(LENOX, Mass.) – “Leisure & Lust,” a unique, immersive site-specific theater experience written by Sara Farrington and inspired by Edith Wharton’s life, love affair, marriage, and writing style, receives a limited run at The Mount from Friday, January 27 through Saturday, January 28.
Opening night is Friday, January 27, with a special performance in The Mount’s drawing room, followed by a talkback and reception with Farrington, director Marina McClure, and the cast. Additional performances will take place on Saturday, January 28, at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm. Each of Saturday’s performances will be presented in Wharton’s Boudoir and Bedroom. Tickets may be purchased at The Mount or by calling 413-551-5100. The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox.
“Leisure & Lust” is a theatrical and psychological journey through the ravages of poverty and the oppressions of affluence in New York City in 1907. It is the story of Grace Hunter, a brilliant woman with an insatiable hunger for romance, and her tortured husband Harry, a closeted man rapidly losing his grip on reality.
The play is inspired by elements of Wharton’s most famous (and lesser known) works, as well as a torrid affair she had as a middle-aged woman with a younger man, Morton Fullerton.
The play exists over the course of three days in 1907 jumping around in time in a playful way, from 1907 to 1887 to 1897 and back again. The play is broken into two acts: Leisure, which exists in Grace Hunter’s boudoir, and will be performed in the intimate environs of Edith Wharton’s real-life boudoir, and Lust, which exists in Harry Hunter’s bedroom and will be performed in Wharton’s bedroom.
“An important part of our mission is to share the work of artists who find inspiration in Wharton and her work,” said Susan Wissler, executive director of The Mount. “After Sara and Marina staged a reading of ‘Leisure’ at The Mount in 2015, I knew that we needed to bring them back to perform the piece in its next iteration. I look forward to sharing this site-specific theatrical experience with our community.”
LEISURE & LUST
By Sara Farrington
Directed by Marina McClure
Performed at The Mount, 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA
January 27 at 7pm – Opening Night with reception and talkback
January 28 at 11am, 2pm, & 5pm
With set design by Mary Hamrick and costume design by Alice Tavener
FEATURING: Stephanie Regina, Gabriella Rhodeen, Kyle Stockburger & Michael Aurelio
Sara Farrington (Playwright): MFA from Brooklyn College w/ Mac Wellman. Current HARP Artist at HERE Arts Center to create CasablancaBox, which tells the story of Casablanca through the making of Casablanca (April 2017 @ HERE, here.org). Upcoming & recent plays include: Cosmicomics (The Flea, 2017, dir: Marina McClure), The Arabian Nights (CityTech, 2018). The Return (Metropolitan Museum of Art, July/Aug 2015), Near Vicksburg (Incubator Arts Project, Walkerspace, Foxy Films, The Wild Project), Requiem For Black Marie (Incubator Arts Project, Foxy Films, Stella Adler Studios), Mickey & Sage (Incubator Arts Project, Foxy Films, Great Plains Theater Conf, National Theater Institute, ShelterBelt Theater, Omaha.) She is currently writing a piece inspired by Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street. Sara’s work has been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, The Axe-Houghton Foundation and The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation. Mickey & Sage is published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.
Marina McClure (Director): Marina creates emotionally charged theater, opera, and spectacles by fusing striking visual design and physical work with performers. Her work has been seen throughout the US, Canada and South Africa. Marina teaches directing at The National Theater Institute at the O’Neill and has been an artist-in-residence at Dartmouth and Connecticut Colleges and guest director for Handspring Puppet Co. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a script reader for the Public Theater’s Emerging Writer’s Group, and a resident director at the Flea (NY). She has assisted Lisa Kron & Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home – Sundance), Anne Bogart/SITI Company (BAM Next Wave), and Nataki Garrett (An Octoroon – Woolly Mammoth). She develops new work with Aleshea Harris, Emma Stanton, Sara Farrington & Reid Farrington, Drew Foster, Nick Benacerraf and Emma Green. Upcoming: CasablancaBox (HERE, NY), The Utterances (Brown University), workshops of a new folk opera, Tear a Root from the Earth (Afghan Embassy, DC). MFA: CalArts.
Gabriella Rhodeen (Grace Hunter): BFA in acting from the California Institute of the Arts and is now living and working in New York. Recent credits include Cara in My Old Man and Other Stories at Dixon Place, Coffee/Lisl/Carol in CasablancaBox at HERE Arts Center, Hanna in Dedicated to a True Lover (and therefore probably nobody) at the Bootleg Theater and Nina in I Should Have a Party for All the Thoughts I Didn’t Say at KEX, Reykjavik.
Stephanie Regina (Lucy): Stephanie is a film and theatre actor, and artistic collaborator based in New York City. Some NYC favorites: Irene in CasablancaBox (Here Arts), Lysistrata in Lysistrata (Nuyorican Poets Cafe), The Return (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Oedipus in Oedipus Rex XX/XY (LaMama E.T.C.), Medea in Jason and the Argonauts (Summerstage, NYC). Regional highlights: Dancing Behind My Eyelids (A.R.T/Club Oberon), Abigail Adams in 1776 (NJPAC), Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Ocean Professional), Valerian in On the Frontier (Center for New Performance, CA), and Varya in Cherry Jam (Theatre Movement Bazaar, CA). International: Cloud Nine (Reduta, Czech Republic). Film: Molehill (Amazon Prime). Stephanie is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts.
Kyle Stockburger (Harry Hunter): Kyle Stockburger is an actor and writer based in New York City. He has performed at Dixon Place, Chashama Studios, Theatre for a New City, Judson Memorial Church, and The Secret Theatre. Acting credits outside New York include the World Premiere of Alejandro Ricaño’s Timboctou at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles and the Teatro Experimental in Guadalajara, Mexico. His written work includes The Carousel, What I Did For Love, and The Real Coyote Ugly. He holds a MFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts.
Michael Aurelio (Delancey Morris): BFA in acting from California Institute of the Arts; His theatrical work includes the world premiere of Timboctou at RedCat, Los Angeles and Teatro Inverso, Guadalajara. Los Angeles theater credits include Lord Byron in Camino Real (Boston Court Theater) Fenton in Merry Wives of Windsor, Ratcliff in Richard III, (Theatricum Botanicum) and lead roles in two new works by writer Amanda Shank, Prairie Fire (Cal Arts) and Rabbit in the Blue (Cal Arts). Film and TV credits include guest star roles on Murder in the First (TNT) and We Are Men (CBS). Independent film credits include starring roles in Violet, David, and White Knights. He has also appeared in workshops appeared in CasablancaBox (written by Sara Farrington) as Claude Rains and Roberto Rossellini.
Mary Hamrick (Set Design) Selected NY: One Thrilling Combination (The Public), Les Miserables (Cortland Rep.), Man & Coconut (IRT), Leisure, Labor, Lust(HERE), Portals (TPAC), Pinkalicious(Soho Playhouse), Breaking Ranks, America Perseveres (Kraine Theater), The Bully, My New York (Vital Theater Co), Bojko & the Glacier(JACK), Not Afraid (Under St. Marks). Los Angeles: Peter Pan The Boy Who Hated Mothers (dir. Michael Matthews), Veronica’s Room (dir. Dan Spurgeon). Broadway: Associate designer for Rocky (Tony Award), Tuck Everlasting, Finding Neverland, and Company. Assistant designer on Drowsy Chaperone and Xanadu. Other assistant work includes Aladdin(Tour), Finding Neverland (Tour), Bel Canto (Lyric Opera), Rocky The Musical (Germany), Los Otros (Mark Taper Forum), Elektra (Getty Villa), Evil Dead the Musical (New World Stages), Nerds:// A Musical Software Satire (Philadelphia Theatre Co.), Shout! The Mod Musical (Women’s Project & Tour). MFA: CalArts.
Alice Tavener (Costume Designer): Recent NYC Designs: Minor Character with New Saloon (Under the Radar INCOMING!); My Name is Gideon with All for One (Rattlestick and Edinburgh Fringe); Mechanics of Love with To by For (Paradise Factory); I’m Bleeding All Over the Place: A Living History Tour (La MaMa); Target Margin’s The Iceman Cometh Act I (HERE); and PIONEERS#goforth (JACK). Other selected designs: so go the ghosts of mexico (La Mama); You, My Mother with Two Headed Calf (La Mama and River to River Festival); Leisure & Lust (HERE); A Dream Play with NAATCO (HERE); Camp Kapawanna (Atlantic Theater for Kids); This is the Color… with Door 10 (Baryshnikov Arts Center). Alice received her MFA from CalArts.
About The Mount:
The Mount is a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton. We engage a diverse audience by providing context to Wharton’s life and achievements through our educational and public programs and the conservation and preservation of her historic estate and gardens. Each year, The Mount is host to over 45,000 visitors.