from the Footlights

 

May 2007                                       “Life shouldn’t be all work and no plays.”     


Animal Farm

 

Does the short novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell, merely satirize the past (Soviet society) or does it illuminate today’s realities? When a “regime change” in Congress brings all-too-familiar rhetoric, possibly you remember Animal Farm. When an op. ed. in this week’s Washington Post favors an Equal Rights amendment, maybe you hear a distant echo: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Most of us read Animal Farm long ago – does it speak to us today?

 

On Monday, May 14 at Alfio’s, Footlights will discuss the new Synetic Theatre production of Animal Farm. Paata Tsikurishvili, artistic director of Synetic Theatre and director of Animal Farm, will be joined by Nathan Weinberger, the co-adaptor. We expect to discuss why they see Animal Farm as timeless and which aspects move them, and us. They will also explore the challenges of adpating this classic into a movement-oriented, multi-media production, and what impact they hope to achieve. Charlotte Baer will moderate our discussion.

 

We urge you to read the “original” Animal Farm, from your book shelf or from the library. Possible new motto: “All opinions are important and none is more important than others.”

 

For dinner discussion reservations, call Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825, or e-mail press_associates@yahoo.com. Alfio’s is in the Willoughby Apartments, 4515 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, MD (301-657-9133), two blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro. $12 includes dinner and tip. Dinner is at 6:30; the discussion begins at 7:30. We will have extra chairs if you want to come for the discussion only. Valet or street parking is available. If you must cancel, call Mark by noon on May 14, so we have an accurate count of dinner reservations.

 

Footlights will see Animal Farm at Synetic Theater, at the Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N Kent St, Arlington, VA on Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include a post-show discussion. Make check payable to Footlights. Send to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852.

 

The Rosslyn Spectrum is a short walk from the Rosslyn Metro station, or Spectrum garage parking is available. See http://www.classika.org/Synetic/direct_Rosslyn.html for directions.

 

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead        “Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it going to end?”

 

Tom Stoppard’s first play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, made its debut at the 1966 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Stoppard startled and captivated audiences as he retold the story of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as an absurdist-like farce, focusing on the point of view of two of that famous play’s most insignificant characters. Subsequent productions in London and New York in 1967 made Stoppard an international sensation and three decades and a number of major plays later Stoppard is now considered one of the most important playwrights in the latter half of the twentieth century.

 

Footlights will discuss Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead on Monday, June 4 at Alfio’s. Our guest speaker is the distinguished Shakespearean scholar and Stoppard admirer John Andrews. Mr. Andrews was director of academic programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, has edited several of Shakespeare’s plays and is now executive director of the Washington chapter of the English Speaking Union. Jerry Stilkind will be our moderator. Make your reservations with Mark, 202-898-4825, or e-mail press_associates@yahoo.com

 

Copies of R & G should be available from your library or can be purchased or ordered from Backstage Books, 202-544-5744 or backstagebooks@aol.com, 545 8th St. SE, Washington D.C. (Eastern Market Blue Line metro stop). If you pick up the script at the store, identify yourself as a Footlights member for 10% discount. Call first to make sure books are in stock.

 

We will go see R & G at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St, NW, DC, on Saturday, June 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $33 and include a post-show discussion. Make check payable to Footlights. Send to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852.

 

Democracy

 

Our final play for discussion this season is Michael Frayn’s Democracy. This will be the third Frayn play we’ve explored – the others being Copenhagen and Noises Off. Basing his play in factual, but mysterious events much as Frayn did in Copenhagen, Democracy re-imagines the interactions between Willy Brandt, the first left-of-centre West German Chancellor, and his devoted personal assistant Günter Guillaume, who is no less devoted to his other role as a spy.

 

We are always thrilled to welcome back Jim Petosa, director of Democracy, artistic director of Olney Theatre Center, and frequent guest speaker at Footlights. Mark Gruenberg will moderate our discussion.

 

Stay tuned for details on the date and location of our July discussion, and the date we will see Democracy at Olney Theatre Center, where it will play from July 18 - August 12.

 

Calendar

 

     Monday, May 14, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion of Animal Farm at Alfio’s, 4515 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, MD (301-657-9133) two blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro. $12 includes dinner and tip. A $5 contribution is suggested.

 

     Sunday, May 20, 8 p.m. performance of Animal Farm at Synetic Theatre in the Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N Kent St, Arlington, VA. Tickets are $25.

 

     Monday, June 4, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead at Alfio’s.

 

     Saturday, June 9, 2 p.m., performance of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St, NW, DC. Tickets are $33.

 

     July, dinner-discussion and performance of Democracy, details TBA.

 

Dinner-discussion reservations: Reserve with Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 or press_associates@yahoo.com.

 

Theater tickets: Robin Larkin, 240-669-6300 or robinlarkin@comcast.net. Make check payable to Footlights. Send to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852.

  

 

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Please support Footlights, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Send your tax-deductible contributions to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852.