TheatreSquared Presents The Spiritualist

THEATRESQUARED STAGES WORLD PREMIERE OF
THE SPIRITUALIST
New Play by Robert Ford Begins Performances 8-29
Comedic Drama About English Widow Who Channels Dead Composers is Inspired by Unlikely True Story


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS— April 30, 2013—TheatreSquared (T2) will begin its eighth season of professional theatre with the world premiere of The Spiritualist, by Robert Ford, a comedic drama based on the strange-but-true story of an English widow who claimed to channel the spirits of dead composers. Inspired by news accounts of a 1970s-era psychic who found fame channeling the unfinished symphonies of Beethoven, Liszt and others, the production features Amy Herzberg as self-proclaimed spiritualist Rosemary Dunn and is directed by Chicago-area director Kevin Christopher Fox (Sundown Town, The Fall of the House). Performances will be held in the intimate Studio Theatre at Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, where new audience seats have just been installed, at 505 W. Spring Street in Fayetteville. Tickets range from $22-$36 and are on sale now at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, by phone at (479) 443-5600 or online at theatre2.org.

“It’s such a privilege to bring this brand new work to the stage here in Northwest Arkansas,” said playwright and T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford. “We’ve gotten a great response to this unusual story in readings here in Fayetteville, in Little Rock, in Los Angeles, and at the New Harmony Project in Indiana. The final product is packed with music, intrigue, comedy and theatricality — and it’s driven by an enigmatic character who insists that she’s an ordinary woman who just happens to see things we don’t. I’m proud to see its world premiere right here at TheatreSquared.”

Based on the true story of a woman in 1970s-era London who found remarkable fame and success through her otherworldly communications, The Spiritualist stars Rosemary Dunn, an English widow who cooks for the school lunch service and communes with the spirits of dead composers. When a crusading American newspaperman tries to unmask her as a fraud, he finds more to the so-called psychic than meets the eye. The Spiritualist reveals an unlikely intersection between art and commerce, sanity and the hope for transcendence. The Spiritualist contains occasional adult language and is recommended for ages 13+.

The new season will also mark the debut of new audience seating in TheatreSquared’s intimate performance venue. One hundred and seventy-five new theatre chairs, with contoured padding and ergonomic support, have been installed in the Studio Theatre over the summer months, together with backstage renovations that added dressing rooms for larger casts, state-of-the-art lighting instruments, and a new crew communication system.  “We’re very excited to see these improvements come to fruition — and it’s going to make a real difference in the theatre experience for both our artists and our audiences,” said T2 Managing Director Martin Miller.

The cast for The Spiritualist features T2 Associate Artistic Director Amy Herzberg as Rosemary Dunn, who previously appeared in My Father’s War and has directed five productions for TheatreSquared including Next to Normal (2013). She is joined by Broadway veteran Sean Patrick Reilly (Superior Donuts, The Beauty Queen of Leenane on Broadway) as Roy; John T. Smith (Mauritius, Sundown Town, Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol at TheatreSquared) as Beethoven / BBC Host; Steven Marzolf (The Fall of the House at T2) as Liszt; Kristopher M. Stoker (Noises Off, My Father’s War, The 39 Steps, It’s a Wonderful Life at T2) as Peter Clifton; and Kathy Logelin (Mauritius, It’s a Wonderful Life, Noises Off at T2) as Margaret / Haynes / Clara Schumann.

The creative team for The Spiritualist includes Kevin Christopher Fox (Director), who previously directed the world premiere of Sundown Town and Robert Ford’s The Fall of the House at TheatreSquared; as well as T2 veteran designers Shawn Irish (Scenic and Lighting Designer), Patricia Martin (Costume Designer), Genevieve Headrick (Properties Designer), Will Eubanks (Sound Designer / Assistant Technical Director), Emily Bohannan (Stage Manager), Melissa Haar (Assistant Stage Manager) and Josh Tillotson (Technical Director).

Tickets are on sale now at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, and can be reserved by calling (479) 443-5600 or by visiting theatre2.org. Performances are scheduled Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays at 7:30, Saturday at 7:30, and Sunday at 2:00 and 7:30.  Tickets range from $22 to $36, depending on the performance and seating section. A limited number of $10 tickets are also available for patrons under the age of 30 through the theatre’s “30 Under 30” program.

TheatreSquared 2013/14 season subscriptions are also available. The theatre’s newly expanded subscription options include five-play packages as well as a new “Pick Four” option, offering all of the benefits of a full season package with the flexibility to choose four performances. Subscriptions begin at $105 for a five-play package, and may be purchased by calling the Walton Arts Center Box Office at (479) 571-2785 or visiting theatre2.org. Complementary benefits for all T2 subscribers include savings of up to 15% on each ticket, prime reserved seating, free unlimited exchanges, and same-day dining discounts at T2 Restaurant Partners.

TheatreSquared’s locally produced and nationally acclaimed productions reach 22,000 patrons each year. The company is Northwest Arkansas’s only year-round professional theatre, offering a unique audience experience in its intimate 175-seat theatre at Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios. In 2011, TheatreSquared was recognized by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, as one of the nation’s ten most promising emerging theatres. For further information, contact TheatreSquared at 479.445.6333 or visit the theatre's website at theatre2.org.

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TheatreSquared’s production of The Spiritualist is sponsored in part by Margaret and Richard Rutherford.

Major funding for the TheatreSquared Season 8 is provided by The Walton Family Foundation, Inc.; by The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation; by Nick and Carolyn Cole; and by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Major marketing support for TheatreSquared Season 8 is provided by the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotions Commission. Media sponsors include NWA Media, CitiScapes, KUAF, Mailco USA and The Fayetteville Flyer.