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Free Summer Stock Streaming Festival July 6-19, 2020
Set aboard a houseboat on a fashionable reach of the Thames in 1911, The New Morality tells the story of how the brazen Betty Jones restores dignity to her household and harmony to her marriage, by losing her temper and making a scene.
A writer of “wit, gaiety and skillful craftsmanship,” the Brooklyn-born British playwright Harold Chapin (1886-1915) wrote ten one-act plays and four complete, full-length works before falling as a WWI soldier at the age of twenty-nine. With Chapin’s tragic early death, the British and American theater lost an already assured comic talent. Revolving around the whims and wits of candid female characters, Chapin’s philosophical comedies of manners brim with “imagination and sympathy,” sparkling dialogue, and a sense of humor at once sharp-edged and fanciful.
LOVE GOES TO PRESS is a wise-cracking romantic farce set in a makeshift press camp in the village of Poggibonsi, Italy, 1944. Headlining are two smart, sassy and determined journalists who brave the front lines to get their stories. Annabelle and Jane, both glamorous American women, are autobiographical caricatures of the authors: Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowles.
Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) covered nearly every major confl ict during her lifetime, from the Spanish Civil War to the U.S. invasion of Panama (when she was 81). Famously, she was one of the few reporters who witnessed D-Day; she did so by locking herself in the toilet of a hospital ship – the first ship to survive the crossing. Gellhorn published 17 books during her six-decade career as a journalist, short story writer, and novelist.
In 2009, the Mint headed downtown to the Lucille Lortel Theater for a production of the wickedly witty backstage comedy, SO HELP ME GOD! by Maurine Dallas Watkins. The production starred two-time Emmy Award-winner Kristen Johnston as the temperamental star who tramples everyone who stands in her way.
Maurine Dallas Watkins (1896-1969) wrote the 1926 play CHICAGO, upon which the musical is based. Winner of six Tonys and a Best Picture Oscar for 2002 film, the musical CHICAGO would seem a “sure thing” from the start. But its beginnings were very much in doubt. Had Watkins got her way, CHICAGO the musical would not exist at all.
Ernest Hemingway wrote THE FIFTH COLUMN in 1937 while he was in Madrid working as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. A hot-blooded romance played out against a backdrop of treachery and intrigue during the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway’s first and only play was published a year later.
THE FIFTH COLUMN rings out with a battle-scarred truth as one would expect from Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel and Pulitzer-prize winning author of A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls and a celebrated war correspondent.
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