A Love Letter to the Adirondacks: Lake George Theater Lab’s Seventh Season Opens July 14
Lake George Theater Lab founder and artistic director Lindsey Gates calls the Bolton Landing-based company’s seventh season “a love letter to the Adirondacks.”
“After spending every summer of my life in the Adirondacks, I finally spent a full year here, and I fell in love with the place in ways even I couldn’t imagine,” she says. “I think that informed my selections this year.”
The 2011 season, which opens on July 14 in Rogers Park with a free production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night, Or What You Will,” includes a workshop reading of a new play by Daisy Foote set on a lake in upstate New York, a reading of ghost stories on the shores of Lake George and a production of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters,” starring Gates and Adirondack Theatre Festival artistic director Mark Fleischer, which Gurney set in the Adirondacks.
Earlier this year, Gates and Fleischer presented “Love Letters” at the Montcalm restaurant in Queensbury. This production will be directed by Michael Barakiva, the Lake George Theater Lab’s Director in Residence, and will be staged at the Sagamore on August 12 through August 14.
“I’m grateful to Dean Beckos at the Montcalm, who showed us that a play like this could become the basis of an extended afternoon or evening of entertainment, which is what we plan to do with a summer show at the Sagamore,” said Gates. “The Sagamore’s general manager, Tom Guay, has been extremely generous in allowing us to make use of the Sagamore’s facilities. We’re inviting everyone to have a drink or dinner before or after the show and to make an evening of it, just as they would in New York.”
Not only “Love Letters,” but the season’s centerpiece, a reading of a new play by the highly regarded playwright Daisy Foote, will be presented at the Sagamore.
Foote’s play, “The Cottage,” will be presented at the Sagamore’s conference center on July 30.
Gates describes “The Cottage” as “eerie and mysterious.”
“A woman returns to the small town where she spent some memorable summers with her father, a famous novelist, who just passed away. The mystery unfolds from there,” said Gates.
As the focus of this year’s New Play Laboratory, “The Cottage,” will receive intensive scrutiny, said Gates.
“Every summer, the Lake George Theater Lab selects artists to come upstate for a week on the lake and lab a brand new play,” Gates explained. “The playwright, director and actors all live in one house and workshop the play’s structure, theme, dialogue, you name it, and then present a reading to the public with a guided talk-back afterward for the playwright to gather as much feedback as possible. “
Foote’s credits include “When They Speak of Rita,” which was directed by her father, the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Horton Foote and which featured her sister, actress Hallie Foote; “Bhutan,” an Outer Critics Circle Award nominee, presented at the Cherry Lane Theater, and the screenplay for “The Church of Dead Girls,” an upcoming film based on a novel by Stephen Dobyns.
“The Cottage” will be directed by Evan Yionoulis, a resident director at Yale Repertory Theater with a reputation in New York as a director’s director.
“We are incredibly lucky to have Daisy Foote and Evan Yionoulis with us this year,” said Gates. “Evan and Daisy are frequent collaborators. She directed Daisy’s play “Bhutan” off-Broadway and will direct her new play, “Him,” this fall at Primary Stages in New York City.”
Of all the plays submitted to Gates for the 2011 season, “The Cottage” was not only among the most interesting, it was likely to benefit most from a laboratory environment, said Gates.
“Daisy Foote knows exactly what she wants to accomplish here, and part of our mission is to assist playwrights develop their work,” said Gates.
On August 6, the Lake George Theater Lab will present an evening of ghost stories at Sembrich Point.
“I’ve invited playwrights and story tellers to present original ghost stories and retellings of urban legends,” said Gates. “My hope is to present the evening around a fire with wine and s’mores.”
For the season’s opening production, Daniel Spector, the associate director of New York University’s Classical Studio, will return to Bolton Landing for his seventh year, bringing with him graduates of the distinguished program to mount a free evening of Shakespeare.
This year’s play will be the comedy ‘Twelfth Night,’ which the Lake George Theater Lab presented during its inaugural season.
“The Classical Studio’s emphasis on bringing the text to life with minimal props, costumes and sets is perfect for our naturalistic setting on the shores of Lake George,” said Gates.
That, too, helps makes “Twelfth Night” a love letter to the Adirondacks,” Gates said.
“One of my goals is to deepen the pipe line between New York and the Adirondacks, to bring artists here who will fall in love not only with the natural beauty of the place but with the strength of the community,” said Gates. “Our season is not only a love letter to the Adirondacks, it’s a love letter from the Adirondacks.”