APRIL 2 - MAY 9, 2015
By Matthew Barber
Based on the novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim
Directed by Leslie J. Miller
Carley Elizabeth Preston
and Toni Press-Coffman
ABOUT THE PLAY
When two frustrated London housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday away from their bleak marriages, they recruit two very different English women to share the cost and the experience. There, among the wisteria blossoms and Mediterranean sunshine, all four bloom again, rediscovering themselves in ways that they—and we—could never have expected.
"A comical, restorative journey of discovery…from darkness to light, from inhibition to unrestrained joy. Beautiful and theatrically rewarding." ~ Daily Variety
"ENCHANTED APRIL is as good as they come: a lush, thoroughly refreshing theatrical holiday. Escape has seldom seemed so sweet. A magical triumph." ~ LA Times
"ENCHANTED APRIL is that rarity: a play where every single element falls perfectly into place—a show that leaves you positively glowing." ~ NYTheatre.com
"The kind of play that reminds you of why you love theatre." ~ Hartford News
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
April 2 - May 9, 2015
Friday and Saturday Nights at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM
Previews: April 2 and 3 at 7:30 PM
Opening Night : Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 PM
Final Thursday Show: Thursday, May 7 at 7:30 PM
Final Saturday Matinee: May 9 at 3:00 PM
Preview & Closing Thursday Tickets: $14
General Admission: $20
Students, Seniors 62+, & Military: $18
On a rainy afternoon in 1992 I saw a film that stayed with me long after I had left the theatre. I immediately purchased a copy of the book that the film was based on and read it often when I needed a little bit of inspiration. Years later, a play was written and very soon it was also on my bookshelf. That play was included on a list of plays I hoped to direct. As I am sure you have already guessed the book, the film and the play was Enchanted April. I was mesmerized by the story of four women whose daily lives were filled with duty, boredom and regret. Feeling so lost in her world- one bright hopeful soul dares to grab at a change of scenery and the four ladies are soon together in a small castle in Italy. They are transformed by the beauty they find there as their loneliness and regret are replaced with sunshine & wisteria, kindness, friendship and love. Once transformed it is impossible for them to keep it to themselves.
This idea of being transformed and then sharing it with others is what has always drawn me to this story. Often our everyday life can add weight to those parts of us that are best suited to transformation but Enchanted April shows us that we only have to bold enough to dare to see our circumstances differently – change our “scenery” – and transformation can happen. I am thrilled that a rainy afternoon in 1992 transformed itself into the joy I have experienced directing this play. It has been its own wonderful adventure and I am grateful to be able to share the experience with you. I encourage you all to find your own Sunshine & Wisteria and immediately share it with those dearest to you.
- Leslie J. Miller, Director
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Matthew Barber was born in Los Angeles, California, and studied film, theater, and literature at UCLA. Moving to San Francisco after graduating, he enjoyed early careers as an arts journalist and publicist, while continuing to work in a creative capacity with a variety of small theater companies and arts organizations. This led to a commission to adapt for the stage the 1922 Elizabeth von Arnim novel The Enchanted April. The resulting stage play premiered at Connecticut’s Hartford Stage in 2000, followed by a Broadway production in 2003, earning the John Gassner Award for Outstanding New American Play and Drama League and Tony Award nominations for Best Play. Matthew Barber currently lives in New York City. His original screenplay Independence is in development, and a new stage play, Eleanor & Abel, will premiere in 2014.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth von Arnim (1866–1941) Writing was the refuge for Arnim in her, what turned out to be, incompatible marriage. Arnim’s husband had increasing debts and was eventually sent to prison for fraud. This was when she created her pen name `Elizabeth' and launched her career as a writer by anonymously publishing her semi-autobiographical, brooding yet satirical Elizabeth and her German Garden (1898). It would be such a success as to be reprinted twenty times in it's first year. She was all too aware of the lack of feminine power in a male-dominated world, and did not lack for sympathy of human frailty. She would sign her next twenty or so books simply as written "By the author of Elizabeth and Her German Garden" and later simply "By Elizabeth". The Enchanted April (1922) again contains themes of feminine protest and male tyranny. Four women leave gloomy London to embark on a rejuvenating trip to sunny southern Italy. There was also a movie based on it.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Leslie J. Miller (Director) Since her arrival in Tucson from Ogden, Utah 15 years ago, Leslie has worked with a number of local theatre companies directing productions that include CRIMES OF THE HEART, THE NERD,HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, I HATE HAMLET, THE CLEAN HOUSE, THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, PSYCHO BEACH PARTY and WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THUNDER. She recently appeared onstage in the Winding Road Theater Ensemble production of UNITED. She is truly grateful to direct this production of ENCHANTED APRIL and would like to dedicate it to the memory of her mother- who could always “see” the beauty of the people around her.
Brian Wees (Frederick) spent his early years honing his skills on the stages of Washington D.C. and New York City, most notably as an original cast member in Joseph Papp’s Off-Broadway production of HAGAR’S CHILDREN. Since moving to Tucson, Brian has appeared in numerous productions including Live Theatre Workshop's CAUGHT IN THE NET, CHAPTER TWO, PICNIC and ALL MY SONS; Quintessential Stage’s A SKULL IN CONNEMARA and THE WEIR; Beowulf Alley’s OF MICE AND MEN; Brachiate’s MACBETH; Borderlands’ GUANTANAMO; The Rouge’s THE DEAD; Arizona Repertory Theatre’s RUM & COKE; Winding Road’s A HUMAN EQUATION; and Invisible Theatre’s CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION.
Carley Elizabeth Preston (Lotty) Ms. Preston is thrilled to be back on the main-stage at Live Theatre Workshop. Her previous credits include MOLLY SWEENEY (2013 Best Actress Mac Nominee) THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, LOBBY HERO, and MAURITIUS. She was seen in Etcetera’s productions of OLEANNA, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, among others. Her other Tucson credits include Arizona Onstage Productions’ of ASSASSINS, MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS, ALL IN THE TIMING, and LOVE LOSS AND WHAT I WORE. Invisible Theatre's MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET (2014 Best Actress Mac Nominee), and the world premiere of TADA’s EMMETT, DOWN IN MY HEART. She is a member of the Winding Road Theater Ensemble where she was just seen in UNITED. She received her BFA from the University of Arizona where she was a member of the Arizona Repertory Theatre and appeared in THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, CAROUSEL, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, and MIDWIVES.
Steve McKee (Mellersh) is delighted to return to the LTW Mainstage with this talented cast. He was part of last season’s PHOTOGRAPH 51, and previous LTW credits include SEE HOW THEY RUN, CACTUS FLOWER, BEAU JEST, THE UNEXPECTED GUEST and ON GOLDEN POND. Steve has performed with The Rogue Theatre in AWAKE AND SING, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, RICHARD III, MOTHER COURAGE, and THE WINTER’S TALE. He has also appeared with Arizona OnStage Productions in THE FULL MONTY (where he remained fully clothed), SWEENEY TODD, and THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. He has performed at The Gaslight Theatre and been in a number of local independent and student films.
Peg Peterson (Mrs. Graves) has been active in the Tucson theatre community for over a decade, both onstage and off, as actor, costumer, and sometime prop master. As a member of the Winding Road Theater Ensemble, she was recently seen in Winding Road’s premiere production of UNITED and last fall played Linda Loman in their production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Her last appearance on LTW’s stage was as Doris in CEMETERY CLUB. She won an AZ Daily Star MAC nomination for her portrayal of Kimberly (Peg’s favorite role ever) in the 2011 Etcetera production of KIMBERLY AKIMBO. Other favorites are BROADWAY BOUND, STEEL MAGNOLIAS and ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, to name a few. She hopes you are as enchanted with this play as she is!
Lucille Petty (Caroline Bramble) is so happy to be back on the Mainstage at LTW. You may have seen her previously here in HARVEY and PICNIC, in many an ATT production, and with Etcetera in JAILBAIT, THE BOOK OF LIZ, ROBOTS VS. FAKE ROBOTS, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and MR. MARMALADE. Lucille is an Ensemble member with Winding Road Theater Ensemble, roles, and shows there including Maria Millis in UNITED, Sally Bowles in CABARET (2013 Mac Award Nomination, Best Actress, Musical), Diwata in SPEECH & DEBATE (2012 Mac Award Nomination, Best Actress) FIFTH OF JULY and ARMOR. She's also performed with Invisible Theatre in FOX ON THE FAIRWAY, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, and I AND YOU, for which she won the 2014 Mac Award for Best Actress. She's also appeared with Arizona Onstage Productions in STEEL MAGNOLIAS (2012 Mac Award Nomination, Best Actress), Sacred Chicken Productions in BECKY'S NEW CAR, and with Beowulf Alley in LYSISTRATA and WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THUNDER?
Nowell Kral (Antony Wilding) studied theater in High School under Terry Erbe and Norm Testa, with them he worked on a total of twelve show's one of which he assistant directed. He then trained as a stunt performer for four months at Trail Dust Town's Pinnacle Peak Pistoleros. He is currently studying theater and media production at Pima Community College. He was last seen on the LTW stage in THE GAMES AFOOT OR HOLMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Toni Press-Coffman (Costanza) has performed in Tucson as Katherine (A PERFECT GANESH), Bo (LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO), Dorothy (INSPECTING CAROL), Fanny (ON THE VERGE), Katerina (ANTON IN SHOW BUSINESS), Flo (PICNIC), Aunt Sally (FIFTH OF JULY), and Vi (AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY) Ton is a founding member of Winding Road Theatre Ensemble, which recently produced her new play UNITED. Toni was also seen in LTW's Etcetera program as Garlic Press in ROBOTS VS. FAKE ROBOTS, and directed the late-night ensemble's production of WHITE PEOPLE.
Avis Judd (Rose Arnott) received her theatre degree from Northwestern University. She has been seen in Tucson in 17 productions, among her credits are Desdemona in OTHELLO, Kate in OLD TIMES, Hermione in THE WINTER’S TALE, Karen in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, Barbara in BOOM, one of the ensemble in LOVE LOSS AND WHAT I WORE, and most recently as Moon in the premier of JAGUAR, by Dawn Sellers. She can also be seen in an official Warner Brothers trailer for the final Hobbit movie, The Battle of the Five Armies. She would like to thank her loving family for supporting her theatre addiction.