The Department of Theater will present David Mamet’s AMERICAN BUFFALO, the Honors Acting Thesis of Jessica Cannizzaro (’12), Lori Barkin (’12) and Michelle Fennell (’12), Directed by Alex Torra. Performance times will be Saturday and Sunday, April 21st and 22nd at 2 PM and 8 PM in the Lang Performing Arts Center’s Frear Ensemble Theatre. Set design by Marta Roncada (’14), Costume design by Matthew Saunders, Sound design by Scott Burgess, Lighting design by Josh Schulman.
David Mamet is best known as a playwright, but has received Oscar nominations for his screenplays, directed films, taught acting and written several books. Mamet’s 1975 play premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and opened on Broadway in 1977. Don, Teach, Bob, and the mysterious Fletcher, conspire to steal a priceless coin collection from a well-to-do man. The plot takes place in Don’s junk shop and the conspiracy centers around a rare nickel. Told with Mamet’s typical vernacular of vulgarity, the characters attack their environment, both literally and with lexicon, until the final events leave the audience pondering over the nature of good and evil, two sides of the same coin.
Director Alex Torra is a Philadelphia-based director and performer whose work focuses on ensemble-generated, original performance and contemporary interpretations of classics. He is an Associate Artist with Pig Iron Theatre Company, where he has worked as a Performer in Twelfth Night, Cankerblossom, Welcome to Yuba City, Pay Up, 365 Days/365 Plays, and Anodyne; as Assistant Director on Chekhov Lizardbrain and Sweet By-and-By; and as Director of Come to my Awesome Fiesta, it’s Going to be Awesome, Okay? He also serves as the Resident Director for the Philadelphia ensemble Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, for which he directed Punchkapow, and with whom he is developing a handful of new works, including JapanAmerica Wonderwave, Zombie Defense Consultation, and Cityscape. Alex has also worked closely with Shakespeare in Clark Park over the last few years, directing Much Ado About Nothing and Comedy of Errors. His work with classical text has included linguistic work on “Original Pronunciation”, the dialect in which Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed. Last year, Alex served as a Fellow at the Philadelphia Live Arts Brewery, where he began the development of a self-produced piece entitled The Sincerity Project. He has received the Grace LeVine Theatre Award from the Princess Grace Foundation as well as fellowships from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and NY’s Drama League. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. in Directing from Brown University.
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