by John Morogiello
“The Consul, the Tramp and America’s Sweetheart” won first place in the 2015 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest and the 2015 Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition from the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild. It was developed at New Jersey Rep, Luna Stage, and the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre in Denver. Oldcastle Theatre has twice presented premieres of plays by Baltimore playwright John Morogiello. “Engaging Shaw” has been produced around the world and “Playdate” which Oldcastle premiered in 2014 is now being produced by regional theatres around the U.S.
The Consul, the Tramp & America’s Sweetheart’s story, concerns Charles Chaplin’s film masterpiece, The Great Dictator and Germany’s attempts to prevent the movie from being made. The cast includes silent screen star, Mary Pickford, who became head of the studio she formed with Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, United Artists. The play contains some classic comedic pieces from Chaplin’s films and also concerns a young woman trying to make her way up the administrative ladder in Hollywood; as well as the Nazi Consul to the United States.
“This new play is funny, clever, has an interesting take on history, is play about women fighting to receive equal status and a test of commercial needs versus artistic freedom.”~Eric Peterson, Producing Artistic Director, Oldcastle Theatre Company
by Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller’s 100th birthday is being celebrated around the globe and Oldcastle Theatre will do its part to remind playgoers of the man’s genius with one of his last plays, “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan.” The New York Times wrote: “Any new play by Arthur Miller is an important event in American culture. One as theatrically bold and intellectually subtle as “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” is a reason to shout for joy.” The play concerns Lyman Felt a poet turned insurance tycoon in his fifties. Driving down Mt. Morgan in the snow he crashes his car and is taken to an upstate hospital. Summoned to his bedside are his daughter and his two wives: Theo the older WASP-ish woman whom he married decades earlier and Leah, the young Jewish businesswoman who had been Lyman’s lover and insisted on becoming his wife. Now Lyman’s past, and his appetites, have caught up with him. The play was first presented in London and then became a success, first at the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theatre and then on Broadway starring Patrick Stewart. It is a towering role in a play filled with juicy parts for talented actors.