BMTE Presents Sharr White’s Annapurna

Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, Southeast Ohio’s professional theater company, will present Annapurna by Sharr White, directed by Shelley Delaney, in The Virginia Hahne Theater at Ohio University’s Kantner Hall January 12-21, 2017.

Annapurna is breathtaking story about the longevity of love. After twenty years apart, Emma tracks Ulysses to a trailer park in the middle of nowhere for a final reckoning. What unfolds is a visceral and profound meditation on love and loss with the simplest of theatrical elements: two people in one room.

Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble continues its mission to explore, confront and affirm what it means to be alive. Following successful productions of Merri Biechler’s Tammy Faye’s Final Audition, George Brant’s Grounded and three seasons of Appalachian Christmas Carol, the company is proud to present Annapurna. The production features company members Ledger Free and Rebecca VerNooy. The creative team includes Vincent Salpietro (scenic design), Nicholas Lynch-Voris and Kelly Blake (costume design), Garrett Hood (sound design) and Colin Cardille (lighting design).

Tammy Faye’s Final Audition Playing in Athens!

TAMMY FAYE’S FINAL AUDITION by Merri Biechler

January 14-23, 2016

The Hahne Theater
Kantner Hall at Ohio University
Athens, Ohio

Thursday, January 14 at 8pm preview
Friday, January 15 at 8pm
Saturday, January 16 at 8pm
Sunday, January 17 at 2pm
Wednesday, January 20 at 8pm
Thursday, January 21 at 8pm
Friday, January 22 at 8pm
Saturday, January 23 at 4pm and 8pm

To reserve and purchase tickets, visit: http://tammyfayeathens.bpt.me
or http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2478488

Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted at the door.
For ticketing questions, call 740-707-5077.

Tammy Faye Bakker was the sweetheart of Christian TV in the 70’s and 80’s, until it all came crashing down. As she nears the end of her life, she attempts a comeback. In a fevered dream, she enlists the men in her life to audition for one final TV show.

Profiles and news:

At Ohio Today: http://ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras/love-the-sinner/
Ohio Compass: https://www.ohio.edu/compass/stories/15-16/12/ohio-today-celebrates-ohiowomen-and-ohio-women.cfm

What the critics are saying:

“The result is a funny, entertaining, and surprisingly moving look at the real life behind an unreal celebrity, staged as affectionate satire without condescension or scorn.” –Joshua Buursma, Washington City Paper, Fringe Worthy

*****

“Tammy Faye’s Final Audition is relentless, a force of energies alternatively touchingly sad and truly funny.” –Eames Armstrong, DC Metro Theater Arts, Best of Fringe, 4-1/2 stars

*****

“Solid directing by Dennis Lee Delaney. Biechler’s play…is a swiftly moving and multilayered creative work. C. David Russell’s costumes and Mitch Ely’s wigs transform the actors into those people we know well.” –Jennifer Perry, BroadwayWorld.com

*****

“Shelley Delaney is fearless, fearsome, and thoroughly transporting. There is nary a moment when she doesn’t have you in the palm of her actor’s hand, and she takes us to surprising and powerful places. She turns on a dime when called upon. It’s a performance that impresses an audience while honoring her subject. Wow.” –Christopher Henley, DC Theatre Scene, 5 stars

*****

And here is part of a write up by WOUB abut the inception of the play as it has been developed in the last year:

In her professional acting career, Shelley Delaney has portrayed Joan of Arc and Lady Macbeth. But there was always one person she wanted to tackle: Tammy Faye Bakker. […]

“I had always been fascinated by Tammy Faye Bakker, even in graduate school when I stumbled onto the PTL club quite by accident,” said Delaney, an associate professor in Ohio University’s School of Dance, Film and Theater. “The theatricality, seeming innocence, and lack of irony riveted me. But it wasn’t until her final interview with Larry King that I got the notion I wanted to explore (as an actor) what made her tick as a human being.” http://woub.org/2014/05/16/tammy-faye-bakker-subject-athens-playwrights-new-work/

TFandJIM1

Tammy Faye at CSC Fringe!

TAMMY FAYE’S FINAL AUDITION by Merri Biechler

Playing next at the Centenary Stage Company Fringe Festival
Thursday, November 19, at 7:30pm
Friday, November 20, at 8pm
Saturday, November 21, at 8pm
Sunday, November 22, at 2pm
For more information and to buy tickets, visit: http://centenarystageco.org/eventdetail.php?ID=286

Tammy Faye Bakker was the sweetheart of Christian TV in the 70’s and 80’s, until it all came crashing down. As she nears the end of her life, she attempts a comeback. In a fevered dream, she enlists the men in her life to audition for one final TV show.

From a recent preview in the Journal-News:

“When people think of Tammy Faye, they think of the crying and the makeup,” said Merri Biechler, an adjunct professor of theater at OU. “But she was actually the first evangelical to embrace gay people back in the 1980s. (The evangelical movement) was more inclusive back then, the idea that anyone could find Jesus, that Jesus loved everyone.”

“Tammy Faye’s Final Audition” is a dreamy exercise where she auditions to create one final TV talk show called “Tammy Faye Wins At Life.” Whether the audition exists inside or outside her head is up to the audience. Throughout, she interacts with all the important men in her life, such as her ex-husband, Jim, her son, Jay, her current husband, Roe Messner, and her one-time co-host, J.J. Bullock, an HIV-positive gay man who also starred in the sitcom, “Too Close For Comfort.” Biechler said the piece was inspired by the fact that Tammy Faye granted an interview to CNN’s Larry King literally seven hours before she passed away from cancer. “She had a real drive to be in front of an audience,” Miechler said. “Call it ego or a last message of love to her fans. It comes from an internal drive that the play tries to understand.” http://www.journal-news.com/news/events/cincinnati-fringe-festival-returns-for-its-12th-ye/nmJ7w/

Tammy Faye’s Final Audition at Capital Fringe!

TAMMY FAYE’S FINAL AUDITION is coming to Capital Fringe! For a preview and information, visit: http://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2015/07/04/2015-capital-fringe-preview-33-tammy-fayes-final-audition-by-merri-biechler/

TF1PERFORMANCES AT:

Dance Place: Brookland Artspace Lofts Studio-
3305 8th Street NE, IN Washington, DC 20017

Thursday 7/9 at 8:15 PM
Saturday 7/11 at 4:15 PM
Sunday 7/12 at 1:30 PM
Tuesday 7/14 at 6:15 PM

For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase ONLINE.

“Tammy Faye’s Final Audition” at Cinci Fringe!

TAMMY FAYE’S FINAL AUDITION
by Merri Biechler

Playing at Cincinnati Fringe, June 2nd-6th.
For ticket info, go here.

Shelley Delaney as Tammy Faye.

Tammy Faye Bakker was the sweetheart of Christian TV in the 70’s and 80’s, until it all came crashing down. As she nears the end of her life, she attempts a comeback. In a fevered dream, she enlists the men in her life to audition for one final TV show.

From a recent preview in the Journal-News:

“When people think of Tammy Faye, they think of the crying and the makeup,” said Merri Biechler, an adjunct professor of theater at OU. “But she was actually the first evangelical to embrace gay people back in the 1980s. (The evangelical movement) was more inclusive back then, the idea that anyone could find Jesus, that Jesus loved everyone.”

TFandJIM1

David Haugen as Jim Bakker and Shelley Delaney as Tammy Faye.

“Tammy Faye’s Final Audition” is a dreamy exercise where she auditions to create one final TV talk show called “Tammy Faye Wins At Life.” Whether the audition exists inside or outside her head is up to the audience. Throughout, she interacts with all the important men in her life, such as her ex-husband, Jim, her son, Jay, her current husband, Roe Messner, and her one-time co-host, J.J. Bullock, an HIV-positive gay man who also starred in the sitcom, “Too Close For Comfort.” Biechler said the piece was inspired by the fact that Tammy Faye granted an interview to CNN’s Larry King literally seven hours before she passed away from cancer. “She had a real drive to be in front of an audience,” Miechler said. “Call it ego or a last message of love to her fans. It comes from an internal drive that the play tries to understand.” http://www.journal-news.com/news/events/cincinnati-fringe-festival-returns-for-its-12th-ye/nmJ7w/

And here is part of a write up by WOUB abut the inception of the play as it has been developed in the last year:

In her professional acting career, Shelley Delaney has portrayed Joan of Arc and Lady Macbeth. But there was always one person she wanted to tackle: Tammy Faye Bakker. […]

“I had always been fascinated by Tammy Faye Bakker, even in graduate school when I stumbled onto the PTL club quite by accident,” said Delaney, an associate professor in Ohio University’s School of Dance, Film and Theater. “The theatricality, seeming innocence, and lack of irony riveted me. But it wasn’t until her final interview with Larry King that I got the notion I wanted to explore (as an actor) what made her tick as a human being.” http://woub.org/2014/05/16/tammy-faye-bakker-subject-athens-playwrights-new-work/

Help Produce An Appalachian Christmas Carol!

Help us continue to offer An Appalachian Christmas Carol to the Southeast Ohio Community

An Appalachian Christmas Carol by Merri Biechler, BMTE 2014

Click to enlarge.

Help us reach our fundraising goal of $5,000!

Brick Monkey has created a new holiday family tradition in SE Ohio. Your $20 donation will support professional theater in our region. For instance, 700 school kids saw a FREE matinee last year. Your $20 donation will cover the cost of bringing one child to a show (ticket and bus). Donations also help us build/maintain props, sets, and costumes, pay for the fantastic live music (come early to the show and dance to live Appalachian music!) and help us cover the many costs associated with mounting a professional theater production. Your donation is tax deductible; our donation processor, Network For Good, provides you with all the tax documents you might need. You can donate a little or a lot, or even set up a monthly pledge like many of us do to keep our NPR radio stations on the air.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE
(for tickets, see below)

Follow our fundraising progress on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brick-Monkey-Theater-Ensemble/130048867043965

ABOUT THE SHOW: You think you know the classic Dickens “A Christmas Carol.” But what if the story was set in Southeast Ohio in 1907 and old Eb Scrooge owned the local coal mine? What if Bob Cratchit helped organize the mine workers, and Fezziwig’s holiday party took place at Stuart’s Opera House with local musicians playing live onstage? …Spinning the traditional ghost story and tale of redemption, An Appalachian Christmas Carol honors Southeast Ohio’s rich coal mining and labor union heritage, while simultaneously celebrating the spirit of the season. This is a joyful story of redemption, rooted in rural storytelling and intertwined with regional, traditional music. Join us in continuing to build a new holiday family tradition!

WHERE: Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville. General seating, so come early for the live music!

WHEN: Wednesday, December 17 at 7pm, Thursday, December 18 at 7pm, Friday, December 19 at 8pm, Saturday, December 20 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 21 at 2pm

TICKETS: $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $12 for children. To purchase tickets in advance, visit stuartsoperahouse.org

An Appalachian Christmas Carol, 2014!

An Appalachian Christmas Carol by Merri Biechler
December 17th to 21st, 2014

An Appalachian Christmas Carol by Merri Biechler, BMTE 2014

Click to enlarge.

WHERE: Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville

WHEN: Wednesday, December 17 at 7pm, Thursday, December 18 at 7pm, Friday, December 19 at 8pm, Saturday, December 20 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 21 at 2pm

TICKETS: $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $12 for children. To purchase tickets in advance, visit stuartsoperahouse.org

You think you know the classic Dickens A Christmas Carol. But what if the story was set in Southeast Ohio in 1907 and old Eb Scrooge owned the local coal mine? What if Bob Cratchit helped organize the mine workers, and Fezziwig’s holiday party took place at Stuart’s Opera House with local musicians playing live onstage?

Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, Southeast Ohio’s professional theater company, is proud to present An Appalachian Christmas Carol.

Spinning the traditional ghost story and tale of redemption, An Appalachian Christmas Carol honors Southeast Ohio’s rich coal mining and labor union heritage, while simultaneously celebrating the spirit of the season. This is a joyful story of redemption, rooted in rural storytelling and intertwined with regional traditional music.

So be sure to make An Appalachian Christmas Carol part of your holiday family tradition on the Historic Public Square in Nelsonville, Ohio.

Tickets available at stuartsoperahouse.org

General seating, so come early for the music!

“GROUNDED” Tickets Now Available!

Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble Presents: Grounded, by George Brant

Marissa Wolf 1WHERE: The Hahne Theater, Kantner Hall, Ohio University. (Kantner Hall is conveniently located directly next-door to the Athens city parking garage on the corner of College and East Washington.)

WHEN: Wednesday, August 27 through Saturday, August 30 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, August 31 at 2pm; also Wednesday, Sept 3 through Saturday, Sept 6 at 8:00 pm.

TICKETS: $18 for adults, $16 for seniors 60+, and $14 for students. To purchase tickets in advance, visit our page at Brown Paper Tickets HERE. Major credit cards and PayPal accepted.

The New York Times calls the play “Gripping”  and also profiles George Brant here. The Guardian (UK) calls the play “a searing piece of writing.” Grounded has been named one of the top 10 London plays of 2013 by The Guardian, and The London Evening Standard, and is short-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. For more information, visit our Up Next page for regularly updating news about the play.

Up Next: GROUNDED

Marissa Wolf 1

Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble presents:

Grounded, by George Brant

WHERE: The Hahne Theater, Kantner Hall, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

WHEN: Wednesday, August 27 – Saturday, August 30 at 8pm
Sunday, August 31 at 2pm

TICKETS: $18 for adults, $16 for seniors 60+, and $14 for students

Tammy Faye Tuesday!

TFFA-Final_jpeg

Click image.

Tammy Faye’s Final Audition will have a staged reading tomorrow, Tuesday May 20th at 8:00 pm. For a deeper look into the play’s development process, read the WOUB coverage by clicking here. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Please join us to help develop this play. This performance — with no costumes or set — is what is known as an “early, working draft” where the playwright and performers will get to see how some of the material affects an audience. After the reading, there will be an audience feedback session where we invite you to give us your perceptions of the work.

 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
8pm at ARTS/West
132 W. State Street
Athens, OH 45701

Admission is FREE!

Tammy Faye’s Final Audition

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Tammy Faye Bakker was the sweetheart of Christian TV in the 70’s and 80’s, until it all came crashing down. As she nears the end of her life, she attempts a comeback. In a fevered dream, she enlists the men in her life to audition for one final TV show.

Brick Monkey audiences are a vital part of our new play development process. This will be an opportunity to see a very early draft of a script and watch two talented actors craft their roles as the play and performers move from reading to production over the next year. 
Come for the play, stay for the feedback.
It’s an exciting process for artists and audience alike!

Tammy Faye’s Final Audition is supported by an Ohio University College of Fine Arts Creative Research Award.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

8pm at ARTS/West

132 W. State Street
Athens, OH 45701

Admission is FREE!

Free Play Reading Series: The Shared Wife

shared wife poster

Click to enlarge!

The Brick Monkey Free Play Reading Series kicks off in the new year with The Shared Wife — a new comedy by Merri Biechler:

Natalie McKenzie runs a small company that records audio books. Her co-owners—and housemates—are her husband, and his brother. After a passionate kiss with her brother-in-law, Natalie is determined to save her marriage. And help is on the way! The threesome signs Cherry, author of A Recipe for Marriage, poised to be the next self-help megastar. But Natalie can’t choose which brother she wants to be married to. And then there’s the dilemma of the live chicken. That tasty, tasty chicken.

Saturday, February 15, 2014
8pm at ARTS/West

132 W. State Street
Athens, OH 45701

Admission is FREE!

The Shared Wife is a comedy about the people we love and the chicken we eat. Merri Biechler is the author of Brick Monkey’s popular holiday tradition, An Appalachian Christmas Carol, as well as many other produced and award winning plays.