Presenting Our 2014 - 2015 Season

Noises Off by Michael Frayn presented in August 2014 by GRRC

Noises Off
by Michael Frayn

Directed by Eric Vaughn Johnson

August 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 PM
August 17 Matinee at 2:00 PM

Performances were held at RAPA's East End Theatre

Called the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off presents a manic menagerie as a cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called Nothing's On. Doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play.

Click here to see cast and rehearsal photos from the show.

Click on the poster to view it full size.


Marx in Soho presented in September 2014 by GRRC

Marx in Soho
by Howard Zinn

Directed by Crescenzo Scipione

September 4, 5, 6 at 7:30 PM
September 7 at 2:00 PM

Performances were held at RAPA's East End Theatre

In Marx In Soho, a cleverly imagined call to reconsider history, historian Howard Zinn creates a whimsical one-man play in which Karl Marx returns from the grave to try to clear his name. However, due to a bureaucratic error, Marx winds up, not in his old stomping grounds of London, but in modern-day New York City’s SoHo district. At first bewildered, Marx makes the best of a difficult situation, filling us in on his marriage to his wife, Jenny, his love for his family, especially his brilliant daughter Eleanor, and his contentious arguments with fellow radical Mikhail Bakunin. Zinn’s Marx is passionately enraged at the injustices of poverty, greedy corporations, and the inequality of the distribution of wealth and power, but he is also an earthy man with a lusty appetite for women as well as social justice.

Veteran actor, Jack Simel, is delighted to be taking on the iconic role. Simel, who is a member of GRRC’s Board of Directors, is no novice to the stage. He has worked with most of Rochester’s theatre groups as either actor, director, producer or stage manager. He was a memorable Mr. Paravacini last season in GRRC’s production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.

Most people are familiar with Marx the Revolutionary, but in this play, Zinn creates a Marx with a twinkle in his eye, a droll, sharp-witted often very funny man. “My hope is that Marx in Soho illuminates not just that time, and Marx’s place in it, but our time, and our place in it,” Zinn says. While Simel hopes the title will draw an audience of “working class heroes” and “progressives,” he’s also hoping it will attract people who are drawn to the passion behind the ideas. In this exciting one-man show, audiences will find that the cry for justice is as socially relevant to our own time as it was in 1871.

Click on the poster to view full size.


Diane Chevron, Peter Elliott and Denise Bartalo in Nancy Preston Stark's Cocktails presented in September by GRRC

by Nancy Preston Stark

Directed by Bonnie Meath-Lang

Rochester Fringe Festival Performance Dates

September 20th at 7:30 PM
September 26th at 10:00 PM
September 27th at 7:30 PM

Performances were held at RAPA's East End Theatre

Cocktails is a thought provoking play with comedic overtones.

Retirement, the idyllic life George has imagined for many years is finally a reality – or is it? Unfortunately, “Life is what’s happening while you’re making other plans”. After events spiral completely out of his control, will he get a second chance to live out his dream?

Cocktails, written by Nancy Preston Stark, will star Denise Bartalo as Sylvia Sharpton, Diane Chevron as Elizabeth Darling and Peter Elliott as George Sharpton. This is the same cast who were featured in last year’s successful Fringe Festival production of Ping .

Poster design by Louie Podlaski. Click on the poster to view full size.


Live Drawing: A Portrait of the Mona Lisa by Jules Tasca presented in March 2015 by GRRC

Live Drawing: A Portrait of the Mona Lisa
by Jules Tasca, (1938 -   )

Directed by Donald Brian Bartalo

March 6, 7, 13, 14 at 7:30 PM
March 8 and 15 at 2:00 PM

Live Drawing: A Portrait of the Mona Lisa tells the story about the three years it took the famous Da Vinci to paint his internationally known masterwork. Lisa wants to be immortalized by the most famous artist in Europe. Leonardo has personal reasons to want to keep the portrait for himself rather than release it to Francesco Gioconda, Lisa's husband, who commissioned his wife's painting.

Donald Brian Bartalo will direct Live Drawing: A Portrait of the Mona Lisa. He directed GRRC’s Agnes of God in April/May 2014.

Click on the poster to view full size.


The Dreamland Bus by Kenneth Graham presented in May 2015 by GRRC

The Dreamland Bus
by Kenneth Graham

Directed by Bonnie Meath-Lang

April 30 at 7:30 PM
May 1, 2, 8, 9 at 7:30 PM
May 3 at 2:00 PM

Greater Rochester Repertory Companies (GRRC) was founded in 1996 to provide an environment for actors, musicians and all theater practitioners to teach and learn, also giving a voice and venue to local and regional authors.

GRRC is proud to keeping true to its mission statement by producing another original work, Kenneth Graham’s “The Dreamland Bus”. The title reflects the words of his father, a Southern doctor, when the children were being put to bed – “it’s time to get on the dreamland bus”.

Based upon Mr. Graham’s family and his Southern up-bringing, this play won the 1991 Southern Playwright’s Competition and the 1992 Festival of Southern Theater Playwriting Competition and has been produced several times before, but the fact that the matriarch of the family is from Rochester, New York will allow many audience members to enjoy the references and nuances in a more personal way.

Some of the comments have been:

“Funny, sad, disturbing, and hopeful – a finely detailed journey through the confusions of modern life.”
Festival of Southern Theater, Oxford, Mississippi

“I liked it VERY MUCH!” Zoe Caldwell, Actress

“A damn good play!” Suzanne Golden, Broadway Producer

“A beautiful play…powered by moonlight.” Robert Jennings, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Poster design by Louie Podlaski. Click on the poster to view full size.