as time went on and frankly it was already too hard. Of course a nice multimillion dollar gift would have gone a long way to solving these. issues It just never happened that s all A lot of the fault for this was mine I never. was able to take the time out of my day job which is running an ethics training and. consulting business and the needs of my family to promote and sell the theater and its. mission as much as I needed to It was difficult watching other regional theaters of our. size and with a similar audience base hitting that jackpot like our friends at The. Keegan Theatre or Rich Heinrich s Spooky Action Theatre a TACT spinoff knowing. that they would be advancing to that elusive next stage that constantly eluded us. You shouldn t drive angry as Bill Murray reminds the groundhog and you can t do. good theater bitter frustrated and discouraged either I was getting there One Friday. night after learning that our superb and important production of Judgment at. Nuremberg would have an audience smaller than the cast I just made up my mind that. I couldn t take it anymore The Post couldn t be bothered to review a show with. historical local ethical and immediate relevance the Holocaust Museum refused to. participate or even answer my phone calls and as usual our demographics showed. that most of our audience didn t need to be educated about the Holocaust since they. remembered it, I agree with Saroyan that art has innate value and creating good art should not have to. be bolstered by praise financial rewards awards or even success Actors designers. and theater staff are still human beings though, It is easier closing the doors knowing that our mission was accomplished in so many. important ways This company was always about a lot more than just putting on shows. and selling tickets We assigned ourselves the duty of uncovering great works of 20th. century theater and reminding both audiences and theater companies why they were. great why they were still worth seeing and why they should still be produced We. vowed to keep live professional theater as affordable as possible and to encourage. families to attend We pledged to give rising local talent a chance to show audiences. what they could do and to provide a path to a professional acting or designing career. And we were determined to remind audiences of American cultural and political. history through new and original works We accomplished all of those objectives. sometimes spectacularly, To revive neglected or forgotten works while making the case for their.
importance to the culture, When TACT first performed Twelve Angry Men the real script was unavailable. to performing groups TACT s success helped persuade Reginald Rose to. remedy that problem of his own making as he had sold the stage rights After. decades of being invisible except on black and white film the show re emerged. on Showtime and Broadway, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds had been abandoned. as a dated comedy TACT s production proved that it still worked as a moving. drama and the show is now regularly revived, TACT s Lady in the Dark was the first full professional run since the 1941. original closed There have been many since Famed New York theater critic. John Simon told me that we had done a service to the theater world by proving. that it was a show worthy of revival, TACT remains the only local company to produce William Saroyan s legendary. first play My Heart s in the Highlands about a 9 year old boy an 85 year old. virtuoso bugle player and a dog that barks on cue, Moby Dick Rehearsed a dynamic and daring drama assembled by Orson.
Welles and another victim of his self destructive habits was re envisioned by. TACT and played to sold out houses in three separate productions Once. regarded as an obscure flop the show was reinvigorated by TACT s success and. is now performed with increasing success and frequency across the country. TACT s re creation of the epic opening night of The Cradle Will Rock was. memorialized on an NPR documentary and prompted multiple imitations in. other theaters, TACT became the first local professional theater in decades to perform the. ground breaking The Boys in the Band directed here and beautifully by John. TACT with the assistance of Loren Platzman reassembled a performance script. and score for Hollywood Pinafore a lost musical satire by George S Kaufman. that had been unperformable since the 1940s, TACT s Hotel Universe directed by Steven Scott Mazzola became the most. successful and best reviewed production of Phillip Barry s cryptic and most. challenging play including its original production Boys in the Band playwright. Mart Crowley travelled cross country to see it because it was one of his favorite. A Flag Is Born a unique controversial historically significant it raised the. funds to buy one of the two ships that took American Jews to the new state of. Israel pageant by Front Page playwright Ben Hecht was made available to. TACT audiences the first time the piece had been performed since the 1940s. Thanks to TACT local audiences got to see a famous and politically explosive. Vietnam era satire that made magazine covers in the late 1960s and launched the. careers of Rue McClanahan Stacey Keach and Cleavon Little MacBird. Machinal arguably the greatest of all expressionist dramas received a superb. production by TACT one of the very few times the show has been seen in DC. since the 1920s, Steven Scott Mazola s evening of one acts by female playwrights of the 1920s. and 30s Drama under the Influence reminded audiences of the brilliance of. such neglected writers as Sophie Treadwell and Susan Glaspell. TACT accomplished what Jerry Lewis tried to do but failed It re assembled and. reverse engineered a credible version of the famously chaotic Olsen and. Johnson 1936 romp Hellzapoppin, Life with Father the longest running Broadway play had audiences laughing. again in DC after a four decade pause What a surprise The most successful. comedy of all time is funny, Paul Green and Richard Wright s politically incorrect race relations drama.
Native Son which had never been shown in DC attracted fascinated African. American audiences and sparked nightly post show debates. Budd Schulberg s stage adaptation of his screenplay for the film classic On the. Waterfront got its Washington DC premiere with TACT twenty years after it. was on Broadway, The hit Harold Rome post WWII revue Call Me Mister which was lost and in. pieces until it was cobbled together by TACT for a Rescues presentation now. survives thanks to the TACT video of its production stored at the Yale Drama. TACT plunged its audiences into the harrowing conveniently forgotten world of. Depression era dance marathons by cleaning up June Havoc s brilliant. disturbing musical reality show drama Marathon 33, Also in pursuit of this mission TACT published informative Audience Guides like. this one for all but the first few shows and had talkback discussions sometimes. many for every production, To keep live professional theater as affordable as possible and to encourage. families to attend, TACT kept subscriber seats under 40 always being among the last area theater. to raise prices, Rather than top that price TACT limited stipends for actors and staff.
The company has been the only one in the city that allowed children under the. age of eighteen to attend all productions at no charge. To give rising local talent a chance to show audiences what they could do and to. provide a path to a professional acting or designing career. TACT routinely held open auditions for its productions one of just a handful of. companies that did not rely only on proven talents past cast members or New. York actors, Among the local actors for whom TACT played a major role in establishing. their reputations and careers often with their first professional roles Amy. McWilliams Peter Mendez John Tweel Bill Karukas Esther Covington Brian. Childers Charles Matheny David Jourdan Evan Crump Amy Quiggins Maura. McGinn Bruce Alan Rauscher Kari Ginsburg Dan Corey Richard Pelzman. Mary Beth Luckenbaugh Steve Lebens Jennifer Robison Potts Kathy Fuller. Kim Scott Miller Patrick McMurphy Tony Gudell James Brown Orleans and. many many more, To remind audiences of American cultural and political history through new and. original works,Among them, It s All True the true story of The Cradle Will Rock. Uncle Tom s Cabin a new faithful adaptation by TACT s Tom Fuller. Benchley in Spite of Himself DC actor Nat Benchley s one man show about his. grandfather the humorist and actor Robert Benchley. Laughter at 10 O Clock TACT s re creation of a rehearsal of The Carol Burnett. The Clarence Darrow Story a one man show about the U S s greatest lawyer. assembled by writer Jack Marshall director Terry Kester and actor Paul. Morella The show has received three professional runs so far other than its. TACT debut and is also being performed by Morella around the country for. associations schools and legal organizations, Danny and Sylvia the Bob McElwaine Bob Bain musical about McElwaine s. longtime clients and friends Sylvia Fine and Danny Kaye. An Evening with Danny Kaye Brian Childers s cabaret style sequel to Danny. and Sylvia, If Only in My Dreams TACT s poignant Christmas themed revue combining.
actual letters home from WWII GIs with the great songs of the period. Stunt Girl Tony nominated lyricist Peter Kellogg s musical biography of. reporter Nelly Bly which had an early workshop production on its way to. several major productions elsewhere, The Titans the long delayed premiere of Bob McElwaine s transcript based. drama about the Cuban Missile Crisis, TACT s original salute to TV Christmas specials from George Bailey to Peanuts. When TACT first performed Twelve Angry Men the real script was unavailable to performing groups TACT s success helped persuade Reginald Rose to remedy that problem of his own making as he had sold the stage rights After 3 decades of being invisible except on black and white film the show re emerged on Showtime and Broadway The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds had

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