Auditions are now open for RPE's 2018 Fund Raiser: They're Playing My Song. We'll be saluting Broadway's Favorite Composers. March 17, 2018 at The Village Theatre in Danville. Positions open for male and female singers/movers. Stipend paid. Rehearsals in Danville, to be scheduled. Ed Goldfarb on the piano!  Contact Sharon Sprecher at .">. or call 916-768-9785 for details.

Fundraiser Logo 2018 100x

Eric Hayes optmizedI am really excited about the upcoming season and the beginning of RPE’s “Theatre for Grown Ups” outreach. A couple of years ago, we took a survey of our subscribers and found they liked a good drama as much as a good comedy. This was very satisfying news, as I hoped when I became Artistic Director at RPE, that with consistent quality productions we would broaden our audience’s appetite for theatre. We also learned that our audiences are curious people interested in learning more about the arts they love. With this in mind, our new “Theatre for Grown Ups” program lets you explore the craft of acting and the strategy behind selecting a play. The season begins with our staging of the dynamic and thought-provoking Pulitzer Prize winning play “Seascape” by Edward Albee; which kicks off the 17th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival. Veteran director George Maguire, who has provided memorable productions of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” as well as O’Neill’s “Anna Christie”, returns to helm RPE’s first play of the season. I believe Albee’s “Seascape” and “The Emperor Jones” by Eugene O’Neill will prove a very powerful combination, as this September’s festival explores the fantastical side of Modern American drama. Our second production, Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water,” also has an O’Neill connection. It will be directed by actor Aaron Murphy, who had a memorable turn as Hickey in the Festival’s 2014 production of “The Iceman Cometh.” “Don’t Drink the Water” promises a complete change of pace as we experience Allen’s zany take on the cold war tensions of the 1960s. The new year will start with the best script I read when I was considering plays for this season. August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, was hands down the most captivating play I have read in a long time. As I approached the conclusion, I was saying to myself “this is great please, please give me a strong ending.” It exceeded my expectations. We conclude the season on a playful note with Charles Morey’s “Laughing Stock.” It seems fitting that in a season where RPE is looking to advance our community’s knowledge of theatre that we end with a play about the making of theatre. Both the theatre that is intended and the theatre of alchemy, where things don’t go as planned and you’re forced to do your best with what you have, finding a way to not only make it work but to flourish. RPE’s season, like all of our lives, will be full of good intentions, unexpected surprises and delights.

Eric Fraisher Hayes, Artistic Director

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