TO THE ORCHARD
by Les Hunter
Directed by Dale Heinen
Friday – Saturday at 8:00 pm & Sunday at 2:30 pm
May 27-29 & June 3-5 at Creative Space at Waterloo Arts
June 10-12 at Dobama Theatre
“To the Orchard is a welcome addition to the homegrown plays that are being produced in Cleveland. And Playwrights Local is a welcome addition to the companies doing the production.”
— Cleveland Jewish News
“Playwrights Local brings a fascinating To the Orchard as their inaugural work.”
— AXS Cleveland
College student Rachel Bergman reveals her sexual identity to her Orthodox Jewish father, who also is struggling with his own hidden past. In coming to terms with each other–and themselves–the pair must reconcile the conflicting pulls of tradition and individual desire. To the Orchard takes place in Brooklyn in the recent past, but incorporates dreamlike visits to turn-of-the-century England and the lost Jewish Eastern Europe. The spirits of Robert Plant and Virginia Woolf add a touch of magic realism to this intimate work about making mistakes, coming clean, and the power of history and family.
Run Time: Approximately 130 minutes, including one intermission
PLAYWRIGHT & DIRECTOR
Les Hunter (Playwright) wrote for all three parts of the Jackson Heights Trilogy (Theatre 167, NYC). Selected other plays include Cyrano de Bergen County, New Jersey (published, Playscripts),and Biggest Break (Artistic New Directions, NYC). Les teaches English and theater at Baldwin Wallace University, is a member of the Playwrights GYM at Dobama Theatre, is the former Curator of New Plays at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in New York, and a previous participant of the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University. Les would like to thank David, Dale, Elana, Playwrights Local and the entire cast and crew for their inspiring work on this play.
Dale Heinen (Director) is an award-winning director/dramaturge focused on new work. Her previous experience includes long stints at Soho Theatre in London’s West End and as co-Artistic Director of an equity off-Loop theatre in Chicago. She has also worked as a director in New York, Glasgow, Dublin, Tokyo and Brazil. In Dale’s hometown of Cleveland, she has directed at Cleveland Public Theatre, Lake Erie College and Playwrights’ Local. Dale also teaches playwriting, acting and public speaking, and is director-in-residence at Playwrights’ Local. She has a BA from Northwestern University and an MFA in theatre directing from Middlesex University (London).
Kelsey Angel Baehrens (Rachel Bergman/August Belmont) is stoked to be working on an original Les Hunter work and to be growing with Playwrights Local. Entering her final year at Baldwin Wallace University, she studies acting, directing, and creative writing. Her most recent Baldwin Wallace credits include Harper in Angels in America: Part 1, Millennium Approaches (nominated for the Irene Ryan Awards), Barbara Allen in Dark of the Moon, and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet. She recently made her professional Cleveland debut as Camila in In the Heights at Beck Center. Aloha across the sea to her own mostly functional ohana.
Andrea Belser (Tracie Braggs/Virginia Woolf) is a native of Cleveland with a B.A. in Theater Studies and Vocal Music from Wright State University. Currently, she teaches various dance and musical theater/dramatic arts to students of all ages. You may have last seen her perform as Helena in Prince Ivan and the Firebird (Talespinner Children’s Theatre), Negro Woman in A Streetcar Named Desire (Mamai Theatre), or Pinkey Carr in Johanna: Facing Forward (Cleveland Public Theatre). She has also been awarded 2008 Best Actress in Cleveland and nominated for the same in 2012. She dedicates her performance to loved ones lost and credits her biggest fans: her mother and her fiancé.
Robert Branch (Simcha Bergman) has just come from Tri-C East where he assayed the role of a very famous religious leader–the man who married Romeo and Juliet–Friar Lawrence. Just before that (we’re talking days) Rob was trodding the boards alone at convergence-continuum where he played the Shopkeeper who battled space invading cockroaches in Samuel Amazing’s The Last Stand on Mango Street. Just before that (we’re talkin’ hours) Rob played Julian Quintana who battled spaced-out Hollywood filmmakers who acted like cockroaches in Matt Pelfrey’s insanely funny play Pure Shock Value.
Michael Regnier (Rabbi Isidore/Robert Plant) has been a professional actor for more than thirty years. Michael has appeared in more than 100 roles at Cleveland area theaters, was a resident member of Ken Albers’ Actors Company (seven seasons) Cleveland SignStage Theatre (eighteen years) and once a Hermit Club Stage-regular. He was most recently seen onstage at Cesear’s Forum in Peter Weiss’ The Investigation; at Beck Center in Horton Foote’s Young Man From Atlanta; at Ensemble Theatre in Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo; and at Talespinner Children’s Theatre in Anne McEvoy’s Clara and the Nutcracker. Michael will be featured this summer in Fanny Burney’s The Woman Hater at Mamai Theatre Company. Michael presently appears daily at Animal Zen in Cleveland Heights. He is an inveterate, impenitent collector. Sunguidess beauty Juliette – mystic seer, songbird actress, playwright and director – is his wife and life-unifier, and Grover-the-bullmastiff’s spoiler. Beloved children are in Cleveland, Chicago, and Taos. Thank-you, Love, God of the Universe!
Set Design: Laura Carlson Tarantowski
Lighting Design: Jonathan Maag
Sound Design: Daniel McNamara
Costume Design: Inda Blatch-Geib
Projection Design: T. Paul Lowry
Props: Heather K. Pederson
Carpentry: Paul Kit
Assistant Director: Eric James Dahl
Stage Manager: Megan Mingus
Production Manager: Francesca Mamlin
Jewish Plays Project 2016 National Finalist
National Foundation for Jewish Culture New Play Development Grant
Funding for this production is provided, in part, by the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation and Baldwin Wallace University.
Funding for Playwrights Local is provided by: