levity

the world premiere

 

January 19th-21st, 2018

 

The Story...

Dawn and Adam are trying to grieve their father in peace, but peace is hard to come by when your father was a music icon now being grieved by millions.  A week after his death, the kids are paid an unexpected visit by his first wife and former bandmate Connie, who has come in search of closure ... and cash.  The one time rock-goddess- turned-recluse, claims to have a story about their famous father that they simply won't believe.  Or will they?  In the course of one evening, a lifetime of art is unraveled as they each come to learn that the price of fame was far greater than they could have imagined.   Now it is up to Dawn and Adam to salvage their father's legacy, without sacrificing their own...

 

  Director  Stella Powell-Jones

Director Stella Powell-Jones

  Playwright & Actor  Stephanie DiMaggio

Playwright & Actor Stephanie DiMaggio

 TONY-Winning  Actor  Michele Pawk

TONY-Winning Actor Michele Pawk

 Actor  John McGinty

Actor John McGinty

Developing a New Play

levity began as an experiment in the first Big Sky Theater Workshop at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in July of 2015.  Director Stella Powell-Jones worked alongside four Broadway actors to develop the new script with playwright in residence,  Stephanie DiMaggio.  After a week of intense development, the first public reading of the play was performed for a local Big Sky audience, and the reaction was incendiary!  The potential of world-class theater artists creating specifically for our intimate mountain stage instantly sparked our desire to take those collaborations to the next level.  From this experiment, the annual Big Sky Theater Workshop was born, and in only three summers it has already attracted over fifty renowned theater makers from across the country. 

Last year, WMPAC took a major step in becoming a national platform for new theatrical development by becoming an Equity Certified performing house.   We now have the ability to not only develop but to debut professional new theater, putting Big Sky on the map as fast growing destination spot for new American plays and musicals.  In 2016 and 2017, WMPAC produced its first professional play (Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, adapted and directed by Laura Savia).   After experiencing immense success, it became clear that the world premiere of levity would be part of this season's mission. 

In early 2017, producers John Zirkle (WMPAC Executive and Artistic Director) and Danny Williams (Head of Finance, The Public Theater, New York City) quickly got to work to make levity a reality.  WMPAC is extremely proud to debut this incredible new play for Montana audiences, where it all begun, and we are certain it is only the beginning... 


creative team

Stella Powell-Jones
Director

Stella Powell-Jones is a theatre director working in the United Kingdom and the United States. Recent credits include the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Healing for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Bathsheba Doran’s The Mystery of Love and Sex for Signature Theater, VA, the West Coast Premiere of Nick Jones’ Trevor for Circle X, Stephanie DiMaggio and Anton Dudley’s 12 Orchard Point at Theater Row, Robin Hood for Williamstown Theatre Festival, plays by Lauren Morelli, Brian Watkins & Marco Ramirez for Lesser America’s Just Right Just Now. Stella has developed work with Colt Coeur, Clubbed Thumb, The Huntington Theatre, The Kennedy Center,  New York Stage & Film, Playwrights Horizons, Playwrights Realm & Primary Stages among others.  Stella was recently the Associate Director on the West End transfer/national tour of Florian Zeller’s The Father (directed by James Macdonald). In the United Kingdom she has directed world premieres for Renegade Theatre at the Bush Theatre, London & Painted Filly Theatre Co, Dublin.
 


Stephanie DiMaggio
Playwright

Stephanie was born and raised on the sunny beaches of Southern CA, where she had many failed attempts at being both a surfer and a blonde, but also an insatiable hunger for all things theatrical.  Be it in a school play or tall tale to get out of gym class, her knack for storytelling was clear from a young age. While ditching running track to run the drama club, she won a trip at 16 years old to perform Shakespeare at the storied Lincoln Center in New York City. It was love at first sight.

Two years later, Stephanie returned to Manhattan full time to attend school and earned a B.A. in Theatre from Fordham University at Lincoln Center. Tracing her theatrical and Italian roots abroad, Stephanie trained at the Orvieto Theatre Institute in Orvieto, Italy. After spending three years honing her skills and explaining to her parents why circus and yoga are mandatory classes, Stephanie received her M.F.A. from New York University Graduate Acting Program. In 2013 she joined with the west coast forces of her older sister, Marissa DiMaggio, to form DiMaggio House Creative, a bi-coastal arts incubator and production company.

Stephanie currently serves on the acting faculty at Fordham University at Lincoln Center and as Program Director for the Big Sky Theater Workshop in Big Sky, Montana. She continues to live, write and act in New York City.



Alejandro Fajardo
Lighting Design
 

Alejandro Fajardo is a Colombian Lighting Designer and Photographer based in New York City, with experience designing plays, musicals, operas, and events around the US. Most recently, Alejandro designed The Healing by Sam Hunter for Theatre Breaking Through Barriers. Other designs include shows at La MaMa, Clubbed Thumb/ Playwrights Horizon School, The Actor’s Studio, The Curtis Institute of Music, Pace University, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival (Free Theater). Additionally, Alejandro has assisted on off-Broadway and regional productions, including Fall For Dance Festival and Flamenco Festival at New York City Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, and New York Theatre Workshop.

Alejandro began taking and developing photographs as a child and has continued to have a passion for photography ever since. Alejandro has worked in both Digital and Analog photography, and has extensive experience developing both black and white film and color film in a darkroom. Alejandro is a contributing photographer for Chance Magazine, who he joined at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial to cover and photograph the exhibits and performances. His photographs can be seen on his website and on instagram @alejofaj and @reculphotography.



Courtney Smith
Scenic Design
 

Courtney Smith is a scenic designer for theatre, dance, and film experience in both the professional and educational world. As a freelance designer, Courtney works internationally and throughout the east and west coasts. Currently he teaches design and technical theatre at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.  He works primarily in theatre but can also be found working on music videos, commercials, events and anything with a solid story and a great group of people behind it. Courtney's designs received Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. His design for The Cherry Orchard won at KCACTF Region 7 and went on to win a "Distinguished Achievement Award in Scenic Design" on the national level in Washington DC.   Recent professional credits include Southwark Playhouse (UK), English National Theatre (UK), The Bushwick Starr (NY), Roundabout Theatre Company (NY), New York City Opera (NY), Playwrights Horizons (NY), Classic Stage Company (NY), Cedar Lake Dance (NY), Marvel Repertory Theatre (NY), Mount Baker Repertory Theatre (WA), Montana Shakespeare in the Parks (MT), and Idaho Repertory Theatre (ID).   Additional credits include: runway design for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Victoria's Secret, window displays for Saks Fifth Avenue, and music videos for Man Like Me.  Courtney was awarded a MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Idaho.


Alexandra Wailes
American Sign Language Consultant

Actress Alexandria Wailes' theater credits include the Mark Taper Forum/Deaf West's Pippin, Australia Theatre of the Deaf's The Wild Boys, Mixed Blood Theatre's Love Person, Kirk Douglas Theatre's Sleeping Beauty Wakes, the Public Theater's Mother Courage and Her Children, Keen Company's Children of a Lesser God, the nationwide tour of Big River, and Roundabout Theatre/Deaf West's Big River. On television, she has appeared in Nurse JackieLaw & Order: Criminal Intent, and Conviction. Her independent films credits include Freedom Is Not Free and Always Chasing Love. She received an LA Ovation Award Nomination as Best Lead Female in a Musical for Sleeping Beauty Wakes and was a Tony honoree recipient for Ensemble in the Broadway revival of Big River.


Reid Loessberg
Sound Design

Danny Williams
Co-Producer

John Zirkle
Executive Producer