Bennington Community Theatre

Family Drama Course

Tues. Jan. 8, 2019 through Feb. 26th – 7 to 9 p.m.
Sally Sugarman

Sally Sugarman, a long time professor at Bennington College, is joining with the Oldcastle Theatre Company to present a class entitled “The American Family Drama” for eight weekly sessions from Tuesday January 8, 2019 through February 26th from 7 to 9 p.m. at Oldcastle Theatre, 331 Main Street in Bennington.

Ms. Sugarman taught a similar class with other faculty members of Bennington College. The idea of the new class came about during a discussion with Oldcastle’s Producing Artistic Director, Eric Peterson. Ms. Sugarman and Peterson were talking about the breath and diversity of great American plays centered on the family. Several of the plays discussed during that conversation are included in the upcoming course.

The drama of the American family has played out on the stages of American theatres for years. Every major American playwright has written at least one play about the American family. The changes in the family are reflected in these dramas. The times in which a play is written as well as when it is performed offer insights into what changes and what stays the same. Reading and discussing plays with others not only increases one’s enjoyment of particular plays, but deepens the play going experience by offering fresh perspectives on how to view all family dramas, on stage and off. The plays the course will examine are: AWAKE AND SING, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLLF, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS A RAISIN IN THE SUN, BURIED CHILD, AUGUST OF OSAGE COUNTTY, and HIR. Some of the course sessions will include film treatments of plays in the series.

“Audience members often stay following a performance to discuss the characters, plot and meaning of a play,” Peterson said recently. “This will be an excellent opportunity to have those discussions with a life-long theatre buff and learned academic. Sally instinctively understands playwriting, plus she is married to a fine playwright. She and her husband, Bob, have a long running radio program, now a podcast, interviewing directors, actors, playwrights and designers from all the regional theatres in Southern Vermont, the Capital District and the Berkshires. These will be fascinating conversations about brilliant, unforgettable plays.

The cost of the class is $140.00 for the eight sessions.
For further information or to sign up call Oldcastle Theatre Company at 802-447-0564

Acting 101 Is Back

Acting 101 - January 7th
Starting January 7th

This class will meet for 8 weeks on Monday nights 7 – 9 pm. Instructor Christine Decker, actor and Director of Education at Oldcastle, will work students through scenes, monologues, and exercises, to culminate in a showcase of performances. Open to every level of experience, from the seasoned to the brand new.
Call Oldcastle at 802-447-0564 to reserve your spot, as space is limited.

News Release

Bennington Community Theater

The newly reconstituted Bennington Community Theater will be staging three
performances of “The Curious Savage” by John Patrick on December 7th and 8th at
Oldcastle Theatre. Although most of the casting already has been completed, volunteers
are still being sought to help with costumes, lights, building sets and working as ushers.
Bennington Community Theater intends to offer quality community theater that
will be separate from the professional theater offered by Oldcastle Theatre but — as part
of Oldcastle’s transition in to a year around performing arts center — will be under the
direction and control of the same board of directors.

While Oldcastle Theatre has been staging professional theater here since 1972,
there also have been various community theater groups in Bennington over the years,
dating back to the 19th century when amateur performances were staged at The
Bennington Opera House along with traveling minstrel shows and professional touring
companies performing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and even an occasional opera. The most
recent version of community theater here was created several years ago by Robert Ebert,
who will continue to be involved with the project as it moves under Oldcastle’s
expanding performing arts center umbrella.

“The Curious Savage” is a comedy about Ethel Savage, a wealthy widow who –
to the distress of her grown children — intends to leave her wealth to help ordinary
people pursue their dreams. Convinced that she’s become mad — and wanting her
money for themselves — they have her committed to a sanitarium, whose patients seem
more sane than the Savage children do. The play will be directed by Christine Decker,
who teaches Acting 101 at Oldcastle and who has been in many Oldcastle productions
over the years, most recently in “Long Days Journey into Night”. Thirty-five people
auditioned for the dozen roles in the play, some of them graduates of the Acting 101
program.

The process of transforming itself into a year round performing arts center has
been under way for some time, with movies, concerts, art exhibits, cabaret theater,
magicians and other forms of entertainment and education added to the professional
theater that has long been under the direction of Eric Peterson. The intent is to have even
more of them as the redevelopment of downtown Bennington takes place, with one of the
aims of the Oldcastle board of directors to have the stage at 331 Main Street serve as
Bennington’s new public square and to put area people of all ages on the stage as well as
in the seats.

There will be evening performances of “The Curious Savage” on the 7th and the
8th, and also a matinee on the 8th. The price of admission will be $10. The cast will
include Sue McIntosh as Ethel Savage, Phyllis Chapman as Dr. Emmett, Patricia Gardner
as Miss Wilhelmina, Mindy Border as Florence, Jana Lillie as Hannah, Jennifer Marcoux
as Fairy May, Mike Cutler as Jeffery, Leslie Bremner as Mrs. Paddy, D. Mark Blank as
Titus, and Erika Floriani as Lily Belle. The role of Samuel still remains to be cast.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with community theater should send an
email to oldcastletheatre@gmail.com or call 802 447-0564.

Bennington Community Theatre

Bennington Community Theater

Bennington Community Theater intends to offer quality community theater that will be separate from the professional theater offered by Oldcastle Theatre but — as part of Oldcastle’s transition in to a year around performing arts center — will be under the direction and control of the same board of directors.

While Oldcastle Theatre has been staging professional theater here since 1972, there also have been various community theater groups in Bennington over the years, dating back to the 19th century when amateur performances were staged at The Bennington Opera House along with traveling minstrel shows and professional touring companies performing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and even an occasional opera. The most recent version of community theater here was created several years ago by Robert Ebert, who will continue to be involved with the project as it moves under Oldcastle’s expanding performing arts center umbrella.