The Cat Theatre
254 Veterans Way, Carmel, IN 46032
October 7th - 17th 

Bard Fest is evolving.   We looked at our festival and how we could improve it, add more diversity, and explore still more of the human soul. 

 

It is from these working sessions that “The Prestige Project” was born.  What if we add to our selection of Shakespeare tales modern classics of theatre reimagined and presented in the intimate, powerful manner characteristic of a Bard Fest production?  What if we hand selected a director with proven ability and local actors well known for their broad range and considerable talent?  Then, what if we select a play that would challenge both the artists and the audience? 

 

Well, that would indeed be a prestigious event.

Where better to begin than with the American playwright Edward Albee and his seminal work, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”?  A dark comedy, Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? portrays husband and wife George and Martha in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. By the evening’s end, a stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climax that has shocked audiences for years. 

Winner of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf” ran for 660 performances on Broadway and is acclaimed as a masterpiece of drama.    Toby Zinman writes: “The plot stands as one of the great theatrical treatments of the dysfunctional family, a subject American drama has been in love with from the beginning; this is not the drippy prime-time variety of television’s version of ‘family drama’…but rather the obsessive reexamination of how families love and hate each other, the domestic battlefield where truth and illusion are locked in mortal combat.”

Featuring

Mr Tony Armstrong as George

Glenn Dobbs writes, "I first saw Tony on the theater scene here in Indy several years ago.  In the shows I saw, he was a capable supporting player.  However, when I saw him as "The Player King" in the 2019 Bard Fest production of Hamlet I knew I was seeing something special.  This role has a long, complicated monologue that does not help the over all plot so it is often cut.   I am so glad they did not cut it here.  Tony performed a devastating speech full of power and nuance.  It was mesmerizing and in many ways stole the show.  I knew then what an enormous talent this man has and I am thrilled he is helping to launch "The Prestige Project" for Bard Fest.  You are in for a treat and a master class in acting".  

Ms Nan Macy as Martha

 Nan Macy lives in Columbus, IN with her wonderful family.  She has worked in regional theatre for many years both as an actress and an administrator. Nan has played Shakespearean roles such as Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth”, Claudius in “Hamlet”, and Volumnia in “Coriolanus”. Other favorite roles include:  a suspicious and hard-nosed nun in “Doubt”, an aging movie star in “Vanya and Sonja and Masha and Spike”, a daffy divorcee in “The Women”, a bitter Grandmother in “Lost in Yonkers” and Super Diva, Maria Callas in “Master Class”.  Nan loves dancing of every kind and is a dedicated ballroom dancer.  She attends regional and national dance competitions where she gets to wear beautiful dresses loaded with rhinestones. Nan is very excited to become a part of the Bard Fest Production Team. It is a great honor to work with such dedicated and passionate artists. 

Mr Matthew Walls as Nick

Mr Walls is a regular in theater shows here in Indiana.  A much sought after leading man, he has appeared in prior Bard Fest productions including Henry IV Part 1, Coriolanus, And Plaza Suite - The Radio Play.   He has also appeared in numerous Fringe productions and at many other theaters in town.  

Ms Afton Shepard as Honey

Afton is thrilled to be back on the IndyFringe stage with this family of talented (vaccinated!) performers. She is delighted to work as an actress and model in many various theatre and film productions. Favorite past theatre roles include A Chorus Line (Val), The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet), Doubt: A Parable (Sister James), and Inherit the Wind (Rachel Brown) – to name a few! Notably, she has appeared on stage with Bard Fest  in Henry IV Part I (Lady Percy), and Plaza Suite. She will next be appearing in Indy Bard Fest 2021 in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Honey), Antony and Cleopatra (Cleopatra), and Elizabeth Rex (Countess Henslowe). She is a proud mother and wife. Thank you for supporting local theatre! @shepardafton 

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Stage Manager
Ms Missy Rump joins the team providing stage management.  She is a popular veteran of many theatre productions and last seen in Bard Fest in Henry IV Part 1

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Directed by

Mr Matthew Socey

Director's Notes --  Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf can be very, very funny. Oh, it's not a sitcom, but there's some funny stuff said in this show. Really funny and really dark. Folks talk about cringe humor, from the original series of The Office to today. Mr. Albee nailed the genre in the 1960s.

This is also a love story. A deeply, twisted love story and a marriage you and I wouldn't hope to experience (that guy behind you, maybe..). Being in a relationship for a long period of time, a verbal and physical shorthand develops. In some relationships, there's a safeword for when teasing starts to hit too close to the bone. Safewords are not just for the bedroom. On this evening, George and Martha broke their safeword in a big way. George and Martha are playing 3D chess while Nick and Honey are playing checkers.

What's great about a piece of art like this is that each audience member will have a different experience with the same production. One's own relationship history will reflect how they're about to experience this quartet.

What a long, strange trip it has been for this great acting quartet. We were suppose to mount Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in October of last year and then COVID was being COVID. Once the show was cast in the spring of last year, we started with Zoom happy hour meetings throughout that spring and summer. In October of 2020, at this time and this space, this acting quartet (along with The Tony Johnson Sound Orchestra) mounted a radio production of Plaza Suite. After pulling off a very fun and safe production, this quartet is more than ready to bring George, Martha, Nick and Honey to the stage. They're looking at the Knives Out cast and chuckling "That's not a knife. THAT'S a knife!" (Yup, I combined Edward Albee with Knives Out and Crocodile Dunee. Your pledge dollars at work).

Grab a bergin and water, sit back, try to relax and to quote Margo Channing, fasten your seatbelts...

 

- Matthew Socey, Director

Produced by
Mr John Clair 
Ms Nan Macy
Mr JB Scoble 
Mr Kevin Robertson 
& Mr Glenn Dobbs

Made possible by a generous grant from Indy Politics
and Carmel Arts Grant

Photography by Chapital Photography 

Covid Statement

Like many organizations in our community, Bard fest is updating our mask policy in response to the Delta Variant and new CDC recommendations. As of Sunday, August 8, masks will be required indoors for all visitors and audience members. Thank you to everyone for respecting our Covid-19 protocols and for your support of Bard Fest and our community.