Old Academy Presents TEN CHIMNEYS: Exciting, Intriguing Comedy-Drama

by Patricia Bradford

Philadelphia, PA – The exciting and intriguing comedy-drama TEN CHIMNEYS, by Jeffrey Hatcher, one of the most prolific and produced playwrights in the U.S., is the fifth play in Old Academy’s exciting season and its 496th production. It runs April 24, 25, May 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10, 2015. It is directed by Charlotte Higgins and produced by Chris Wunder. Passion exudes from the talented cast starring: Sandra Hartman as Lynne Fontanne, Rob Rosiello as Alfred Lunt, Lauren Jones as Uta Hagen, Susan Lonker as Hattie Sederholm, Jane Jennings as Louise Greene, Ben Marshal as Carl Sederholm, and Randy Shupp as Sydney Greenstreet.

Receiving its world premiere in 2011, TEN CHIMNEYS begins in the summer of 1938 and centers on the Lunts – Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the reigning couple of Broadway theatre from the 1920’s to 1960, as they were rehearsing Chekov’s The Seagull at their Wisconsin estate called Ten Chimneys. The NY Times described TEN CHIMNEYS, “the offstage life of the stars at their country retreat as a combination of theatrical boot camp and backstage soap opera”.

The Lunts meticulously rehearse every pause, gesture and dialogue overlap until a fixed perfection is achieved. Being ultimate theatre people, life on stage is their ultimate reality. However, their private life is not so orderly. Lynn is insecure. At least ten years older than her husband Alfred, she is faced with a possessive mother-in-law who dislikes her. When the young ingénue, Uta Hagen (who would later achieve fame in The Country Girl and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf) arrives, a romantic triangle begins to mirror the events in Chekhov’s play about passion and art. Their story is told with wit and polish and with Sydney Greenstreet of The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca fame in the cast for good measure.

Note: Once the Lunts retired from the stage in 1960, they lived in their beloved Ten Chimneys year-round and spent many happy years there enjoying the extraordinary retreat they had created together. Ten Chimneys Foundation opened the estate to the public for the first time on May 26, 2003, which would have been the Lunts’ 81st wedding anniversary. The estate remains open for public tours from May through November. Ten Chimneys Foundation continues to fulfill the estate’s original role as a home for the arts by providing programming and resources for theater professionals.

Old Academy Players, located at 3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls, has provided continuous community theater since 1923, and featured the acting debuts of both Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky. All tickets for plays are $15. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., and Sunday performances are at 2 p.m. Parking for all performances is free. For reservations, call (215) 843-1109 or visit the theater’s website at www.oldacademyplayers.org for more information.

Old Academy Players coming attractions include:
• June 12 – 28: GODSPELL by Stephen Schwartz & John Michael Tebelak, Directed by Annie Hnatko
The wildly successful Broadway musical presenting the most beloved Gospel parables!
Our annual festival featuring lots of comedy, new works, new directors and plenty of laughs!
A 3-day workshop introducing children to the basics of music, movement, and acting!
[Enrollment: $100 per child; $80 per each additional sibling ~ Deadline July 17, 2015]

Theater/Organization OLD ACADEMY PLAYERS
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.oldacademyplayers.org

Theater/Organization Address: 3544 INDIAN QUEEN LANE Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (215) 843-1109

You may also like

Leave a Reply