O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra

Quintessence concludes its fourth season of progressive classic theatre with its first American masterpiece, Eugene O’Neill’s MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA,beginning previews on Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30pm and open on Saturday, April 5 at 7pm.

The Mannons are an upstanding and wealthy New England family: successful shipbuilders, civic leaders and military servicemen. Despite attempts to forget dark secrets in the proud family’s past, the grand Mannon estate is built in hate, standing as a grave for all living Mannons. Incest, adultery, murder and suicide ensue as the Mannon descendents attempt to escape their curse, believing in the power of love for salvation. With the searing pain that only family can inflict, O’Neill creates a universal tragedy that takes us into the darkness of our deepest secrets. Lock the door, nail down the shutters, and prepare for the ancient to collide with the modern as Quintessence presents all three parts of O’Neill’s trilogy, promising an epic and devastating theatrical experience you will never forget.

Following the success of Jean Anouilh’s adaptation of Sophocles’ ANTIGONE, Quintessence continues to explore the power of classical drama adapted for the contemporary world with O’Neill’s masterful adaptation of Aeschylus’ THE ORESTEIA.

Janis Dardaris (Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest and Arkadina in The Seagull) returns to Quintessence to lead the ensemble as Christine Mannon. Following her celebrated performance as Jennifer in Martin Crimp’s The Misanthrope, Mattie Hawkinson returns to Philadelphia as Lavinia Mannon. They are joined by Quintessence ensemble member Josh Carpenter (Hamlet and Iago in Othello) as Orin Mannon and Robert Jason Jackson (Creon in Antigone) as Erza Mannon. The company includes Andrew Breving as Captain Brant, Alan Brincks as Peter Niles, Terence Gleeson as Seth Beckwith and Erin Mulgrew as Hazel Niles.

Quintessence Theatre Group is a professional classic theatre, dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of classic literature and drama for the contemporary stage, which ignites the mind, body and soul through the power of the actor, design and spoken word.

MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA plays April 2 – April 27.

A special PAY WHAT YOU CAN preview will be presented on Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30pm. Post-show discussions with the director will take place on Thursday, April 10 and Sunday, April 20.

Performances take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, and Sundays at 2pm. The production runs 3 hours and 55 minutes, which includes two 15 minute intermissions.

Tickets are $25 general admission, $15 for youth (21 and under). Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. To purchase tickets click here or call 1.215.987.4450. For ticket information please email BoxOffice@QuintessenceTheatre.org.

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ENSEMBLE BIOS

ANDREW BREVING (Captain Brant) Quintessence Debut. Theatre: The Private Lives of Eskimos by Ken Urban, The Karaoke Show (dir. Diane Paulus), The Heiress (Two River Theater), and How To Act Around Cops (SOHO Theatre London, Edinburgh, NY Fringe). TV/Film: THE DEPARTED, GUESTS OF A NATION (a Temple University student film), GUIDING LIGHT, THE JAIME KENNEDY EXPERIMENT and ALL MY CHILDREN. ARBY’S Nat’l Campaign. In his spare time, Andrew loves spending time with his beautiful wife and ten month-old son. www.andrewbreving.com

ALAN BRINCKS (Captain Peter Niles) Quintessence Debut. New York: Macbeth (What Dreams May Co.), Hamlet (What Dreams May Co.), Street Scene (Brave New World Rep), Othello (Wandering Bark Theatre Co.) Regional: Green Eyes (Company One- Boston) A Midsummer Nightʼs Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet (Nebraska Shakespeare), A Christmas Carol, U/S: Around the World in 80 Days (Virginia Stage Company). Film: THE POET (Tom White). Training: BFA-Nebraska Wesleyan University, Shakespeare’s Globe London. Thanks and love to Quintessence Theatre, G, F, and my beautiful wife Faith.

JOSH CARPENTER* (Orin Mannon) Quintessence: Henry V, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Venetian Twins, The Merchant of Venice, The Seagull, Othello, Hamlet, She Stoops To Conquer, The Wind In The Willows. Philadelphia: Diabolique (Exigent Theatre); reading of Candide (The Wilma Theater). New York: The Studio at Cherry Lane Theatre, Naked Angels Lab, Target Margin Theater, Manhattan Theatre Source, American Theatre of Actors, Gotham Radio Theatre. Regional: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I Capture the Castle, Henry V, Pride and Prejudice, Richard III, The Cherry Orchard (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Ten productions including leading roles in Romeo and Juliet and The Comedy of Errors (American Shakespeare Center, VA); Our Town, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, PEER Award nomination for Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Theater at Monmouth, ME); The 39 Steps (GTA SouthernStage, GA); The Mousetrap (Stages, NJ); Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (The Playground Theatre, Miami); The Secret Life of Hubie Hartzel, With Two Wings (The Growing Stage, NJ) International: The Detectives, Jackie and the Giant (Bear Educational Theatre, Czech Republic). Film: WILDLIFE. Training: Northwestern University. www.joshcarpenter.net

JANIS DARDARIS* (Christine Mannon) Quintessence: The Seagull (Arkadina), The Importance of Being Earnest (Lady Bracknell). Philadelphia: Philadelphia Theatre Company; People’s Light; Walnut Street Theatre; Interact; PlayPenn New Play Development; Leaving, Road, Quartet, Escape from Happiness, Orpheus Descending, Spin, The Magic Fire, Scorched, Becky Shaw (Wilma Theatre); Rabbit Hole (Arden Theatre). Regional: McCarter Theatre, Pittsburgh Public, Long Wharf, Cleveland Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth, Kennedy Center, Arizona Theatre, Three Rivers Shakespeare, Actors’ Theatre Louisville’s Humana Festival (originated the role of Susan Slater in Becky Shaw). New York: Playwrights Horizons, New York Classical Theatre, Westbeth, Summer Play Festival on Theatre Row, Breaking Legs with Philip Bosco (also national tour with Danny Aiello). Awards: nominated for 10 Barrymore Awards; 1998 winner of Charlotte Cushman Barrymore for her performance as Josie Hogan in A Moon for the Misbegotten; 2009 winner of Best Supporting Actress in Scorched. TV and Film: THE SIXTH SENSE, PARTY MONSTER, THIRD WATCH, TRIAL BY JURY, LAW AND ORDER, THE SOPRANOS, BLISS, 1967, the lead in SOUNDING directed by Joel Coen, featured role as Grace in CRUZANDO.

TERENCE GLEESON* (Seth Beckwith) Quintessence Debut. Regional: As You Like It, Our Town (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey). Philadelphia: Much Ado About Nothing (Arden Theatre); As You Like It, Hamlet (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre); The Diary of Anne Frank (Media Theatre); The Good Doctor, A Flea in Her Ear (Hedgerow); Traveling Light (Philly Fringe); Better Angels: Signs of the Times (Delaware Humanities Forum); Shades of Poe (Fractured Mirror Productions). Upcoming: Better Angels: The Nation’s Wounds (Delaware Humanities Forum). Training: Mason Gross School of the Arts.

MATTIE HAWKINSON* (Lavinia Mannon) Quintessence: The Misanthrope (Jennifer), Arms And The Man (Louka). Regional: Bell Book and Candle (Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara); A Guided Consideration of A Lamentable Deed (Need Theatre); Othello (Milwaukee Rep); The Natasha Plays, Magnolia, The Legend of Minnie Willet (The O’Neill); A Little Night Music (Baltimore CenterStage); Third (Denver Center Theatre Company); The Games Afoot (Cleveland Playhouse); Inherit the Wind (Indiana Rep); Equivocation (u/s, Manhattan Theatre Club); The Snow Queen, Half and Half, Hanging Fire, Blackbird (Victory Gardens Theatre); Rock ‘N’ Roll (Goodman Theatre); I Never Sang for My Father (Steppenwolf Theatre); A Winter’s Tale, A Little Night Music, A Flea In Her Ear (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Hillbilly Antigone (Lookingglass Theatre); Vincent In Brixton (Apple Tree Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest (First Folio Theatre); The Maids (Exigent Theatre); A Boston Marriage (Roadworks). TV: As the World Turns, Law and Order SVU. Film: THE GAMBLER, RISE OF THE PLANETS OF THE APES, BLACKMAIL, BROOKLYN MAYBE, EVERYBODY’S FINE.

ROBERT JASON JACKSON* (Ezra Mannon) Quintessence: Antigone (Creon). Broadway: Amonasro in Aida, Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler (starring Kelly McGillis). New York: The Merchant of Venice (Public Theatre); Bubbly Black Girl (Playwrights Horizon). Regional: title role in Othello (Denver Theatre Company and Shakespeare Santa Cruz); Polonius in Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Scott Joplin in Tin Pan Alley Rag (Cleveland Playhouse); Richard II – NAACP Best Actor nomination (Mark Taper Forum); Death and the King’s Horseman (Goodman Theatre); The Greeks (Hartford Stage). TV/Film: LAW & ORDER, LAW & ORDER: SVU, THIRD WATCH, NEW YORK UNDERCOVER, NEW JERSEY DRIVE, ALTAMONT HIGH. As a singer: Carman Moore’s Music Ensemble at the Twin Towers Winter Garden, Lincoln Centers’ Out of Doors Festival, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Obie Award winning jazz opera Running Man, You Don’t Miss the Water with Lyn Austin’s Music Theatre Group, featured jazz solo vocalist at the Public Theatre’s New Jazz Series. Recordings: “Conjure: Music to the Texts of Ishmael Reed”, “Dancing with Cab Calloway” (Pangaea Records). As director, playwright, and actor: rap-poetry-monologue Word to the Mutha (Urban Griots at MK’s), In Search of Paul Robeson (Sun Media Arts Consortium), staged reading of play with music Hellhound On My Trail (Harold Clurman Theatre), Happy Birthday Madam Alberta (Minetta Lane Theatre). Training: Northwestern University.

ERIN MULGREW (Hazel Niles) Quintessence Debut. Regional Credits and Theatre: Kitty Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Jeannie in Fat Pig (Theatre Horizon), Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mauckingbird Theatre Co.), other performances in Pittsburgh REP, Mile Square Theatre, Montgomery Theater. Television: Lifetime, PBS and various tv pilots Films: 99 Percent Sure, Time, Annuncio. Education: BFA, Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts; Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, England. www.erinmulgrew.com

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA

Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30pm           Pay-What-You-Can Preview
Thursday, April 3 at 7pm                    Preview
Friday, April 4 at 7pm                         Preview
Saturday, April 5 at 7pm                     Opening Night
Wednesday, April 9 at 6:30pm
Thursday, April 10 at 6:30pm             Post Show Discussion
Friday, April 11 at 7pm
Saturday April 12 at 7pm
Sunday, April 13 at 2pm
Wednesday, April 16 at 6:30pm
Thursday, April 17 at 6:30pm
Friday, April 18 at 7pm
Saturday, April 19 at 7pm
Sunday, April 20 at 2pm                     Post Show Discussion
Wednesday, April 23 at 6:30pm
Thursday, April 24 at 6:30pm
Friday, April 25 at 7pm
Saturday, April 26 at 7pm
Sunday, April 27 at 2pm

Please note the early curtain times. The performance length is 3 and 55 minutes, which includes two 15 minute intermissions.