Arlington Friends of the Drama

“With One Look” You’ll Fall in Love with “Sunset Boulevard”

With hauntingly beautiful songs like “With One Look,” a cast that includes Janet Ferreri, and a creative team led by director and choreographer Kevin Mark Kline and musical director Steven Bergman, you will fall in with AFD Theatre’s “Sunset Boulevard.”

Performances are March 3-19 with Friday and Saturday shows at 8 PM and Sunday matinees at 4 PM. Tickets are $25.

Opening night is just weeks away so get your tickets now! In the meantime, enjoy these rehearsal shots captured by Mary Babic, plus some set photos and backstage images from Kevin Mark Kline.

Did you know? The legendary Gloria Swanson created the role of Norma Desmond in the 1950 Billy Wilder movie on which the musical is based. Patti LuPone starred as Norma in the original London production. Glenn Close was Norma in the original Broadway production and is currently reprising her Tony award-winning performance in a Broadway revival.

Janet Ferreri in AFD’s Sunset Boulevard Janet last appeared on the AFD stage in “The Boy from Oz,” in which she played the role of Judy Garland. If you saw “The Boy from Oz,” you know why we’re thrilled to have her return to bring our Norma to life!

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Friends of the Drama, we’re trying to seduce you… aren’t we?

Get your monologues ready to audition for the upcoming production of "The Graduate"!

Auditions in mid-February, production in May. Joe Stallone directing, heading to EMACT, fun and funny play.

“The Graduate”

A play adapted by Terry Johnson

based on the novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry

Directed by Joe Stallone

Auditions will be held at AFD Theater, 22 Academy Street, Arlington, MA

AUDITION DATES / TIMES
Auditions will be grouped in 1-hour segments.

  • Thursday, February 16, 2017, from 7 to 8 PM and 8 to 9 PM

  • Saturday, February 18, 2017, from 1 to 2 PM and 2 to 3 PM

  • Callbacks: Saturday, February 18, 2017, from 4 to 6 PM

 To schedule your audition segment, please contact Mary Fitzpatrick. Email marymarkfitz@gmail.com or call 727-543-5092

AUDITION INFORMATION

Please prepare a short monologue of any style from a modern play written after 1960.

  • There will also be readings from the script.

  • Bring a hard copy resume and headshot.

  • Bring a hard copy completed audition form. Click here to download form.

Please read story synopsis and character synopses below.

PERFORMANCE DATES AND TIMES

  • Friday, May 12 at 8 PM

  • Saturday, May 13 at 8 PM

  • Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 PM

  • Friday, May 19 at 8 PM

  • Saturday, May 20 at 8 PM

  • Sunday, May 21 at 4 PM

  • No show Sunday, May 14 due to Mother’s Day.

 June 23–25: A cutting from “The Graduate” will be entered in the EMACT Festival which will take place June 23–25. Exact date/time not yet scheduled by EMACT.

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE

Rehearsals will be Mondays and Thursdays from 7:15 to 10 PM and Sundays from 3:30 to 7 PM.

  • A few additional rehearsal days will be added; TBA based on cast availability.

  • Not all actors will be called for all rehearsals.

  • Tech Week: May 6 through May 11. Detailed schedule TBA; please hold ALL dates open.

  • Complete rehearsal and tech schedules will be available no later than the first rehearsal.

 Please indicate ALL dates that you are not available and ALL time conflicts (If we know in advance, we may be able to work around your conflicts).

Seeking actors for the following roles

CHARACTER SYNOPSES (NOTE: Actual age is less important than suitability for the role.)

  • Benjamin Braddock (early 20’s) Recent Ivy League college graduate—the best and brightest—conflicted about values, his future, and his life. To rebel or to confirm, that is the question. Seduced into an affair by family friend Mrs. Robinson, but in love with her daughter Elaine.

NOTE: Must be comfortable appearing shirtless and in underwear only (at least briefly). Nudity is optional but not required and a closed set can be arranged for those rehearsals.

  • Mr. Braddock (late 40’s-mid-50’s) Benjamin’s father, a well-off businessman and emblematic of “the establishment.”
  • Mrs. Braddock (late 40’s) Benjamin’s mother, a good wife and socially appropriate.
  • Mr. Robinson (early- to mid-50’s) Mr. Braddock’s business partner and neighbor, an even more severe example of “the establishment.”
  • Mrs. Robinson (late 40’s to 50’ish) Mr. Robinson’s alcoholic, unhappy repressed wife, full of regret and secret passions. Sexy and alluring, she might be called a “cougar” today.

NOTE: Must be comfortable appearing in underwear and/or sexy negligee. Nudity is optional but not required and a closed set can be arranged for those rehearsals.

  • Elaine Robinson (20-ish) The Robinsons’ daughter and high school friend of Benjamin. Optimistic and a conformist, she expects a “normal” life like that of her parents and their friends.
  • Stripper, Receptionist (Female, 20’s-40’s)
  • Hotel Clerk, Psychiatrist, Barman, Priest (Male, any age)
  • Patrons in Strip Club, Wedding Guests (2 Male, 2 Female; minimal rehearsal requirement)

ABOUT “THE GRADUATE”

Benjamin Braddock is a confused young man. Having spent four years achieving a brilliant scholastic record, upon graduation he finds himself adrift, uncertain about his future, disconnected from his purpose, and increasingly alienated from the upper-class, suburban, “plastic” world of his parents.

 Fighting panic and boredom, he is deeply conflicted but ultimately willing when Mrs. Robinson, the unhappily married, alcoholic, and dangerously charismatic wife of his father’s business partner, tempts him into an affair. Benjamin’s tenuous existence of lazy days and stolen nights falls apart when he falls in love—with Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s upbeat, optimistic daughter.

Terry Johnson’s stage adaptation of “The Graduate” is full of rapid-fire dialogue between fascinating and horrifying characters.

“The Graduate” is iconic, known mostly as the 1967 movie directed by Mike Nichols. The movie was an adaptation of the 1963 short novel by Charles Webb. And in 2002, both were interpolated into a stage play by Terry Johnson. Still today, its iconic words and images persist.

Drumroll: AFD’s next season!

Hey, Friends, we’re deLIGHTed to announce the next season for AFD: 2017-2018.

If you are interested in directing for AFD next season, please send a current resume along with a brief paragraph describing your concept for each production you are applying for. APPLY BY JANUARY 12, 2017. Thanks!

Please fill out this form: afddirectorsinterview1stnotice

October 2017
The Light in the Piazza
Book by Craig Lucas, Music & Lyrics by Adam Guettel

December 2017
The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays
By Ken Ludwig

March 2018
9 to 5: The Musical
Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton,Book by Patricia Resnick

May 2018
Unnecessary Farce
By Paul Slade Smith

You may apply for more than one production. Please respond by January 12, 2017. Interviews are scheduled for Tuesday evening, January 17th and Saturday, morning and afternoon, the 21st at the theater. Interview slots will be confirmed and conducted in 20-minute intervals. Please include a date and time preference when responding.

AFD’s honorarium for Stage Directors for non-musicals: $700, Stage Directors for musicals: $800, for Choreographers: $500, for Musical Directors: $750. Musical directors will also receive additional remuneration for 3 dress rehearsals and each performance at which they either conduct or play.

The Light in the Piazza
Book by Craig Lucas, Music & Lyrics by Adam Guettel
Based on a novella by Elizabeth Spencer, the story is set in the 1950s and revolves around a wealthy Southern woman and her developmentally stalled daughter, Clara, who spend a summer together in Italy. When Clara falls in love with a young Italian man, Margaret is forced to reconsider not only Clara’s future, but her own deep seated hopes and regrets as well. On Broadway, The Light in the Piazza won a Tony Award for Best Actress, Best Score, Best Sets, Best Costumes, and Best Lighting.

The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays
By Ken Ludwig
It’s December 1936, and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

9 to 5: The Musical
Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton, Book by Patricia Resnick
9 to 5: The Musical is a hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era. It tells the story of three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of their company and learn that there’s nothing they can’t do—even in a “man’s’ world.” Outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, 9 to 5 is about teaming up and taking care of business . . . it’s about getting credit and getting even . . . and it’s coming to AFD Theatre.

Unnecessary Farce
By Paul Slade Smith
Two cops. Three crooks. Eight doors. Go. In a cheap motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant–while in the room next door two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there’s some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s being videotaped, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a hit man, and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes. This play is dazzlingly funny and guarantees two hours of nonstop laughter. It weaves through mix-ups and mayhem that you won’t believe.

(All selections subject to change)

 

A Dickens of a Tale Comes to AFD: “A Christmas Carol” One Show Only December 17 at 2 PM

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Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was an instant success when it was first published in London in 1843. The story was adapted for the stage almost immediately and also has been made into more than 25 film versions.

Now Ebenezer Scrooge is coming to AFD Theatre, thanks to the Bay Colony Shakespeare Company! BCSC is bringing its acclaimed production of “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” to the AFD stage on December 17 at 2 PM for one show only.

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The Ghost of Christmas Present from the original publication of Dickens’ novella.

Using only Charles Dickens’ original text in an acclaimed one-man performance, BCSC actor Neil McGarry creates a beautiful performance that keeps the audience spellbound from start to finish.

Join us for this holiday classic perfect for every member of the family! We’ll be serving seasonal refreshments in the lobby after the show. Bring a nonperishable food item or personal care item to add to our food pantry donation.

General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. You can buy them at the door or in advance on our website. We hope to see you there!

Check out these great reviews of “Inspector” — then get your tickets right quick

“I think this play will go down as one of [AFD’s] best. From the opening to the great way of closing…I was listening to every word, as was everyone In the theater. My friends also agreed with me!!”
“We loved it. Mary did an amazing job with her wonderful cast. Valerie Forgione’s music fillers were fabulous. Costumed women were exquisite. Not a weakness with the cast.”
“Here is a simple timely message, powerfully and memorably dramatized. This is a skillfully-acted and staged production, and is well worth seeing.”
“I was mesmerized as was the entire audience. You could barely hear a breath or a sigh from any of us. There was no mistake that the cast on stage and us sitting in the audience, were completely engulfed with everything we saw, we heard. We were held captive in the concept and creativity and the exceptional talent of all involved.”
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Short film fest coming up soon!

AFD Theatre hosts the short film fest!

December 9 & 10, 2016, 8pm, $10 at the door

Short and snappy films by local filmmakers. Having shown at festivals across the country, they’re coming to our own town!

We made the news!

Sort of. We got reviewed at any rate. Thanks to a Friend who helped with the set for our production of “An Inspector Calls,” and went on to write a review — all on his own!

Read on for his take on the play, and this production. Then, buy your tickets!!

An Inspector Calls

If you’re feeling a bit at sea just now, wondering what the world has come
to and whether all norms of morality have been upended, J.B. Priestley’s “An
Inspector Calls,” a mystery-thriller first performed in 1945 and now playing
at Arlington Friends of the Drama Theatre, will provide some assurance that
despite all the wrongs in the world and the prevalence of denials of how
one’s own actions can bring about those wrongs, in the end what’s right is
right, and that’s all there is to it.

This might be the perfect play for a community theater group to stage. There
is crackling suspense and conflict between the characters from start to
finish, and the audience is continuously engaged, wondering how important
questions will get answered and how the conflicts between the characters
will get resolved. The cast is small enough so that in the approximately 100
minutes of running time one can get to know the characters well, yet large
enough to provide enough roles to go around. All the action takes place in
one room, so only one set need be designed and constructed. And the themes
addressed are socially important, of universal value at all stages of life,
of equal interest to young and old.

Set in the dining room of a well-to-do English family, an engagement
celebration is interrupted by the arrival of a police inspector looking into
the suicide of a young woman. At first, “An Inspector Calls” has the feel of
a classic mid-century English “cozy” mystery: there is a small group of
suspects, most of whom are related, each with a secret to hide, each having
some connection to the victim that is revealed over time; there is an
all-knowing detective, eccentric, but working diligently and effectively to
get at the truth; and there are masks to be ripped off because the decorum
of the wealthy bourgeoisie barely hides the corruption lying underneath. And
yet this whole structure is exploded in the end, including the genre itself,
transformed from mystery to morality play.

As written, the play comes off as a rather heavy-handed skewering of the
hypocrisy of the wealthy. But as directed by Mary Fitzpatrick and played by
a talented group of actors, the effect is more universal, that it’s not that
this particular class of people is more evil than others, it’s that
underneath all of us is a core of selfishness and self-righteousness that is
the source of much of the misery in the world, and yet also is the source of
some of the things we hold dear: status, wealth, and social order.

The parallels to Dickens are inescapable. Priestley ploughs the same
thematic ground, and while his characters are somewhat less rounded than
some of Dickens’, he does not cave in to sentimentality by slipping in an
unearned feel good message at the end. He is more true to the implications
of his insights.

For sure there is not much nuance in certain parts of this play. In case we
fail to get the essential points by virtue of the action, the Inspector
tells us directly what to think and feel, as does Sheila, the newly engaged
daughter of the industrial patriarch Arthur Birling and his wife Sybil,
whose reactions to the events are intended to drive home the lessons we are
to learn. And, yes, the revelations that are to come are telegraphed well
before they are disclosed. But even so, when they come, these revelations
still land with full impact. And the message is so important (a healthy
society depends on us realizing we are all in this together and must help
each other out) and the production is so attuned to making this point as
subtly as possible within the confines of the script, that one overlooks a
certain lack of artistry in the writing.

Iain Bason as the industrialist Arthur Birling hits all the right notes and
provides a bit of depth to the character lacking on the page. Fred Robbins
is solid as Inspector Goole, the voice of morality in the play. Teri Muller
has a thankless job, playing the unsympathetic Sybil Birling, but manages to
round out what would otherwise have been an entirely two-dimensional
character. And Kate Flanagan is inspired as Sheila Birling, the character
who seems to change for the better and learn the most from the events that
transpire.

Here is a simple timely message, powerfully and memorably dramatized. This
is a skillfully-acted and staged production, and is well worth seeing.
Remaining show dates: 11/12 (8 pm), 11/13 (4 pm), 11/18 (8 pm), 11/19 (8
pm), 11/20 (4 pm) at Arlington Friends of the Drama Theatre, 22 Academy
Street, Arlington. www.afdtheatre.org.

Steve Poltorzycki

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