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Salem Theatre Company brings award winning new voice in American theatre to North Shore

Posted by Christina Jedra  February 27, 2013 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by the Salem Theatre Company:

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Salem Theatre Company announces an exciting change in their Tenth Anniversary Main-Stage Season. “An unexpected opportunity arose to work closely with an exciting new voice in American Theatre so we grabbed it,” says John Fogle, STC’s Artistic Director. “Our fourth show of Season Ten will showcase a crop of young talent, a profoundly inventive up-and-coming playwright, and a fresh format for our audience.”

From March 27 through April 14, Salem Theatre Company will present SPLIT – Tales of Escape, an evening of comic one-acts written by Nikole Beckwith, a native of Newburyport, and directed by Salem resident Chris Martel. "Nikole exposes each character's subjective experience, giving the audience a full view of what they want and what they fear,” explains Martell. “And how that which we perceive is not always that which is."

“I’ve been following Nikole since I saw her in a show over a dozen years ago at The Player’s Ring in Portsmouth, NH,” Artistic Director John Fogle remembers. “She was a standout performer and I stayed in email contact with her for several years, until she moved to New York City to pursue her career.” 

In New York, Ms. Beckwith’s talents continued to impress. She developed new works with Gregory S. Moss and Eric Bogosian and made her New York stage debut to critical acclaim in Joshua Conkel's hit play MilkMilkLemonade. Ms. Beckwith has performed with The Story Pirates, a kids literacy and arts organization, where she is an actor, director and teaching artist. 

Her plays have been read and performed with Ensemble Studio Theater, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Barrow Street Theater, and the Old Vic in London, among others. 

Her original screenplay, Stockholm, Pennsylvania, garnered the prestigious 2012 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, awarded by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She started off 2013 as the first non-UK playwright to be given a writing attachment at The National Theatre Studio in London, where she is currently developing new work.

“The Nicholl Fellowship proclaimed Ms. Beckwith as ‘a fresh new voice of extraordinary profundity’ and we are very proud to present the New England premiere of Ms. Beckwith’s wonderful, inventive one-acts at Salem Theatre Company,” said Fogle. “Her plays all approach the universal theme of identity – discovering who you are and how you fit in the world – and her comic/ironic tone makes her work both enlightening and very entertaining.”

Featured in the cast are Jeff Bellin, Natalie Miller and Will Neely of Salem, Derek Beckwith of Beverly and Julie Cleveland of Gloucester. Designers include Evan DelGaudio of Medfield (set), Gregory Mancusi-Ungaro of Marblehead (lighting), and Anna Stenberg of Salem (props).

SPLIT – Tales of Escape is sponsored by Georgette Beck, supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (a state agency) and will have 14 performances over three weeks in the STC Theater at 90 Lafayette Street in Salem from March 27 – April 14. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. There is no performance on Sunday, March 31. Tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors and $10 for Students and are available online at www.salemtheatre.com or by calling Ovation Tix at 866-811-4111. There will be two Name Your Own Ticket Price performances on Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. 

ABOUT THE SALEM THEATRE COMPANY

The Salem Theatre Company - a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization – was founded in 2002 and enriches the artistic, cultural, and economic life of the Greater Salem region through the performance of classic, contemporary, and new works of exceptional theater. The STC hopes to move and inspire, and to build connections with new, diverse audiences and theatre artists through the performing arts and arts education outreach.  Salem Theatre Company’s’ Tenth Anniversary Season is supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and features Yasmina Reza’s Art, Craig Lucas’ Reckless, Conor McPherson’s Shining City, SPLIT – Tales of Escape by Nikole Beckwith, and Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. Season Passes represent a 15% discount off regular ticket prices and are available at www.salemtheatre.com

The company is led by Artistic Director John Fogle, Managing Director Gary LaParl, and Board President Norene Gachignard. Details about tickets, the theater on Lafayette Street, and Season Ten are at www.salemtheatre.com.

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