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Michael Frayn's "Noises Off" is one of the most complex and wildly successful farces ever written. The opening act reveals the play within the play,"Nothing On", on its final rehearsal before opening night. With doors slamming, mistaken identities, torrid affairs, two set flips, British accents, a two story set, insanely perfect timing and an endless plate of sardines, it is classic farce. Co-directed by Adjunct Professor Ben Jankowski and senior Nora Alexander, this was one of GMC's most ambitious and memorable productions.
FAT PIG by contemporary writer Neil LaBute is a provocative short play which deals with our perceptions of beauty and weight and how our society influences our personal decisions in ways we don't like to admit. Directed by Paula Mann and presented as a black box workshop on the Ackley Stage, this production showcased students in a variety of first-time onstage and offstage roles. Audiences were invited to participate in a lively post show discussion after the Saturday night performance.
The Grapes of Wrath
Frank Galati's adaptation of John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" is a powerful ensemble piece adapted by a member of the famed Chicago Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The play was performed on Broadway and won the 1990 Tony Award that year. The GMC show directed by prof. Paula Mann included a cast of 18 students and a live three-piece folk band onstage led by music director Gus Bloch.
The Madwoman of Chaillot
Directed by Paula Mann, this classic French poetic comedy written by Jean Giraudoux in 1943 presages the anti war movement of the 1960’s in its story about the outcasts of Paris who join forces to overcome corporate greed and power in order to save the world for peace, love and beauty. GMC’s production featured over 20 students and AEA actress Melissa Hurst in the title role.
A contemporary romantic comedy written by John Cariani and directed by GMC Technical Director, Ben Jankowski, this play explores life and love in the backwoods of Maine. Portland Stage presented the world premiere in 2004 and it was one of the most successful productions in their history.
This imaginative production was directed by senior Blake Kyler as his senior project. Shakespeare meets Blazing Saddles in this Wild West version of one of the bard’s most popular comedies.
The 39 Steps
A comic adaptation of Hitchcock’s 1935 British film noir thriller, this ingenious play, adapted by Patrick Barlow and directed by Ben Jankowski, uses only a handful of actors to play dozens of roles in dozens of locations all over the world. The play won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy and opened on Broadway in 2008.
The Glass Menagerie
One of Tennessee Williams’ earliest and most beloved plays, our GMC production was directed by Eric Peterson, Artistic Director of the Oldcastle Theatre Company. The show featured a double cast of students performing with AEA actress Professor Mann as Amanda and a set designed by professional scenic designer William Aupperlee.
An Evening With Poe
This creative adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems and stories was conceived and directed by Adjunct Professor Gary Meitrott. The production featured both students and local area actors. The Greek chorus of cabaret entertainers in tux outfits, fishnet stockings and high heels offered poems of Master Poe and three storytellers theatrically performed The Black Cat, The Cask of the Amontillado, and the Tell-Tale Heart. Senior Cassarino also played organ music with back up on bass by Michael Middleman and drums.
Directed by Ben Jankowski, this musical hit from the 1970’s is based on the Gospel According to Matthew and features pop and folk songs by Stephen Schwartz. The structure of the musical is that of a series of parables, mostly based on the Gospel of Matthew. These are then interspersed with a variety of modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ treated briefly near the end of the performance.
Crimes of the Heart
Winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize, this contemporary dark comedy by Beth Henley, directed by Paula Mann, is set in a small town in Mississippi where three sisters, Meg, Babe, and Lenny, who reunite at Old Granddaddy's home after Babe shoots her abusive husband. Past resentments bubble to the surface as each sister is forced to deal with the consequences of the "crimes of the heart" she's committed.
This interactive performance piece was conceived and directed by senior Lisa Much for her senior project. Based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1943 dramatic adaptation of the Electra myth, the GMC production invited audiences to participate by walking through various locations in Ackley Theater and watching scenes that were happening simultaneously.