Custom Made Theatre Co. presents
Three Tall Womem
by Edward Albee
winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
directed by Katja Rivera
America’s foremost living playwright looks at personality, survival and self-deception through the eyes of three women.
Three Tall Women is one of Albee’s most personal plays; he continues to explore themes of mortality, the elasticity of personality, and the ways we deceive ourselves through the character of a 92-year old woman on the verge of death, engaging with herself as a knowing 56-year old and a contemptuous 26-year old. “Three Tall Women” challenges audiences, asking us to be as honest, fierce and unblinking as Mr. Albee in looking at how we live, and how we die.
Winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize, this will be the fourth Edward Albee play Custom Made has presented, most recently with “The Play About the Baby,” which was awarded Best Overall Production by the Critic’s Circle in 2012.
Michaela Greeley (A)
Terry Bamberger (B)
Katharine Otis (C)
Nathan Brown (The Boy)
Set Design – Stewart Lyle; Lighting Design – Hamilton Guillen; Costume Design – Scarlett Kellum; Sound Design – Liz Ryder; Stage Manager – Melissa Costa.
It’s not too late to subscribe! See Three Tall Women, and the next four shows in our season, for up to 50% off, receive reserved seating, unlimited changes, and free concessions. It’s the best small theatre deal in town, and who couldn’t use a few extra shekels these days? Learn more by clicking here!
Three Tall Women runs approximately 2 hours 15 minutes, with one intermission.
Custom Made Theatre Co. Presents Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Three Tall Women, Nov 7 – Dec
San Francisco. October 8, 2014. Winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize, this will be the fourth Edward Albee play Custom Made has presented, most recently with The Play About the Baby, which was awarded Best Overall Production by the Critic’s Circle in 2012. It is one of Albee’s most personal plays; he continues to explore themes of mortality, the elasticity of personality, and the ways we deceive ourselves through the character of a 92-year old woman on the verge of death, engaging with herself as a knowing 56-year old and a contemptuous 26-year old. Three Tall Women challenges audiences, asking us to be as honest, fierce and unblinking as Mr. Albee in looking at how we live, and how we die. Directed by Katja Rivera, who last directed Custom Made’s award-winning production of Eurydice. Three Tall Women plays November 7 through December 7 at the Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough Street in San Francisco.
Albee names the three women merely A, B, and C
Michaela Greeley (A)
Terry Bamberger (B)
Katharine Otis (C)
Nathan Brown (The Boy)
Set Design – Stewart Lyle (The Crucible); Lighting Design – Hamilton Guillen (The Pain and the Itch); Costume Design – Scarlett Kellum (Top Girls); Sound Design – Liz Ryder (Slaughterhouse-Five, The Crucible); Stage Manager – Melissa Costa.
Katja Rivera (Director) is an actor/director with a long history in the Bay Area. Originally from Los Angeles, she studied at the LACC Theatre Conservatory, and The Drama Studio London at Berkeley. She is an artistic associate with Shotgun Players, a member of the playwright development group, Playground, and a member of Actors Equity. And a company member of Custom Made Theatre. This is the third play she’s directed at Custom Made (preceded by the SFBATCC award-winning Eurydice).
Edward Albee, Three Tall Women, and Custom Made
Edward Albee was born Edward Harvey in Washington, D.C. in 1928. At the age of two weeks, he was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Reed Albee of Larchmont, New York, and renamed Edward Franklin Albee III. From an early age, Edward Albee knew that he was adopted, but he has never attempted to locate his birth parents.
At age 30, he completed his first major work, The Zoo Story, which opened Off-Broadway in 1960. This startling one-act won Albee an international reputation as a fearless observer of human alienation.
In only a few years, Albee emerged as the leading light of the burgeoning Off-Broadway movement. His first Broadway production, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) was a runaway success and a critical sensation. The play received a Tony Award, and Albee was enshrined in the pantheon of American dramatists alongside Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams.
Flash forward three decades. Edward Albee triumphed with Three Tall Women in 1994. Praised by many critics as his best play in 30 years, it struck many students of Albee’s work as a final coming to terms with the memory of his vital but domineering adoptive mother. The play won every award in sight and earned Albee his third Pulitzer Prize. In 1996, Albee was one of the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors and was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Albee enjoyed a resurgence of creativity at century’s end. The Play About the Baby premiered off-Broadway in 2001 and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Drama. (Source Wikipedia.)
This will be the fourth Albee play Custom Made has presented, preceded by A Delicate Balance and Finding the Sun. The most recent, the 2012 production of The Play About the Baby, directed by Artistic Director Brian Katz, won the “Best Overall Production” and “Best Ensemble” award from the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle.
Show Times and Tickets
Previews: Nov. 7, 8 at 8:00 pm; Nov 9 at 7:00 pm
Opens Nov 11, 8:00 pm
Runs Nov 11-Dec 7; Thurs-Sat 8:00 pm, Sun 7:00 pm
3:00pm Matinees Sunday Nov 23&30
Tickets $32-37; Opening Night (includes reception) $50
Learn more & buy tickets at (415) 798-CMTC, https://www.custommade.org/tickets
Subscribe to Custom Made’s 2014/15 season.at https://www.custommade.org/subscribe Single tickets: https://www.custommade.org/tickets .
For Calendar Editors
Three Tall Women. Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize winning study of how we deceive ourselves, as displayed by three women aged 26, 56, and 92. Directed by Katja Rivera. Previews Nov. 7, 8 at 8:00 pm; Nov. 9 at 7:00 pm. Opens Nov. 11 at 8:00 pm. Runs Nov. 11 – Dec. 7, Thurs-Sat 8:00 pm; Sun 7:00; Sun 3pm Nov 23 and 30. Tickets $20-$40 with discounts for Students, Seniors, and TBA members with proper I.D. Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough Street, San Francisco. (415) 798-CMTC, www.custommade.org
Custom Made Theatre Continues Its 2014-2015 Season with…
Jan 8 – Feb 7, 2015 – Late: A Cowboy Song by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Ariel Craft
Feb 12 – March 14 – How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann. Directed by Leah S. Abrams.
March 27 – April 26 – The Braggart Soldier, or Major Blowhard by Plautus, adapted and directed by Evren Odcikin.
May 14 – Jun 14 – Grey Gardens, the Musical book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie. Directed by Stuart Bousel. Musical Direction by David Brown.
Media Contact: Gary Carr, Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations, (925) 672-8717, [email protected]
Custom Made Theatre at Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough Street, San Francisco
Tickets at: www.custommade.org/tickets
Preview Nov 7 & 8, 8:00 pm; Nov.9, 7:00 pm
Opens Nov 11, 8:00 pm
Runs Nov 13-Dec
7 14! Thurs-Sat 8:00 pm, Sun 7:00 pm
Sunday matinees Nov 23 & 30; 2:30 pm. (You asked for them, you got them!)
Getting to Gough Street Playhouse
Visit our directions page to plan a route via Google Maps. Save the planet, take public transportation!
Last minute parking on-the-street is not recommended, but is possible with some planning.
On weekday evenings a good approach is to park at 7:00pm between Bush and Pine on Franklin Street, just when it stops being a tow-away zone. At that time there are plenty of spaces, and plenty of restaurants to grab some dinner pre-show!
There are also plenty of parking lots between Geary/Van Ness and the Theatre.
Tickets at: www.custommade.org/tickets
Michaela Greeley A
Terry Bamberger B
Katharine Otis C
Nathan Brown The Boy
Melissa Costa Stage Manager/Props Design
Stewart Lyle* Scenic Design Hamilton Guillén Lighting Design
Scarlett Kellum Costume Design
Liz Ryder* Sound Design
*member, Custom Made Theatre Co.
Terry Bamberger (B) is a SF Bay Area actor whose theatre credits include the West Coast premiere of Year of the Rooster at Impact Theatre, Jeremy Bloom’s Peter/Wendy at The Custom Made Theatre Company, and the premiere of Singulariteen at the SF Fringe; The Winter’s Tale, Romeo & Juliet, and The Tempest at SF Shakespeare Festival, King Lear at Calveras Repertory Theatre, and contemporary works including Done to Death at Venue 9, The Maltese Frenchman at Theatre Rhino, Guilty Conscience at Sierra Repertory Theatre. Film/tv credits include Coffee & Language and General Hospital. Bamberger trains young actors at Oakland School for the Arts and is honored to be a recipient of the 2013 Theatre Bay Area Titan Award.
Nathan Brown (The Boy) This is Nathan’s first show at Custom Made and he couldn’t be more excited to be working here! Starting in Alameda, CA, he has spread out to Theatre companies from Livermore to Ross, CA. Some of his favorite roles have been Major Robbie Ross/Harry Brewer in Our Country’s Good and more recently Josh in No Nude Men’s production of PASTORELLA. Going forward Nathan has been cast in Custom Made’s Grey Gardens going up in the spring of 2015. Hope you enjoy the show!
Michaela Greeley (A) is happy to be making her Custom Made debut. She was last seen here in The Paris Letter at the New Conservatory Theatre Center. Some favorite roles include Maria Callas in Master Class, Diane in The Little Dog Laughed, Old Molly in The Ghost of Molly Malone, and the Balinese grandmother in the world premiere of Rights of Passage. She has appeared at the Shotgun Players, Theatre Rhinoceros, Phoenix Theatre, Magic Theatre, The Marsh, Killing My Lobster, Douglas Morrisson Theatre and the Exit Theatre.
Katharine Otis (C) is thrilled to be making her Custom Made debut, and is forever grateful to Katja to be given the opportunity to soak in Albee’s great work with these talented ladies, and boy. Most recently Katharine played in Homofile (Alice B. Toklas/Emmy Curtis) at CounterPULSE, the world premier of Drowning Ophelia (Jane) with Repurposed Theatre, and co-produced and starred in Jeff Bedillion’s original comedies, Open (Veronica Huntsville) at Shotwell Studios and Country Club Catastrophy (Linda Brown) at Exit Theatre. Katharine received her B.F.A. in Acting from N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts in 2002, training at Stella Adler Conservatory, Classical Studio, and Experimental Theatre Wing. Katharine participated in an academic internship with the Tectonic Theater Project (2001-2002). After school Katharine was accepted as an acting apprentice with Theatre de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis (2003-2004). Katharine teaches Yoga around town (visit katharineotis.com for her updated schedule). Enjoy the show!
Katja Rivera (Director) is an actor/director who originally hails from Los Angeles, but now resides in Berkeley. She is an artistic associate with Custom Made Theatre, Shotgun Players, and Playground-SF, and is a proud member of AEA. This is the fourth play she’s directed for Custom Made; her other shows were A Delicate Balance, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, and Eurydice. Next up is Our Town, at Ashby Stage. Love to Hannah, Ingrid and Robert.
Melissa Costa (Stage Manager) hails from Southern California and leads an active theater schedule throughout California. Along with Three Tall Women, she has staged managed Guettel’s Myths and Hymns and crewed for Beauty and the Beast, The Pajama Game, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In addition to backstage work, Melissa has extensive performance experience. Some roles include The Witch (Into the Woods), Logainne Schwartzandgrubbeniere (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Tracy Turnblad (Hairspray) and lead woman soloist in both Kander and Ebb’s The World Goes ‘Round and Pasek and Paul’s Edges. Classically trained, Melissa is a coloratura soprano and has performed in many opera scenes throughout her time in school. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Pamela Fry.
Hamilton Guillén (Lighting Designer) is excited to return to Custom Made for another season after designing The Pain and the Itch earlier this year. Other designs include Theater Bay Area›s TITAN / ATLAS Showcase at The Osher Studio in Berkeley, and Alter Theater’s The River Bride and Fool for Love at The Costume Shop in San Francisco. He was recently the lighting assistant for Michael Oesch who designed Mark Foehringer Dance Project’s Dances of the Sacred and Profane at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. He was also the lighting supervisor for California Shakespeare Theater›s 2014 main stage season. Upcoming projects include To Kill a Mockingbird with Contra Costa Civic Theatre in El Cerrito. hamiltonguillen.wix.com/designs
Scarlett Kellum (Costume Designer) Previous work with CMTC: Top Girls, The Book of Liz, A Bright Room Called Day, The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The Moon Marigolds, The Underpants, and Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell. Second Wind productions: The Lullaby Tree, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Vigilance, Meadowland, The Women in Black, Ashes to Ashes, The Tender King and The Disappearance of Marry Rosemary, The Lullaby Tree. At Arabian Shakespeare Festival: A Message. Dragon Theater: Cat’s Paw, Becky’s New Car, Les Lesions Dangerous, and Wonderful World. 42nd and Moon: Strike up the band and Three Sisters. Triple Shot Productions: Just One More Game. Theater Rhinoceros: To Sleep and Dream Road Show and The Habit of Art and Walk Like A Man. More at www.scarlettkellum.net
Stewart Lyle (Scenic Design and Construction) is the technical director for CMTC, where he has designed The Cruicble and The Pain and the Itch. He has directed, designed, and built highly successful productions of RENT, The Fantasticks, Moonlight and Magnolias, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Man of La Mancha, and Art for Altarena Playhouse in Alameda along with Children of Eden at Contra Costa Civic Theatre in El Cerrito. As Resident Technical Director for Altarena, Technical Director for the Woodminster Summer Musicals in Oakland, and Build Manager for Contra Costa Civic Theatre, he’s designed and/or built sets for more than 30 shows the last three years alone. A member of Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional stage actors, he has performed in over 100 productions throughout California with companies that include TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage, Willows Theatre Company, Pacific Repertory Theatre, The Mountain Play, Cabrillo Stage, Foothill Musical Theatre, and Alameda Civic Light Opera.
Liz Ryder (Original Music/Sound Designer) earned her Master’s Degree in Composition/Creative Music Tech. from Bangor University, UK, and is resident composer at Custom Made Theatre. She’s winner of a BATCC award for sound design/music for Eurydice (2013-14 season), and a TBA award nominee for sound design for The Crucible (2014). Recent CMTC credits include: Slaughterhouse 5, The Book of Liz, The Crucible, Top Girls, The Pain and the Itch, Peter/Wendy and The Play about the Baby, amongst others. For MTC: Rapunzel, and Around the World in 80 Days (2015); for Masquers: Dead Man’s Cell Phone. lizrydersounds.com
Ariel Craft (Assistant Artistic Director) is a Bay Area-based director and arts administrator. Current and upcoming directing projects include Blood Wedding at Bigger Than a Breadbox Theatre Co. – playing through November 22 – and Late: A Cowboy Song at Custom Made Theatre Co., opening January 10. Past directing credits include ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Landscape of the Body, and How I Learned to Drive and assistant direction credits include The Normal Heart remount at American Conservatory Theater (Tony Award, Best Revival of a Play) and 69°S. at Brooklyn Academy of Music. In addition to her work at CMTC, Ariel is founder and Executive Artistic Director at Bigger Than a Breadbox Theatre Co., a frequent collaborator at the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and a past Artistic Fellow at A.C.T. Ariel holds a BFA in Drama from New York University.
Brian Katz (Artistic Director) is the co-founder of Custom Made Theatre. For Custom Made he has directed over 25 productions including the SF Bay Critic’s Circle Best Overall Play of 2012: Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby. Other projects include Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day (nominee, Best Director, SFBATCC), Next to Normal (nominee, Best Overall Production), Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, The Devil and Billy Markham, The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Red Light Winter among many others. Brian has a B.A. in theatre literature and criticism from Clark University and interned in dramaturgy at the Goodman Theatre. Currently, he has returned to Clark to direct the Visual and Performing Art’s production of Cabaret.
Leah S. Abrams (Executive Director) is the co-founder of Custom Made, and is now based in Manhattan, where she oversees the company’s New York projects, and also works as a contract production manager. She has produced over forty plays for Custom Made. Most recently, Leah directed Mark Eisman’s (Studio CMTC 2012, Shove) Sightlines at the cell where, last year, she also directed readings of Gino DiIorio’s (Studio CMTC 2012) Sam and Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant, Mark Eisman’s Death of Fine Dining and Tom Minter’s Groundwork. Custom Made SF directing credits include Sightlines for Studio 2012, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Odd Couple, Dodo for President, Two Rooms, and countless Beckett shorts.
“Forcefully directed by Katja Rivera, Custom Made’s ensemble of four talented Bay area actors gives stunning performances in a drama which asks the audience to examine the complexities and motivations of a woman at various stages of her life.” -George Heymont, My Cultural Life
“This production is a worthwhile rendering of a fine play.” -Charles Kruger, Storming Bohemian
“Three Tall Women is another winner for Custom Made!” – Kedar Adour, TheatreWorld
Edward Franklin Albee was born Edward Harvey on March 12, 1928. He was adopted at 18 days old by Reed and Frances Albee, who gave the infant the family name. The Albees were the recipient of great wealth from vaudeville and motion picture businesses. Hence Edward grew up in financial privilege though he was highly alienated from his archly conservative parents, with whom he felt little connection.
After having a hard time at private schools and attending a military academy, he was a student at Trinity College for a time before eventually breaking from his adoptive family in the late 1940s and finding a community in Greenwich Village. Albee worked a variety of jobs, living off of some inheritance money as well, and experimented with writing styles. For most of the 1950s, he had musical composer William Flanagan has mentor and lover. Albee later became involved with Terrance McNally, a fellow playwright, and then had a decades-long relationship with sculptor Jonathan Thomas starting in 1971.
Albee eventually wrote the short play The Zoo Story, which had its premiere in Berlin, Germany in 1959. Earlier plays also included The Sandbox and The Death of Bessie Smith.
Albee made his Broadway debut in 1962 with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a play that chronicled the existentially fraught relationship between a professor and his wife, with another couple becoming embroiled in the tensions. The Tony-winning production was a major hit and was later turned into a 1966 film starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, with Taylor winning an Oscar for her performance.
Over the course of several decades, Albee has crafted more than two dozen plays, penning other notable works such as The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Everything in the Garden, The Man Who Had Three Arms, The Play About the Baby, and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? Albee has garnered a loyal following in Europe while sometimes having a harder time finding a warm critical reception in the U.S. The highly regarded play you are to see tonight, Three Tall Women, which won Albee his third Pulitzer Prize, deals with the upcoming death and life exploration of a woman who represents his adoptive mother.
this article was adapted from www.biography.com/edward-albee