Actress Tandy Cronyn stars in world premiere of "The Tall Boy" at UNT
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 2 (Thursday),
8 p.m. Aug. 3 (Friday),
5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Aug. 4 (Saturday),
2 p.m. Aug. 5 (Sunday).
Audience talkbacks with the artists after all performances except 5 p.m. Aug. 4 performance.
Tickets will go on sale July 26 (Thursday).
Where: Studio Theatre in the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building, corner of Welch and Chestnut streets on the UNT campus
Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for students
Contact: For tickets, call 940-565-2428 or Metro 817-267-3731, ext. 2428.
DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Respected actress Tandy Cronyn will perform the solo role in British playwright Simon Bent’s The Tall Boy, the world premiere production of this work, this summer at the University of North Texas. UNT Department of Dance and Theatre undergraduate students will have the opportunity to work with Cronyn, Bent and director David Hammond – all internationally renowned artists – during the two-week residency.
Cronyn – whose career has spanned film, television and theatre -- has been developing the script with Bent and Hammond since 2010 and first presented the play in a fully staged reading at Guilford College in 2011. The two-week experience at UNT will allow her to further polish the production in preparation for future performances, said Marjorie Hayes, UNT managing director of theatre production who invited Cronyn to premiere the play at UNT.
“Most often, we see dynamic productions which are the final results of a research process,” Hayes said. “But for young artists, the question always is, how did they arrive at that brilliant decision? Our students will be able to see exactly how they build this production.”
Cronyn commissioned Bent to write The Tall Boy based on Kay Boyle’s short story, “The Lost.” Bent’s The Tall Boy features Annie, the American matron of a Bavarian displaced person’s camp for children after World War II, reliving the stories of three boys from the camp. The three children – a Czech, a Pole and an Italian – had been taken in by American GI’s during the war and adopted the GI’s accents, clothing and mannerisms. When the GI’s return home, the boys dream of joining them – but are sent to the camp.
“I am a character actress essentially – that’s what I enjoy most,” Cronyn said. “I love stepping into somebody else’s skin, and I did have a strong feeling from the beginning that I could play those three boys. The thing that attracted me most was the resilience of the children – what they can absorb and survive is a major theme in the story.”
The two-week residency at UNT allows her time and feedback to perfect the challenging one-person role requiring exacting technical precision, she said.
“I can’t relax into and do the things I normally do as an actor when I am playing one role,” she said. “You can’t listen to the other character because you are playing the other character, and those shifts to the other characters have to be very precise.”
Cronyn and Hammond will be on campus starting July 24 (Tuesday). Interactive workshops with Cronyn and Hammond – which are free and open to the public -- will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. July 27 (Friday) and Aug. 3 (Friday) in Room 127 of the Radio, TV, Film and Performing Arts Building, corner of Welch and Chestnut streets. For information, call the Department of Dance and Theatre at 940-565-2211.
Public performances of The Tall Boy will be held at 8 p.m. Aug. 2 (Thursday), 8 p.m. Aug. 3 (Friday), 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Aug. 4 (Saturday) and 2 p.m. Aug. 5 (Sunday). Talkbacks with the audience will be held after each performance except the Saturday matinee. Performances will be held in theStudio Theatre in the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building, corner of Welch and Chestnut streets. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For tickets, call 940-565-2428 or Metro 817-267-3731, ext. 2428.
“The precision, rigor and creativity that these professionals bring to the script development, acting and staging is something that I think can really inspire young theatre artists,” Hayes said. “This will make them more aware of the standards they need to meet if indeed they want to become professional actors, playwrights and directors.”
Adam Chamberlin, assistant professor of lighting and sound at UNT, will serve as lighting and sound designer. Theatre undergraduate students working on the production include: Joe Truitt, technical director and props; Jamie Adling, stage manager; and Anthony Miles, David McKee, Maddie Haas and Candice Miears, student technicians.
Hayes said she hopes this new initiative of producing prestigious summer projects will become a yearly event at UNT.
See attached document for biographies of Cronyn, Bent and Hammond.
Download a high-resolution image of Tandy Cronyn at http://news.unt.edu/image-galleries/image/tandy-cronyn. Photo credit: Trix Rosen.