Opens June 22, 2013, at 8PM
Through July 27, 2013
Friday, Saturday and Monday nights at 8PM
Sunday nights at 7PM
Oracle presents Clifford Odets’s WAITING FOR LEFTY directed by Matt Foss. This visionary revival of a classic American play wraps up Season 3 of Public Access Theatre, which was focused on engaging the community in exploring the question “How do we use art to make society better?”.
LEFTY premiered in 1935 at the Group Theatre in New York, of which Odets was a member, and it was a critical success for the company. The play is written as a series of vignettes that spotlight characters trying to make their way during the economic struggles of the early 1930’s, and it is loosely based on the events of a New York city taxicab drivers’ strike in 1934. The play opens as the cab drivers are on the verge of a strike. Joe Keller is called upon to speak in the absence of their union president, Lefty. The play interweaves stories of corruption in industry with the personal stories of people trying to make a living wage.
In 1935, the play ended with the little guys’ triumph over corruption and greed. In 2013, the questions asked by WAITING FOR LEFTY seem more elusive though pressingly relevant. LEFTY explores the issues and struggles that forged what has been called “the Greatest Generation”. Oracle explores how the Greatest Generation’s struggle to pay for the excess of the Roaring Twenties parallels the current generation’s responsibility for a whole new spectrum of debt. Director Matt Foss accentuates the fragmented structure of Odets’s text to make better sense of America’s economic mess and record unemployment, and Oracle Theatre has been turned into a tattered, leaky Union Hall where big dreams will either flourish or fester.
Matt Foss teaches Acting and Theatre History at Iowa State University. He received his MFA in Acting from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and his PhD in Theatre Studies and Directing from Wayne State University in Detroit. Credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, American Theatre Company, The Jewish Ensemble Theatre and Tipping Point Theatre. He also performed and trained in Russia as a part of the American Studio of The Moscow Art Theatre School. In 2012, the ISU production of Six Characters received the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival National Award for Outstanding Production of a Play and Outstanding Director of a Play. The student ensemble was recognized for Outstanding Lighting Design, 3 Distinguished Performance by an Actor awards, and the citation for Outstanding Collaboration by a Performance and Production Ensemble.
The ensemble features Kelsey Kovacevich, Ben Millar, Christina Flynn, Heather Smith, and Tim Larson.
*denotes Oracle Company Member
The creative team features Eleanor Kahn (Scenic Design), Patrick French (Lighting Design), Cait Chiou (Costume Design), Jennifer Drinkwater (Cardboard Artist) and Evelyn DeHais (Graphic Design). Company member Laura K. Smith and Kelsey Kovacevich are each serving as Assistant Directors. Company member Amy Hopkins is Stage Manager. Kathleen Dickinson is Production Manager, and Justin Snyder is Technical Director. Lyndsay Kane is Casting Director for Oracle Productions. Max Truax is Artistic Director of Oracle Theatre. Ben Fuchsen is Executive Producer of Oracle Productions.