Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy

BCWJ Article – TACT’s Salon Series in NYC

TACT’S Salon Series in New York City

By Anne M. Hamilton, MFA

According to its mission, The Actors Company Theatre is, “dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit, with a focus on creating theatre from its essence: the text and the actor’s ability to bring it to life”.  Last season, the Wall Street Journal named TACT “Company of the Year”. With mainstage productions held at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row, the ensemble also presents a more intimate Salon Series in the Flatiron District. This year TACT will present four mid-twentieth-century plays by female theatre artists.

Ruth Gordon was an American actress and writer who played many roles on Broadway from 1916 to 1976, including Nora in A Doll’s House, Mrs. Kitty Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi in The Matchmaker. In A Very Rich Woman (based on a play by Phillipe Heriat), a rich Boston widow fights her daughters’ efforts to declare her incompetent in order to gain access to her money.

Alice Childress performed with the American Negro Theatre and premiered on Broadway with the ANT’s hugely successful Anna Lucasta. Later, she became one of the first African-American women to have work professionally produced on the New York stage.In the groundbreaking backstage satire Trouble in Mind (1955), a talented African-American actress finally has the chance to play a lead role on the Great White Way, but only if she’s willing to compromise her principles.

In Toys in the Attic, Lillian Hellman portrays a single day in the life of a New Orleans family, when a prodigal brother returns home to his middle-aged sisters with an overnight fortune in his pocket. The drama opened on Broadway in 1960 starring Jason Robards, Jr., Maureen Stapleton and Irene Worth, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.

Finally, in Agatha Christie’s The Hollow, a family gathering in an English country home leads to murder. This beloved mystery author’s play The Mousetrap has been running continuously in the West End since 1952. The Hollow, based on her novel of the same name from 1946, premiered in 1951 in Cambridge.

Anne Hamilton has 22 years of experience as an dramaturg. She is available for script consultations and career advising through Season Three of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! launched with an interview with Kate Valk, The Wooster Group’s leading actress.

Download the article here: BCWJ Article on TACT’s SALON SERIES IN NEW YORK CITY by Anne Hamilton