In preparation for shows with extensive vocabulary, historical background, and/or cultural references, an actor's best friend can be the Sourcebook. Prepared by the production's Dramaturg, the Sourcebook is a resource filled with useful information that helps the actors understand the context of the show. The Sourcebook for Travesties, prepared by dramaturg Erin Shea Brady, contains information about Tom Stoppard, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Switzerland, and more.
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Being Remy Bumppo's Producing Artistic Director keeps Nick Sandys involved with every Remy Bumppo production, but as the director of Travesties, he has even deeper insights into the process, significance, and excitement of this play.
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Tom Stoppard is the acknowledged master of what has been termed “serious comedies,” sparklingly witty plays that deal with large, complex ideas. Stoppard’s extensive list of works spans multiple decades and media, including radio, television, film, and even a novel, making him one of the most internationally produced artists of his generation. His critically acclaimed career has garnered him many awards and honors, including an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love, co-written with Marc Norman, and a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1997. Stoppard currently lives with his third wife in London.
In Travesties, Tom Stoppard imagines what it would be like if James Joyce, Vladimir Lenin, and Tristan Tzara happened to meet. His inspiration for this fictional meeting arose from the historical fact that Joyce, Lenin, and Tzara all really were in Zurich, Switzerland in 1917. Stoppard weaves truth and fantasy throughout Travesties, using the facts as a foundation for his always fascinating, occasionally outlandish characters.
Stoppard pays homage to the Dada movement throughout Travesties, most notably through the character of Tristan Tzara. But what is the Dadaism? How did it get its name? And how did the movement get its start?
Ensemble Member Kelsey Brennan treads the boards as the vivacious Gwendolyn in Travesties. But last summer she played the role of Cecily for American Players Theatre. We interviewed Kelsey to get her insights into the two different roles as well as the two companies' approaches to the script.
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Remy Bumppo Field Guide @ 2018