Strindberg Rep Fall 2018:

Resident playwright Natalie Menna offers an evening of three comedies about the role of narcissism in the battle of the sexes.

"Hiroshi-Me, Me, Me" is about the aftermath of a short-lived affair between a desperate woman and a man who has dumped her. In a 30 minute comedy, it's clear that her self-absorbed delusions have sent both her boyfriend and her best female friend running for the door. Janet Bentley directs; the actors are Ivette Dumeng, Daniel Lugo* and Mary Charlotte Baynard.

 HIROSHI-ME, ME, ME BY NATALIE MENNA -- Ivette Dumeng (L) and Mary Charlotte Baynard (R). Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

HIROSHI-ME, ME, ME BY NATALIE MENNA -- Ivette Dumeng (L) and Mary Charlotte Baynard (R). Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

 MONTANA BY NATALIE MENNA -- Regina Gibson and Sean Leigh Phillips. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

MONTANA BY NATALIE MENNA -- Regina Gibson and Sean Leigh Phillips. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Narcissism switches genders in the ensuing play, "Montana," in which an unprincipled and flamboyant male star is interviewed at the Academy Awards by an opportunistic and vapid female network correspondent. This comedy shows how it's not surprising that someone's pathological egoism and self-centeredness can distort reality, it's only surprising that the rest of us tolerate it. The play is directed by Charles Casano and acted by Regina Gibson* and Sean Leigh Phillips*.

 PAUSE BY NATALIE MENNA -- Hannah Beck and James B. Kennedy. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

PAUSE BY NATALIE MENNA -- Hannah Beck and James B. Kennedy. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

The final play, "Pause," is a Pinteresque play about the suspicion of infidelity in a middle-aged man and his younger wife who say as much in their pauses as they do in their dialogue. It is not a play of overt cruelty, but it reveals an older husband using the authority of his age to behave oppressively toward his wife. The piece is directed by Ivette Dumeng and acted by Hannah Beck* and James B. Kennedy*.

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Costume design by Janet Mervin
Lighting design is by Gilbert "Lucky" Pearto


November 9 to December 1

Previews Fri Nov 9 (8:00), Sat Nov 10 (2:00).
Opens Wed Nov 14 (7:30)
Runs through Sat, Dec 1 on the following schedule:
Fri Nov 16 (8:00), Sat Nov 17 (2:00), Fri Nov 23 (8:00), Sat Nov 24 (2:00), Wed Nov 28 (7:30), Fri Nov 30 (8:00), Sat Dec 1 (2:00).

TICKETS
$20 general admission
$15 seniors and students
Combination ticket: both shows for $30 (general admission)

Box Office (212) 868-4444
Running Time: 85 minutes

GENE FRANKEL THEATRE
24 Bond Street, NYC 

 

The Father

 Natalie Menna as The Wife, Dabiel Lugo as The Doctor in "The Father" Photo by James Rucinski.

Natalie Menna as The Wife, Dabiel Lugo as The Doctor in "The Father" Photo by James Rucinski.

Strindberg's "The Father" (1887) offers a proto-Freudian explanation of the unreasonable hatred that can exist between husbands and wives. A free-thinking army captain and scientist would have his daughter educated to be a teacher, while his wife would have her become a painter. The wife manipulates the town pastor (who happens to be her stepbrother) and the newly arrived town doctor for her purposes, using her erotic influence over the doctor and her readiness to claim that the family lawyer is her child's father. Ultimately, she drives her husband into the arms of his old trusted nurse, who straitjackets him.

Depending on the time of history, audiences tend to side with either the captain or his wife. The captain's insistence on "male perogatives" makes it sometimes seem that his wife's scheming brings him his just deserts. At other times, he seems a tragic victim of a diabolical female who, in the course of the play, is even told by the pastor and the doctor that she is a monster.

Robert Greer's translation does not steer us toward either conclusion; instead it finds hidden meanings in the original Swedish dialogue that seem to drive the play. Much of it comes from the erotic electricity between the wife and the doctor. The translation doesn't resort to crude language, but it does convey some of the subtext that is near the surface.

W I T H
Brad Fryman* as the Captain
Natalie Menna as the Wife
Daniel Lugo* as the Doctor
Gabe Bettio* as the Pastor
Bailey Newman as the Daughter
Jo Vetter* as the Captain's Old Nurse
Tyler Joseph as the Captain’s Orderly

Costume design by Janet Mervin
Lighting design is by Gilbert "Lucky" Pearto

November 15 to December 1
Opens Thur Nov. 15 (7:30) and runs through Sat Dec. 1 on the following schedule:
Sat Nov. 17 (8:00), Sun Nov. 18 (3:00), Sat Nov. 24 (8:00), Sun Nov. 25 (3:00), Thur Nov. 29 (7:30), Sat Dec.1 (8:00).

TICKETS
$20 general admission
$15 seniors and students
Combination ticket: both shows for $30 (general admission)

Box Office (212) 868-4444
Running Time: 120 minutes

GENE FRANKEL THEATRE
24 Bond Street, NYC 

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Photo gallery of previous productions:

Photos provided by Katie Leffen, Jonathan Slaff, Al Foote III, Jingxi Zhang, and Adele Bossard.