Written by Tom Stoppard
Directed by by Robert S. Currier
My husband, Robert Currier, has always been a huge Stoppard fan. We've got a photograph in our dining room of him and the wonderful actor Jarion Monroe playing the lead roles in Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Bob quotes the box speech from that play almost as often as he quotes Oscar Wilde. He has lusted to do Stoppard in Marin for decades.
The success of our 2009 production of The Importance of Being Earnest, and the idea of a season of sequels -- with Antony and Cleopatra following the 2009 Julius Caesar -- emboldened Bob to choose Travesties for the 2010 season.
We think it was one of the classiest and cleverest productions we have ever staged. Bob's brilliant casting, coupled with the Dada-inspired use of moving staircases, tables, and chairs and Bob's addition of rhythmic movement and sound sequences fabulously built on Stoppard's themes and style.
Limericks were choreographed and rehearsed ad nauseam; the tea party scene was "scored" with the sound of china, tea spoons, and moving bodies; and everyone loved seeing Lucas and Julian waltzing together towards the end of the play.
Stoppard is known for being a bit over-intellectual, even in his early plays, like Travesties, which are also highly theatrical. The lively staging -- for example, the addition of a food fight during the long Carr / Tzara scene about war (a food fight that took place over and amidst moving staircases, tables, and on several different levels) -- brought the themes to life in an incredibly fun and moving (pun intended) way.
The cast was built around a core group of actors who have become regulars at Marin Shakespeare over the past few seasons, including A-B-C-D: Alexandra Matthew, Bill Elsman, Cat Thompson, and Darren Bridgett. Along with Lucas McClure, these actors had all appeared in Earnest the summer before. Lenin look-alike Stephen Klum, Sharon Huff (whom we'd admired for years but who was in her Marin Shakespeare debut) and the always incredibly smart, funny, knowledgable, and scene-stealing Julian Lopez-Morillas rounded out a dream cast. What fun!
Let's do more Stoppard again soon!
-- Lesley Schisgall Currier
Tristan Tzara, Dada poet - Darren Bridgett*
Cecily, a librarian - Alexandra Matthew*
James Joyce, author - Lucas McClure*
Nadya, Lenin's wife - Sharon Huff
Lenin, a would-be Russian revolutionary - Stephen Klum*
Henry Carr, a British Consulate employee - William Elsman*
Bennett, Carr's manservant - Julian Lopez-Morillas*
Gwendolen, Carr's sister - Cat Thompson*
Ensemble - Miles Duffield, Shaka Folger-Basso, Jasper Hirose, Allison Kruse,
Director - Robert S. Currier
Producer - Lesley Schisgall Currier
Choreography - Cynthia Pepper
Costume Design - Jocelyn Leiser Herndon
Dramaturg - Cathleen Sheehan
Lighting Design - Ellen Brooks
Movement Consultant - Lesley Schisgall Currier
Member of Actor's Equity Association