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PAST PRODUCTIONS

· 2015: A Winter's Tale
· 2015: Improv
· 2015: fire

· 2014: The Umbilical Point
· 2014: WTD in Asia
· 2014: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens’ classic story back to full houses for the 6th year!

· 2013: The Gospel of John
· 2013: Long Ago & Far Away, Time Flies
· 2013: Money
· 2013: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens’ classic story back to full houses for the 6th year!

· 2012: CHEKHOVEK
· 2012: The Gospel of John
· 2012: The Cherry Orchard
· 2012: The Death Show (a recital)
· 2012: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens’ classic story back to full houses for the 5th year!

· 2011: Who Am I This Time? Two stories by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
· 2011: EURYDICE   Love. Loss. Memory. Mischief.
· 2011: The Lost Frontier of America
· 2011: Finding Fathers
· 2011: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens’ classic story back to full houses for the 4th year!

· 2010: Becoming Frederick Douglass – now touring
· 2010: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens’ classic story back to full houses for the 4th year!
· 2010: Painting Churches - Filled with moments of bravado, mischief, and intimate memories.
· 2010: GhostWALK Hudson
· 2010: Bon Appetit! – An evening of Theater & Opera inspired by Julia Child

· 2010: Our Town

· 2009: A Christmas Carol
· 2009: GhostWALK Hudson
· 2009: I Take Your Hand In Mine
· 2009: Twelfth Night
· 2009: Virtue, Desire, Death and Foolishness – An Evening of Tales from Anton Chekhov

· 2008: A Christmas Carol
· 2008: Under Milk Wood
· 2008: The Owl & the Pussycat
· 2008: Miracle Tomato & The Small Revolution Expo
· 2008: Red Carnations x2 (An evening of Opera & Theater)
· 2008: I Might be Edgar Allen Poe

· 2007: Daemons
· 2007: Hamlet
· 2007: Cyrano
· 2007: The Gospel of John
. 2007: Taming of The Shrew

· 2006: The Storm
· 2006: Burn This

· 2005 Tour: The Gold in the Ground

· 2004 Tour: For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
· 2004 Tour: Leonce and Lena
· 2004: The Gold in the Ground

· 2003: Co-production with Shakespeare Alive!: Macbeth

· 2002 Tour: Hamlet

· 2001 Tour Hamlet
· 2001 Tour: The Happy Man's Shirt
· 2001: Blue Arches

· 2000:: The Holy Man

· 1998 World Tour: Walking the dog
· 1998 World Tour: The Stone Cutter



TEACHING AND LEARNING

   · Productions

 
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DÆMONS

A SUITE OF ONE-ACTS
Bertolt Brecht: The Beggar or the Dead Dog
Archibald MacLeish: Nobodaddy
Max Freund: Reflections of Dæmons
Directed by Benedicta Bertau, David Anderson, and Patrick Doyle.
With David Anderson, Benedicta Bertau, Patrick Doyle, and Aaron J. March.
Music and Soundscape by Jonathan Talbott.
Illumination by Deena Pewtherer.


The three rarely seen theater pieces include Bertolt Brecht’s Beggar or the Dead Dog, Archibald MacLeish’s Nobodaddy, and the world premiere of Max Freund’s Reflections of a Daemon. The Beggar or the Dead Dog, one of the lesser known one-acts by Bertolt Brecht, paints an emperor’s encounter with a beggar on his victory day.

The world premiere of Max Freund’s Reflections of a Daemon draws vivid, strange, and humorous images of the battles of the human psyche. Nobodaddy, written in 1926, and later recreated for the radio, brings MacLeish’s poetic sensitivity to the old myth of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, divine jealousy, and the first murder. 

HAMLET 2007

HAMLET

by William Shakespeare
A co-production with ShakespeareAlive! and The Actors' Ensemble
Directed by John McManus
The Actors’ Ensemble, Shakespeare Alive!, and Walking the dog Theater have all played significant roles in the cultural life of Columbia County. Each organization has explored vital questions around the art of theater and has inspired audiences with its productions. This year all three organizations are collaborating in the pursuit of theater’s most elusive play: HAMLET.

View Photo Gallery

Read Review  -   The Independent


 Featuring Edgar Weinstock, Fern Sloan*, Ted Pugh*, Aaron March, Aryeh Lappin, Ben Luxon, Roberto Colosimo, Noah Davies-Mason, Lilie Bytheway-Hoy, and David Anderson.
*Member of Actors Equity Association

The Actors’ Ensemble celebrates 21 years this year; Shakespeare Alive!, 8 years, and Walking the dog Theater, 10 years. This synergistic event will mark the first time that these three Columbia County-based organizations have collaborated in a production.

 

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Read Review  - Berkshire Bright Focus

CYRANO
By Jo Roets Based on the play by Edmond Rostand
Directed by Drama Desk-nominated Director, Lenard Petit
Featuring David Anderson, Benedicta Bertau, and Melania Levitsky

This fresh and playful adaptation of the classic play “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand holds all the magic, humor, romance, and tragedy of the original play while paring it down to 80 minutes and the skills of only 3 actors. There is love, violence, poetry and laughter – and, some “gender-bending,” since the actors switch roles and costumes.

The play tells the story about the brilliant swordsman and poet with an extraordinarily large nose. Cyrano’s physical looks prevent the beloved Roxane from requiting. But, in time, Roxane falls in love with Cyrano’s passionate words, though written, actually, for the handsome (but artless) Christian who is real object of affection..
 

2007:

the United States premiere of
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
directed by Adrian Locher
Featuring David Anderson, Laurie Portocarrero and Glen Williamson
At Stageworks/Hudson, 41-A Cross Street in Hudson, NY

Walking the dog Theater opens its first production of its 2007 10th anniversary theater season with the U.S. premiere of “The Gospel of John”, an adaptation for the stage of one of the world’s most famous stories, directed by U.K. director Adrian Locher, whose Taurus Voice company produced it to wide European acclaim.

After its World Premiere and a successful run and tours in Europe, which critics called “(Four stars) Almost balletic… beautifully stylized and executed… excellent” (The Herald—Edinburgh Fringe), “Charged with passion and power” (Stroud News and Journal), and “Dazzling… delights both ear and eye… highly recommended: theatrical in the best sense of the word” (www.theatrebristol.net), this fresh interpretation of the Gospel of John employs drama, choral speaking, storytelling and song to create a performance that has been moving, challenging and inspiring audiences in Europe since it opened in March 2002.

Three actors, using two chairs, a table and a few cloths, bring the drama and poetry of this famous story to life, portraying dozens of characters, including Jesus and his disciples, the enigmatic Mary Magdalene, her sister Martha, Mary mother of Jesus, the blind man, the disabled man, and the adulterous woman. The fast-paced production evokes all the tenderness, intimacy, passion, anger and mystery that John has written into this poetic masterpiece.

The 100 minute performance is a breathtaking journey that is accessible to anyone regardless of belief.
– j

 

2006:

The Storm
An Appalling Mistranslation of a Comedy by Plautus
Directed by Charles Kondek
With David Anderson, Benedicta Bertau, Jordan Froehlich,
James Lawrence, Laurie Portocarrero, and Frank Serpico

November 9/10/11 and November 15/16/17/18 at 8 pm
Sunday November 12 and 19 at 3 pm

at Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, NY

Subtitled “An Appalling Mistranslation After A Roman Comedy By Plautus,” the play had its successful World Premiere and run at The Globe in London last summer, which London critics called “An absolute delight” (The Independent) and “Deliciously daft” (The Times). This thoroughly modern version of a classic comedy moves Stateside this fall for its United States premiere.

A rich financial guru lost his infant daughter to kidnappers after he had given away all his money. Sold into prostitution, many years later she is washed to his doorstep by a violent storm. But how will they recognize one another?

In this new version of the Roman comedy by Plautus, itself based on an ancient Greek original, Peter Oswald combines high verse and high comedy, slapstick and pathos to examine ideas of freedom and slavery, loss and discovery.

For directions to Stageworks/Hudson visit www.stageworkshudson.org

2006:

Burn This
by Lanford Wilson

September 14th-24th, 2006 at Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, NY

Due to popular demand after a successful run in August, Walking the dog Theater will restage its production of “Burn This” from September 14th-24th at Stageworks/Hudson.

The play, written by Lanford Wilson and directed by Deena Pewtherer, will perform:
September 14, 15, 16 and 20, 21, 22, 23 at 7:30pm, with Sunday matinees on the 17th at 2pm and on the 24th at 4pm.

Tickets are $18/$15 on Friday and Saturday, $15/$12 on Thursday and Sunday, and on Wednesday, the 20th, all seats are $10.
The production is not appropriate for children under 15 years of age.
For more information please visit www.wtdtheater.org or call (518) 392-0131 for reservations.

Commissioned by the Circle Repertory Company, “Burn This” first appeared in Los Angeles in 1987 to near universal praise. Set in the bohemian art world of downtown New York, this vivid and challenging drama explores the spiritual and emotional isolation of Anna and Pale, two outcasts who meet in the wake of the accidental death by drowning of a mutual friend.

Their determined struggle toward emotional honesty and liberation – by no means guaranteed at the play’s ambiguous end – exemplifies the strength, humor, and complexity of all of Pulitzer Prize-winner Lanford Wilson’s work and confirms his standing as one of America’s greatest living playwrights.

“Burn This” is a play Newsweek magazine calls, “A comedy that laughs at its own tragic roots, a love story in which the lovers are scared to death of one another, a play about art in which the strongest sensibility belongs to a character who looks upon artists as frauds… The play has a voracious vitality and an almost manic determination to drive right into the highest voltage that life can register.”

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2004:

     For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again

The Actor's Ensemble & Walking the dog Theater present:

For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again

By Michael Tremblay
translated by Linda Bagoriau
with David Anderson and Fern Sloan
directed by Ragnar Freidank

A playwright's homage to his mother.
A play full of humor, imagination, and love for the theater.

“For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again” is Tremblay’s homage to his mother, who nurtured his imagination, his reclusive reading habits, and his love for the theater and the arts, yet who did not live to witness the worldwide acclaim for her son’s artistic genius. In a compelling balance of humor and poignancy, Tremblay offers glimpses of himself at five different stages of their lives together, culminating in his reassurance to his dying mother immediately prior to his success as a playwright.

After the early summer run in 2004, the production was remounted for a performance at The Actors’ Ensemble Summer Theater Festival, a New England tour and a run in New York City.

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2004:

    Leonce and Lena

Walking the dog Theater presents:

Leonce and Lena

By Georg Buchner
adapted by David Anderson
directed by Benedicta Bertau
with David Anderson, Ralph Bedard, Bethany Caputo,
Ashley Mayne, Michael O'Connor and Laurie Potocarrero

Written in 1836 shortly before Büchner’s death at 23, “Leonce and Lena” follows the absurd courtship of Prince Leonce of the Kingdom of Popo and Princess Lena of the Kingdom of Pipi in a brilliant play of language. Between their pursuit of idleness and their search for genuine meaning amidst the artifice and bureaucracy of life, they find each other and marry, unsure who the other really is. “Even the most insignificant of human beings is so important that a lifetime is much too short to love him,” Leonce observes near the end of the play. Büchner’s strange and classic comedy defies description but anticipates Samuel Beckett’s absurdism and Oscar Wilde’s wit, reflecting on the ruling class of Büchner’s time and the nature of work and life.

“Leonce and Lena” premiered at The Actors’ Ensemble 2004 Summer Theater Festival followed by a two month tour of New England, New York and Pennsylvania.

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2004:

     The Gold in the Ground

Walking the dog Theater presents:

The Gold in the Ground

an Iraqui Folk Tale
Adapted and directed by Melania Levitsky
music by Ashley Mayne
with David Anderson, Benedicta Bertau, Bethany Caputo,
Ashley Mayne, Daisy Noyes and Laurie Portocarrero

The motif of generosity and goodwill in this children's story provides a reminder that the human spirit is free to make uplifting choices, and is capable of the most astonishing gifts.

Walking the dog Theater opened their children’s production of “The Gold in the Ground”, a folktale from Iraq, in July 2004 which toured New England, New York and Pennsylvania throughout the summer and fall.

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2004 ensemble touring locations:

    • For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
      Spencertown, NY; New York City, NY

    • Leonce and Lena
      40 Performances throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania

    • The Gold in the Ground
      40 Performances throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania

    • Workshops
      Throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania

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2003:

    Macbeth

Walking the dog Theater and Shakespeare Alive! present:

Macbeth

by William Shakespeare
directed by John McManus
with professional and student actors

Perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy, the play actors never name, this production collaborates students from Shakespeare Alive!, a yearlong training for youth in the art of acting, with professional actors. The production had a run in Kinderhook, NY, and in Great Barrington, MA in 2003.

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2001 - 2002 Tour:

         Hamlet

Walking the dog Theater presents:

Hamlet

Text from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Music by Merwin Lewis (words by William Blake),
Henry VIII, Thomas Morley, William Byrd, John Dowland,
and Kathryn Minogue
directed by the performing ensemble, with David Anderson,
Benedicta Bertau, Melania Levitsky and Kathryn Minogue

There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.
Hamlet, Act V, scene 2

On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s conception of Hamlet Walking the dog Theater presents an ensemble production created out of a perspective on his masterful tragedy, in movement, drama, music, and masks. Developed through ensemble work out of a wish to understand and dramatize the inner processes that lead up to Hamlet’s and Ophelia’s fall, and working with selections from William Shakespeare’s text, the performance focuses on Hamlet’s struggle for true sovereignty and the casualty of innocence at the hands of a corrupt court. Revealing aspects of Hamlet, the characters around Hamlet appear in mask. One by one, these aspects fall away, overcome by the consciousness that Hamlet achieves.

William Shakespeare’s language inspired the creation of this performance.
A soul drama in the truest sense, this tragedy, which has fascinated humanity for centuries, seems to leave few minds untouched by its poignant familiarity with the deepest part of every soul. Hamlet shows us the modern man: the ultimate activity is inner activity. Though he wavers and suffers within his own introspection, which renders him immobile and outwardly inactive (against the forceful will of his dead father), he also forges a new path—one that overcomes the reactive and blind instinct (for revenge) in favor of genuine action and presence of mind. Unlike the wisdom Polonius conveys to Laertes, Hamlet wrings his truth out of a living moment. He does not draw on the past to find his way; he throws off the masks and thrashes a solitary path into the future. The tragedy (from an outer perspective) is his inability to integrate his truth with the world around him. As he clears his mind of all other considerations but those adhering to his vision, the people near him isolate him by throwing the cloak of “madness” over him.

Hamlet pursues knowledge of what is right, of who he is, endeavoring to come to his own independent sense of self. His sovereignty rests in his struggle toward a vision that incorporates all possibilities, and in his finding the courage to take the right direction. This leads to an awakening of his heart forces (“…in my heart there was a kind of fighting that would not let me sleep…thou wouldst not think how ill all’s here about my heart”) out of which any true act of will must come.

Knowledge means the death of innocence. In our drama we have pursued an understanding for the knowledge that Hamlet seeks. As the people around him serve as aspects of himself, it follows that Ophelia, the embodiment of innocence, becomes an early fall in the confrontation with knowledge.

His father plants a seed of truth in his mourning soul, and it takes root and becomes the measure for all of his existence; the center against which everything else must stand or fall away. But, in a corrupt society, bearing truth means essentially becoming an enemy of the state, an unwelcome conscience. It unsettles his thoughts and feelings, and confuses his will, as he attempts to give his private truth a relationship to the life around him. Our performance follows Hamlet from the moment the vision of truth appears to him, through his questioning, to his inability to create a home for it within the prison of Denmark.

On a personal note: Hamlet has been a companion since childhood, when dreams of him seemed to prove the indestructibility of the individual, the fearless and fierce measure of struggling towards presence. Since then he has returned on countless occasions, sometimes staying long, to test the mettle of my honesty and my connection to an inner voice. His searching has become a humbling perspective on a life.

Though Hamlet has been a reckoning force in me for years, the recent affairs of our “state” partly inspired my work on it—the election and the questions that rose up in its wake. Looking for a means to understand it all or a strength with which to see through it, I picked up the play again in December 2000. It read with relevance and gave me a voice that helped me to find an active relationship to our situation.

Foul deeds will rise
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes…
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ‘tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law.

Act III, scene 3
A man steals a crown, a court resigns to silence around the questionable facts, empty talk smoothes the edge, characters concern themselves more with position than conduct, and the ethical individual fights to come to terms with the “rottenness” and maintain a sane conscience in the face of it. Our play seeks to resurrect the voice of conscience and consciousness in a time desperate for their reminder.

Hamlet shows us that true sovereignty cannot be given from without but must be wrought from within.

There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will…
The readiness is all.
--Hamlet, Act V, scene 2


Dramatis Personae:
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, son of the late King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude
Ophelia, daughter of Polonius
The Masks (revealing the faces that the characters of the court show to Hamlet):
The Spirit of the late King Hamlet
Queen Gertrude, widow of King Hamlet, now married to King Claudius
King Claudius, brother to the late King Hamlet
Polonius, father of Ophelia, councilor of King Claudius
Guildenstern, courtier to the Danish Court

The Eurythmy is brought into the dramatic space when a world beyond the sense-perceptible manifests: the spirit of the late King Hamlet speaks not so much to Hamlet’s ears as directly to his heart and will forces, as the voice of his conscience. At certain moments of Hamlet’s struggle the movement offers glimpses of a soul reality creative behind the word.

--David Anderson

Performance length: 90 minute

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2001 Tour:

           The Happy Man's Shirt

Walking the dog Theater presents:

 The Happy Man's Shirt

A humorous Scottish tale
Played for children in word, eurythmy and song
by David Anderson, Benedicta Bertau,
Melania Levitsky and Kathryn Minogue
Music: traditional Scottish, Joseph Hayden, Kathryn Minogue


The Happy Man's Shirt tells the story of a king who has everything he could possibly wish for...except happiness. At his loving queen's inquiry into his sadness, all the king can say is: "It's just the way I am and I can't help it." But the queen seems to know better. Following the wise man's advice, she sends the king on a journey to find the only cure for his sadness: a happy man's shirt.

"Amidst the ingenious cacophony of electric inventions, the wise old art of storytelling is re-awakening with conscious intention.... We can speak to the future through imagination - the language of evolution."
- Nancy Mellon, from her book "Storytelling with Children"

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2001:

     Blue Arches

Walking the dog Theater presents:

Blue Arches

A one-person, seven-character play in one-act
Written and Performed by Melania Levitsky

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2000:

      The Holy Man

Walking the dog Theater presents

 The Holy Man


Adapted by David Anderson from the novel by Susan Trott
Performed by David Anderson
Music by Kathryn Minogue

The Holy Man follows the stories of the many pilgrims who wait in line to visit the Holy Man and how they begin to see in every person they meet a "Holy Person".

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1998:

      Walking the dog

 Walking the dog

Written by David Anderson
Music by Gillian Britton
Eurythmy by Lisa Meisinger
Directed by John McManus

"Walking the dog" began as a 45-part poem written by David Anderson over seven months in 1996. Reflecting on the challenges and questions he met during his 28th year, David probes humanity's relationship with the dog - our perennial guardian of ordinary thresholds and our faithful companion through the thickets of everyday transitions. During that time David was working with eurythmist Lisa Meisinger on a production of Joseph Brodsky's life and work which appeared in Forest Row and London, England.

Lisa enthusiastically greeted the themes of the poem. After sharing it with pianist/singer/composer Gillian Britton, the three of them came together in Australia to create a theater piece from it, enlisting the expertise and experienced direction of John McManus. Gillian composed seventeen songs from parts of the poem (nine of which are included in the performance "Walking the dog"), Lisa created eurythmy for other parts, and David developed the dramatic presentation, while John wove the three arts into a unified expression.

This performance, and the children's piece "The Stone Cutter", based on the Japanese fairy tale, toured Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland, meeting tremendous audience approval and receiving many invitations to perform elsewhere, both from schools and from arts festivals.

This, along with receiving some sponsorship, provided them with the encouragement and support to pursue a future with the company. Out of this, the connection and inspiration between the artists, their commitment to their arts, and their recognition of the necessity of this conscious-soul form of meeting with an audience, arose the foundation of a new theater.

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1998:

     The Stone Cutter

Walking the dog Theater presents:

The Stone Cutter

A Japanese Folktale

Dramatized with music and movement
Directed by the ensemble, with David Anderson and Lisa Meisinger

A simple tale of a stone cutter who wishes to be more than he is and the mountain spirit who hears his wishes and helps him on his journey. With characters expressed through movement and song as well as narration, an extraordinary mood is woven into the telling. People of all ages and experience enjoy the production, though it is specifically crafted for children ages 7 to 12.

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Past Productions: Teaching and Learning

2006

Winter Theater Festival with Youth: KING LEAR, A COMEDY OF ERRORS, and BURY THE DEAD
TWELFTH NIGHT
, Beloit Memorial High School, Wisconsin
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, South Beloit High School, Illinois
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Janesville High Schools, Wisconsin
THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, Hawthorne Valley School, New York
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, After School Drama Group, Hawthorne Valley School, New York
THE IDIOT, Hawthorne Valley School, New York
THE IMAGINARY INVALID, Summer Intensive for Youth, Spencertown, New York

2005

Twelfth Night (Housatonic Valley School, Newtown, CT)
The Diary of Anne Frank and The Mouse That Roared (Hawthorne Valley School, Harlemville, NY)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Beloit Memorial High School, Beloit, WI)
Betrayal, Murder, and Revenge, Scenes from Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar, The Tempest, and Romeo and Juliet (Hawthorne Valley School, Harlemville, NY)

2004

Magellan (Housatonic Valley School, Newtown, CT)
The Winter's Tale (After School Program, Hawthorne Valley School, Harlemville, NY)

2001

Shakespeare Alive!: Pericles

2000

Shakespeare Alive!: A Midsummer Night's Dream

1999

Shakespeare Alive!: A Comedy of Errors

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