Thank you to all who visited the Playhouse to see The Graduate.
Jess Brown (Elaine), Judith Lightfoot Clarke (Mrs. Robinson) and Luke Guldan (Benjamin) in The Graduate
California. 1964. Benjamin’s got excellent grades, very proud parents and, since he helped Mrs Robinson with her zipper, a fine future behind him. A cult novel, a classic film, a quintessential hit of the 60s, now Benjamin’s disastrous sexual odyssey is brought vividly to life in this exciting stage production.
From director Lawrence Thelen: “The Graduate, the story of a promising young man fresh out of college trying to make sense and find meaning in a world for which he feels unprepared, is just as timely and relevant today as it was when it first appeared in the 1960s. Certainly society has changed somewhat since then: technology has expanded, American morality has relaxed – in short, times are different – but it seems to me that the fear and anxiety every individual goes through when facing the world for the very first time, not as a protected child, but as adult, resonates with all of us. I remember going through – perhaps not to the extent that Benjamin Braddock did – and I can’t think of a friend among my group who didn’t stagger and stumble a bit as we all tried to get our footing in the world after college. It’s a life-changing time for most people, and this play exploits that to the nth degree.”
Adapted for the stage by Terry Johnson
Based on the novel by Charles Webb and the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry
The Graduate is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Generously sponsored by Hamilton Connections
There is smoking and brief nudity in this play.
Luke Guldan (Benjamin Braddock): New York Theater: The Changing Room (1973 New York Drama Critics’ Circle award for best play), Street Car Named Desire, The Corner Cafe. Film/TV: The Watermen (Best Horror Film – Tulsa Int Film Fest) The Weapon, Directors Cut, Black Parables, The Colbert Report, All My Children, Gossip Girl, Royal Pains (Pilot). Coached by Harold Guskin and Deborah Carlson and studied at T. Schreiber Studios. He has been featured in several publications including GQ, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness and Muscle&Fitness. Luke was awarded the title of Mr. Fitness for two consecutive years (2008, 2009). University of Florida alumnus. www.LukeGuldan.com
Judith Lightfoot Clarke * (Mrs. Robinson): Off Broadway: Three Travelers (Theatre at St. Clement’s), The Normal Heart (Public Theatre), Eve-olution (Cherry Lane), Communicating Doors(Variety Arts), Hamlet (Kaufman), Sacrifice to Eros (York). GMHC/Anyone Can Whistle Benefit/Carnegie Hall. Regional: The Old Globe (Hayfever), Shakespeare Theatre of NJ (R&J), Absence (People’s Light) Alley (Misalliance), Wilma (Cloud 9), Cincinnati Playhouse (Closer), Indiana Rep (Blithe Spirit), Merrimack Rep (The Exceptionals, The Homecoming, Three Days of Rain, Boston Marriage), Syracuse Stage (Three Tall Woman), Capital Rep (Nora, Medea in Jerusalem), and Soho Rep (Measure for Measure). Television includes: Outlaw (Pilot Episode), Law & Order and L&O SVU, As the World Turns, What Goes On (recurring). Graduate of The College of William & Mary in Virginia.
Peter Cormican * (Mr. Robinson): Broadway: Follies (Roundabout) as Sam Deems. London. Lady In The Dark (Royal National Theatre) Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s). Other highlights include Original Canadian Cast of Phantom, A Little Night Music (Kennedy Center DC) Me & My Girl (Goodspeed) Sweeney Todd (Leicester Haymarket), Mame, Rags, My Fair Lady, Anything Goes (Papermill) UK National Tour Buddy. Far East and Music box tours of Phantom. Off-Broadway: Devil Boys From Beyond (NWS) The Rivalry, Yeats Project, Prisoner of the Crown, The Emperor Jones (Irish Rep). Equity debut : The Plough and the Stars (Canadian Stage 1975) recently: My Fair Lady (North Shore) Fiddler on the Roof ( Theatre of the Stars), Up In Central Park and I’d Rather Be Right w/ Musicals Tonight.
Jess Brown * (Elaine Robinson): Most recently seen at BAM/ New York City Opera in Rufus Wainright’s American premier of Prima Donna. Other New York Theatre includes Passchendaele (fringeNYC), The Girl With the Red Hair (Theater for the New City), Anthony Trollope’s Rachel Ray (Payan Theatre), I Do…I Guess (Winner of the Strawberry One-Act Festival). A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Conservatory work includes Dracula, Dangerous Liaisons, The Importance of Being Earnest, Emma, and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. More at www.iamjessbrown.com
Rik Walter * (Mr. Braddock): Rik Walter has played the Walnut Street Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Connecticut Repertory, River Repertory, River Union Stage, and Two River Theatre (‘Best Actor in a Comedy’ for Garry/Roger in Noises Off). Rik was an original member and tireless workhorse of The Present Company, founders of the New York International Fringe Festival (fringeNYC), whose production of Americana Absurdum garnered the coveted ‘Fringe First’ award in Edinburgh. In Ireland, Rik was nominated for ‘Best Male Performance’ at the International Dublin Gay Theater Festival in the off-Broadway transfer of Elliot Ramon Potts’, Loaded. Rik has appeared in 30 Rock, all the Law & Order franchises, some soap operas that are no longer on TV, and a slew of independent films. Rik is the co-founder and Producing Director of UP Theater Company in his northern Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood, where he also founded ‘Men Without Garages’, an interdisciplinary discussion group with beer. www.rikwalter.com
Victoria Bundonis * (Mrs. Braddock): Though she now calls New York City home, Victoria grew up in Old Saybrook and is delighted to be performing on the Playhouse stage. She has appeared in the First National tour of The Music Man Broadway revival and the North American tour of Grease with Frankie Avalon. NYC theatre credits include Bananas in The House of Blue Leaves, The Human Comedy (APAC), The Memory of Water (Cherry Lane), The Flood (Prospect Theater), Albee’s Everything in the Garden (John Houseman), and La Vigilia (Manhattan Theatre Source). Regional favorites include Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett), Cinderella (The Queen), Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), Damn Yankees (Meg), 42ndStreet (Dorothy Brock), and Footloose (Vi). TV and film credits include Nurse Jackie, All My Children, The Hacking Chronicles, Under Jakob’s Ladder and Halfway There, among others. She has a BS in Psychology from Georgetown University and an MA in Communication from Emerson College.
Heather Gault (Stripper): Last seen on the Ivoryton stage as Hold-Me-Touch-Me and the dance captain in The Producers, Heather is thrilled to be back! Film/TV Credits include: In The Night, Bollywood feature English Vinglish, Emmy Award-winning PBS series BizKid$, and Emmy Award-winning director Gene Lasko’s web series Celebrities. Theatre Credits include: The Bolshoi Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, People’s Improv Theater, Bushnell Theatre, Palace Theatre of Manchester, and the Surflight Theatre. She studied acting at the University of Southern California. Next up, Heather will be playing the role of Lois in Life Could Be A Dream at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. Proud Connecticut native. www.heathergault.com
Jeffrey F. Wright (Hotel Clerk/Groom): Jeffrey is thrilled to be making his Ivoryton debut in The Graduate. Jeffrey has been seen in many musicals and plays in various regional theatres throughout the tri-state area. Some of Jeffrey’s favorite roles include Joseph, Joseph/Dreamcoat, Jimmy Smith, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, A Few Good Men and Glen Gulia, The Wedding Singer.
Todd Alan Little (Priest): Todd Alan Little, most recently seen as the fiddle player in Always…Patsy Cline here at Ivoryton, has also been seen as the husband in Wait Until Dark and Clarence the Angel in It’s a Wonderful Life on the Ivoryton stage. He has also played Wilbur in Hairspray, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, the Prosecutor in To Kill a Mockingbird, Hipockets in the Buddy Holly Story and M. Bassinet in The Ladies Man at various theaters. Todd studied Kabuki Theater at the University of Illinois, became production manager at Goodspeed Musical, founded an improv troupe, plays fiddle in a honky-tonk band, is an experience wedding videographer, is the booking manager for a very popular soap bubble show, … beside this acting thing. www.toddalanlittle.com
Directed by: Lawrence Thelen
Stage Manager: T. Rick Jones *
Set Design: Tina Louise Jones
Lighting Design: Marcus Abbott
Costume Design: Lisa Marie Harry
Hair Design: Joel Silvestro
* member of Actors Equity
April 4, 2012
Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson!
Adapted from the movie by Terry Johnson
Ask anyone who grew up in this country in the last 75 years or more to name the most seductive older woman in their movie memory and I’ll bet you’ll find Mrs. Robinson’s name at the top of that list. She has become an American icon, immortalized not only in Mike Nichols brilliant movie but in the words of Paul Simon’s eponymous song. Now Mrs. Robinson is donning those famous heels and heading over to Ivoryton for the Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of The Graduate, opening on April 18 – May 6th.
It’s California in the 60s. Benjamin’s got excellent grades, very proud parents and, since he helped Mrs. Robinson with her zipper, a fine future behind him … A cult novel, a classic film, a quintessential hit of the 60s, now Benjamin’s disastrous sexual odyssey is brought vividly to life in this production. This is the first play adaptation of the classic novel and film. It premiered in April 2000 at the Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, starring Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson and later and came to Broadway in 2002.
Director Lawrence Thelen says, “The Graduate, the story of a promising young man fresh out of college trying to make sense and find meaning in a world for which he feels unprepared, is just as timely and relevant today as it was when it first appeared in the 1960s. Certainly society has changed somewhat since then: technology has expanded, American morality has relaxed – in short, times are different – but it seems to me that the fear and anxiety every individual goes through when facing the world for the very first time, not as a protected child, but as adult, resonates with all of us.”
Stepping into those heels in the role of Mrs. Robinson is Judith Lighfoot Clark*. Judith has performed in theatres all over the country. It is a big change from a lot of her theatre work which has included Shakespeare. Television work includes Kate & Allie, the MTV series What Goes On, and the Jimmy Smits pilot for NBC, Outlaw.
Luke Guldan’s take on the role of Benjamin Braddock is a little different to the one we are
Luke Guldan (Benjamin), Rik Walter (Mr. Braddock) and Victoria Bundonis (Mrs. Braddock) in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of The Graduate
used to seeing with Dustin Hoffman. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Luke is an accomplished athlete, nationally recognized for his achievements in health and fitness. The INBF “Mr. Fitness” in 2008 and 2009, Luke has been on the covers of and featured in magazines such as GQ, Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness and Cosmopolitan. Luke has parlayed this success into television roles – thus children around the U.S. recognize him as Iron Man’s personal trainer from a Nicktoons TV commercial. Luke has also appeared on TV in Gossip Girl, Royal Pains and The Colbert Report.
Directed by Lawrence Thelen , the set design is by Tina Louise Jones, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, sound by Tate R. Burmeister and costumes by LisaMarie Harry.
The Graduate opens on April 18th and runs through May 6th for 3 weeks. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton. There is smoking and brief nudity in this play.
Members of the press are welcome at any performance. Please call ahead for tickets.
*member of Actors Equity
Photos courtesy of Anne Hudson.