Press Release: CTC gives us more to see: Sunday in the Park with George December 1 – 16, 2017
City Theater Company finishes the hat in its 24th season this December with Sunday in the Park with George, the quintessential Stephen Sondheim musical about the art of creation and the creation of art.
CTC Founder Tom Shade returns to co-direct with Michael Gray, CTC’s Producing Artistic Director. They worked on Sunday 25 years ago for Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. That collaboration became the impetus for the two, along with fellow University of Delaware alumnus Jon Cooper, to create City Theater Company. CTC’s signature “in your face” style was born out of a very specific intention to create art for everyone, with audiences being as much a part of the experience as the performers.
Says Shade, “Sunday is about the seeming impossibility, for some of us, of learning how to connect with other human beings. Specifically, it’s about an artist who obsessively paints the world around him, because he’s trying to revise it—to remake it into a world that he can connect with.”
Brendan Sheehan (Hair, American Idiot) stars as George. He accepted the role immediately, having grown up with the soundtrack and having seen the latest revival in NYC. “A show that is traditionally so grandiose being placed in the hands of Michael and Tom, in an 80-seat black box theater, was far too intriguing to pass up. The first table conversation I had with them centered around this idea of creation.
“So much of the artistic experience bypasses the audience, who see only the polished final product. We want to make the audience a part of this creative process, to share in the development of artistic creation and the sacrifices necessary to create art.”
Shade echoes these sentiments. “One of the really interesting things for me is the way George’s painting process parallels the process of making theater. Or at least our process of making theater. All the hours spent in a rehearsal room, with a group of the bravest actors we can find, just trying to dig down and find the most unmediated way to draw our audience into a relationship with us. We are really trying to make contact with the people sitting out in those seats. There’s no barrier, physically or emotionally, between us and our audience. That’s exciting.
“Exploring that volatile relationship between the actors on our stage and the people who are sitting in the seats watching them, listening to them, making some sort of contact with them—that never stops being thrilling. And with Sunday in the Park with George we have a chance to go even further in figuring out what that relationship’s all about.”
Sunday in the Park with George stars Layla Baynes, Tonya Baynes, Dylan Geringer, Jeff Hunsicker, Mary Catherine Kelley, Jenna Kuerzi, Kerry Kristine McElrone, Paul McElwee, Patrick O’Hara, Dominic Santos, Brendan Sheehan, Grace Tarves, and George Tietze. The orchestra is conducted by Christopher Tolomeo and features John T. Beaver, Diego Villamil Gomez, Linda Heckert, Carolyn Hendrix, Daniel Russakow, and Steven Zimmerman.
Directed by Michael Gray and Tom Shade. Music directed by Christopher Tolomeo. Scenic and lighting design by Vicki Neal and Richard Kendrick. Costume design by Kerry Kristine McElrone and Lauren Peters. Stage managed by Stuart Thomas.
Sunday in the Park with George features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine.
TICKET DETAILS: General admission $28. VIP tickets $40, includes two complimentary drinks and CTC swag. Military with ID $25; student with ID $20, and youth 15 and under $15. Production runs Friday, December 1 through Saturday, December 16, 2017. All shows 8:00 p.m. except one 2:00 p.m. matinee Sunday, December 10. All shows at The Black Box, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Tickets available now at city-theater.org
City Theater Company, founded in 1993, performs contemporary comedies, new works, and classic musicals to critical acclaim in an intimate black box theater on the Wilmington waterfront. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on DelawareScene.com.
Tickets are available NOW at www.city-theater.org