Special Event: Parasite Drag Playwright Mark Roberts and Director Stephen Rothman will be on hand for a special Talk Back on Saturday, July 14 following the 3 PM matinee. It is free with the purchase of a ticket to the July 14th performance.
When different shows go into repertory they share the same stage, but on different nights. That’s not done in theatre much anymore since loading out one set and bringing in another can be an expensive and time consuming task. But they are nothing if not very clever over at Shakespeare & Company. Turns out the Bernstein Theatre will be hosting three completely different shows in repertory, but all three are set inside a house, making the switching out of sets, refocusing of lighting etc. a more workable task. Complicated, but doable.
The Season so Far
A couple of weeks ago, Cassandra Speaks, the story of journalist Dorothy Thompson opened to mostly warm reviews. We were among the cheerleaders. Tonight The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife opens, a smart comic play by Charles Busch. And next week, Parasite Drag, a darkly humorous tale about one family that has five different versions of the same story, and each person becomes affected by it five different ways.
Parasite Drag Interview Coming Up
Watch for Larry Murray’s interview with Parasite Drag‘s director Stephen Rothman and actor Elizabeth Aspenlieder in the coming days. Murray has been granted the rare privilege of sitting in on one of their later rehearsals to write a feature with the creators, so he will not be reviewing the show. Veteran reviewer Gail Burns (and half of the Burns and Murray team) will give her assessment of the play for Berkshire on Stage.
Now, About the Show
Mark Robert’s Parasite Drag can only be described as a provocative work, with some pretty tough language and scenes that move it out of family territory into the adult realm of real grownup theatre. First time ShakesCo director Stephen Rothman has assembled a talented cast to navigate Roberts’ sharp-witted dialogue which plumbs the depths of family dynamics. Parasite Drag features the stellar ensemble of Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Jason Asprey, Josh Aaron McCabe, and Kate Abbruzzese. Relationships between husbands and wives, brothers and faith unravel as a Midwestern storm brews on the horizon.
Ringing with family truths that are familiar in many of our lives, Parasite Drag is set in Gene and Joellen’s modest Baptist home in Tolono, Illinois. Gene’s older brother Ronnie shows up unexpectedly as a result of their sister’s health crisis. Amidst razor-sharp verbal sparring and laughter, past truths and secrets collide sending the deeply estranged brothers on a headlong journey into rough waters.
Parasite Drag features a seasoned ensemble including Jason Asprey (featured in the upcoming The 39 Steps, last season’s hit The Memory of Water, and the 2006 critically acclaimed production of Hamlet– title role), Josh Aaron McCabe (the upcoming The 39 Steps, Oliver in last year’s As You Like It, the hilarious Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, and co-star of The Mystery of Irma Vep), Elliot Norton Award-winner Elizabeth Aspenlieder (in the upcoming The 39 Steps,The Memory of Water, The Winter’s Tale, and star of Bad Dates) and Kate Abbruzzese (S&Co.’s Romeo and Juliet and the New England Tours of Hamlet (title role) and Julius Caesar).
Theatregoers are invited to meet the Director, Playwright and actors for a special Talkback July 14th after the 3:00 pm matinee.
Tickets and Performance Information
Parasite Drag runs from June 20 through September 2 in S&Co.’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. Press Opening is Friday, June 22 at 8:30PM. Tickets are $15-$50, and S&Co. offers a wide range of discount options, including discounts for groups, students, senior citizens, military, teachers and our very popular 40% Berkshire Resident Discount. To view a complete schedule, receive a brochure, or inquire about discounts, please call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.shakespeare.org. For customized group visits—which may include artist talkbacks, tours, and catered events—contact the Group Sales office at (413) 637-1199, ext. 132. The Bernstein Theatre is air-conditioned, hearing aid assisted and wheelchair accessible.