THE ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (APAC) has announced the New York premiere production of Gregory S. Moss's (punkplay, House of Gold) BILLY WITCH, choreographed by Wendy Seyb (The Pee Wee Herman Show, Yeast Nation), with original music by Nathan A. Roberts, musical direction by Brenna Sage and directed by Erik Pearson (Billy Witch, Studio 42). BILLY WITCH will play a limited engagement at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church (30-44 Crescent St, Astoria, NY. Entrance on 30th Road.) Performances begin Thursday, November 1
and continue through Saturday, November 17. Opening Night is Saturday, November 3 (8 p.m.).
In this quirky, creepy, bawdy comedy, 14-year old Oliver braves the wilderness to discover change at sleepaway camp. Miles away from home, surrounded by pubescent boys and girls, Oliver is not prepared for the life altering transformation he will soon experience. From twisted first sexual encounters, to spooky campfire stories unfolding before his eyes, Oliver's time at camp is anything but normal.
BILLY WITCH was initially written when Moss, who L.A. Weekly says "blends Eugene Ionesco with Christopher Durang," was in residence at The Millay Colony in Austerlitz, New York. It was first workshopped at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, in 2008, under the direction of Vanessa Gilbert. The play was produced at Northeastern University, Boston, in 2010, directed by Jonathan Carr. In early 2012, a developmental production was produced by Studio 42 and directed by Erik Pearson.
APAC's Artistic Director, Tom Wojtunik chose the play after missing the workshop at Studio 42 last February, which garnered tremendous word of mouth in the theatre community. He states, "as soon as I read the script I knew that the experience of BILLY WITCH would be a special one for APAC's audience. I look forward to seeing how director Erik Pearson utilizes APAC's unique space to tell the story." When asked why he first chose to develop the piece, Studio 42 Artistic Director, Moritz von Stuelpnagel said, "when you mix Ovid's Metamorphosis with classic camp horror, you get this terrific blend of high brow and low brow entertainment that is surprising and deeply satisfying. The show is an immersive theatrical experience full of sex, horror, absurdity, and straight up nostalgia for those long gone days of summer camp."
The production features Eric Bryant* (Angels in America, Signature Theater) as Arden, Britain Gebhardt as Jenny, Aimee Howard* (Austerity of Hope, Barrow Group; Claymont, EAT) as Miranda, Dawn Luebbe* (Onasses Comedy, UCB & College Humor) as Counselor Becky, Allyson Morgan* as Sue, Seamus Mulcahy* (Killing Lincoln; Our Town, Barrow Street Theater) as Oliver, Andy Phelan* (APAC's MilkMilkLemonade; CSC's Galileo) as Billy, Luke Robertson* (Yale Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage) as PD Lockwood, Will Roland as Michael, Hasmik Anna Saakian as Melody, Ben Schnickel as Peter, Nicholas Urda* (Private Lives, Two Rivers Theater) as Counselor James, and Liz Wisan* (Other Desert Cities) as Sandy. (*Performing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.)