November 17 03:45 AM
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06/15/2012 - Franklin Stage Company, known for its own innovative, professional interpretations of classical plays and for hosting an eclectic and exciting array of artists and performance groups, announces its 2012 line-up including plays, outdoor puppet theatre, music and storytelling, all always Admission Free (donations gratefully accepted). Popular area raconteur and nationally syndicated humorist Jim Mullen will kick off the season with two benefit performances adapted from his new book How To Lose Money In Your Spare Time - At Home! Performances are on Saturday June 16 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday June 17 at 2 p.m., and reservations are recommended.

Plays at FSC this summer include a curated series of rehearsed readings "On Love: Five Plays, Five Days", a medley of five modern classics about love. Each of the five plays will be performed twice over ten nights, Wednesdays thru Sundays from July 11.

"Rehearsed readings allow for an exquisite intimacy and theatricality," says FSC Executive/Artistic Director Carmela Marner. "Readings in previous years of plays by such masters as T.S. Eliot and Graham Greene have been very popular, and this curated series allows us to explore with more variety and detail what connects human beings - and what connects us more than the experience of love?" From Aug. 15, FSC will produce a three week run of William Congreve's The Way Of The World, a sprawling Restoration comedy about love, marriage, money, and the hilarious folly of being human. This production reunites FSC with director Mollye Maxner, who brought us The Trojan Women in 2011.

Children are always welcome at FSC, and there is programming especially suitable for all the family. First up will be a rehearsed reading of an award-winning adaptation of His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman's best-selling fantasy trilogy. Featuring actors of all ages, this play will be performed in two parts over two days, Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1st, both at 3pm. Then, on Saturday July 21, FSC welcomes for the third consecutive year Mettawee River Theatre Company with Communications From A Cockroach: Archy & The Underside. Drawn from the beloved comics about Archy, the poet-cockroach, and Mehitabel, an alley cat with the soul of Cleopatra, and written by noted humorist and poet Don Marquis for his daily column in the New York Sun starting in 1916, this rich material provides Mettawee with ideal fodder for their thrilling puppet critters operated by actors in full view of the audience - from fleas, tarantulas and crickets, to an ancient Egyptian mummy. The performance will be held under lights at 8pm on the Franklin Central School Playing Field. The rain location is Chapel Hall.

Other guest artists appearing during the 2012 season include Voice/Drum Dialogues: Chance & Epiphany, a collaboration between the internationally renowned vocalist, composer and storyteller Shelley Hirsch and percussionist Michael Suchorsky who has played in venues from the iconic punk club CBGBs in NYC to Lincoln Center. Suchorsky has long standing associations touring and recording with artists such as Lou Reed and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, and has previously performed at FSC in the multi-disciplinary evenings curated by choreographer/filmmaker Pooh Kaye. The season is rounded out with two more storytellers. Chuck "Big Chuck" D'Imperio brings all his wit and homespun insight to an evening of Upstate Stories on July 28. FSC closes its 16th season on Sept. 8 and 9 with Tom Morgan's coda to his trilogy of powerful and poignant personal stories from his family's years at Gilbertsville's Empire Hotel. In "The Final Tales From The Empire", Morgan retraces his steps back to the present and, with lessons learned, looks to the future.

For those who wish to eat in Franklin, there are several options. Home Town Pizza, a full service restaurant, is open Wednesdays thru Saturdays til 8 and Sundays til 6, and can be reached at 607-829-2911. After 2011's successful "pop-up" restaurant debut, Fokish Farm will again be serving a light sit down supper on the lawn at Chapel Hall from 6 p.m. for certain performances, weather permitting. All organic ingredients and fresh local produce go into delicious soups, salads, and fresh baked breads. The price will be $10 per person and is not a service of FSC. Dates will be available on FSC's website, or for more information, call Fokish at 607-829-2721 or email to fokish@citlink.net. Finally, FSC hosts the Franklin Farmers' Market on the lawn every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fresh produce and readymade food are available to take home and to eat on site before Franklin Stage Company Sunday performances.

Since 1997, FSC has presented inventive and vibrant renditions of classical plays and new works to a total audience in the tens of thousands. The company is proud to contribute to the growth of the arts in the Western Catskills, and continues to be supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), a state agency.

FSC was founded on the principle that great theatre should be available to all, and remains Admission Free, with donations gratefully accepted at the door. FSC is located in Chapel Hall at 25 Institute Street in Franklin, opposite Franklin Central School. Reservations are recommended and can be obtained by calling 607-829-3700 or reserve@franklinstagecompany.org. More details about FSC, Chapel Hall and the season can be found at www.franklinstagecompany.org.

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