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"Master Class" by Terrence McNally

Master Class

Dates & Times: November 1 - 17, 2013
Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
Location: at MTC Studio Theatre
246 Post Road East (Lower Level) in Westport, CT
(Click here for directions)
About: "Master Class"
by Terrence McNally 
Legendary opera diva Maria Callas takes us to one of her famous master classes, where, late in her own career, she dares the next generation to make the same sacrifices and rise to the same heights that made her the most celebrated, the most reviled and the most controversial singer of her time. She’s glamorous, commanding, larger than life—and drop-dead funny. This Best Play Tony Award winner is from the playwright of "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" and "Love! Valour! Compassion!"

“Rich, vivid, satisfying theater… An involving meditation on Callas’ life and the nature of her art.”
- The New York Times
Tickets: $25-$45.
$5 off for seniors/students (subject to availability). Reservations suggested. Call 203.454.3883

A Special Offer
from MTC's

Rizzuto's invites patrons of MTC to enjoy 20% off their entire check. Simply present your Master Class ticket. Includes take-out orders. Not to be combined with other offers.Expires 11/17/13.

Rizzuto's Wood-Fired Kitchen & Bar
540 Riverside Avenue in Westport, CT
203.221.1002 www.rizzutos.com/westport

by Joe Landry
Click on any image for a larger view.

(Left to right:) Kevin B. Winebold and Irene Glezos 
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Irene Glezos 

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(Left to right:) Charlotte Munson and Irene Glezos 
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(Left to right:) Charlotte Munson and Kevin B. Winebold
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(Left to right:) Kevin B. Winebold, Irene Glezos and Charlotte Munson
[hi-res | low-res]

(Left to right:) Charlotte Munson and Irene Glezos 
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(Left to right:) Andrew Ragone and Irene Glezos 
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(Left to right:) Kevin B. Winebold and Andrew Ragone 
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Irene Glezos 

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(Left to right:) Kevin B. Winebold and Emma Rosenthal
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(Left to right:) Irene Glezos and Emma Rosenthal
[hi-res | low-res]

(Left to right:) Kevin B. Winebold and Irene Glezos 
[hi-res | low-res]

Irene Glezos 

[hi-res | low-res]

(Left to right:) Kevin B. Winebold, Emma Rosenthal and Irene Glezos 
[hi-res | low-res]

Press Release:
Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage presents
Terrence McNally's "Master Class" in Westport

Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County's award-winning professional theatre company, kicks off their 2013/2014 Season with the Tony Award winning play "Master Class", by Terrance McNally. Performances are November 1-17, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with matinees Saturdays at 4pm and Sundays at 2pm, at MTC MainStage Studio Theatre, 246 Post Road East (Colonial Green/Lower Level) in downtown Westport, CT. Tickets range from $25-$45 ($5 discount for seniors/students) and are available by calling 203.454.3883 or visiting www.musictheatreofct.com

In "Master Class", legendary opera diva Maria Callas takes us to one of her famous master classes where, late in her own career, she dares the next generation to make the same sacrifices and rise to the same heights that made her the most celebrated, the most reviled and the most controversial singer of her time. She’s glamorous, commanding, larger than life—and drop-dead funny.

Maria Callas was born in 1923, just months after her parents arrived in New York after moving from Greece. Callas loved opera music even as a youngster, listening to the many opera records in her family’s collection. When Callas graduated from the eighth grade in 1937, her mother decided to return to Greece to receive voice training in the classical tradition. After World War II, her music coach, Elvira de Hidalgo, encouraged Callas to move to Italy to establish her career. Her 1947 Italian debut was in "La Gioconda," and she sang the title role in Bellini’s "Norma," her most popular role, for the first time in Florence in 1948. Critics took note, and her career began to soar. Callas’s United States debut was at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1954. In 1956, she debuted at the New York Metropolitan Opera in "Norma." During the late 1950s the stresses of jet-set living and strain she had put on her voice throughout her career began to take their toll. A series of high-profile cancellations continued her downward spiral. Although she returned briefly to perform at the Met in 1964-65, she never resurfaced as the great talent of her youth. Callas died unexpectedly in Paris, France, on September 16, 1977, shortly before her fifty-fifth birthday.

Terrence McNally’s 1995 play "Master Class" was inspired by the now legendary master classes Callas gave during the 1971-72 academic year at the Juilliard School. There were 23 two-hour sessions in all, and Callas worked with 25 students whom she had selected after listening to some 300 young singers in auditions.

Leading the cast of "Master Class" as Maria Callas is Irene Glezos, who has performed in theatres both regionally and Off-Broadway as Lady in "Orpheus Descending," Gertrude in Jane Bowles’ "In the Summerhouse," Joyce/Isabella in "Top Girls," Fairouz in "In the Heart
of America" directed by Tony Kushner, Anna in Shauna Kanter’s "The Gift," Collette in "Four Dogs and a Bone" and Marilyn in her solo play, "Y." Television credits include "Law and Order," "Sex and the City" and "Third Watch," and films include Woody Allen’s "Celebrity"
and the upcoming "Louder Than Words." John Flaherty appeared last season in MTC's "Ancestral Voices," and other credits include "Othello" with The Shakespeare Theatre Company, "A Christmas Carol" at Ford’s Theatre and "The Philadelphia Story" at Hartford Stage Company. Charlotte Munson was most recently seen Off-Broadway as a finalist in NYMF’s "Next Broadway Sensation" at New World Stages. Charlotte won the Boston Lotta Award, Lyric Theatre Award, and the New Horizon’s Playwright’s Award in LA for her play "Look at Me." Other roles include Rapunzel in "Into the Woods," Edith in "The Pirates of Penzance," Pennywise in "Urinetown" and Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" with NE Shakespeare Ensemble. Andrew Ragone recently played Raoul in "The Phantom of The Opera" directed by the legendary Hal Prince. He also appeared as Magaldi on the 25th Anniversary National Tour of "Evita", and the National Tour of the Tony Award winning "The Light in The Piazza". Emma Rosenthal has appeared in the NYC productions of "The Threepenny Opera," "Night Games" and "Liberty: A Monumental New Musical." Regional credits include Mary Zimmerman's "Candide" at The Goodman Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company of DC and Huntington Theatre Company, "The Tempest" at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, "The Fantasticks" at Porchlight Music Theatre and "Mommy Says I’m Pretty on the Insides" at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Kevin B. Winebold's New York credits include the Broadway concerts of "Oliver," "Camelot," "Something Wonderful" and "Broadway Backwards" and the off-Broadway productions of "The Irish...and How They Got That Way," "The Threepenny Opera" and "Tin Pan Alley." He has also performed six concerts at Carnegie Hall, at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting on NBC, and on the national tours of "The Wedding Singer," "Footloose" and "All Shook Up."

"Master Class" is directed by award-winning director Kevin Connors, who serves as Executive Artistic Director and co-founder of MTC. Lighting is designed by Christal R. Boyd, with costumes designed by Diane Vanderkroef. The production is stage managed by Jim Schilling.

MTC is proud to partner again this season with Rizzuto's Wood-Fired Kitchen and Bar of Westport, offering a special discount to "Master Class" ticket holders. See the MTC website for details. Each performance is followed by a wine and cheese reception where the
audience is invited to meet the actors and production team.

The 2013/2014 MTC MainStage Season continues with the Broadway comedy "God of Carnage," running January 31-February 16, 2014; and the world's longest-running musical "The Fantasticks," running April 11-May 4, 2014. Season subscriptions and single tickets for each production are now on sale by by calling 203.454.3883 or visit www.musictheatreofct.com

Who's Who

John Flaherty (Stagehand) A resident of Norwalk, John is excited to be performing again at MTC, having appeared last season in Ancestral Voices. John’s credits include: The Shakespeare Theatre Company: Othello. Ford’s Theatre: A Christmas Carol. Academy of Classical Acting, Shakespeare Theatre Company: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Maid’s Tragedy. Regional: Hartford Stage Company: The Philadelphia Story. New York credits include the Rattlestick Theatre, The Kraine Theatre, and Expanded Arts. He has an MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at GW University, and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Niagara University.

Irene Glezos (Maria Callas) has performed in theatres both regionally and Off-Broadway. Favorite theatrical credits include: Lady in Orpheus Descending, Maria in Master Class, Gertrude in Jane Bowles’ In the Summerhouse, Joyce/Isabella in Top Girls, Fairouz in In the Heart of America (directed by Tony Kushner), Anna in Shauna Kanter’s The Gift, Collette in Four Dogs and a Bone, Antigone in Antigone and Marilyn in her solo play, Y. Television credits include Law and Order, Criminal Intent, Sex and the City, Trial By Jury and Third Watch. She’s appeared in numerous films including Woody Allen’s Celebrity and the upcoming Louder Than Words.
Charlotte Munson (First Soprano: Sophie) is thrilled to be making her Music Theatre of Connecticut debut. She was most recently seen in NYC Off-Broadway as a finalist in NYMF’s Next Broadway Sensation at New World Stages. She directed, wrote and starred in Calendar Girls produced in NYC at the Drama Bookshop. Charlotte has won the Boston Lotta Award, Lyric Theatre Award, and the New Horizon’s Playwright’s Award in LA for her play Look at Me. NYC: Wendy in Princes Don’t Live in Cyberland, Cinderella in Disenchanted and Sydney in Hedge Fun directed by Tony Spinosa. Regional: Blue Girl in SHOUT, Rapunzel in Into the Woods and Edith in The Pirates of Penzance at Saint Michael’s Playhouse, Pennywise in Urinetown with Bigfork Playhouse, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet with NE Shakespeare Ensemble, and Jane in Quilters with VT Stage. BFA Musical Theatre, Emerson College. Thanks Mom and Dad! You too, John. www.charlottemunson.com
Andrew Ragone (Tenor: Tony) recently finished playing Raoul in The Phantom of The Opera directed by the legendary Hal Prince. Prior to that, he was a part of the National Tour of the Tony Award winning The Light in The Piazza directed by Bartlett Sher. He first worked with Hal Prince on the 25th Anniversary National Tour of Evita as Magaldi (as well as understudied and performed the role of Che). Other favorite theater: Nanki-Poo in The Hot Mikado, the title role in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (San Francisco Critics Circle Award, Principal Actor in a Musical), Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Gabriel in Kiss of The Spiderwoman, Young Ben in Sondheim’s Follies, Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to The Forum (Arizoni Award, Supporting Actor Musical). Andrew’s career has taken him all over the globe and sang in numerous concerts. His vocals can be heard on the upcoming Cuba Gooding Jr. movie, Carry Me Home. Proud member of Actor’s Equity.
Emma Rosenthal (Second Soprano: Sharon) makes her MTC debut! Off-Broadway/New York: Polly Peachum in The Threepenny Opera, Leopoldine in Night Games (Marvell Repertory Theatre); Emma Lazarus in Liberty: A Monumental New Musical (La Vie Productions). Regional: Ensemble, u/s Cunegonde in Candide, directed and adapted by Mary Zimmerman (Goodman Theatre/Shakespeare Theatre Company of DC/Huntington Theatre Company); Juno/Ensemble in The Tempest (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Luisa in The Fantasticks (Porchlight Music Theatre); Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (Weston Playhouse), Our Town, Camp Monster, The Corn is Green and Mommy Says I’m Pretty on the Insides (Williamstown Theatre Festival). She is a proud graduate of Northwestern University.
Kevin B. Winebold (Accompanist: Manny) is thrilled to finally be performing in Master Class, after writing his senior thesis on Terrence McNally. New York credits include the Broadway concerts of Oliver, Camelot, Something Wonderful and Broadway Backwards, and the off-Broadway productions of The Irish...and How They Got That Way, The Threepenny Opera and Tin Pan Alley. As a member of Essential Voices USA, he has performed in the ensemble of six concerts at Carnegie Hall, and for the Rockefeller Tree Lighting on NBC. National Tours: The Wedding Singer, Footloose, All Shook Up. www.kevinbwinebold.com

Kevin Connors
(Director/Executive Artistic Director & Co-Founder) Professional musical theatre composer and director for over 30 years and recipient of the Tom Killen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Connecticut Professional Theatre by the Connecticut Critics’ Circle, as well as a special citation from The Connecticut State Legislature and Governor Dannel Malloy. Off-Broadway credits include Prime Time Prophet, Jukebox Saturday Night, The Abandoned Loves of Frederick R., Life Anonymous, Lover:The Valentino Musical, Babes Off Broadway, Saloon and Suzy Q. Connecticut directing credits include The Fantasticks, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Babes in Toyland, Bah Humbug! (all at Stamford’s Rich Forum); Grand Re-Opening of the Palace Theatre starring Skitch Henderson, Louise Pitre, James Naughton and Joan Rivers; Baby (Polka Dot Playhouse), Christopher Columbus and Operetta in Red, White and Blue (New England Lyric Operetta). Mr. Connors began his career as a performer touring his own act with Bob Hope, Henny Youngman and Johnny Mathis, and his debut CD—The Things We Never Say—was released in October 2000. In 1987, he co-founded Music Theatre of Connecticut with Jim Schilling, and has since directed more than 30 Equity MTC MainStage productions including Next to Normal (Best Musical and Best Director Nominee), Yours, Anne (Best Musical Nominee), It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Moss Hart Award Winner), A Little Night Music, Edges, john & jen, Doubt, My Way: The Music of Frank Sinatra and The Last 5 Years; as well as writing original music and lyrics for more than 10 MTC children’s musicals. His latest work, Mothers and Sons (with playwright Joe Landry) had its critically-acclaimed World Premiere on the MTC Mainstage in January 2009 and is currently in development for Off-Broadway. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre at The Hartt School of Music/University of Hartford, Sacred Heart University, the University of Bridgeport, and at Musical Theatre Works in NYC. He has created many of MTC’s educational programs including the nationally-recognized College-Bound in the Performing Arts, which he now presents at theatre schools throughout the country. Kevin is a proud member of AEA, ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.  www.kevconnors.com

Christal R. Boyd (Lighting Design) is a lighting designer and technician based in New York.
She is originally from Dallas, Texas, where she began her love of theater at the tender age of five backstage at the Dallas Theatre Center. Since then, she has spent seasons at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Long Wharf Theatre and has worked in both professional and educational theatre throughout Texas. Christal has a bachelor’s degree in music and an MFA in Lighting Design. Christal is also experienced in technical direction. She is pleased to be making her debut at Music Theatre of Connecticut.

Joe Landry (Marketing/PR Director) has worked in marketing for Roundabout Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, Stamford Center for the Arts, Fairfield Theatre Company, Playhouse on the Green and others. As a playwright, his published plays include It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (named one of the top-ten most produced plays in America by American Theatre Magazine), Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play and Reefer Madness. Other projects include Mothers and Sons with Kevin Connors and Lifeboat, Dahling! with Bert Bernardi. His latest work, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, will premiere this December at Bucks County Playhouse. Joe is founder and artistic director of Second Guess Stage/Screen and a member of the Dramatists’ Guild. www.joelandry.com

Jim Schilling
(Stage Manager/MTC Managing Director & Co-Founder) co-founded MTC in 1987 and has served as teaching artist, Artist in Residence, director, general manager, actor, producer and currently as Director of the School of Performing Arts. Acting credits include John Guare's A Day For Surprises, Upper Broadway (Westport Country Playhouse), Hamlet (with Tony Roberts), South Pacific (with Jamie Farr) The Fantasticks (Rich Forum) and on MTC's MainStage in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well ..., Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down, Yours, Anne, It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Doubt and most recently Almost, Maine. Film credits include Bullets Over Broadway, Cadillac Man, Soapdish and as Sean Penn's double in Dead Man Walking. Jim holds a BFA degree in Musical Theatre from Otterbein College and was also trained at the Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Playwright's Horizons in New York City and Improv Asylum in Boston. Jim, a graduate of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts' AMICI Arts Management Program, continues as a Blue Ribbon Panelist for the Daytime Emmy Awards, and is on the voting committee for the SAG awards, and a member of "Who's Who in the American Theatre" from 1991-present. Jim is a proud member of Actors Equity Association since 1980. Member AEA, SAG, AFTRA.

Diane Vanderkroef
(Costume Design) has been the resident costume designer for MTC MainStage and MTC School of Performing Arts since 2006. In the past she also worked with Kevin Connors on Babes in Toyland at the Stamford Center for the Arts. She did designs for the Connecticut Grand Opera, including Elixer of Love, Don Giovanni and Don Pasquale. She has also been designer for Downtown Cabaret Theatre's MainStage and Children's Company, as well as various musicals for New England Lyrical Operetta. When not designing, Diane is a flight attendant for Delta Airlines.

Actor's Equity Association was founded in 1913 as the first of the American actor unions. Equity's mission is to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Today, Equity represents more than 40,000 actors, singers, dancers and stage managers working in hundreds of theatres across the United States. Equity members are dedicated to working in the theatre as a profession, upholding the highest artistic standards. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits including health and pension plans for its members. Through its agreement with Equity, this theatre has committed to the fair treatment of the actors and stage managers employed in this production. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. For more information, visit www.actorsequity.org