December 7, 2010 - January 2, 2011
Adapted from the book by E.B. White
By Joseph Robinette
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer
You grew up with it. Your kids love it. Now see it brought spectacularly and imaginatively to life onstage. With adults, kids, and puppets, too! Celebrate the true meaning of friendship and family with Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, and all the humans and animals on the Zuckerman farm. From the director of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, this is the perfect holiday experience to share with your whole family.
E. B. White
Mr. White was born July 11, 1899, in Mount Vernon, New York. Beginning in 1925 and continuing through the six decades until his death in 1985, he was a contributor to The New Yorker magazine. The author of poetry, humor, essays and nonfiction, he is best known for his children’s books, which include Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan and his classic Charlotte Web, published in 1952. This work is one of the most popular children’s books of all time; the Children’s Literature Associate called it “the best American children’s book of the past 200 years.” Among his many honors, White was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. White died on October 1, 1985, at his farm home in North Brooklin, Maine. He was buried beside his wife, Katharine Angell, at the Brooklin Cemetery.
Mr. Robinette is the author of 51 published plays and musicals, including The Fabulous Fable Factory, written with composer Thomas Tierney, and Charlotte’s Web, adapted from the novel by E.B. White, two of the most widely produced children’s plays in the United States. He has also dramatized the authorized stage versions of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Paper Chase, and A Rose for Emily. The recipient of numerous playwriting awards, Robinette was presented the 1976 Charlotte Chorpenning Cup, given annually by the Children’s Theatre Association of America to “an outstanding writer of children’s plays who has achieved national recognition.” In 2002, as professor of theatre at Rowan University, he received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award for Demonstrated Excellence in the University Classroom. In 2004, he received the American Association for Theatre and Eductation’s best play award for his adaptation of Sarah, Plain and Tall
Mr. Pfeiffer is thrilled to return to Two River Theater Company. Last season he directed You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Matt is based out of Philadelphia where he works as the Associate Artistic Director of Theatre Exile. For Exile Matt has directed Shining City, American Buffalo, Bug, and Glengarry Glen Ross. Other credits include: Arden Theatre, Walnut St. Theatre, Delaware Theatre Co., Lantern Theatre, 1812 Productions, Brat Productions, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Flashpoint Theatre, and 14 seasons with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Matt is a five-time Barrymore nominee and recipient of the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist. Later this season he will direct A Moon for the Misbegotten (Arden Theatre) and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Theatre Exile). Thanks to the entire crew here at Two River Theater Company. Special thanks to this amazing group of collaborators.
John Ahlin *
Mr. Ahlin is delighted to return to Two River Theater, having appeared in The Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Waiting for Godot. Most recently John was seen in All’s Well That Ends Well with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Broadway credits: Waiting for Godot (with Bill Irwin, Nathan Lane and John Glover), Journey’s End (2007 Tony Award Best Revival), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Voices in the Dark, One Mo’ Time, Whoopee! and Macbeth. Off-Broadway John portrayed Orson Welles in Orson’s Shadow. TV credits: Law & Order: SVU, Third Watch, As the World Turns, The Education of Max Bickford. Regional experience includes Pittsburgh Public Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Old Globe, Goodman Theatre, Center Stage,Baltimore and the Goodspeed Opera House.
This is Rachel’s debut performance at Two River Theater. She’s very excited to be a part of this show! Recent performances: The Sound of Music (Louisa), Fiddler on the Roof (Shprintze), Willy Wonka (ensemble) at Main St Theatre, Story Theatre (8 different characters) and Brundibar (Sparrow) at Duncan Smith Theatre. She appeared in Nickelodeon’s pilot for Dora the Explorer Live: Dora’s Pirate Adventure! (Isa). Television credits include Sesame Street and Mother Goose Club. Voicework for children’s online books, Little Fox. School and camp performances of Oliver! (Nancy), Jungle Book (Baloo), Grease (Rizzo), Annie (Daddy Warbucks), and Peter Pan (Smee). Rachel wants to thank her amazing family for always supporting her. She’d also like to thank the cast and crew.
Aysan Celik *
Off Broadway: The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop); Pericles (Red Bull); Faust (Target Margin/Classic Stage); Spinning the Times (1st Irish Festival/59E59); Turn of the Screw, Richard III, and Murder By Poe (The Acting Company). Other NYC includes: Hater (Ohio Theatre); Let Me Ascertain You (The Civilians/Joe’s Pub); Medea and Araihsak (Theater Mitu); Paris Commune (The Civilians/The Public Lab); Twelfth Night (The Queen’s Company); Attempts On Her Life (Soho Rep). Regional highlights: This Beautiful City (The Civilians/ Studio Theater); 9 Parts of Desire (Actors Theatre of Louisville); title role in Antigone (American Repertory Theatre). Film: The Brooklyn Heist. Gratitude to E.B. White, and to every writer who ever inspired a kid’s love for reading. For Devran, Yildiz and Aylin.
Doug Hara *
Previous Two River productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; and Our Town. Doug is a veteran ensemble member of Lookingglass Theatre Company where he has participated in 16 productions since 1991 including Metamorphoses, West, Arabian Nights, Up Against It, The Master and Margarita, Lookingglass Hamlet and The Brothers Karamazov. Recent credits include The Threepenny Opera and Something Intangible at the Arden Theatre. Broadway credits: The Boys of Winter and Metamorphoses. Off-Broadway: The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci and Lookingglass Alice. Doug has performed at many regional theatres including The Goodman Theatre, About Face Theatre, Jellyeye Drum Opera, Huntington Theatre, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, the Alliance Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Joyce Theatre. Doug lives in Lambertville, New Jersey with his wife, Kirstin, and daughters, Lyra and
At 13, Matt makes his second appearance at Two River Theater Company. He previously performed in Life in the Middle as an uptight middle school student named Derek. Matt has appeared in NYC at the Metropolitan Playhouse in The Return of Peter Grimm and has held leading roles in local community theater productions including Pinocchio and Oliver!. Most recently Matt appeared on television in an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories for the Biography Channel. A skilled pianist and keyboard player, he has performed in NJ on the Count Basie stage multiple times with RockIt for Kids. Matt would like to thank the cast and crew as well as his entire family for supporting his acting dream.
Zach Kleinsmith *
Mr. Kleinsmith is very excited to be making his debut at Two River Theater. Regional credits include: Antony and Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothing, and Shakespeare 4 Kids (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), A Nice Family Gathering (Dixie Theatre, FL) and Peter Pan (Actors Theatre of Louisville). New York credits include: The Harvard Project (Unnatural Acts, Actor, Co-Writer, www.harvardproject.org), Waiting For Lefty, Camino Real (Columbia Stages) and The Fabulous Kane Sisters (FringeNYC). Film: Paper Cut, The Sublet, and The Most Important Meal of Your Day. Otterbein College, BFA.
Garrett Neergaard *
New York Theatre: Apparition (Connelly Theater); Goldstar, Ohio (Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab), Spin Moves (SPF ‘04), The Seagull (Blue Heron Theater); Regional: The Matchmaker, Washed Up on the Potomac, Hidden in this Picture, Trouble in Mind (Baltimore Centerstage) The House in Hydesville (Geva); Trouble in Mind (Yale Rep); Fraulein Else (La Jolla Playhouse); Fallen Angels (Dorset Theatre Festival); Film/TV: The Laramie Project (HBO); Law & Order; After You Left; Goldstar, Ohio.
Nancy Rodriguez *
Ms. Rodriguez is excited to make her Two River Theater Company debut. Credits include: Cymbeline (Lincoln Center Theater). Edgardo Mine (Guthrie), The Tempest, The Cherry Orchard, Romeo & Juliet, Antony & Cleopatra, As You Like It, Playboy of the West Indies, Life Is a Dream, Two Sisters and a Piano (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra (Shakespeare Theatre) For Colored Girls… (Portland Center Stage), Two Sisters and a Piano (Studio Theatre), London Cries (Irondale), The Last of Bernarda, Blind Alley (Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Syracuse Stage), HELP! (Schoolhouse Theater), Animus (INTAR) Donna Morelli (New York Stage & Film). Film/ TV: Law & Order: CI and SVU, Mercy, Detachment, Indigo, Into Me See. BFA, Boston University.
Lindsay Smiling *
Mr. Smiling is thrilled to make his Two River Theater Company debut. Credits include: Macbeth (Wilma Theater), Blue Door (Victory Gardens Theater), Defiance (Bristol Riverside Theatre), His Daddy (Ensemble Studio Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare on the Sound), The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Twelfth Night (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Lobby Hero (Walnut Street Theatre), Richard III (Lantern Theater), Of Mice and Men (Walnut Street Theatre), The Mojo and the Sayso (ACT/The Hansberry Project), Take Me Out (Mixed Blood Theatre & Human Race Theatre), Mr. Smiling received his B.S from Illinois State University and a M.F.A from Temple University.
Maureen Torsney-Weir *
Ms. Torsney-Weir is so excited to be making her Two River debut in this wonderful show. Maureen most recently appeared as Old Lady in Sunday in the Park… , and Mrs. Lintott in History Boys at the Arden, Signora Nacarelli in Light in the Piazza at PTC, and Lizzie Cherry in Cherry Bomb at 1812. Working as an actor in New York for many years she was noted for such roles as Grace in Faith Healer, and Ouisa in Six Degrees of Separation among many others. Maureen Torsney-Weir is a Barrymore winner for Best Supporting Actress in Angels in America, and as part of the ensemble for Equus with Mum Puppetheatre. Next up at the Kimmel Center, Sarah Bernhardt in a new musical The Passing Wind.
David P. Gordon
Mr. Gordon has designed almost 300 productions for theater and opera, including Two River Theater’s productions of The Pavilion and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Other recent credits include designs in NY for The Public Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, Classic Stage Co., Juilliard Opera and Lincoln Center, as well as regionally for The Arden, Wilma, Philadelphia Theatre Co., Walnut St. Theatre, Long Wharf, Williamstown, Old Globe, Goodspeed, Huntington, McCarter, LA Opera, Kennedy Center, Arizona Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Berkshire and Sarasota Operas. He has received four Barrymore Awards and 11 nominations for Outstanding Scenic Design, as well as Carbonell, IRNE and Connecticut Critics Circle Award nominations, and the 2003 Elliot Norton Award. David is a professor of Set Design at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Lisa designs both in New York and regionally; venues include Roundabout Underground, Theatre Row, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, the NY Fringe Festival, 10 seasons at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, People’s Light and Theatre Co., Bristol Riverside Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Metro Stage and the Cape Playhouse. Lisa is the Associate Costume Designer for the Broadway, London and current National tour of Hair. She was the Associate Costume Designer for the Broadway, touring and many of the international productions of Rent during its 13-year run. She has received an outstanding Costume Design Award for the NY Fringe, a Barrymore nomination, and an Innovative Theatre Award Nomination. LisaZinni.com
F. Mitchell Dana
Over 600 designs across the US, Canada and Europe include: Two River, Heartbreak House, Barefoot in the Park; Paper Mill, 32 including Oklahoma!, Miss Saigon, Secret Garden, Phantom, She Loves Me. Broadway: The Suicide (Drama Logue Award), Monday after the Miracle, Mass Appeal; Off Broadway: MTC, BAM, Roundabout. 100 Operas for: NYC Opera, Royal Opera/Covent Garden, LA Opera, Washington National Opera, June Opera. Regional: recipient of a 2010 NJ Theatre Alliance Achievement Award, and work for Arden (Something Intangible, Barrymore Award), McCarter, George Street, St. Louis’ Muny,Pittsburgh CLO, Caldwell (Papa, Carbonell Award), Goodman Theatre (two Jefferson nominations), Seattle Rep, Mark Taper Forum. Professor at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts and VP of United Scenic Artists.
Mr. Colucci makes sound and music as a theater artist, composer and guitarist. Last season he received Barrymore Awards in both the Outstanding Sound Design (The Long Christmas Ride Home, Azuka Theatre) and Outstanding Original Music (The Breath of Life, Lantern Theater) categories. Upcoming projects include Death of a Salesman at Milwaukee Rep, Sarah Ruhl’s The Vibrator Play at the Wilma, Amadeus at the Walnut, and Tom Sawyer at People’s Light. Thanks to Matt and everyone at Two River.
Mr. Cromie is a Philadelphia-based director, performer and mask & puppet designer. He designed Two River’s Our Town, and has designed for Folger Theatre, Arden Theatre, Wilma Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Pearl Theatre among others, and has directed for Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre; Lantern Theatre, Mum Puppettheatre and teaches for the University of the Arts and Headlong Performance Institute. Aaron is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. www.aaroncromie.com
Mr. Smiley has designed projections and animations for Big Love, Antigone, and Cloud Tectonics (Rutgers University) Feiffer’s People and Pirates of Penzance (Carlsbad Cultural Arts Center) and The Skin of Our Teeth (Burton Center for the Performing Arts). Previous Two River lighting designs include All Too Human: An Evening with Clarence Darrow, and PlayBack: Mary’s Wedding. Other recent lighting designs include Una Vida de Calidad (Living Theatre), Killing Women (KEF Productions/Theatre Row), Albert Herring (Westminster Choir College), and Bloodletters (45Bleecker). Justin has an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
SIXTY YEARS WITH E.B. WHITE AND CHARLOTTE
E. B.—Elwyn Brooks—White, the author of the children’s book Charlotte’s Web, from which our play was adapted, was born in Mount Vernon, New York, in 1899. In September 1917, he entered Cornell, where all students named White were automatically renamed Andy in honor of Cornell’s first president, Andrew E. White. Elwyn White was called Andy the rest of his life, to his great relief.
By Robert M. Rechnitz