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OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD
by Timberlake Wertenbaker

Co-Directed by Robin Friend Stift
and Brandon Walker

TSP Unplugged Reading Series

July 10, 2017 - 7pm

 

In Timberlake Wertenbaker's dramatization of a real-life incident and Thomas Keneally's novel The Playmaker, it is 1788, and a Royal Marine lieutenant directs several of the criminals and misfits banished to the new British colony of Australia in the first play the country has produced, gradually winning the skeptical fledgling actors over to the magic of the theatre.

Location: The Seeing Place @ the Access Theater, 380 Broadway, 4th Floor Theater

Tickets: Free, but limited.

Click to Reserve Your Seat: OvationTix

 

 

Synopsis:

In Timberlake Wertenbaker's dramatization of a real-life incident and Thomas Keneally's novel The Playmaker, it is 1788, and a Royal Marine lieutenant directs several of the criminals and misfits banished to the new British colony of Australia in the first play the country has produced, gradually winning the skeptical fledgling actors over to the magic of the theatre.

This play is being presented during the mainstage run of Caryl Churchill's CLOUD 9. Here's is an excerpt from Frank Rich's 1991 review of the Broadway production of OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD, discussing Churchill's influence on Wertenbaker's work:

"By far the most positive Royal Court influence on Ms. Wertenbaker is that of Caryl Churchill, whose imprint can be seen when the actresses playing convicts in "Our Country's Good" double in the roles of English officers. The cross-sexual casting not only echoes a Churchill comedy about colonialism ("Cloud 9") and, for added dividends, the farcical plot of "The Recruiting Officer" itself, but it also honors Ms. Wertenbaker's point about the subversive power of theater to liberate an audience from all shackles of reality, including divisions of sex and class."

To reserve a seat for OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD or buy tickets to CLOUD 9, click here.

 

Schedule - What is TSP Unplugged?

This is a part of our TSP Unplugged Reading Series, where audiences go behind the scenes with The Seeing Place to experience our work "unplugged." We'll start at 7pm with the audience observing our artists discussing the play in their final rehearsal, laying the ground-work for how the actors will approach the piece during the reading. At 7:45pm we'll begin the reading. Immediately following the reading we'll discuss what was seen - what is the modern relevance of the play? What would a theater company want to consider if producing the play as a ful production? These and other questions will be explored during this lively talkback.

 

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Reviews and Articles for Previous Productions of OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD:

 

"OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD champions the theater with eloquence and, at its best, does so by example rather than by preaching...It's a touching tale that almost seems too incredible to be true." - New York Times

"The play remains a remarkable celebration of theatre’s potential to regenerate lost souls." - The Standard (UK)

"The heart of Wertenbaker’s play lies in its endlessly topical debate about crime and punishment, and in its moving portrait of drama as a means of giving voice, purpose and a sense of communality to a group of social outcasts." - The Guardian (UK)

 

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CAST and CREATIVE TEAM (in alphabetical order):

Midshipman Harry Brewer / John Arscott - Oliver Archibald
Captain Watkin Tench / Aboriginal Australian / Black Caesar - Juan Cardenas
Captain Arthur Phillip / John Wisehammer - Alexander D. Carney*
Reverend Johnson / Liz Morden - Erin Cronican*
Lieutenant George Johnston / Mary Brenham - Charlie Gillette
Narrator - Isa Goldberg
Captain David Collins / Robert Sideway - Daniel J. O'Brien*
2nd Lieutenant William Faddy / Dabby Bryant - Candice Oden*
Major Robbie Ross / Ketch Freeman - Clinton Powell
Captain Jemmy Campbell / Meg Long - James Reade Venable*
Lieutentant Will Dawes / Duckling Smith - Mariel Reyes
2nd Lieutenant Ralph Clark - Brandon Walker*

* Member of Actors' Equity Association

 

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