FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2015
Contact: Lisa Jordan
Valley-Spanning Collaboration Serves Up True West
Touchstone presents Allentown Public Theatre in Sam Shepard classic
Bethlehem, PA – As part of their “Spotlight on the Valley” series, Touchstone Theatre presents Allentown neighbors, Allentown Public Theatre (APT) in True West, a powerful tale of sibling rivalry by Pulitzer prize-winning author Sam Shepard. True West opens for a two-week run February 19 through March 1, 2015.
Described by the New York Times as “a rambunctious and spontaneous tale about sibling rivalry… the seductiveness of Hollywood and… the battle between art and business,” True West delves into the story of two estranged brothers, Austin, a budding Hollywood screenwriter, and Lee, a scurvy desert drifter. Their prickly relationship hints at a deeper schism between head and heart, sophistication and savagery.
“True West has stuck with me since reading scenes from it in college classes,” says Joshua Neth, Allentown Public Theatre Artistic Director, “especially having grown up in California ranchland-turned suburbia, where the play is set. At the time, I knew I was too young for it, but I’ve always wanted to get back to the role of Lee.”
Neth adds, “The play explores the relationship between apparent polar opposites, love and hate. Shepard, however, challenges his audience to understand the closeness of these two extremes. Love often comes with expectations which lead us to indignation. The passion that drives hate actually means that we care.”
Additional cast members include APT company member Jason Roth, as well as Lehigh Valley favorites Kathy Patterson and Bill Joachim. Muhlenberg College professor James Peck directs, after directing Neth in Muhlenberg’s Summer Music Theatre productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Monty Python’s Spamalot. Peck has also taught at Yale School of Drama, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and Playwrights Horizons Theater School.
Rounding out the collaboration is a Valley-spanning production team. From the Touchstone Ensemble, Jp Jordan and Christopher Shorr head scenic design, with Emma Chong on lighting design. Kristian Derek Ball has done sound design and music composition locally for some 30 Lehigh University productions, as well as APT’s Jungle Book; this spring, he designs sound for Touchstone’s Journey from the East. Stacey Yoder of Pines Dinner Theatre designs costumes and props. APT veteran Alexis Leon returns as stage manager.
Touchstone’s season of mainstage productions is supported locally by season sponsors First Generation, an integrated marketing communications company, and RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship. This production of True West is sponsored by Lawrence Roth Salon.
Sam Shepard’s True West performs at Touchstone (321 East Fourth Street, Bethlehem, Pa 18015) February 19-March 1, 2015. Shows are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm; tickets are $25/$15 for students and seniors, with group rates available on request. On Thursdays, Touchstone offers a pay-what-you-will option at the door, allowing patrons to name their own ticket price. True West is recommended for audiences of high school age and older. Advance tickets and more information at 610-867-1689 or www.touchstone.org / www.allentownpublictheatre.com
About Touchstone Theatre:
Celebrating over thirty years, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with a dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. Visit us on the web at www.touchstone.org
About Allentown Public Theatre:
Founded in 2008, Allentown Public Theatre works to enrich the community by presenting memorable performances and providing employment and training for theatre artists. APT believes everyone deserves to experience theatre that inspires, challenges, and entertains, and that great theatre in the Lehigh Valley is possible only when theatre professionals can earn a living here. Visit us on the web at www.allentownpublictheatre.com