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Monthly Archives: December 2015

It takes a village to build a …house

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The set of Clybourne Park is really the play: a single house in the past, and then 50 years later. The house has changed, the people have changed, the neighborhood has changed.

Every production requires a full-out effort to build and polish, and then strike, a full set. Some more elaborate than others. All needing a full contingent of folks willing to spend evenings and weekends hammering, sawing, measuring (not in that order).

We’re always so grateful to the people who show up and lend a hand! Here you can see some of the stalwarts: Charlie Carr, Stu Kazin, Gareth Williams, and a new recruit learning the ropes, Rebecca Knepple.

Be sure to catch the play to see how it turns out! It opens January 9.


New Prologue, full of news you really can use

A great issue full of info about:

  • next season’s slate of plays!
  • interview with director of Clybourne Park!
  • greetings from the President!
  • reviews of the ArlingTEN short play festival!

Well, that’s a lot.

Here it is, enjoy, thanks to Nancy Rogier!


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David Kimmelman as Russ/Dan

Welcoming a great cast to the land of “Boy from Oz”

Congrats to the wonderful actors/singers/dancers who were recently cast in the musical “Boy from Oz,” coming in 2016.

And thanks to the great folks who auditioned; we appreciate your coming out!

PETER:       THOM HARDY                    (LAST SEEN IN  ‘A CHORUS LINE’)


JUDY:          JANET FERRERI                (IN ‘NINE’ WITH KEVIN KLINE)





 Kelly Duffy

Allie Brown

Julia Bandini

Allison Patch

Elizabeth Hassett

John Bradshaw as Dee Anthony

Centre Page - RIO

Raised at AFD, instilled with love of theater, and making art forever…

Jeff Kazin was raised in the heart of AFD. He shares some memories and thoughts about love of theater, dance, performing.

Below is a glimpse of the production of “Nut/Cracked” currently at the ICA in Boston.

My first production with AFD was “Gold In the Hills” (circa 1973).  I spent untold hours at 22 Academy Street—both on and back stage—until 1982, when I departed for Connecticut College. From ‘73-’82 I was raised at AFD.  I had parents and siblings galore, and friendships were forged that I still hold most dear to this day. AFD trained me—literally—to be a lover of theater, all that it entails, and what was (and wasn’t) done, respected, and admired in that most hallowed of churches.

I have never left the theater.  As a theater major in college, I attended the National Theater Institute at the O’Neill Theater Center and began working professionally before graduation from Conn. I moved to New York City in 1987 where I have lived ever since with my partner of 31 years. In 1990, after many, many many failed attempts to be cast in a Broadway show, I went to see a dance concert with work by choreographer and friend David Parker. Thus began my career as a professional dancer, ending my Broadway auditioning career.

Since then I have been a founding dancer, general manager and now director of the company that David and I formed, The Bang Group. I’ve created original roles for the company, taught and coached repertory, assisted in the creations of commissioned work for renowned companies, colleges and universities. I’ve no intention of stopping any of it.  TBG has been produced throughout the US and Europe as we continue to explore the boundaries of dance, humor, rhythm, and the destruction of dance dogma. The company’s work is accessible, intelligent, wry, anarchic.

One of the company’s most notorious, illustrious and beloved works, “Nut/Cracked” (celebrating its 13th season, an unheard of accomplishment for a modern dance piece) was presented at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston this past December. This neo-vaudeville, “masterful mash-up of nostalgia, artistry and fun” (The Huffington Post) will feature, along with 13 dancers from NYC, Boston luminaries Peter DiMuro and Lorraine Chapman.

Today, AFD stands as one of the cornerstones of the formulation of my values, the foundation of my career, and my genuine love of the theater.

Thanks to Dot Santos for this piece.

Cooking up a great version of Clybourne Park

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Had the good fortune to sit in on a rehearsal of “Clybourne Park” on Friday, and this: it is going to be GREAT, Friends of the Drama.

It’s a really well written play, for one: fast, funny, cutting, interesting.

And the cast is killing it.

And the director, Celia, is incisive, relentless, and really good at this.

Don’t miss it, for reals.

By Bruce Norris
                                             Stage Director:  Celia Couture
                                                Producer:  Marlene Mandel
Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, “Clybourne Park” is a sharp-edged comedy about race and community. The play walks a dangerous tightrope between social commentary and comedy, exploring and exploding cultural myths about race, community and the pursuit of the American Dream.

Friday, January 8 @ 8 PM

Saturday, January 9 @ 8 PM

Sunday, January 10 @ 4 PM PM (with talkback)

Friday, January 15 @ 8 PM

Saturday, January 16 @ 8 PM

Sunday, January 17 @ 4 PM


  • Bev/Kathy:  Jennifer Shea
  • Russ/Dan:  David Kimmelman
  • Francine/Lena:  Regine Vital
  • Jim/Tom/Kenneth:  Randal Lawrence-Hurt
  • Albert/Kevin: Reggie Joseph
  • Karl/Steve:  Jason Myatt
  • Betsy/Lindsey:  Allison Rudmann Putnam

Fun course at ACA for friends of theater

Drawing For Theatre Flier (1)

“Once” — she was AFD’s own star!

1441911916The lovely singer/actor who’s been tapped to star in the Boston production of “Once” got her start in the Boston area on the stage at AFD!

Full info on the role and the player in this piece, Bringing “Once” home to Boston.

Dot Santos reports that the first place Erica performed when arriving in Boston was in the 2007-2008 season’s production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” More info on Erica here.

From the piece:

Erica Spyres – actress, singer and classical violinist – has spent her life surrounded by music. Her parents are both music teachers. Her brothers are both singers. And her family was honored as “The Most Musical Family in Missouri.” The Ozarks native relocated to Boston when her composer-husband was accepted to study at Boston Conservatory.

Congrats to her, good luck, and come back and visit sometime!!