Ten Chimneys
April 23, 2013 - May 26, 2013
By Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed By Dámaso Rodriguez

When life and theatre collide it is a beautiful thing, is it not?

This revealing comedy peers into the backstage lives of Broadway power-duo Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in Jeffrey Hatcher’s new play brimming with theatre lore. Set at the couple’s legendary Wisconsin estate in the 1930s, love triangles and family dysfunction reveal themselves when the rehearsal process for an upcoming production of Chekhov’s The Sea Gull becomes a true-to-life plot. A heartwarming and hilarious look into a slightly warped mirror reflects the real depths of truth, loyalty and love in private lives behind the curtain.
West Coast Premiere.

Cast

Alfred Lunt Michael Mendelson*^
Lynn Fontanne Linda Alper*
Uta Hagen Abby Wilde*
Hattie Sederholm JoAnn Johnson*
Sydney Greenstreet  Todd Van Voris*^
Carl Sederholm Chris Harder*
Louise Green Sarah Lucht*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production

 

Set Designer Larry Larsen
Costume Designer E.B. Brooks
Lighting Designer Kristeen Willis Crosser
Sound Designer Rodolfo Ortega
Props Designer/Assistant Director  Rusty Tennant
Dialect Coach Mary McDonald-Lewis
Stage Manager Michelle Jazuk*
Production Assistant

Bailey Maxwell  

2nd Production Assistant  Victoria Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
^ Member of Artists Rep's Resident Acting Company

THIS PLAY WILL RUN APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS PLUS ONE INTERMISSION.

BEHIND THE SCENES:
Join the cast for a Post-Show Discussion after the 2pm matinee performances on April 28 and May 5, 12, 15, 19.
 

Happy Hours, Surprise Nights and Book Clubs! Click here to see a full schedule of Audience Enrichment Events. 

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 Ten Chimneys.

Click here to read a detailed synopsis of our productions. Spoiler Alert!

STUDY GUIDE: Click here to download the study guide for this production. A great resource for all ages!

Cool video! Click here to watch and learn more about Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne and Ten Chimneys. Courtesy of Ten Chimneys Foundation.

SNEAK PEAK! Click here to check out the production's playbill complete with bios, headshots, a note from our incoming Artistic Director and lots about Ten Chimneys and Who's Who in the play.

PHOTOS! Click here to see photos of the production by Owen Carey.

 

ABOUT Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne and Ten Chimneys:
Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne are widely considered the greatest acting team in the history of American theatre. Not willing to simply coast on their extraordinary natural talent, the Lunts were consummate professionals. Their passion for excellence and commitment to the art of live theatre was legendary, even at the beginning of their careers.

By the mid 1920s, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were the two most respected, most popular, most critically acclaimed, and highest-paid stage actors in the country. Ten Chimneys, was the summer estate of the theatre legends  located in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin.

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
The Arizona Theatre Company premiered Ten Chimneys under the direction of
David Ira Goldstein in January 2011.  The World Premiere followed a special weeklong residency in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin at the real-life residence of  Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, called Ten Chimneys, which allowed the company to rehearse in an environment preserved just as The Lunts had left it.  The Edgerton Foundation bestowed the company with its New American Plays award and grant for the residency, and the Ten Chimneys Foundation, which supports the National Historic Landmark home , offered its facilities for the artistic development of the play. As Carol Channing, one of many visitors at the Lunts’ estate, said, "What the Vatican is to Catholics, Ten Chimneys is to actors,” so it continues to be a source of inspired national history.  Ten Chimneys has since been performed at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL, at Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse in Anchorage, AK, and at The Cleveland Playhouse with Emmy Award-winning actress Mariette Hartley in the role of Hattie. 

Jeffrey Hatcher's production ran Off-Broadway last Fall starring Byron Jennings and Carolyn McCormick star as Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.  

"Whenever we are talking about theater, we are talking about love" - Lynn Fontanne

“They really are the most extraordinary couple. They are sweet and warm and friendly…I love and admire them both so much.” Noël Coward

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Jeffrey Hatcher is best known as a playwright for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Ella and for co-writing Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright and Tuesdays with Morrie – all of which have been seen on Arizona Theatre Company’s stages. Mr. Hatcher authored the book for the Broadway musical, Never Gonna Dance, and has had several plays produced Off-Broadway, including Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club, Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages, Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at Minetta Lane Theatre, and Murder by Poe and The Turn of the Screw with The Acting Company.  His plays – among them, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, and Work Song (with Eric Simonson) – have been seen at such theatres as Yale Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Florida Stage, The Empty Space, California Theatre Center, Madison Repertory Theatre, Illusion Theater, Denver Center Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Asolo Repertory Theatre, City Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre and dozens more in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Hatcher wrote the screenplays for Stage Beauty (2004), Casanova (2005), and The Duchess (2008) as well as episodes of the Peter Falk series Columbo. He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights’ Center, The Dramatists Guild of America, Writers Guild of America and New Dramatists. 

PERFORMANCE DATES & TIMES:
Dates: April 23 - May 26
Performances: Wednesday - Sunday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2:00pm
Opening Night is Friday, April 26 

PRESENTING SEASON SPONSOR:

PREMIERE SEASON SPONSORS:

 The Oregonian

INDIVIDUAL PRODUCERS:
Robert & Janet Conklin
John & Jan Swanson

SHOW SPONSORS:

Howard S Wright

Perkins

Schwabe

 

 

 

 


The Reviews...

"I very much like the casting of this show, not just for the talent level but also for the weight and tone of the performances, which are calibrated for a dynamic and constantly shifting balance," wrote Bob Hicks for Oregon Arts Watch.  Read the rest of the beautifully written and detailed review here.

"Artists Repertory Theatre’s production is a grand backstage comedy—a theatrical romp through everything that makes theater joyous," wrote Aaron Scott for Portland Monthly's Culturephile. Read the rest of the great review here!

"Rodriguez marshaled vivid design work ... And he’s drawn bright, witty performances from a top-notch seven-actor ensemble," wrote Marty Hughley in his review for The Oregonian. Click here to read the rest of the review.

“This is my first time at Artists Rep; I loved the show.  I will be back.” - Audience Member

"... it offers a lesson in how to watch the show you're watching—a reminder of the craft, the hundreds of tiny decisions about makeup and lighting and hats—that goes into making live performance look easy." - Alison Hallett, Portland Mercury. Read it here.

"... a mostly smart play about showy people acting in occasionally foolish ways, as Chekhov and Coward whisper to them from the wings." - Rebecca Jacobson, Willamette Week. Read it here.

“What great acting and fabulous, fabulous costumes!” - Audience member

... "a meta-theatrical experiment. They're on an estate rehearsing a play about rehearsing a play on an estate ... I think it needs to be a really fun ride (even) for people who have no idea who these characters are," said incoming Artistic Director Damaso Rodriguez in a preview article of Ten Chimneys by Marty Hughley of The Oregonian. Click here to read the rest.

“There was some serious talent on that stage. It was wonderful. Thank you!” - Audience member

"The play looks and feels like a bright, witty comedy, the kind that used to light up Broadway stages year after year...," wrote Patrick Brassell for BroadwayWorld.com. Click here to read it.

 

“Fast paced, great acting, very funny!” - Audience Member

 

"Ten Chimneys delivers an intimate inside look at the private lives of America’s First Couple of the theater." - Chicago Theatre Beat

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.