Casa ValentinaOCT 24 - NOV 28, 2015 Buy Tickets
Written by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Scott Edmiston
Keith MacDonald & Tom Webber
Nirah Shomer & Michael Nowak
Jack Cornwell & Mark Hickey
Based on actual events, Casa Valentina takes place in 1962 at a Catskills resort where a group of heterosexual men secretly gather to dress and behave like women. Away from their families, in their beehives and brassieres, these men enjoy a carefree camaraderie of cocktails and McGuire Sisters. But when challenged to publicly reveal their female alter-egos in the pursuit of political acceptance, “the sorority” must decide whether freedom is worth the risk of ruin. Written by Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Hairspray), Casa Valentina is a provocative, hilarious, and touching new play about gender identity, self-acceptance, and the struggle to find the right pumps.
RUN TIME: Approx. 2 hours and 20 minutes including one intermission.
Timothy Crowe* … The Judge/Amy
Thomas Derrah* … George/Valentina
Kerry A. Dowling* … Rita
Greg Maraio … Jonathon/Miranda
Deb Martin* … Eleanor
Will McGarrahan* … Charlotte
Sean McGuirk* … Terry
Robert Saoud* … Bessie
Eddie Shields* … Gloria
See “Who’s Who” below for full bios.
Scenic Design by Janie E. Howland
Costume Design by Gail Astrid Buckley
Lighting Design by Karen Perlow
Sound Design by Dewey Dellay
Dawn Saglio*, Production Stage Manager
See “Who’s Who” below for full bios.
THURSDAY AUDIENCE DISCUSSIONS
10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19 following all performances.
Share your thoughts and reactions in a special post-show forum hosted by SpeakEasy Staff.
SUNDAY ARTISTS’ FORUM
11/1 & 11/15 following the 3PM performance.
Meet members of the cast and creative team and ask them your questions.
SPECIAL GUEST: GRACE ANNE STEVENS
Sunday, 11/8 following the 3PM performance.
DIRECTOR’S NOTEBOOK: SCOTT EDMISTON
Wednesday, 11/18 at 6:30PM in the Calderwood Pavilion.
Hear from CASA VALENTINA director Scott Edmiston about the story behind the play and the process of bringing it to the stage in this special pre-show talk. Attendance is FREE, but reservations are encouraged.
SPECIAL GUEST: JOHN SOUTHARD
Sunday, 11/22 following the 3PM performance.
Cast & Crew
TIMOTHY CROWE* (Amy/Judge) returns to SpeakEasy having previously appeared in The History Boys and The Savanah Disputation. He worked on Broadway in the Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Shadow Box. Off-Broadway, he has worked at the Soho Rep and Soho Playhouse in The Servant and Bill W. and Dr. Bob respectively. He is a long-standing and grateful member of the Trinity Repertory Company. Film and TV work include House of Cards, Outside Providence, Underdog, and the soon to be released The Hollars. He earned his MA from St. Louis University and studied and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
THOMAS DERRAH* (George/Valentina) returns to SpeakEasy Stage, having previously appeared in Necessary Monsters,Clybourne Park,Red,The Drowsy Chaperone, andFuddy Meers. He is a founding member of the ART and has performed in 120 productions there. Mr. Derrah has also performed on Broadway inJackie: An American Life(23 roles) and Off-Broadway inBig Time,Johan Padan, andOliver Twist. He has performed regionally in theatres in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Houston, and has toured extensively to theatres and festivals in Europe and Asia. He also performed the title role inJulius Caesaron several tours throughout France for the Centre Dramatique National d’Orléans. Mr. Derrah has also appeared locally at the Huntington, New Rep, Commonwealth Shakespeare, Stoneham Theatre, and ASP. He has several IRNE and Norton Awards for acting, including the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. He was also awarded the 2010 Brustein Award and a Los Angeles DramaLogue Award. Mr. Derrah appeared in Julie Taymor’s filmFool’s Fireas well as programs on CBS, A&E, and PBS. Other film credits includeMystic RiverandPink Panther II. Mr. Derrah teaches acting at Harvard and MIT, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama
KERRY A. DOWLING* (Rita)returns to SpeakEasy having performed in Carrie; Far From Heaven; Clybourne Park; Next to Normal;The Drowsy Chaperone; Nine; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; Reckless; Jerry Springer – the Opera; The New Century; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Parade; The Women; Bat Boy; Company; Elegies; A New Brain; Triumph of Love; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Songs for a New World(SpeakEasy); Nicholas Nickleby, Follies(Lyric Stage); A Man of No Importance (Súgán/SpeakEasy); Steel Magnolias, Pal Joey (Stoneham);The Most Happy Fella, Dueling Divas (Gloucester);Distracted(Underground Railway);Gypsy(Next Door). Kerry is the recipient of the 2010 SpeakEasy Stage Outstanding Artist Award.
SCOTT EDMISTON (Director) returns to SpeakEasy where he directed Far from Heaven; The History Boys; The Light in the Piazza; Five by Tenn; Other Desert Cities; Next Fall; In the Next Room (or the vibrator play); Reckless; The Women; The Last Sunday in June; and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. He has directed more than 60 productions across New England for Lyric Stage, A.R.T., Huntington Theatre, and New Rep, among others. Highlights: Long Day’s Journey into Night, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Time Stands Still, Sunday in the Park with George, Water by the Spoonful, A Marvelous Party, Nixon in China, Private Lives, and Betrayal. Scott is the recipient of SpeakEasy’s Outstanding Artist Award, three Elliot Norton Awards, two IRNE Awards, the StageSource Theatre Hero Award, and the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence in Theatre. He is a Professor of the Practice and Chair of the Theatre Department at Northeastern University.
HARVEY FIERSTEIN (Playwright) is the author of the current smash hits Newsies, Kinky Boots, as well as Torch Song Trilogy (Tony®, Drama Desk, and OBIE Awards), La Cage aux Folles (Tony® and Drama Desk Awards), The Sissy Duckling (Humanitas Award), A Catered Affair (12 Drama Desk nominations), Safe Sex (Ace Award), Legs Diamond, Spookhouse, Flatbush Tosca, Common Ground, and more. His political editorials have been published in The New York Times, TV Guide, The Huffington Post, and broadcast on PBS’s “In the Life”. His children’s book, The Sissy Duckling, is now in its fifth printing. As an actor, Mr. Fierstein is known worldwide for his performances in films like Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day, and on stage in Hairspray (Tony Award®), Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy (Tony Award®), and TV shows such as “Smash,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Good Wife,” “Cheers” (Emmy nomination), “The Simpsons,” and “Nurse Jackie.”
GREG MARAIO (Jonathon/Miranda) is thrilled to be returning to SpeakEasy after appearing as Victor/Clint in last season’s Necessary Monsters by John Kuntz. A Boston native, Greg has been working as an actor, director, and costumer for the past ten years. He most recently appeared as Jerry in the world premiere of Colossal with Company One, and originated the title role of the world premiere of The Misadventures of Spy Matthias at Theatre on Fire. Other recent credit include Splendor; The Good Negro; The Gibson Girl; Mr. Marmalade; and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Company One); A Behanding in Spokane; Mojo; and Act a Lady (Theatre on Fire); Stuff Happens; The Kentucky Cycle; Sacred Hearts; and Flesh and Blood (Zeitgeist Stage). Greg is a graduate of The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University where he studied acting under Anne Pluto.
DEB MARTIN* (Eleanor) is thrilled to return to SpeakEasy, having previously appeared as Holly in Next Fall and Corine in Triumph of Love. Favorite roles include Goneril in King Lear with Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Corrine in Gidion’s Knot with Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston (IRNE Nomination, Best Actress), Victoria Grant in the National Tour ofVictor/Victoria, Anna in Ivanov, Irma in The Balcony, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Kristín in Miss Julie. She recently participated in development workshops with New Repertory Theatre & German Stage. Deb can be seen in the film Spartan, written and directed by David Mamet. She is a graduate of Emerson College and studied with Atlantic Theater Company. Upcoming projects: Sam in Mud Blue Sky (Bridge Repertory Theater).
WILL MCGARRAHAN* (Isadore/Charlotte) is happy to return to SpeakEasy Stage where he performed in Big Fish; Far From Heaven; Next Fall; The Drowsy Chaperone; Reckless; Some Men; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Five By Tenn; Company; The Last Sunday in June; Elegies: A Song Cycle; Ruthless!; A Class Act; and A New Brain. Other local credits include Light Up The Sky, Into The Woods, Death of a Salesman, Becky’s New Car, 33 Variations, The Chosen, The Temperamentals, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Grey Gardens, November, Souvenir, and Dirty Blonde. (Lyric Stage); A Raisin in the Sun (Huntington Theatre), The Wind in the Willows and Happy Days (Gloucester Stage); Nine Circles (Publick Theatre and Gloucester Stage); A Moon For The Misbegotten and Buried Child (Nora Theater); and The Wrestling Patient (SpeakEasy Stage/Boston Playwrights/40 Magnolias). Will worked as an actor, singer and pianist for many years in Seattle before moving to Boston’s South End in 2001.
SEAN McGUIRK* (Terry/Theodore) returns to SpeakEasy Stage after having previously appeared in Adding Machine: a Musical; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Caroline, or Change; Company; and A Man of No Importance. In New England, he has appeared at Lyric Stage, Stoneham Theater, New Rep, Charles Playhouse, Ocean State Theater Company, Theater By the Sea, Gloucester Stage as well as Commonwealth Shakespeare. Other theatrical highlights include working with Lou Diamond Philips in A Few Good Men and touring in Mame with Juliet Prowse. His love and gratitude to Marsha for her beauty tips!
ROBERT SAOUD* (Bessie) Robert was last seen at SpeakEasy as Danny inXanadu. Prior to that, he was seeninThe Drowsy Chaperone; The New Century; Some Men; Anna in the Tropics; and Hello, Again. Nationally, Robert toured in Groucho as Chico Marx with Gabe Kaplan as Groucho.Most recently he was seen inHow to Succeed in Business without Really Tryingat Stoneham Theatre and in the spring will be featured in the Lyric Stage production ofPeter and the Starcatcher. Elsewhere in New England, he has appeared at the Huntington Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, Trinity Rep, Lyric Stage, New Rep, Wheelock Family Theatre, and The Publick Theatre. Robert has also appeared in numerous cabarets, and is a Fellow of the 2000 Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Symposium. He is also a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
EDDIE SHIELDS* (Gloria) is thrilled to be making his SpeakEasy debut. Other credits: Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Benji) with Company One, Comedy of Errors (Dromio of Ephesus) with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Pinocchio with Wheelock Family Theater, The Seagull (Treplev), and A View from the Bridge (Rodolpho) at Brandeis Theater Company. NYC; Playwrights Horizons, Everyday Inferno Theater, Rebel Theater Company, and Mettawee River Theater Company. He received his MFA in Acting from Brandeis University.