Testimonial from Playright Elizabeth Karlin
Thank you for the warm welcome you and HRC Showcase Theatre showed me. Even more thanks for the wonderful work you did on my play (and that includes the thoughtful and apt casting!) You are a dynamo of a director and I got so much out of this reading. I love how you managed to stage it successfully without the clumsiness that sometimes occurs when directors ask actors to move around on book. And you did it without sacrificing nuance. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
This was a truly heart-warming and encouraging experience for me and I am grateful.
Testimonial from actor Jack Garrity
HRC Showcase Theater has been doing staged reading of new plays for the past 25 years
and I have been lucky to be a part of their season for close to 15 of those 25 years! Their season consists of 5 new plays ending with the play that is awarded the W. Keith Hedrick award.
Under the direction of Artistic Director Barbara Waldinger, they assemble a group of first rate actors for each reading. And what is unique about their process is that most, if not all, of these actors have never worked together before. We all head up to Hudson for the weekend and spend all day Saturday reading, blocking, stumbling and discussing our way through the play and then we’re up on our feet for the evening’s performance. Every reading I’ve done with HRC has been extremely well attended, a bit of a pleasant surprise my first go round. But what is even more astounding is that after the reading there is a lovely reception with the author, actors and director and then a talk back with the audience. And these HRC audiences LISTEN!!! They ask extremely well thought out questions and share how the play made them feel.
“Commander” by Mario Correa explores the idea “Is America ready for its first gay president” NOT a very unlikely question in this political season where we have candidates ranging from the extremely qualified, Hillary, to a billionaire buffoon, Trump! I was cast as the homophobic, foul mouthed campaign manger, Frank Desantis, pulling out all the stops to get his candidate on the ticket. I didn’t count them but I must have had hundreds of F-Bombs and enjoyed every one of them!
What is really at the heart of HRC Showcase Theater is that they are bringing these new works to a willing and wanting audience, in addition to serving the playwright allowing him (her) to hear their play and discover additional nuances in the process. As an actor it gives me the opportunity to stretch my wings, play and work all at the same time.
BRAVO! HRC Showcase Theater, here’s to another 25 years!
Testimonial from Edward Morgan, playwright of “So You Can Look Ahead”
Dear Barbara, Mel, Gwendolyn, Amy, Robert & Giovanni,
Thanks so much to all of you for your wonderful work on Saturday. I enjoyed meeting each of you and it was extremely gratifying to see and hear my play in 3 dimensions with a talented cast and a thoughtful, appreciative audience. Your commitment and your skills helped bring the play to life and the whole process was affirming to me as a writer and immensely helpful for the development of this script.
It’s really a gift to have questions and input from actors and a director who’ve begun to live inside your play.
Grazie mille a tutti!
Testimonial from Paula Fell, playwright of “Trust Me”
I’m still high from the wonderful reading you put on last night.
You did not oversell the cast or the audience. They were great.
Each actor brought a nuance to their roles that I have wanted to see with the characters. I’m glad to see they were able to find such depth in such a short time.
I was also impressed with the audience.They paid such close attention and were so insightful and expressive during the talk back.
Of course you did a fabulous job directing. To help the actors bring forth such fine performances with blocking in only a day was remarkable.
Thank you again,
Testimonial from Mike Bencivenga, playwright of “Billy & Ray”
Mike and I had such a wonderful time with the whole HRC group and could not have been more thrilled with the reading! The actors were simply wonderful as was Barbara’s direction. Mike’s play came alive in new and different ways for us which were really exciting. The talk back was delightful and the audience not only asked interesting questions and made fun observations which underscored how engaged they were throughout the night. Just what you hope for! The reception that followed with beautiful flowers, delicious treats and wine offered a wonderful opportunity to chat with our new friends and to celebrate a terrific event. You really run a wonderful, professional event and your staff could not have been more warm and welcoming. We felt privileged and honored to have been your guests of honor.
Mike & Jenny Bencivenga
Testimonial from Ned Goldreyer, playwright of “Bastards”
I will never be able to adequately convey my depth of gratitude to you, your husband, the actors, the interns and everyone who contributed to making the reading the thrilling triumph that it was. Mostly, of course, thanks to you. When I came into that upstairs room and met the performers for the first time I felt like had walked into a dream, so much did they conform to my imaginary versions of the characters.
The question and answers period, over which I had been anxiously wringing my hands, was a delight. That audience’s level of concern and depth of interest are, I think, why people write plays.
The perfomance itself, and it was a performance, far from just a reading, was remarkable, due in no doubt to your direction as well as the actors willingness to infuse their roles with a passion I could never dared hope for. Please let them know how grateful I am to them.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Testimonial from Mario Correa, playwright of “Commander”
I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the wonderful reading of “Commander” that you so beautifully staged last night, and for all the hard work and tremendous effort that went into it on the part of everyone involved — starting with yourself, the terrific cast and crew, and everyone from HRC Showcase Theatre. It was such a wonderful evening, with such a smart and engaged audience, and that’s certainly a testament to what you’ve built at HRC Showcase Theatre. I feel very, very lucky to have had this experience with all of you and feel very humbled by it. Thank you not only for selecting “Commander” for the series, but also for showing such great care and commitment throughout the process. It really meant a lot to me.
I also wanted to tell you how impressed I was by the cast and by all the dedication they put into the reading. It was so instructive for me and really quite inspiring, too.
Many, many thanks to you and all my best,