Artistic Director Sean Murray is proud to announce Cygnet Theatre’s very first World Premiere – acclaimed writer Stephen Metcalfe’s THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS. This production, which began as a staged-reading in Cygnet’s highly-praised Playwrights in Process Series, will feature the same cast from that reading including Globe Associate Artist Jim Winker, Cygnet Resident Artists Manny Fernandes, Monique Gaffney, Francis Gercke, Veronica Murphy and Tim West and will be directed by Sean Murray. THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS will run January 20th through February 20th, 2011. The production is sponsored by Elaine Lipinsky.
The development of a world premiere marks an exciting new move by Artistic Director Sean Murray and Cygnet Theatre. Premiering new works by well-known playwrights has been a goal of Murray’s and puts Cygnet more closely in line with the two major theatres in town – namely, The Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse, which regularly produce established playwrights new productions. The creation of the Playwrights in Process Series was Cygnet’s first step in searching for the perfect production to mark this move.
Stephen Metcalfe, a La Jolla resident, reached out to Cygnet with the early drafts of The Tragedy of the Commons and a staged-reading at Cygnet in December 2009, a workshop reading at the Pasadena Playhouse in February, 2010 and further rewrites led to the script currently in rehearsals. Murray felt the script of Tragedy was the perfect show for Cygnet, not only because the audience feedback from the reading was so enthusiastic, but also because the La Jolla setting has a neighborhood appeal. The show is stirring and beautifully surprising to any audience, but it is also moving and specifically tangible to a San Diego audience.
Stephen Metcalfe is an accomplished writer of stage, television and screen. His first produced screenplay was Jacknife, based on his Off-Broadway play Strange Snow. The film starred Robert DeNiro and Ed Harris and was directed by British stage and screen veteran, David Jones. He adapted screenplays for Paramount’s Cousins (with Ted Danson and Isabella Rossellini) and Pretty Woman (with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, directed by Gary Marshall.) Other well-know works include It Could Happen to You (with Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda), The Air Up There (with Kevin Bacon) and Mr. Holland’s Opus (with Richard Dreyfuss). His plays, which have been produced in New York and in regional theaters throughout the United States, include Loves & Hours, Vikings,Strange Snow, Sorrows and Sons, Pilgrims, Half a Lifetime, Emily, White Linen, The Incredibly Famous Willy Rivers, White Man Dancing and The Gift Teller. He is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe Theatre and is a member of the Playwright’s Unit at The Manhattan Theatre Club in New York.
The Tragedy of the Commons will begin previews Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 7:30 pm on Cygnet’s Old Town Stage located at 4040 Twiggs St. in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Opening Night is Saturday, January 29th and the show runs until February 20th. Special talk-back playwright forums are in the works with Stephen Metcalfe and other local acclaimed playwrights. These forums will immediately follow specific performances. Stay tuned for announcements.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting Cygnet’s website at www.cygnettheatre.com or by calling the box office at 619-337-1525. Tickets can also be purchased in person by visiting Cygnet’s box office located at the Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St. in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
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