Ithaka
May 28, 2013 - June 30, 2013
By Andrea Stolowitz
Directed By Gemma Whelan**

How long does the battle continue after a soldier returns home? 


Marine Captain Elaine Edwards has just returned from her latest tour in Afghanistan but this time things are different – home doesn’t feel right and nothing makes sense. A blow-up fight with her husband propels her to skip town to undertake an Odyssean journey through the American landscape battling her demons and trying to find her way home. With this newly commissioned play, Oregon playwright Andrea Stolowitz examines coming home from war drawing from interviews with veterans and their families. This production was made possible through a new play commission generously provided by Stephanie Fowler and Irving Levin.

World Premiere.
Portland Playwright.

Cast

Odysseus/Jacob Victor Mack*
Captain Elaine Edwards  Dana Millican
Lance Corporal Eve Richardson/The Cat   Danielle Purdy+
Bill Edwards Paul Angelo
E.M. Richardson  Valerie Stevens*

 

 

 

 

 

Production

Set Designer Tal Sanders
Costume Designer Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Lighting Designer Jeff Forbes
Sound Designer Rodolfo Ortega
Props Designer  Rusty Tennant
Dramaturg Mead Hunter
Assistant Director Megan Sweigert
Stage Manager Carol Ann Wohlmut*
Production Assistants

Will Bailey, Gavin Hales      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States 
+ candidate, Actors Equity
 **Member of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society

THIS PRODUCTION RUNS 90 MINUTES WITH NO INTERMISSION.

This production has strobe lights, smoking of cigarettes and "marijuana" and simulated sounds of gunfire and explosions.

MILITARY DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE: Artists Rep has a long-standing commitment to the military personnel in our community and we welcome you to our theatre. As a member of Blue Star Families, Artists Rep offers 20% off tickets to military personnel and their immediate families. Click here for more information.

All Tuesday performances of Ithaka are free to military personnel, veterans and their families. Two-for-one tickets are available with military ID or veteran’s card.

ENRICHMENT & EDUCATION: In an effort to provide a supportive experience for our patrons and to engage with military personnel and veterans groups in our community, Artists Rep has extensive outreach and educational events surrounding this production that will include the following:

  • May 28: FREE preview for members of the military and their families @ 7:30pm
  •  June 2: post-show discussion with members of Returning Veterans Project; after 2pm matinee
  •  June 8: A Conversation Between the Lens and the Stage
    Photographer Jim Lommasson and playwright Andrea Stolowitz discuss their processes for creating works based on veteran interviews; 5:30-7pm.
    This program was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities, a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program.
  • June 9: post-show discussion; after 2pm matinee
  • June 15: Jim Lommasson gives a guided tour of his lobby exhibit; 6:30-7:15pm
  • June 16: post-show discussion; after 2pm matinee
  • June 19: post-show discussion; after 11am matinee
  • June 23: Education Panel with members of Oregon Psychoanalytic Center; after 2pm matinee
  • June 23: Read/Watch/Talk Book Club; after 2pm matinee; The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

May 28-June 30: Morrison Lobby

  • Education and support materials available in the lobby, including a Study Guide, a resource list for members of the military and their families.
  • Card-writing station for our patrons to send notes to our military serving overseas, at home or are injured and in the hospital through www.amillionthanks.org.

Our new partner librarians from Multnomah County Library have chosen books for us to read, informed by the scripts from this season. Click here to see what they have picked for Ithaka.

Click here to read a detailed synopsis of this production. Spoiler Alert!

In a series of reports, NPR's Quil Lawrence looks at some of the most pressing challenges facing America's nearly 2 million female veterans. Read the story and download the podcast here.

STUDY GUIDE! Click here to check out the extensive study guide for this production, it's a great resource!

PLAYBILL! Click here to check out the production's playbill compete with bios, headshots and notes from the playwright and director.

OPB's THINK OUT LOUD:  Ithaka playwright Andrea Stolowitz, veterans and callers investigate topics surrounding the play on Oregon Public Radio's Think Out Loud. Listen to the podcast here

 

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
In January 2011, Artists Repertory Theatre invited playwrights from across the county to submit their ideas for the now-named Fowler/Levin Prize. Of the 14 playwrights who submitted proposals, Andrea Stolowitz's play concept was the unanimous choice by the artistic leadership at the theatre.
Stolowitz’s challenging new work explores the life of a woman Marine who served in Afghanistan and her subsequent re-entry to civilian life. The play, currently being written, follows the emotional journey of this woman through the American landscape, as she is forced to either face her demons or be consumed by them. Stolowitz’s work draws from interviews with veterans and their families. This is a play “about the intensity of human connections in a war zone and at home,” says the playwright, Andrea Stolowitz. “[This is] a play for our times about war, friendships, guilt, being human, and staying alive.”  With the generosity and vision of the commissioning donors, Stephanie Fowler and Irving Levin, Artists Rep will support the writing of this script with plans to workshop it in 2012 and present the World Premiere of the work in its 2012/13 season.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:

 Andrea Stolowitz is a playwright living in Portland, Oregon. Her plays have been presented at The Cherry Lane (NYC), The Old Globe (SD), The Long Wharf (CT), New York Stage and Film (NY), and Portland Center Stage (OR).  The LA Times calls her work “heartbreaking” and the Orange County Register characterizes her approach as a “brave refusal to sugarcoat...issues and tough decisions.”

 

A recipient of Artists Repertory Theatre’s $25,000 New Play Commission, Andrea will premiere her newest work Ithaka at the theatre in 2013. Ithaka was supported by grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and Literary Arts which allowed her to travel to Camp Pendleton (CA) to complete her planned interviews with women marines. The play was also supported by residences at Hedgebrook, where she was awarded the Lorraine Hansberry prize, and the Whiteley Center, where she completed the first draft of the play.

 

Her latest play Antarktikos was workshopped nationwide at New Harmony Project (IN), Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival, Artsists Repertory Theater and at Seattle Repertory Theater. Pittsburgh Playhouse mounted the world premiere in 2013. In April, 2013 Andrea won the Oregon Book Awards’ Angus L. Bowmer Award for Drama for Antarktikos.

 

The Old Globe Theater world-premiered Knowing Cairo, which earned San Diego’s “Billie” Best New Play Award and an LA Times’ Critic’s Pick. It is published by Playscripts Inc. and continues to be presented nationally and internationally.

Tales of Doomed Love premiered in Washington, DC at The Studio Theater. As part of the 2008 Fringe Festival, DC Theater Scene called it “one of the finest entries in the Capital Fringe” and the Triangle Independent named its production at StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance (Chapel Hill, NC) “best new play.”

Andrea’s screenwriting work includes Jonathan’s War, a feature-length action film, the treatment for Code Name: Pelicano which was sold to independent producers, and the upcoming very exciting web series Crackerjacks which is currently in development.

A Walter E. Dakin Fellow at The Sewanee Writers Conference, Andrea has also been awarded residencies at Ledig House, Soapstone, and Hedgebrook, and Arts Grants from North Carolina, Oregon, and private foundations. She is a founding member of Playwrights West and the Portland Regional Representative to the Dramatists Guild.

An MFA playwriting alumna of UC-San Diego, Andrea teaches at Willamette University and the University of Portland and has served on the theater studies faculty at Duke University and UC-San Diego.

http://www.andreastolowitz.com/

 

 

 

PERFORMANCE DATES & TIMES:
Dates: May 28 - June 30
Performances: Tuesday - Sunday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2:00pm
Opening Night is Friday, May 31 

PRESENTING SEASON SPONSOR:

PREMIERE SEASON SPONSORS:

 The Oregonian

SHOW SPONSORS:
The Boeing Company

INDIVIDUAL PRODUCERS:
Irving Levin & Stephanie Fowler
Joseph T. Leimert, M.D.
Darci & Charlie Swindells


The Reviews...

"Dana Millican is exceptional as Elaine. She's onstage almost throughout the play, and her character goes through every emotion from glee to terror, but Millican never calls attention to her performance. She's just there, in character from the first moment we see her..." wrote Patrick Brassell for Broadway World. Read the full review here.

“Rather than wallow in the maudlin, the punchy dialogue and dark laughs push the show at a solid clip, and director Gemma Whelan’s seamlessly nimble staging moves from car to roller coaster to hospital bed to battlefield effortlessly and with some impressive effects,” wrote Penelope Bass for Willamette Week. Read that review here. 

"...an artfully crafted and socially relevant piece of theater," wrote Jonathan Frochtzwajg for Portland Monthly's Culturephile. Read that review here.

“I’m floored. The playwright is a genius. To be able to take us to the depths of despair and then make us laugh is true genius.” - Audience member

"...Stolowitz’ writing feels honest and authentic in its details of military life, but more importantly in its evocation of the profound -- if sometimes goofy -- joys of friendship..." wrote Marty Hughley in a review fro The Oregonian. Read the full article here.

“I worked with veterans who returned from Viet Nam and this captured the experience so authentically.  Incredibly moving!” - Audience Member

"Andrea Stolowitz didn’t set out to write a play about soldiers or war or death. She just wanted to write about friends," wrote Marty Hughley in a preview of Ithaka for The Oregonian. Read the rest of the article here.

“I wish I was educated enough to say all the ways it is incredible.” - Audience Member

A Q&A with Playwright Andrea Stolowitz by Portland Monthly Magazine's John Chandler. Read it here.

"Great acting, ingenious set design, and well paced, structured storytelling about an important topic. Bravo!" - Audience Member

 

Tickets for Artists Rep's 2013/14 season are on sale now! Click on the link below to purchase or call our Box Office at 503.241.1278.