Levity

A New American Play

Presented by the Kern Family, Barbara Rowley & Taylor Middleton, and Judy Katany & Dan Taft

*The World Premiere*

Is our most powerful legacy in what we leave behind or what we choose to let go? Dawn and Adam are trying to grieve their father Rick in peace, but peace is hard to come by when your father was music icon Rick Hayes and there are millions of fans grieving alongside you.

Shortly after his death, the Hayes children are paid a surprise visit by his first wife and former bandmate, Connie, who has come in search of closure… and cash. The one-time-rock-goddess turned recluse claims to have a story about their famous father that they simply won’t believe. Or will they? Now two families must come face to face with the real cost of creativity and the compromises they each made to protect it.

Learn More about Levity

LEVITY

Developing a New Play

levity began as an experiment in the first Big Sky Theater Workshop at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in July of 2015.  Director Stella Powell-Jones worked alongside four Broadway actors to develop the new script with playwright-in-residence, Stephanie DiMaggio.  After a week of intense development, the first public reading of the play was performed for a local Big Sky audience, and the reaction was incendiary!  The potential of world-class theater artists creating specifically for our intimate mountain stage instantly sparked our desire to take those collaborations to the next level.  From this experiment, the annual Big Sky Theater Workshop was born, and in only three summers it has already attracted over fifty renowned theater makers from across the country.

Last year, WMPAC took a major step in becoming a national platform for new theatrical development by becoming an Equity Certified performing house.   We now have the ability to not only develop but to debut professional new theater, putting Big Sky on the map as fast growing destination spot for new American plays and musicals.  In 2016 and 2017, WMPAC produced its first professional play (Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, adapted and directed by Laura Savia).   After experiencing immense success, it became clear that the world premiere of levity would be part of this season’s mission.

In early 2017, producers John Zirkle (WMPAC Executive and Artistic Director) and Danny Williams (Head of Finance, The Public Theater, New York City) quickly got to work to make levity a reality.  WMPAC is extremely proud to debut this incredible new play for Montana audiences, where it all begun, and we are certain it is only the beginning…

THE CAST

hs_pawkMICHELE PAWK
(Connie) Michele’s Broadway credits include: HAIRSPRAY, LOSING LOUIE, MAMMA MIA, HOLLYWOOD ARMS (for which she won the Tony Award), CHICAGO, SEUSSICAL, CABARET (receiving Drama Desk & Outer Critics’ Circle Award nominations), TRIUMPH OF LOVE, CRAZY FOR YOU (Drama Desk nomination), MAIL. Off Broadway she appeared in PICNIC, 17 ORCHARD POINT, GIANT, A SMALL FIRE (Drama Desk & Lucille Lortel nominations), MAHIDA’S EXTRA KEY TO HEAVEN, FLYOVERS, PRAYER FOR MY ENEMY, THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS, THE PARIS LETTER (Drama Desk nomination), REEFER MADNESS, AFTER THE FAIR, HELLO AGAIN, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, JON & JEN, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Regional favorites include: VANYA and SONIA and MASHA and SPIKE, BOUNCE (Helen Hayes nomination), THE FALL TO EARTH, NATURAL HISTORY, THE BLONDE, THE BRUNETTE, AND THE BEAUTIFUL REDHEAD, and THE GIG. Television appearances include: Madam Secretary, Law & Order (7x), The Golden Girls, Dear John, and Quantum Leap.  She can be heard on 14 Original Cast Albums and several books on tape. Directing credits include: MY QUEER YOUTH and THE DISNEY DIARIES at the Beechman Theatre in NYC, WEST SIDE STORY at Creighton University in Omaha, NE (nominated for Best Direction, Best Musical Awards), CARAPACE ISLE at Manhattan Rep, PICNIC for the William Inge Center, and SEUSSICAL, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RENT, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, A CHORUS LINE for Wagner College Theatre. Michele is a proud faculty member in the Theatre Department at Wagner College.



hs_mcgintyJOHN P. MCGINTY
(Adam) Thrilled to be making my debut in Big Sky! NY (selected): Fêtes de la Nuit (New Ohio Theatre), Veritas (The Representatives), Samuel Hunter’s The Healing (Theater Row). Regional (selected): Children of a Lesser God (Berkshire Theatre Group), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Sacramento Music Circus and La Mirada Theatre), Tribes (Guthrie Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Everyman Theatre), Pippin (Center Theater Group, Deaf West). Film (selected): “Wonderstruck” with Todd Haynes, Award-winning “Sign.” TV/Web Series (selected): “High Maintenance” (HBO), “Don’t Shoot the Messenger.” Upcoming: Broadway revival of Children of a Lesser God. @TheJohnMcGinty www.johnpmcginty.com


hs_alfordDAVID ALFORD
(Spardie) For the last five seasons David has appeared as Bucky Dawes in the ABC/CMT series Nashville. Other screen credits include The Blacklist (NBC), The Last Castle (Dreamworks), A Death in the Family (PBS/Masterpiece Theatre), and Stoker (Warner Bros.), among numerous other independent film projects and commercials. He plays the lead role of Gil Cotton in the web series Local Air. Recent stage credits include Mr. Marshall in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2017 Broadway revival of The Little Foxes, the title role in the regional premiere of David Auburn’s The Columnist (Nashville Repertory Theatre), and Billy in the workshop production of Donald Margulies’ Long Lost at the Illinois Theatre.

David attended the Juilliard School for Drama. He was founder and Artistic Director of Mockingbird Theatre in Nashville from 1994-2004. From 2004-2007 he served as Executive Artistic Director of Tennessee Repertory Theatre (now Nashville Rep), the state’s largest professional theatre company, and in 2008 became the Rep’s first Artist-in-Residence. Also a writer and director, one of his greatest passions is the development of new work. His plays Spirit: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee, and Smoke: A Ballad of the Night Riders are produced yearly in his hometown of Adams, Tennessee.

In 2011 he completed the design and implementation of a first-ever Dramatic Arts Major at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee. His book Living The Dream: The Morning After Drama School (a DIY guide to the acting business) is available through Kendall Hunt Publishing.



hs_mccormick
CAROLYN MCCORMICK
(Elizabeth) Broadway:  EQUUS, PRIVATE LIVES, THE DINNER PARTY.  Off-Broadway: WHAT I DID LAST SUMMER, THE OPEN HOUSE (Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel nomination), FAMILY FURNITURE, BLACK TIE, TEN CHIMNEYS, CELEBRATION, PRIVILEGE, BIOGRAPHY, EVEN-OLUTION, DINNER WITH THE FRIENDS, ANCESTRAL VOICES.  Regional: VANYA AND SONIA… (Paper Mill), SAINT JOAN (Denver), THE FATHER (Geffen), UNCLE VANYA (Old Globe), PRESENT LAUGHTER (Williamstown), MUCH ADO… (Seattle).  Television: series regular on SPENSER FOR HIRE, CRACKER, Dr. Olivet on LAW & ORDER, guest star on BILLIONS, THE BLACKLIST, ELEMENTARY, MADAME SECRETARY, BLUE BLOODS, BODY OF PROOF, COLD CASE, JUDGING AMY, THE PRACTICE, HOMICIDE, STAR TREK.  Film:  MAPPLETHORPE, THE POST, YOU KNOW MY NAME, LOVERBOY, A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE, ENEMY MINE, WHATEVER WORKS, DOWNTOWN EXPRESS.  The voice behind THE HUNGER GAMES audio-books and myriad Ken Burns documentaries.  Education:  Williams College-BFA, American Conservatory Theatre-MFA.


STEPHANIE DIMAGGIO
(Dawn / Playwright) Stephanie is thrilled to be back to be back in Big Sky with Levity, a play she first developed during the inaugural Big Sky Theater Workshop in 2015.   As an actor, she recently starred in the critically acclaimed Off- Broadway revival of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped The A Train at Signature Theatre, directed by Mark Brokaw. Stephanie originated the role of Myrna Minkoff opposite Nick Offerman in the world premiere of A Confederacy of Dunces, the Steven Soderbergh produced stage adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize Winning novel, directed by David Esbjornson.   Broadway:  A Free Man of Color Off-Broadway: Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Public Theater), Exile (The Cherry Lane), 17 Orchard Point (The Beckett).  Regional: The Winter’s Tale (WMPAC), Italian American… (Long Wharf Theatre ), All My Sons ( The Huntington Theatre Co.), Bloody Mary and Haroun…both at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.   TV / Film : The Good Wife, Person of Interest Rubicon, Cupid, Law and Order, The Kosher Cucina (Web-series) and the films The First Born and Generation Um.

As a writer, her play 17 Orchard Point (co-author) had it’s world premiere Off-Broadway in 2014 staring Tony-Award Winner Michele Pawk, directed by Stella Powell-Jones.  Her additional plays have been developed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival,  The Lark and the Atlantic Theater Co.

Stephanie received her B.A in Theater from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where she currently serves on the acting faculty, and her MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program. She is also the proud Program Director of the Big Sky Theater Workshop.


CREATIVE TEAM

hs_powell-jonesSTELLA POWELL-JONES
(Director) Stella Powell-Jones is a theatre director working in the United Kingdom and the United States. Recent credits include the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Healing for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Bathsheba Doran’s The Mystery of Love and Sex for Signature Theater, VA, the West Coast Premiere of Nick Jones’ Trevor for Circle X, Stephanie DiMaggio and Anton Dudley’s 12 Orchard Point at Theater Row, Robin Hood for Williamstown Theatre Festival, plays by Lauren Morelli, Brian Watkins & Marco Ramirez for Lesser America’s Just Right Just Now. Stella has developed work with Colt Coeur, Clubbed Thumb, The Huntington Theatre, The Kennedy Center,  New York Stage & Film, Playwrights Horizons, Playwrights Realm & Primary Stages among others.  Stella was recently the Associate Director on the West End transfer/national tour of Florian Zeller’s The Father (directed by James Macdonald). In the United Kingdom she has directed world premieres for Renegade Theatre at the Bush Theatre, London & Painted Filly Theatre Co, Dublin.



Alejandro Fajardo

Lighting Design

Alejandro Fajardo is a Colombian Lighting Designer and Photographer based in New York City, with experience designing plays, musicals, operas, and events around the US. Most recently, Alejandro designed The Healing by Sam Hunter for Theatre Breaking Through Barriers. Other designs include shows at La MaMa, Clubbed Thumb/ Playwrights Horizon School, The Actor’s Studio, The Curtis Institute of Music, Pace University, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival (Free Theater). Additionally, Alejandro has assisted on off-Broadway and regional productions, including Fall For Dance Festival and Flamenco Festival at New York City Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, and New York Theatre Workshop.


Courtney Smith
Scenic Design

Courtney Smith is a scenic designer for theatre, dance, and film experience in both the professional and educational world. As a freelance designer, Courtney works internationally and throughout the east and west coasts. Currently he teaches design and technical theatre at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.  He works primarily in theatre but can also be found working on music videos, commercials, events and anything with a solid story and a great group of people behind it. Courtney’s designs received Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. His design for The Cherry Orchard won at KCACTF Region 7 and went on to win a “Distinguished Achievement Award in Scenic Design” on the national level in Washington DC.   Recent professional credits include Southwark Playhouse (UK), English National Theatre (UK), The Bushwick Starr (NY), Roundabout Theatre Company (NY), New York City Opera (NY), Playwrights Horizons (NY), Classic Stage Company (NY), Cedar Lake Dance (NY), Marvel Repertory Theatre (NY), Mount Baker Repertory Theatre (WA), Montana Shakespeare in the Parks (MT), and Idaho Repertory Theatre (ID).   Additional credits include: runway design for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Victoria’s Secret, window displays for Saks Fifth Avenue, and music videos for Man Like Me.  Courtney was awarded a MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Idaho.



Alexandria Wailes

American Sign Language Consultant

Actress Alexandria Wailes’ theater credits include the Mark Taper Forum/Deaf West’s Pippin, Australia Theatre of the Deaf’s The Wild Boys, Mixed Blood Theatre’s Love Person, Kirk Douglas Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty Wakes, the Public Theater’s Mother Courage and Her Children, Keen Company’s Children of a Lesser God, the nationwide tour of Big River, and Roundabout Theatre/Deaf West’s Big River. On television, she has appeared in Nurse JackieLaw & Order: Criminal Intent, and Conviction. Her independent films credits include Freedom Is Not Free and Always Chasing Love. She received an LA Ovation Award Nomination as Best Lead Female in a Musical for Sleeping Beauty Wakes and was a Tony honoree recipient for Ensemble in the Broadway revival of Big River.


Sarah Devon Ford
(Stage Manager) Sarah Devon Ford (Assistant Stage Manager) Off-Broadway: Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi Theater Company), Dry Land (HERE), The Most Deserving, The Architecture of Becoming (Women’s Project), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre For A New Audience), Sleep No More (Punchdrunk NYC), Broken Bride (Ars Nova ANT Fest), Paradox of the Urban Cliche (Wild Project),  Factory Girls  (54 Below) Regional: Chapter Two (Bucks County Playhouse), Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike (Bucks County Playhouse). Proud Member of Actor’s Equity.


Christopher Metzger
(Costume Design) Christopher Metzger is a Brooklyn based designer working in theatre, dance, and opera. Recent work includes: Tosca (Opera Roanoke), Outlying Islands (Sugarglass Theatre; Dublin, Ireland), Elijah (world premiere, Bristol Valley Theatre), Sehnsucht (Jack Arts Center), Cobb (Penguin Rep), Moonlight & Magnolias (Mill Mountain Theatre), Julius Caesar (The Acting Company), The Healing (world premiere, TBTB), Enemy of the People (Wheelhouse Theatre Company), Episodes (Indianapolis City Ballet), and Mothership(New York City Ballet, Choreographers Institute). His work with the Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance Company has been seen around the world including; Beijing International Contemporary Dance Festival, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, American Dance Guild, and Danspace Project. Associate credits include: Sweat (Broadway), The Public Theatre, Santa Fe Opera, Theatre for a New Audience, Glimmerglass Opera. MFA, NYU. Proud member Local USA 829. www.christophermetzgerdesign.com


Reid Loessberg
Sound Design

Danny Williams
Co-Producer

John Zirkle
Executive Producer



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