Posts Tagged 'The Philadelphia Story'

CTC actors make ‘Philadelphia’ characters more than caricatures

CTC actors make ‘Philadelphia’ characters more than caricatures

Dina Lord springs onto the stage in a sailor costume and pointe ballet shoes, and the audience watching The Philadelphia Story erupts in laughter. Though Dina seems 15 years old or younger on stage, the actor behind the girl, Molly Bernard, is entering her third year of graduate school at Yale University.

Bernard and six other conservatory actors take the stage in Chautauqua Theater Company’s The Philadelphia Story, which plays at 4 p.m. today in Bratton Theater and runs through July 8.

While Bernard plays Tracy Lord’s younger sister, Dina Lord, Max Woertendyke, another conservatory actor, who attends The Juilliard School, portrays Lord’s fiancé, George Kittredge.

Three guest artists teach by example in ‘The Philadelphia Story’

Three guest artists teach by example in ‘The Philadelphia Story’

To prepare the conservatory actors for the professional acting trade, the three guest artists of The Philadelphia Story lead by example.

“Acting is a very old craft guild profession. It’s handed down,” said Peter Francis James, a guest artist actor. “The relationship can be mentor but never pontifical.”

All three guest artists were quick to point out that the conservatory actors of Chautauqua Theater Company, who play many of the leads, carry The Philadelphia Story, while the guest actors serve more as support. The show plays at 4 p.m. today and through July 8.

CTC’s prop shop to show how they ‘make shabby things sparkle’

CTC’s prop shop to show how they ‘make shabby things sparkle’

A couch is not just a couch to Props Master Vicki Ayers.

Dressed in paint-splattered clothes, Ayers recalled her days spent reupholstering the couch so it would match the Georgian and Colonial look of The Philadelphia Story. It now sits completed on stage.

“What I like most are the individual little jobs … like the couch,” Ayers said. “It was a hard job, but I love being able to take something that looks absolutely crappy, put a couple of days’ work into it, and then … I get to say, ‘I did that.’ ”

The props for Chautauqua Theater Company’s The Philadelphia Story are one of many design elements on display during the Behind-the-Scenes tour at 1 p.m. today in Bratton Theater. Production Manager Katie McCreary, with her production team and a few of the design fellows of CTC’s conservatory, will be on hand to answer questions about the show’s production.

CTC’s ‘Philadelphia Story’ is ‘staging at the highest level’

CTC’s ‘Philadelphia Story’ is ‘staging at the highest level’

Identify the two characters that appear to have stepped out of a pose in the pages of the old Vanity Fair, and you’ll know the outcome of the American classic comedy The Philadelphia Story.

It is in the thrust of the chin, don’t you know, and in the arch of the back, and how one handles one’s wrist. It is in the genes, the well-borne genes, which make the grade and open the doors of high society, Philadelphia style. And there is no getting away from it, come either hell or high heaven or a variety of other topic sentences at work in this nutty play — topics such as blackmail, philandering, alcoholism and the moving target of marriage.

The marriage game — whether one is in it or out of it, and by the way, with whom? — is the core topic of The Philadelphia Story, written for Katharine Hepburn by Philip Barry, first on stage in 1939 and then on the screen in late 1940. It is hard to imagine the incredible circumstances that swirl around the nubile Tracy Lord, heiress to millions.

CTC ’fore-Play delves into historical context

CTC ’fore-Play delves into historical context

It’s 1939 and Tracy Lord is wearing pants.

The leading character of The Philadelphia Story, which officially opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through July 8, touts a bold fashion choice from the first scene of the play.

“This is the beginning of the time when women were wearing pants in public,” said Tracy Christensen, costume designer for Chautauqua Theater Company. “You have this character who is a very modern young woman and has, for better or worse, really opinionated thoughts, and putting her in pants right from the beginning instantly says something about who she is.”

The historical significance behind the seemingly simple choice of pants or skirt is but one example of the history impacting the production decisions of The Philadelphia Story. At 7 p.m. Sunday in McKnight Hall, the ’fore-Play discusses the history surrounding the play and its effect on the finished product.

‘Becoming first-class human beings’

‘Becoming first-class human beings’

Carolyn Holding is about to have her brown hair dyed a deep auburn.

She is understandably nervous, but willing to take the plunge to further immerse herself in her character, Tracy Lord, the leading lady affectionately known as “Red” throughout The Philadelphia Story.

“It’s a really well-written play. It’s funny and sweet,” Holding said. “Everyone in it is so honest, which is just a wonderful thing. The main goal of everyone is to be a human being. That’s just beautiful.”

Chautauqua Theater Company’s The Philadelphia Story previews at 8 p.m. tonight in Bratton Theater and officially opens at 6 p.m. tomorrow. It runs through July 8.

Chautauqua Theater Company season features lady leads

Chautauqua Theater Company season features lady leads

It’s a season of leading ladies on- and offstage for Chautauqua Theater Company.

The plays showcase strong females such as Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story and Rosalind in As You Like It. But offstage, CTC touts blond and vivacious Vivienne Benesch in her first year as the sole artistic director.

“All of the characters central to these plays are really going through a moment where their understanding of who they are within themselves and within their community is on a precipice,” Benesch said. “That is a really interesting current. Being witness to that is exciting theater.”