McCarter Theatre Center has announced that resident director Sam Buntrock, the critically acclaimed UK theater director, will stage Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning comedy, Travesties. The production runs March 13 through April 1 with an official opening on March 16.
“Travesties is set during the First World War when James Joyce, Lenin, and the Dadaist Tristan Tzara were all for various reasons, residents of Zurich, Switzerland. Stoppard imagines them coming together to stage an amateur production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Years later, the play’s narrator, British consulate official Henry Carr, hazily recalls this momentous meeting of the minds. In doing so, he places himself, to hilarious effect, at the center of this convergence of some of the wildest revolutionary minds of the 20th century in this romantic and achingly funny modern masterpiece. Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Shakespeare in Love) delights his audience with a dazzling exploration of art, literature, philosophy, politics, and history.”
James Urbaniak takes on the role of Henry Carr opposite Christian Coulson as Tristan Tzara, Fred Aresenault as James Joyce, and Demonsthenes Chrysan as Lenin. Luisa Strus is also featured in the cast as Nadya with Everett Quinton as Bennett, Sara Topham as Cecily, and Susannah Flood as Gwendolyn. The design team includes David Farley (set and costume design), David Weiner (lighting design), Fitz Patton (sound design), with original music by Grammy and Oscar Award winning composer David Shire. The production stage manager is Cheryl Mintz.
James Urbaniak is perhaps best known for playing Simon Grim in Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool, and the voice of Dr. Venture on the Adult Swim animated series The Venture Brothers. Urbaniak originated the role in Will Eno’s Thom Pain (based on nothing) and he has been seen in Richard Foreman’s The Universe (Obie Award), The Rivals (Lincoln Center), The World Over (Playwrights Horizons) and productions for Elevator Repair Service, Clubbed Thumb, and Target Margin. His other film credits include American Splendor, Sweet and Lowdown, You Don’t Know Jack, and Across the Universe. His television appearances include The Office, Weeds, Sex and the City, Homeland, Law & Order: CI & SVU, and Unforgettable.
Christian Coulson played the role of Tom Riddle, the teenage Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. On stage he has appeared in Journey’s End (West End), Ghosts (Gate Theatre, London), Festen (U.K. national tour), Romeo and Juliet (Liverpool Playhouse), Rumble Ghost (PS 122), Dutch Masters (Berkshire Theatre Festival). Other film credits: Four Feathers, The Hours, and Leaving Circadia. Television: The Good Wife, Gossip Girl, Hornblower, Miss Marple, and Little Britain. He is a founding member of QWAN, with who he appeared in Notes! and Swan!! (Best Theater 20111 Time Out New York).
Fred Arsenault has appeared on Broadway in The Royal Family opposite Rosemary Harris and Jan Maxwell and Born Yesterday with Jim Belushi and Nina Arianda. His other credits include off-Broadway in Blue Man Group, as well as productions at The Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, American Shakespeare Center, The Hangar Theatre, and The Continuum Company in Florence, Italy. He received his MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program.
Demosthenes Chrysan’s London theater credits include the National Theatre’s world premiere of Blood and Gifts. Off-Broadway he has appeared in Urge for Going (Public Theater), Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop), and Queens Boulevard (Signature Theatre). He has also appeared in productions at Hartford Stage, Alliance Theatre, San Jose Rep, and Trinity Rep. TV: Boardwalk Empire, Damages, Law& Order: SVU, and One Life to Live.
Luisa Strus was seen in the Broadway productions of ENRON, and Elling. Her other stage credits include The Retributionists (Playwrights Horizons), Henry IV (Chicago Shakespeare/Royal Shakespeare Company), Big Love (Goodman/BAM), Hysteria, Our Town, Whispering City, It Ain’t No Fairy Tale (Steppenwolf), and she is a member of The Neo Futurists in Chicago/New York. Her film credits include Gus Van Sant’s Restless, Stir of Echoes, 50 First Dates, Miss Congeniality 2, and The Secret. Television: Modern Family, two seasons on Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified, and the award-winning web series, Jack in a Box.
Everett Quinton recently appeared in Tennessee Williams’ Now the Cat’s with Jewelled Claws. He has also appeared as Florence Wexler in Devil Boys From Beyond, Madam Rosepettle in O Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad, Salome in The Robber Bridegroom, The Witch of Edmonton, and Women Beware Women. Everett also appeared in his own plays A Christmas Rantomime, Twisted Olivia, and a one person adaptation of Oliver Twist. Evert was a member of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company where he appeared in Camille, Bluebird, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Brother Truckers, among others.
Sara Topham was recently seen in the Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest opposite Brian Bedford. Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival: The Misanthrope, Twelfth Night, Dangerous Liaisons, Peter Pan, The Importance of Being Earnest, As You Like It, Fuente Ovejuna, An Ideal Husband, King Lear, The Glass Menagerie, Agamemnon, London Assurance, Noises Off, The Merchant of Venice, Henry VIII, All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry V, Henry IV Part One.
Susannah Flood has appeared at the Oregon Shakespeare Theatre in Hamlet, The Language Archive, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Pride and Prejudice. Other credits Quilters (Denver Center), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Syracuse Stage), A Civil War Christmas (world premiere, Long Wharf), Midsummer (Hartford Stage), Okay (Ensemble Studio Theater), A Free Man of Color (workshop, Lincoln Center Theater), Memory House, Our Town (Trinity Rep), The Cherry Orchard, Isabella in Measure for Measure (Chautauqua Theatre Company), and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in Santa Fe), among others.
Sam Buntrock is resident director for McCarter’s 2011-12 season in which he will also be directing the world premiere of John Guare’s Are You There, McPhee? McCarter: Take Flight. Other credits: Sunday in the Park With George (Broadway, West End, Menier, and 5th Avenue Seattle; five Olivier Awards including Outstanding Musical Production, Olivier nomination for Best Director, nine Tony nominations including Best Director, and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Director), Much Ado About Nothing (Two River), A Maze (New York Stage & Film), Cradle and All (MTC), Cradle to Rave (UK National Tour), God Collar (Edinburgh, UK National Tour, and West End), the current European tour of The Rocky Horror Show (since 2008), the first London revival of Assassins (New End), Get a Life, and Help Yourself (both Edinburgh and UK tour). He has also worked as an animation director on numerous projects, including the feature film Stuart, A Life Backwards for Neal Street Productions, HBO, and the BBC. Sam trained at Bristol University and as resident assistant director at the Donmar Warehouse.
Tickets for Travesties start as low as $20 and can be purchased online at www.mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Performances are Thursday at 7:30pm; Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 3:00pm, Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Groups of 10 or more save and receive premium seating. For more information, call (609) 258-6547 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
McCarter Theatre Center is easily accessible by car via US Route 1, Interstate 95/295, and NJ Route 206. Or take the train to McCarter: New Jersey Transit serves Princeton Junction via the Northeast Corridor Line. Then it’s a ride of four minutes on New Jersey Transit’s “Dinky” train to Princeton Station–McCarter is directly across the street at 91 University Place.