Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Skyscraper by David Auburn
What: Skyscraper by David Auburn, directed by Chris Rohmann
Where: Northampton Community Arts Trust building, 33 Hawley Street, (ample free parking)
Who: Co-presented by the Northampton Center for the Arts and The Skyscraper Project
Skyscraper is Unique Model for Performing Arts Collaboration in Valley
Northampton, MA—On one rainy night, the lives of six people collide on the rooftop of a historic building targeted for demolition.Skyscraper, a dark comedy by David Auburn, the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning author of Proof,is the first play to be performed in the new Northampton Community Arts Trust building – a preview of the future, before renovations begin later this year to create the Valley’s long-awaited new arts center.
Most of the play takes place on the rooftop of a classic 19th-century skyscraper scheduled for demolition. Each of the six characters – a preservation activist, a demolition contractor, a promiscuous young lawyer, a Navy dropout, a 110-year-old man and a suicidal young woman – has an intimate connection to the building and, as the long night unfolds, to each other. In a happy coincidence, Skyscraper is being performed in the very section of the Arts Trust building that is soon to be demolished to create a new, state-of-the-art theater.
More than the performance of a play, Skyscraper seeks to model a renewed vision of artistic collaboration in the Valley. The Skyscraper Project, an ad-hoc ensemble of theater artists, views their production as a model for future partnerships in the performing arts. “We saw an opportunity to not only put on a show, but to address some issues that bedevil so many of the independent theater groups who make the Valley such a rich treasure,” says the play’s director, Chris Rohmann.
“By working collaboratively on an equal profit-sharing basis, and sharing some of those profits outside our own circle,” he says, “we’re imagining a future where artists and organizations pool their talents and resources to create work that’s more viable and affordable, where everybody – actors as well as technicians – gets paid, and where profits can provide support and seed money for other productions.”
Ticket sales and donations from individuals and businesses will not only support the production itself, “but will help carry it forward,” says Rohmann. At least 10% of the profits from Skyscraper will go toward a fund to support future collaborative ventures by Valley artists. “We hope our initiative will serve as a Valley-wide inspiration and a foundation to grow and strengthen the performing arts in our area.”
Skyscraper features area performers Carissa Dagenais, Troy David Mercier, R. Steve Pierce, John Sheldon, Katelyn Tsukada and Pam Victor. Danielle Connor is assistant director, and lighting design is by Reilly Horan.
Tickets for Friday and Saturday May 16-17 are $15 ($12 students) online in advance, or $20 and $15, cash or check at the door. Openingnight, Thursday May 15, is “pay what you can,” cash or check at the door. Ticket sales benefit The Skyscraper Project and the Northampton Community Arts Trust.
Visit www.nohoarts.org for tickets and information.