Trinity Rep

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

There’s a myriad of ways to approach “A Lie of the Mind” and the huge production at Trinity. First of all is the fantasia of a set by director Brian Mertes and the ever-inventive designer Eugene Lee.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

All this week we're marking Brown University's 250th with a series of conversations with graduates, leaders and historians. Thursday we're focusing on the arts. Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale sat down with alum and playwright Lynn Nottage about her work and the future of the theater.

Mark Turek


It certainly is. With a book, and music and lyrics, by the era’s one-time

wunderkind, Lionel Bart, “Oliver!” received 23 curtain calls opening night and

sailed on for six years in London’s West End. Then it became a Broadway hit and

there was a very successful film, too.


Later on, producer Cameron Macintosh took over and ran successful revivals.

Many theater fans loved “Oliver!” for its gutsy, and plucky, drive. It’s wistful

happy ending helped, too.


Mark Turek

That is for sure. Playwright Lynn Nottage, a Brown graduate, has called “Intimate Apparel” a “meditation on loneliness.” Surely that is a more exact, more piercing description of this lovely, incisive and heartbreaking work at Trinity Rep.

“Intimate Apparel” is one of those plays that will have you confused sometimes, a little bored perhaps, and then will suddenly strike, make you fall for the people involved and for the ideas being put forth. It’s a play most worth seeing, and thinking about.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Ah, yes. Good old Chris Durang. What’s he gotten into now? Over the years he’s been known for such ideosyncratic shows as “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, “The Marriage of Bette and Boo” and, of course, “The Idiots Kasamazov.”

But Durang’s nicely into his 60’s now. Perhaps he’s calmed down a bit?

Well, no. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” concerns Bucks County, PA., Snow White, licking postage stamps, movie stars, the theatuh, voodoo, pricks, getting old and the significance of the blue heron. Among many other things.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Yup. Charles Dickens is back in town. Played with great good humor by the veteran Tom Gleadow, this year’s “A Christmas Carol” has Mr. Dickens on stage often and to considerable effect.

The rotund Gleadow is one of those luminous actors whom you find yourself watching anytime he’s on stage. And he’s there a lot, giving this year’s version more of the dialogue from the novel then perhaps ever. He also chides, and directs, poor old Ebenezer Scrooge a bit, too, which lends a nice comedic touch.

More than 400 thinkers and entrepreneurs plan to gather in Providence later this week for the Business Innovation Factory’s ninth summit.

The head of the factory, Saul Kaplan, said new collaborations and projects come out of the summit every year. About two-thirds of the attendees come from outside of Rhode Island.

“The people that are there and the people that are in the room have an incredibly positive view of Rhode Island. They believe Rhode Island is a place where innovation can happen, so it changes the conversation," said Kaplan.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Let’s just say it right up front. Directed with bold assertion by Brian McEleney, on a kooky set that somehow works by designer Michael McGarty, “The Grapes of Wrath” is mesmerizing theater. With its quicksilver pace, its heartfelt performing and all-American drive, this production ranks among the best in Trinity’s history of taking on big deals and making them individual, and accessible.

Artscape: Trinity Rep, a Rhode Island Theater at 50

Aug 29, 2013
John Bender / RIPR

This year, the Providence based Theater Company, Trinity Rep will celebrate its 50th year in Rhode Island, a remarkable feat for any non-profit arts organization.

For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender found out more about their upcoming season, and how the theater company made it to fifty.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan offered rare behind-the-court insights Tuesday at a forum celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Rhode Island royal charter.

It’s hard to manage getting by these days without using email, but the Supreme Court of the United States does just fine without it, said Justice Elena Kagan. Speaking to about 500 people at Trinity Repertory Theatre, Kagan said they type everything on paper and have couriers deliver it.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

At Trinity Rep these nights 14 professional actors and half as many kids are romping and stomping, racing and rushing from the upstairs Chace Theater to the downstairs Dowling Theater. And this is no exercise program. It’s actually the simultaneous performance of two separate plays by a single cast.

They fly from one play to another, changing costumes and characters all night long.

Hollywood actor Richard Jenkins and his wife will return to Trinity Rep next year to co-direct the musical Oliver.

Richard Jenkins is best known for his role in HBO’s Six Feet Under and the 2008 film “The Visitor.” But before he hit it big in Hollywood Jenkins and his wife Sharon were part of Trinity Rep – she was a choreographer and he was an actor and later the artistic director.

The couple will return next season to co-direct the musical “Oliver.” Trinity Rep’s artistic director Curt Columbus said audiences can expect to see a smart production.

Mark Turek

When you enter Trinity Rep’s Dowling Theater these evenings you just can’t miss the mess. Designer Eugene Lee has outdone himself, creating a scene that looks like a teenager’s bedroom on a very bad day. The walls are covered with large carpets, all conflicting in tone and color. There’s a distinctly un-comfortable looking iron bed.  Lamps from all eras abound. A Danish modern table, a keyboard from when, the 1960s, maybe? And above all is a huge crucifix, on which the murdered Jesus is nailed.

Peter Goldberg

Oh my goodness, folks, those wacky Brits are back. They arrived Monday night in a slippery snowstorm using as their invasion vehicle the much anticipated, and much hyped, “Anne Boleyn” by veteran troublemaking playwright Howard Brenton. You will remember his work if you caught the deliciously provocative play “Paul” which celebrated the life of St. Paul at the Gamm a while ago.