AUSTIN PENDLETON TO DIRECT FOR GENESIS THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS
Genesis Theatrical Productions, a Chicago theatre which discovers and promotes new works, is thrilled to announce that acclaimed actor/writer/director Austin Pendleton will be directing for the theater in early January of 2014, exact dates TBA.
Pendleton will be directing Woman Before a Glass, a one-woman show based on the life of Peggy Guggenheim written by Lanie Robertson and featuring actress Judith Rosenblatt. This show is the first in the series called “Athena’s Wisdom: Empowering Women Through Theatre.”
Woman Before a Glass is an example of the continuing work we are doing to stress the empowerment of women as actresses as well as emphasize the lives of outstanding women who may not be recognized by the public at large. A majority of the shows in the series have been written by women playwrights in our efforts to showcase their work.
Peggy Guggenheim, as just one example, was at the center of many of the most important events in the 20th century and despite her wealthy upbringing and family background, helped to find and exhibit some of the most acclaimed artists of our time. The Guggenheim museum in New York is just one outgrowth of her uncanny ability to pick out talented artists.
Losing her father when the Titanic sank, Peggy later used her connections and money to help save numerous artists trapped in Nazi occupied Europe. Rebelling against her wealthy New York upbringing, indulging her uncanny eye for great art and artists, and becoming the enfant terrible of the modern art scene, Peggy Guggenheim lived a life almost too amazing to be believed. With humor, heartbreak and grand hauteur, Woman Before a Glass offers the unforgettable story of a woman before her time.
AUSTIN PENDLETON has been seen on Broadway in The Diary of Anne Frank and Grand Hotel. He has appeared in the first New York productions of Oh Dad, Poor Dad… Fiddler on the Roof, Hail Scrawdyke (Derwent Award), The Last Sweet Days of Isaac (Obie Award), The Sorrows of Frederick, Doubles, The Imposter, The Loop and Sophistry, and in the title roles of Off-Broadway productions of Hamlet, Richard III, Uncle Vanya, Keats and Jeremy Rudge. He is a playwright (Orson’s Shadow, Booth and Uncle Bob), director (Spoils of War, The Runner Stumbles and Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes), teacher (HB Studio), and member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Ensemble. His film credits include What’s Up Doc?, Trial and Error, The Associate, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, The Proprietor, Guarding Tess, The Fifteen Minute Hamlet, Catch-22 and Amistad. TV includes Fired Up, Frasier and Tracey Takes On. He began his career, and has acted and directed many times, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
JUDITH ROSENBLATT was educated at Cornell University (BFA) and NYU (MA) as well as at The Central School of Speech and Dramatic Art in London and has studied with many of the greatest theatre artists of the Twentieth Century, among them: Joseph Balfior, Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, William Esper, and Austin Pendleton.
She has alternated acting with several other related disciplines. She’s taught Theatre, English, Writing and Public Speaking on Jr. HS thru College levels, has been a Performance Artist in the schools for Theatreworks/USA, the NY Foundation for the Arts, Theatreworks/USA, and the 92 St. Y, has written five Performance Mysteries that form the foundation of her children/young
adult Entertainment Company, Mystery & Mayhem (mysteryandmayhem.com) and has been a teacher of the Meisner Technique.
Judy has performed on and Off Broadway, in Regional Theatre, and on TV. She appeared in NY at such venues as the NYSF/Public Theatre, LaMaMa, E.T.C., Theatre Row, The Abingdon Theatre, New Theatre Workshop, the 14th Street Theatre, Greenwich Theatre, the Players Club, The Florence Gould Hall at the French Institute Alliance Francaise and the HB Playwrights Theatre. On TV, she was seen in several episodes of The Sopranos.
In 2007, Judy played the role of Peggy Guggenheim (PEGGY GUGGENHEIM STRIPPED BARE BY HER BACHELORS) in a Benefit performance at the Florence Gould Hall of the French Institute of the Alliance Francaise. Judy promptly fell in love with Peggy, who mirrors her own Jewish sensibility and appreciation of painting. In 2011, she went on to play Peggy in Lanie Robertson’s moving and funny one-woman play, WOMAN BEFORE A GLASS, under the direction of the iconic Austin Pendleton. Her performance at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre in NY won both audience and critical acclaim, the NY Times labeling her performance “piercingly authentic.” She was asked to present at The United Solo Festival on Theatre Row, where her performance won Mr. Pendleton a Best Director Award.
The NY Times said of the play:
“Smoking, drinking, name-dropping, art, men and the men who make art introduces us to the sensational history of Ms. Guggenheim.”
For more information about Genesis Theatrical Productions or “Athena’s Wisdom,” go towww.genesistheatricals.com