New American Voices Fall 2020 Virtual Reading Series
Rob Urbinati, Director of New Play Development
By T. Cat Ford
Directed by Susanne Boulle
Premiering October 14, 2020, 8:00 PM
Available through October 18
*denotes member of Actors Equity Association
Kim Morgan Dean * Hannah Ingram *
Sound Technician: Matthew Green
Technical Production and Video Editing: Jay Rogers
Special Thanks to Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia
A gold encrusted animal, a splash of water and the gaze of a community. Life in a small town is an examined life – at least externally. Appearances, moral and physical, define ones place in society. This is a given for Ann and Brenda who struggle to conform to a strict patriarchal social structure. Their power lies in the power of appearance, “looking good,” and subversion – sneaking cigarettes, taking a day off when ordered to cook, denying their husbands what is known in this social structure as conjugal rights. They “work hard” to comply with the local ideal of physical beauty. But this ideal is confused. Due to painful racial history, skin color holds a significant place in the power structure. Those with white skin control legal, political and economic systems. And yet, Ann and Brenda will be seen as more beautiful if they sunbathe and darken their skin. Why? Perhaps when confronted with this conundrum, one can choose to follow Brenda’s advice, “The only solution is not to think. Just don’t think and everything will be all right.” But where will that lead?
Poolside is the first of a trilogy of one-acts that examine Ann and Brenda’s relationship to their community, their husbands and their future. In Tee For Two we see their husbands, Allen and Brian, play one hole of golf. Over Meat gives us a chance to join the couples in their homes for dinner, simultaneously. These successive one-acts give us insight into all four characters and their individual relationship to the community and each other.
T. Cat Ford
I have had the pleasure of working on several of T Cat Ford’s brilliant plays over the years. We met at Barter Theatre in Virginia, so it’s serendipitous to be able to use Barter acting company members to bring POOLSIDE to life for the Queen’s Theatre New American Voices series. For POOLSIDE, the cast and I discussed the time the play takes place- in the early 1990s, and yet how incredibly relevant the play is right now. We looked to unravel the complex dynamics that define their lifelong friendship, the ways that patriarchy shapes the female experience, both then and now; and how casual racism is often baked into one’s upbringing. We pondered the question: what motivates women to perpetuate a lifestyle that they themselves find to be unfulfilling? The audience may recognize, as we did, that the characters in the play might fall into the category of “Karens” in today’s vernacular. It was illuminating to look at these women through the lens of 2020. To learn how and why their roots were so strong and how their attitudes have affected today’s social landscape, some 25+ years later.
Susanne Boulle, Director
T. Cat Ford’s play, POW’R IN THE BLOOD, opened Barter Theatre’s 75th Anniversary season. In 2016 her political cabaret, HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN, was presented in The York Theatre Company’s New2NY Series with Bill Castellino directing. Other plays include: THE CHAOS TRADE, an insider’s view of the financial meltdown; MERMEN, a space coast fantasy; VICTORIA & HENRY, Women’s Rights and Free Love in the 19th century and A SIMPLE GIFT, an a cappella musical exploration of the 19th century Shaker movement. In 2016 in association with the Coffee County Historical Society she founded THE COFFEE COUNTY MEMORY PROJECT: The Integration Years (1966-1972), an oral history project focusing on the federally mandated integration of the schools of Coffee County, Georgia. Her newest play MIXING IT UP, A Story in Technicolor with Song, is written for educational theatre and based on this material. In September, 2020 the first virtual museum exhibition based on this material was published. This virtual exhibition, emergingVOICES of Coffee County 50th Anniversary, is available at this link. Playwright website: www.tcatford.com
Excited to work with the Queens Theatre! Regional: Million Dollar Quartet (National Tour- Gershwin/ Barter Theatre), Blackbird, Sally McCoy, ELF: the Musical, A Facility for Living, Civil War Voices, Alice in Wonderland, Pow’r in the Blood, The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead, Travels With My Aunt, The Baby Dance, Of Mice and Men. NYC: The Red Door Theatre, IRT, American Int’l Theatre, NYU/ Atlantic 453 program. Former Assoc. Artistic Director at Barter Theatre, Teaching Artist at TFANA. Development of new plays for The Actor’s Studio, the Abingdon Theatre, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, and Atlantic/ NYU. BFA, Western Carolina University.
Kim Morgan Dean is a member of the resident acting company at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA. Barter roles include: Princess Fiona (Shrek), Kathy (Singin In The Rain), Truvy (Steel Magnolias), Eve (Wooden Snowflakes), and Judy (White Christmas). Previously, Kim was a company member at Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, West Virginia, where she also served as the associate artistic director. Favorite GVT roles: Gwendolyn (The Importance of Being Earnest), Sally (Cabaret), Jo (Little Women), Maggie (Let It Snow) and Aldonza (Man of La Mancha). Other credits: Janet in Yankee Tavern (Florida Stage); Lisa in Collected Stories at Mosaic Theatre (Carbonell Nomination, Best Supporting Actress); Ginny in Relatively Speaking; Rosalind in Moon Over Buffalo (Florida Rep); and Mrs. Farley in Playhouse Creatures (Women’s Theatre Project). She is the recipient of the 2008 and 2009 Carbonell Best Supporting Actress Award for her performances as Wren in Body of Water (Mosaic Theatre) and Mairead in GableStage’s production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore (GableStage), respectively.
Hannah Ingram first joined Barter Theatre’s Resident Acting Company in 2008, and she has been happily stretching her creative boundaries there ever since. Some favorite Barter productions: A Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche DuBois); Cabaret (Sally Bowles); 39 Steps (Annabella/Margaret/Pamela); Evita (Evita); Thicker Than Water (Andrea Yates); Man of La Mancha (Aldonza); as well as directing Barter Theatre’s 2015 production of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. NYC: From Paris to Main Street (World Premiere, Kraine Theatre); For A Good Time Call… (Duplex Cabaret Theatre); Island of the Blue Dolphins (Theatreworks USA). Regional: Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia, PA); Porthouse Theatre Company (Kent, OH); Allenberry Playhouse (Harrisburg, PA); A2 New Plays Festival (Ann Arbor, MI); Mohonk Mountain Stage (New Paltz, NY); Lakes Region Theatre (Meredith, NH). She worked for The Mouse, sailing the seven seas on Disney Cruise Line. She also had the honor of spending three years entertaining our active-duty military and veterans by traveling worldwide as a member and company manager of the USO World troupe, “The Liberty Belles” – an Andrews Sisters-style trio, specializing in intricate three-part harmony. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the prestigious University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has been a member of Actors’ Equity for over a decade. Hannah is an active member of her community and the SWVA region, serving on the Boards of SWVA's Higher Education Center and Kingsport's Symphony of the Mountains, as well as Steering Committees of Abingdon Main Street and Washington County Independent Neighbors, not to mention membership in several community activist groups and her own campaign for local office. She is eternally grateful for her family of friends, her dogs, her life, her Matt, and her incredible parents.
We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions:
ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION
AMERICAN GUILD OF MUSICAL ARTISTS
AMERICAN GUILD OF VARIETY ARTISTS
through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.
Queens Theatre at Home is proud to continue to serve our community through online programming.
It's not possible without our generous partners.
Howard Gilman Foundation
Jerome Robbins Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts - Cares
NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
New York State Council on the Arts
The Shubert Foundation
Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director
Connie Baker, Rentals and Events Manager
Victor Catano, Production Manager
Dominic D'Andrea, Director of Community Engagement
Richard Hinojosa, Director of Education
Alexis Lubin, Finance Manager
Willy Mosquera, Front of House Manager
Gregg Mozgala, Director of Inclusion
Bernadette Ott, Development Manager
Jay Rogers, General Manager
Rob Urbinati, Director of New Play Development
Sheila Xia-Ryan, Social Media Manager
Board of Directors
Gary Kesner, President
Tracy Capune, Vice President
Bruce Levine, Treasurer
Mark Misk, Secretary
Susan B. Lipsky
Frances A. Resheske, Board President Emeritus
Bill DeBlasio, New York City Mayor
Gonzalo Casals, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
Sharon Lee, Interim Queens Borough President
Michael Dockett, Queens Borough Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation