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September 26 – November 1, 2015
(Opening Night: Thursday, October 1)
Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center
By Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson
Directed by Andrew Russell
Starring Mercedes Ruehl
Scenic Design by Sean Fanning
Costume Design by Mark Mitchell
Lighting Design by Robert J. Aguilar
Sound Design by Matt Starritt
Assistant Director, Brian Meister
Production Stage Manager, Annette Yé
Now extended through November 1! Oscar and Tony Award winner Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King, Lost in Yonkers) brings “The Empress of Fashion” back to The Old Globe! Before Anna Wintour or The Devil Wears Prada, there was Diana Vreeland, larger-than-life doyenne of American taste. Unceremoniously fired as editor of Vogue, she hunkers down in her famous all-red New York apartment and plans her comeback: a magazine of her own. The path to get there is as complicated and outré as Vreeland herself. Full Gallop, which premiered at the Globe in 1995, is a witty one-woman tour de force about the fabulous style icon who forever changed the way Americans experience clothing, art, and life.
Mark Hampton (Playwright) is grateful to The Old Globe for giving Full Gallop its first production, which allowed the play to be seen subsequently in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Rome, Brussels, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. Subsequent plays by Hampton include The Boswell Sisters, written with Stuart Ross and produced by The Old Globe; Paper Doll, written with Barbara Zitwer, starring Marlo Thomas and F. Murray Abraham; and The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn, co-written with Michael Sharp, both produced by Pittsburgh Public Theater. With Jeannie Berlin he has recently completed the screenplay for a romantic comedy, Crackpot, and is currently working on You Don't Own Me, about the life and music of Lesley Gore. Kiki/Suzanne, a play written for French actress Barbara Schulz, will premiere in Paris next season. And Josephine, a musical based on the life of Josephine Baker, written with Ellen Weston, Steve Doff, and John Bettis for producer Kenneth Waissman, will premiere in April 2016 at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota.
Mary Louise Wilson (Playwright) was given Obie and Drama Desk Awards in 1998 for her portrayal of Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop Off Broadway. She is the author of My First Hundred Years in Show Business, which has recently been published by Overlook Press. She just finished playing Letitia Primrose in On the Twentieth Century on Broadway. Her other recent Broadway performances include Fraulein Schneider in the revival of Cabaret, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award, and, as Big Edie, the musical Grey Gardens, for which she won the Tony. For her performance as Vera in Lincoln Center Theater’s 4000 Miles two seasons ago she won an Obie. Her other notable Off Broadway work includes the play Bosoms and Neglect by John Guare (Signature Theatre Company) and The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed (New York Theatre Workshop). Wilson’s recent television appearances include “The Sopranos,” “Louie,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Devious Maids,” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” Her film work includes Klute, Green Card, She-Devil, Pet Sematary, The Money Pit, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Zelig, Nebraska, and The Humbling with Al Pacino. Wilson is the subject of a documentary from filmmaker Ron Nyswaner called She’s the Best Thing in It, which is currently making the rounds of film festivals. Full Gallop, published by Dramatists Play Service, continues to be produced in cities all over Europe and South America as well as in the United States. Theatrical Haiku, a collection of short plays, is also published by Dramatists Play Service. She has written articles for The New Yorker and The New York Times.
Andrew Russell (Director) is a writer and director based in Seattle with a focus on stage productions celebrating outsiders and those on the fringe. He is the Producing Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre, where he directed Stu for Silverton, a new musical about America’s first transgender mayor, and last year’s critically acclaimed productions of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Parts One and Two, among others. Currently at Intiman, Russell has co-written with Ana Brown the new play John Baxter is a Switch Hitter, anew comic-drama that tells the true story of a softball team accused of having too many straight players at the 2008 Gay Softball World Series. He has also co-written the musical The Fourth Estate with composer Richard Gray and The 5th Avenue Theatre that puts Dorothy Kilgallen, Jack Ruby, Laura Poitras, and Edward Snowden in the same room. In New York, Russell has directed for The Public Theater, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York University, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Naked Angels, among others. He has served as Tony Kushner’s assistant, worked in creative development with David Stone and Universal Pictures, and assistant directed on and Off Broadway. He received his B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University.
Sean Fanning (Scenic Design) is a Southern California-based scenic designer with a career spanning over 40 productions on local stages. His previous Globe credits include the Globe for All tour of All’s Well That Ends Well, A Doll’s House, Kingdom, and Plaid Tidings – A Special Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid. His credits with the Old Globe/USD M.F.A. Program include Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His other recent credits include Everybody’s Talkin’: The Music of Harry Nilsson, Honky (Craig Noel Award nomination), In the Heights,and Walter Cronkite is Dead. (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Dogfight, The Whale, Sons of the Prophet, Pageant, Maple and Vine, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, and Shakespeare’s R&J (Cygnet Theatre Company), South Pacific, Jane Austen’s Emma, and Little Shop of Horrors (Summer Repertory Theatre), and The Improv at Harrah’s and Menopause The Musical (Harrah’s Las Vegas). Fanning holds an M.F.A. in Scene Design from San Diego State University.
Mark Mitchell (Costume Design) is an artist who speaks to social issues through textiles. His contributions to Seattle’s cultural community bridge a number of disciplines, including art, music, theater, fashion, and education. He is the subject of the award-winning short film Burial, and he presented a performance and exhibition of the same title at the Frye Art Museum in 2013. Mitchell was recently artist-in-residence at The New Foundation Seattle, where he began developing a new body of work called Burial 2. He lives in Seattle with his partner of 14 years, Kurt B. Reighley, and their spoiled dog Gloucester.
Robert J. Aguilar (Lighting Design) most recently designed John Baxter is a Switch Hitter and The Children’s Hour (Intiman Theatre Festival), Jasper in Deadland (The 5th Avenue Theatre), Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre), and Three Sisters (The Seagull Project). His other regional credits include Angels in America (Intiman), Little Shop of Horrors (5th Avenue/A Contemporary Theatre), Seven Spots on the Sun (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Dear Elizabeth, The Vaudevillians, Bo-Nita, I Am My Own Wife, Of Mice and Men, The K of D, and boom (Seattle Rep), Trails (Village Theatre), The Lady with All the Answers (A Contemporary Theatre), and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Seattle Children’s Theatre). He also designed Next to Normal, The Yellow Wood, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Zanna Don’t! for Contemporary Classics, where he is the managing director. He is also the lighting associate for Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Matt Starritt (Sound Design) is a Seattle-based, freelance sound designer for theatre and dance. In Seattle, he has designed for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Book-It Repertory Theatre, The Cherdonna and Lou Show, New Century Theatre, BenDeLaCreme, Waxie Moon, zoe | juniper, and Washington Ensemble Theatre. Nationally, he has designed for Alley Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company, and South Coast Repertory. He is a part-time lecturer for the University of Washington’s School of Drama and was a founding member of Washington Ensemble Theatre.
Brian Meister (Assistant Director) has worked on a variety of productions since graduating from New York University, including the Broadway productions of Julius Caesar, Dracula, Hollywood Arms, The Rocky Horror Show, Royal Court Theatre’s The Weir, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Once Upon a Mattress, Crazy for You, City of Angels, Metamorphosis, Noises Off, Private Lives, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Good, The Little Foxes, West Side Story, Shirley Bassey On Broadway, Wings, Lily Tomlin’s Appearing Nitely, The Merchant, and Hello, Dolly! His Off Broadway credits include Lady Day, Falling, I Love You Because, Bring in the Morning, Program for Murder, Modigliani, and The Mother of Us All. Meister’s extensive touring and regional credits include Viva La Vida, Dinner, Little Shop of Horrors, Meet Me in St. Louis, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Forbidden Broadway, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Rothschilds, A Christmas Carol, The Boy Friend, Gross Points, Noël and Gertie, and You Never Can Tell. For The Metropolitan Opera his stage management credits include La Bohème, Four Saints in Three Acts, Dido and Aeneas, and Phèdre. His work for Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center includes Play Strindberg, People Are Living There, The Duplex, The Ride Across Lake Constance, The Crucible, and Mary Stuart.
Annette Yé (Production Stage Manager) served as stage manager for The Old Globe productions of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Arms and the Man, The Royale, Quartet, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Few, Pygmalion, God of Carnage, Anna Christie, Groundswell, and the 2010 production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Her other Globe credits include A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2011-2014), Boeing-Boeing, The First Wives Club, Opus, Dancing in the Dark, Hay Fever, and the Summer Shakespeare Festivals 2008 and 2010-2013.