2019 Season

Judevine

Judevine at Oldcastle

August 16 – September 1

by David Budbill

Perhaps the most beloved play in Oldcastle Theatre’s nearly 50 years is David Budbill’s “Judevine.” Last produced at Oldcastle 15 years ago, Oldcastle “Judevine” is returning in its fourth incarnation. “We love this play, our audience loves this play and theatres, like libraries exist to make available artistic treasures. “Judevine” is certainly that,” according to Oldcastle’s Associate Artistic Director, Richard Howe who has appeared in all of the previous productions. The play introduces more than 30 Vermonters rich and poor, young and old. They struggle. They strive live; and love. Win and lose. But lose more often. Six actors create the inhabitants of the fictional town of “Judevine.”

Poet Wendell Barry has written, “Judevine is full of loving interest in other people and in what I insist on calling the real world. Budbill both informs and moves and he, in short, a delight and a comfort.” Hayden Carruth has said;’with Chekovian insight, Budbill uncovers, through the American lives of the people of Judevine, the whole extent of his concern—which is ours, though we may not always know it—for the world, for peace, for love and justice, for understanding. To do so much he must be very resourceful–lyrical, exalted, funny, sometimes mean, always colorful–and he is.”

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Water, Water , Everywhere…

October 4 – October 20

By Eric Peterson

“Water, Water, Everywhere…” is set in a fictional small town Walloomsac, Vermont where a factory has been spewing Perfluorootaonic acid (PFOA) from exhaust stacks and then built up over several years in the groundwater and soil. Similar things happened in Bennington and nearby Hoosick Falls, New York. But playwright and Oldcastle’s Producing Artistic Director, Eric Peterson, cautions that the play is fiction, not a documentary.

“It certainly was inspired by what occurred locally,” Peterson said, but plot elements have been added to make it both a mystery and a play focusing on many people affected by the contaminated water.”

Much of the play revolves around the local newspaper which is facing a difficult financial situation and is in danger of closing. Two young reporters team up with a veteran editor to bring the story to their readers. Peterson, a former columnist for both the Bennington Banner and the Berkshire Eagle, has written often about Vermont themes in plays such as “Civil Union,” His new play had a successful reading at Writer’s Theatre in New Jersey early this year. “The reading was a great help in the development process,” according the Peterson. We had done a reading at Oldcastle in-house without an audience, then it was substantially rewritten. The Writer’s Theatre reading had an attentive audience and a lively Q and A followed. Then more rewriting. I hope to have one more reading with an audience before rehearsals begin.”

The cast of seven is scheduled to include Howe and another Oldcastle favorite, Christine Decker who received plaudits for her performance as Mary in last season’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” Peterson will direct.

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