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Toys in the Attic

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Toys 03Brilliant acting, strong The first play of Theatre Conspiracy’s 2015-2016 season is Lillian Hellman’s classic Toys in the Attic, opening October 2. Set in New Orleans following the Great Depression, the play focuses on the Berniers sisters, two middle-aged spinsters who have sacrificed their own ambitions to look after their ne’er-do-well younger brother Julian, whose grandiose dreams repeatedly lead to financial disasters. When he unexpectedly returns home accompanied by his emotionally unstable, childlike young bride Lily, her aloof, aristocratic mother Albertine, and an unexplained large sum of money, Carrie and Anna suddenly find that the position of power they have always held has become unbalanced, leaving their lives in chaos. This show plays October 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and on October 18 at 2 p.m.

Toys 05Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) is arguably the most famous female playwright of the last century. She earned her place in the canon of great American writers such as Williams, Miller, and O’Neill. Born in 1905, Hellman saw her first show reach Broadway less than thirty years later. The Children’s Hour was both a critical and commercial success. Ms. Hellman went on to write more than a dozen plays, the most famous of which is the biting family drama The Little Foxes. Others include The Autumn Garden, Another Part of the Forest, and Watch on the Rhine. Toys in the Attic is considered her last major play.

Individual tickets are $24. Season subscription packages are available:

  • Toys 016 shows for $114 ($19 a ticket) or
  • 5 shows for $100 ($20 per ticket) or
  • 4 shows for $88 ($22 per ticket).

Flex passes also available for $2 extra per person.

This page contains announcements, releases, reviews and news about the production.

 

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Spotlight on ‘Toys in the Attic’ actors Elvis Mortley, Ken Johnson and Cicero McCarter (10-14-15)

Toys 07On stage now in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts is Theatre Conspiracy’s production of the Lillian Hellman classic, Toys in the Attic. Among the strong and talented cast for this play are Elvis Mortley, Ken Johnson and Thomas Marsh.

Mortley plays the role of Gus. Mortley has performed on stage in a variety of venues Toys 03over the past 35 years as an actor and Calypso entertainer (under the name of Oba) at theaters in Trinidad, St. Lucia and New York. He is delighted to finally be making his debut in Southwest Florida. He Bows 1recently appeared in The Waiting Room and Christmas in the Neighborhood, and is currently cast in the Fallaway Movie.

Ken Johnson plays the role of the taxi driver. Ken received his BFA in Acting from John Houseman’s Conservancy of Acting Program at the University of Southern California. He starred in the Will Rogers Follies at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine and the Cape Playhouse in Cape Cod. He has starred in over 1,000 performances of Me and My Girl, which included two national tours and the Toys 021993 opening of The Broadway Palm Dinner Theater. Ken has also performed locally in numerous productions at The Broadway Palm, Florida Rep, Lab Theater and Theatre Conspiracy.

Cicero McCarter reprises the role of Henry Simpson. A native of Fort Myers, Cicero is relatively new to the performing arts. He is married with four children and enjoys woodworking and playng chess.

You can see Mortley, Johnson and McCarter along with the rest of this extremely talented cast at Theatre Conspiracy through October 18. Please see above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information.

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Wende’ Gilmore sparkles as clear-eyed, confident Albertine Prine in ‘Toys in the Attic’ (10-13-15)

Toys 08On stage now in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts is Theatre Conspiracy’s production of Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic. Directed by Stephanie Davis, the production’s very talented ensemble cast does justice to Hellman’s eloquent dialogue, complex characterization and clever plot. Equity actress Rachel Burttram, Theatre Conspiracy founder Karen Goldberg, and newcomers Jason Drew and Ashley Kellam are brilliant as Carrie, Anna, Julian and Lily Berniers. They set a high standard for acting excellence, but actress Wende’ Gilmore is up to the challenge, turning in a stellar performance as Lily’s mother, Albertine Prine.

Toys 10At first blush, Albertine Prine appears to be part of New Orleans’ prim and proper gentry. She comes to the Berniers’ porch smartly dressed and meticulously coiffed, escorted by her dashing African-American chauffeur. But Prine is not bound by Southern-style social convention. She freely admits that she was a cold and emotionally unavailable mother and the chauffeur is her romantic partner. But she clearly loves Lily and comes there to support her daughter in her tenuous relationship with Julian Berniers. She even implies that when the day comes – and come it will – she will take her daughter in even if it means that she loses her lover as a result.

Carrie AIn that sense, Albertine Prine serves as the antithesis of Carrie Berniers. Albertine gives free reign to her daughter to pursue love even though she suspects that it will not end well for Lily. By contrast, Carrie will hurt and destroy her brother in order to maintain dominion and control over him. In Gilmore’s capable hands, Prine is clear-eyed, self-deprecating and supremely confident. She sees through Carrie, knows what she is about and about to do, and tells her as much – knowing full well that she is powerless to do anything at all to prevent the possessive spinster from ruining the lives of her guileless daughter and clueless new son-in-law.

Toys 02Toys in the Attic marks Wende’ Gilmore’s debut at Theatre Conspiracy, although she has been deeply involved in the Southwest Florida theater scene since 1996. Wende’ is the Artistic Director of the Seminole Gulf Railway Murder Myster Dinner Train, for whom she has written and performed for the past decade. She has also performed at Cultural Park Theatre in Born Yesterday, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and You Can’t Take it With You. Wende’ owns Vamped Up Vintage, specializing in authentic costuming for theatre productions as well as private events.

There are just four more performances of Toys in the Attic left. Please see above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information.

 

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Spotlight on ‘Toys in the Attic’ actress Ashley Kellam (10-12-15)

Toys 05Ashley Kellam plays the part of Julian Berniers’ sweet but overwhelmingly insecure bride Lily in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic.  This is Ashley’s debut at Theatre Conspiracy. She has previously appeared as Claire Clairmont in Bloody Poetry and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. She gives a strong performance as Lily Berniers and is sure to grace local stages again in the very near future.

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Spotlight on ‘Toys in the Attic’ actor Jason Drew (10-11-15)

Toys 02Actor Jason Drew plays the part of Julian Berniers in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic. Jason is a transplant from the northeast and was last seen on stage locally in the Lab Theater’s production of Cabaret.

Drew began his career in the performing arts with musical theater training in New York City. After regional work, Jason discovered another facet of the entertainment world when he landed a role as a radio host. His radio career took him from a tiny station in Connecticut to Pittsburgh and then New York, where Toys 04he became an on-air personality for legendary WPLJ 95.5.

While in New York, Drew landed a syndicated show, Radio with a Twist, as well as several Sirius/XM Radio channels, on which he shined the most on Broadway’s Best. On camera, Jason was host and associate producer of AP-RED.com, featuring entertainment news, interviews, red carpet events and the best from Broadway to Hollywood.

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Spotlight on ‘Toys in the Attic’ actress Karen Goldberg (10-10-15)

Carrie and Anna HActress Karen Goldberg plays the part of spinster sister Anna Berniers in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic. Goldberg is a graduate of FSU’s School of Theatre and a founding member of Theatre Conspiracy. Her directing credits include The Hot I Baltimore, Romantic Fools, Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Swell Party. She recently played Maureen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Jean in Good People, and has enjoyed roles in The Bad Seed, Invasion of Privacy, and See How They Run.

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Carrie Berniers is ‘tricky little bird;’ play is rife with eloquent dialogue, complexity and intense drama (10-09-15)

Carrie and Anna FOn stage now through October 18 in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts is Theatre Conspiracy’s first production of the 2015-2016 season, Toys in the Attic. Written by iconic playwright Lillian Hellman, the play features beautifully written dialogue, lilting Louisiana accents, exceedingly complex characters and a plot full of twists, turns and broken expectations.

Rachel Burttram BEquity actress Rachel Burttram (profiled below) has the bulk of the lines in this spellbinding psychodrama. “Carrie talks a lot, she just doesn’t say a lot,” observes Karen Goldberg, who plays Carrie’s spinster sister Anna. “She says the same thing five times. She’s so all over the place that [director] Stephanie Davis called her a flightless bird at one time.”

“Yeah, a bird with no wings,” Burttram says, nodding thoughtfully. “Carrie’s a tricky little bird. I’m interested as an artist in trying to make my portrayal as honest as I can. But when you have someone as complex and as touched as Carrie, doing that in a clean, realistic, natural way without giving away Carrie and Anna Jthe farm too soon can be difficult.”

The actors, of course, have read the script and they know who their character is and what she’s going to say and do at the end. And when the end comes, the audience will experience that “Aha” moment as they suddenly understand the full import of all that they’ve seen and heard. But in theater even more than in film, it’s imperative to reveal Carrie and Anna Leach character’s true personality, motivations and agenda a little bit at a time, like peeling an onion.

“When is it too much? How hard is too hard? You cannot go for the jugular too soon,” Burttram warrants. “And modulating all these nuances is not only difficult, but it changes every night depending on audience reaction. If there’s a laugh or a Carrie and Anna Dcollective gasp in the middle of a key line, then I have to step off it and go for it in the next line. That’s the beauty of live theater.”

On top of this split second timing, a play like Toys in the Attic is challenging because of all the props and movement that are woven into the action. “There’s so much that has to move,” Goldberg acknowledges. “Probably more than in any other show I’ve acted in. Remembering what to do with props and who handles them next is very, very challenging.”

But in the end, it’s a beautiful play brilliantly performed by a respectful, accomplished cast within the confines of a smartly-designed set that works tremendously well. It’s easy to see why Theatre Conspiracy chose Lillian Hellman and Toys in the Attic as the first production in its “Year of the Female Playwright.”

Don’t miss this show. It truly is a gem.

See above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information.

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‘Toys in the Attic’ cast feels special responsibility to playwright to perform really, really well (10-08-15)

Burttram and Goldberg AThey speak her name in hushed tones. They include her in the rarified company of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. And when Rachel Burttram and Karen Goldberg were invited to star in Toys in the Attic, they couldn’t say yes fast enough.

“You wait all your life for a part like this, one you can really sink your teeth into,” effused Goldberg, Carrie and Anna Ewho plays Anna Bernier in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of this Lillian Hellman classic. “There’s poetry in her words. The script is really so well written,” she adds reverently.

Burttram agrees. “The script contains these beautiful, beautiful sentences. There’s a kind of musicality to her dialogue that is complimented by the Southern accent, which has that aspect to it as well.”

Where Goldberg had to audition for her part, Burttram and Goldberg BBurttran got the role of Carrie by way of a happy happenstance. “I was supposed to be in Harvey, but when the rights to that play were rescinded, [Theatre Conspiracy Producing Artistic Director] Bill Taylor asked if the part of Carrie in Toys in the Attic might be of interest to me. ‘Lillian Hellman? The part of Carrie Berniers? Hell yes!’ I told him. Carrie is a really, really complex, crazy, crazy part,”

Carrie and Anna ATheir mutual love and respect for the playwright explains in part the unmistakable chemistry that Burttram and Goldberg share on and off stage. “It’s Lillian Hellman,” Burttram says by way of explanation. “We feel a sense of responsibility to rise to the occasion and do it really, really well. To do the script justice. Hellman’s words are pretty special.”

Carrie and Anna CSo special that the cast members from top to bottom are loathe to change a single word of dialogue. “We always strive to deliver dialogue verbatim,” Goldberg acknowledges. “But when it’s Lillian Hellman, there’s added pressure to get your lines exactly right because she wrote it so beautifully.”

The reverence that Burttram, Goldberg and the Carrie Arest of the cast feel for Hellman extends beyond the artistry of her words and complexity of her characters. “She was so avant garde,” Burttram points out.

The Children’s Hour [Hellman’s first big hit] involved a same sex couple,” Goldberg chimes in right on cue. “At least that’s what was implied.” In the play, a child gets in trouble, and to deflect attention away from herself, she tries to ruin the duo’s reputation by accusing them of being in a same sex relationship. “In the 1950s!” Some 65 years before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the validity of same sex marriage.

Burttram and Goldberg C“To do someone who’s work was so astounding even in their own day …..” Goldberg says, more words being clearly unnecessary to finish her thought.

“She won an Emmy for Toys in the Attic,” Burttram adds anyway, by way of exclamation point.

Of course, Rachel Burttram and Karen Goldberg Burttram and Goldberg Ddon’t need added incentive to turn in great performances no matter the part they are playing. Both have built enviable reputations as consummate professionals. But if you want to see two stellar actresses sinking their teeth into juicy parts replete with beautiful dialogue, complex characterization and intense human drama, then don’t miss their performances as Carrie and Anna Toys 07Bernier in Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic. It is on stage in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts now through October 18.

See above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information

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Brilliant acting, strong cast denote Theatre Conspiracy’s ‘Toys in the Attic’ (10-04-15)

Toys 06On stage now through October 18 in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts is the seminal production of Theatre Conspiracy’s self-proclaimed year of the female playwright. The production is none other than Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic. And what Theatre Conspiracy delivers is nothing short of an intense psychodrama, brilliant acting and elegant set.

Hellman is better known for two other plays, The Children’s Hour and The Little Foxes. But Toys in the Attic contains all the ingredients theater-goers come to expect in a Hellman recipe: sharply drawn, perceptive characters, unwaveringly direct dialogue, and a strong dash of melodrama and theatrical convenience Toys 02designed to move the characters toward their inevitably tragic destinies. The result is a delicious offering that excoriates the need for control at the expense of love, and the character who dishes up this life lesson is Carrie Berniers played by equity actress Rachel Burttram.

Burttram delivers a nuanced, complex portrayal of the seeminly sweet, but coldly malevolent puppeteer of the deeply dysfunctional Bernier family. The genius in Burttram’s performance is the restraint she exercises in revealing her true nature and full depravity to the Toys 07audience. With the precision of a master chef, she deftly peels back one layer of the Carrie Berniers onion at a time until everyone in the audience is tearing up as they witness the emotional cannablism Carrie unleashes on her sister, her brother and his bride. In a word, Burttram’s performance is chilling and it will stay with you long after you leave the Foulds Theatre.

Toys 04Karen Goldberg delivers an equally strong performance as the matronly Anna Berniers. In many respects, Anna Berniers is enigmatic. She is a classic enabler, seemingly unable and unwilling to break the cycle of her sister’s perverse and pervasive control. She knows who her sister is and why she acts as she does. But rather than buck Carrie, she is resigned to supporting her sister and carrying out her many machinations. Goldberg captures her character’s fatalistic resignation in her attitude, demeanor and long-suffering look, and she serves as the perfect counterpoint to Burttram’s Carrie.

Toys 05In the write-ups for this show, Julian Berniers’ new bride, Lily, is often billeted as guileless and clueless, but it is actually Julian himself who possesses these attributes. At times, Jason Drew threatens to upstage both Burttram and Goldberg as the Berniers sisters’ hapless but happily charming brother. Until the denouement, Drew’s Julian is almost irrepressible and his performance is a pleasure to take in.

Ashley Kellam steals some scenes of her own as Julian’s insecure, overwhelmingly needy bride. Her interactions with Carrie and her own mother, Albertine Prine, sizzle Toys 08with static electricity. While sadly, Lily is no match for either Carrie or her mother, Kellam does not take a back seat to anyone in this strong cast.

Wende Gilmore is a stand-out as Lily’s mom, Albertine Prine who, as the play’s only clear-eyed and clear-headed character, is not only able to see through Carrie, but is willing to stand up to her as well.

In this production, the set is also a strong character. Props go to Artistic Producing Director Bill Taylor, who handled set design. Taylor has divided the stage in half, with the Toys 10interior of the sisters’ hated house occupying the left side and their sundrenched porch on the right. Director Stephanie Davis has staged many of scenes in this play on the Berniers’ porch, figuratively telling the audience that their only hope of escaping the clinging, suffocating depravity of modern family life is to live outside the confining restrictions of traditional domesticity.

In sum, if you like strong acting, complex characters and a theme that will stay with you for days, even weeks, then Toys in the Attic is your type of play. If you miss this play, you’re missing out big time. Please see above for remaining play dates, times and ticket information.

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Theatre Conspiracy $11 tickets for women under 41 (09-14-15)

theatre conTheatre Conspiracy’s 2015-3016 season is a celebration of female playwrights and their contribution to theater as a whole. Ordinarily, plays written by men dominate stages in the Intermission at Theatre Conspiracy 1Southwest Florida, just as they do in the rest of the country. But for the next couple of months at the Alliance for the Arts, the usual rules will not apply. That includes ticket pricing for women under 41 years of age.

As a way to engage younger audiences, Theatre Conspiracy is offering $11 tickets to any woman under the age of 41 to any show this season. Bill Taylor in 2012 at Installation of Fire Dance 1Tickets will be available at the door for each performance.

“This year’s celebration of female playwrights is an important statement for us to make,” says Producing Artistic Director Bill Taylor. “We also need to attract younger audiences that will stay with us over time. The average age of our theater-goers is over 55. We need to make an effort to encourage younger people to attend, participate and support the arts. The shows we have this year are perfect for that. Funny, poignant, a little off-the-wall. We are covering the gamut.”

Opening October 2, the first play of the year will be Lillian Toys 05Hellman’s classic, Toys in the Attic. This Tony Award winning play is set in New Orleans following the Great Depression. The storyline focuses on the Berniers sisters, two middle-aged spinsters who have sacrificed their own ambitions to look after their ne’er-do-well younger brother, Julian, whose grandiose dreams repeatedly lead to financial disasters. When he unexpectedly returns home with an unexplained large sum of money, the sisters suddenly find that the position of power they have always held has become unbalanced, leaving their lives in chaos.

Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) is arguably the most famous female playwright of the last century, and earned her place in the canon of Toys 04great American writers such as Williams, Miller, and O’Neill. Born in 1905, Hellman saw her first show reach Broadway less than thirty years later. The Children’s Hour was both a critical and commercial success. Ms. Hellman went on to write more than a dozen plays, her most famous of which is the biting family drama The Little Foxes. Others include The Autumn Garden, Another Part of the Forest, and Watch on the Rhine. Considered her last major play, Toys in the Attic explores the destructive aspects of sibling love and uncovers dark implications that have been stored and forgotten, like childhood toys in the attic.

Toys 01The show plays October 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and on October 18 at 2 p.m.

Individual tickets are $24. Women under 41 and students with proper ID are $11. Season subscription packages: 6 shows for $114 ($19 a ticket) or 5 shows for $100 ($20 per ticket) or 4 shows for $88 ($22 per ticket). Flex passes also available for $2 extra per person. For more information you can call Theatre Conspiracy’s box office at 239-936-3239 or visit www.theatreconspiracy.org.

Theatre Conspiracy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Florida corporation headed by Producing Artistic Director Bill Taylor. Funding is derived from ticket sales, advertising sales and donations. During its 19 years it has been described as “innovative, exciting, daring,” and “a treasured member of the area’s theatrical community

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Stephanie Davis directs Lillian Hellman’s ‘Toys in the Attic’ for Theatre Conspiracy (09-03-15)

Diva 02Toys in the Attic opens in the Alliance for the Arts Foulds Theatre on October 2. The production is being directed by Stephanie Davis.

Davis made her directorial debut at Laboratory Theater with Extremities two seasons ago, but for 25 years now, she has commanded the stage in a multitude of venues throughout Southwest Florida. During her two-decade association with Theatre Conspiracy, she has played L’il Bit in How I Learned to Drive, Lady Lillian Loveworthy in Love Loves a Pornographer, multiple roles in A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room and, most recently, as Dottie in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People.

Miss Witherspoon floofing aroundStephanie was a founding staff member of Florida Repertory Theatre, where she has appeared in nearly 50 productions. Among her favorite Florida Rep roles are the Woman in Veronica’s Room, Christine in The Bad Seed, Bella in Lost in Yonkers, and Beth in Dinner with Friends. Davis also had a role in the U.S. premiere at Florida Rep of Stephen Sachs’ new play, Heart Song, a The Casttouching, heartfelt comedy that tells one woman’s story of friendship and renewal through the healing power of Flamenco. Stephanie was a member of the “Flamenco Circle” class, along with Beth Haely, Jonita Martin and Kathleen Moye.

She was seen at Broadway Palm in Bill W. and Dr. Bob, and Lab Theater audiences will remember her Good People 04stellar performances as Miss Witherspoon and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. She was also the voice of Mother in last season’s My Brilliant Divorce starring Annette Trossbach.

Known as the Downtown Diva, Stephanie is presently employed as a radio personality at Fort Myers Broadcasting Company and social Stephanie Davis and Lydia Blackcommentator and event photographer at Florida Weekly, where her  column, “The Diva Diaries,” can be found along with her society photos every Wednesday at a variety of locations and online at www.floridaweekly.com.

Stephanie established, developed and perfected her Downtown Diva persona while at the Fort Myers News-Press, where she kept her finger on the pulse of the Fort Myers social scene since her column debuted in 2000. Before moving into Diva Shoots Backprint media, Stephanie spent 15 years working as an on-air personality at a variety of local radio stations. She was the Director of Development at Island Coast AIDS Network of SWFL (2002-2004), an Associate Director at Florida Repertory Theatre (1998-2002), Director of Programming and staff member at 99-X Radio/Beasley Broadcasting Diva 01(1995-1998, where she was popularly known as “The Retro 80s Diva”) and a Producer at The Troubleshooter/FOX News (1993-1994).

For nearly a decade and a half, she has snapped close to 100 photographs a week at area fundraisers and events. Most have been published both in print and on the web at Florida Weekly, News-Press.com, Gulf Coasting, and Grandeur magazine. Her creative outlet however, has been taking photos with her iPhone 4 and sharing them on her Facebook page. In 2010, she began her Toys 01“Photo a Day, Every Day” project and posted at least one picture per day for an entire year.

“I take pictures of things that make me happy – and things that I hope people will enjoy.” In 2011, she contributed roughly 50 of her iPhone photos to In One Instant Gallery’s In One Evening: A “No-Photo Finish” exhibition, which also featured the Alliance’s Mike Kiniry and The Union Artist Studio’s Paul Rodino. The proceeds realized from the sale of Stephanie’s photos were donated to Hope Hospice.

A fan favorite, Davis is regularly asked to host fundraisers, and includes among her credits Arts for ACT’s fine art auction and gala in Toys 032012, the Young Artist Awards’ 3rd Annual Cabaret and Cabernet in 2013 and the 2014 Fort Myers Film Festival gala at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, where she instigated a selfie from the stage in the tradition of the one that Ellen DeGeneres orchestrated Oscar photo of host DeGeneres with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and others at the Oscars.

But for Toys in the Attic, her role will be behind the scenes, directing a talented cast that includes Professional Equity actress Rachel Burttram. Please see above for play dates, times and ticket information, and continue reading for more information on Rachel Burttram, playwright Lillian Hellman and all the news and announcements pertaining to this show.

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Spotlight on Professional Equity actress Rachel Burttram (09-02-15)

rachelburttram1jpgComing to the Foulds Theater in October is Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic. Theatre Conspiracy and director Stephanie Davis have assembled a talented cast for the production, including Karen Goldberg (Swell Party, The Beauty Queen of Leenane), Wende Gilmore, Jason Drew, Ashley Kellam, Elvis Mortlety, Cicero McCarter and Professional Equity actress Rachel Burttram.

Rachel Burttram has been working in regional theater for over 15 years. She has shared the boards with the likes of the legendary Carol Lawrence and Tony-nominated Daniel Sunjata. Her stage work has been seen across the country, in venues FE-burttramrachel-0709_5756795_ver1.0_640_480[1]that range from the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky, Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, New York, The Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville, Florida, Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida, Gloucester Stage in Massachusetts, Barnstormers’ Theatre in New Hampshire and City Equity in Alabama. Many Southwest Florida theater-goers know her from performances as a 1429108045[1]company member for more than 12 years at Florida Repertory Theatre, which Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout has named “one of America’s Top Repertory Companies.” Her screen work includes independent films (Emma’s Fine, World Traveler, Alchemy) and television (Burn Notice), as well as national and regional commercials.

Rachel is the recipient of numerous acting awards, honors and nominations, including Florida Weekly’s Best Actress 2013. Notable nominations include the Angel of the Arts award for Performance Artist of the Year in 2009, Broadway “World’s Best Actress in a Play 2012 – Central NY” for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre, and Broadway “World’s Best Actress in a Play 2013 SW Florida” for Other Desert Cities.

rachelburttram-e1384980173745[1]As an Arts Administrator, Rachel has served as an Associate Director, Director of Audience Development, Company Manager, Director of Education, Box Office Manager, and Fundraising Research, Community Programs Director and mentor. She has developed programs for theaters around the country for under-served populations. Rachel is also a teaching artist and has taught 0[1]classes and workshops for a variety of populations all over the country with her husband and fellow theatre artist, Brendan Powers.

Rachel is the creator of Welcome to the Green Room, a resource for actors, singers and performing artists to share ideas and tips for a healthy lifestyle in a budget. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, an honorary Emmas-Stills_2.3.1[1]member of the NAACP, and has been the Production Manager for ArtFest Fort Myers since August of 2014.

You can see Rachel perform at the Foulds Theatre inside the Alliance for the Arts in Toys in the Attic. Please see above for play dates, times and ticket information.

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Professional equity actress Rachel Burttram to star in ‘Toys in the Attic’ (09-01-15)

rachelburttram1jpgTheatre Conspiracy has announced that professional equity actress Rachel Burttram will star in its first show of the 2015-2016 season, Toys in the Attic by Lillian Hellman. Seen regularly on stage at Florida Repertory Theatre, Ms. Burttram will lead an incredible cast in this show, which won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. Directed by Stephanie Davis (Downtown Diva!), the show also stars Karen Goldberg (Swell Party, The Beauty Queen of Leenane), Wende Gilmore, Jason Drew, Ashley Kellam, Elvis Mortley and Cicero McCarter.

Set in New Orleans following the Great Depression, the play Toys 02focuses on the Berniers sisters, two middle-aged spinsters who have sacrificed their own ambitions to look after their ne’er-do-well younger brother Julian, whose grandiose dreams repeatedly lead to financial disasters. When he unexpectedly returns home accompanied by his emotionally unstable, childlike young bride Lily, her aloof, aristocratic mother Albertine, and an unexplained large sum of money, Carrie and Anna suddenly find that the position of power they have always held has become unbalanced, leaving their lives in chaos.

For more information, please call Theatre Conspiracy’s box office at 239-936-3239 or visit www.theatreconspiracy.org

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