The
              American Legacy
Metropolitan VIRTUALPlayhouse
The American Legacy

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Metropolitan tumbles into the 21st Century with
Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse
Now Showing
on the YouTube Channel

The COVID Cabaret
with Zero Boy

Zero Boy
Virtual Playhouse Reading


In the Season
by Langdon Mitchell
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Dress to impress, and
we'll put you "on the air."

Make him an offer; he cannot refuse.

Your 4-5 word suggestion
will become a whole new world
Submissions via
Zoom
or
YouTube!
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Young love in old London
is too delicate to last.
A subtle play of tender hearts,
missed opportunities,
and misunderstandings.

A surprisingly modern play
from just before the Modern era.

Directed by Alex Roe

Starring
Tess Frazer
Timothy Goodwin
Benjamin Russell

Settings by Pamela Lawton




Read More About the Play.
Dramaturgy by Jon Lonoff:

Please consider a donation to support
the little theater that couldn't stop.


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Readings Past
The Smoking Car
by William Dean Howells

Mr. Roberts is entrusted with a priceless package
by a stranger on his train: her infant child.
She is particularly anxious, and her tale is not particularly
convincing, but he's barely paying attention.
What could possibly go wrong.

Directed by John Long

featuring
Howard Pinhasik
Marlaina Powell
Jen Reddish
Hannah Sharafian
Blaine Smith

with post show discussion
led by Andrew Ball, PhD

THE PEOPLE
by Susan Glaspell

Michele LaRue

This reading benefits the



Click here to make a contribution
"The People" may be on their last legs.
The alternative, radical journal of news, arts, and letters faces declining readership, dwindling funding, and a depressed editor, whose enthusiasm for the people is waning as fast as "The People's" resources.  Confronting a devoted but leery staff--themselves idealistic and cynical at the same time--he is ready to throw in the towel.  But when everyday readers from across the country show up in the office, perhaps The People can rise to the challenge.

A paean to the valiant effort to reach across our physical and cultural divides to connect and inspire the solitary is as  energizing and hopeful as it was 100 years ago--maybe only moreso.

Directed by Alex Roe

Featuring
Craig Anthony Bannister, Adam Bradley, Quinlan Corbett,
Erinn Holmes, Teresa Kelsey, Jon Lonoff, Tod Mason,
Beethovan Oden, Madelynn Poulson, Jack Sochet, Diane Tyler, and Terrell Wheeler

Backgrounds by Danny Licul
Music by Michael Kosch
Video Operator  Rachael Langton

with post show discussion
led by Cheryl Black, PhD


Read More About the Play.
Dramaturgy by Jon Lonoff:

THE APPLE TREE
by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

AppleBlossomsMichèle LaRue

Popular storyteller Michèle LaRue
"returns" to Metropolitan with one of her signature
Tales Well Told.

In "The Apple Tree," the rigorous principles of the
disciplined homekeeper Sarah Blake are
pitted against the outright indolence
of her shiftless neighbors across the road.
But who keeps a happier home
is best measured by the life that flourishes under their care.
East Side Stories:
Inside Edition

The 15th Celebration of the Life and Lore of the
Lower East Side
New plays inspired by the neighborhood we still call home


Part One: Arrival
Cola'o by Palmoa Sierra
with Jorge Luis Berrios and Yazmín Morales Vicente
directed by Gloria Zelaya

Fulltime Active, by William Jess Russell
with Ako, Michael Basile, Randy Cordero, and Suzanne Toren
directed by Mark Harborth

Part Two: Evolution
Grassroots by Robin Rothstein
with Maxwell Bartell, Alia Shakira, and Kim Yancey-Moore
directed by John Long
backgrounds by Danny Licul

East Village Trader Joe's by Jessica Moss
Ollie Cochado, Lianne Kressin, Jammie Patton,
Sushma Saha, and Perri Yaniv
directed by Rachael Langton
backgrounds by Randy Wong-Westbrooke
WHERE THE CROSS
IS MADE

by Eugene O'Neill


 Nat Bartlett is ready to give up on his father, grounded sea captain Isaiah, who cannot give up his fixation on a treasure lost years ago in the South Pacific.  Convinced the "treasure" was worthless, if it existed at all, and that it will surely never be found, he calls in a psychiatrist to justify committing the old man. But when his sister discovers the plan, and his father confronts him over his disbelief, the colliding forces of devotion, doubt, and obsession shock these helpless mortals into a whole new realm.

Like many of his early works, this 1918 play heralds O'Neill's later themes and craft.

Directed by Frank Kuhn (Leah the Forsaken.
The Drunkard
)

Joe Candelora, Michael Hardart,
John Ingle, Dena Miller, Julie Pham,
with additional characters painted by artist
Pamela Lawton
and backgrounds by artist Danny Licul

with post-show talk by
Alexander Pettit
Editor of the Eugene O'Neill Review
Professor of English
University Distinguished Teaching Professor
Affiliated Faculty in Women's and Gender Studies
University of North Texas


Read More:

COMPROMISE
by Willis Richardson


  Jane Lee has compromised with her white neighbor, Ben Carter, again and again.  When he accidentally shot her eldest son, she accepted the deal her husband made to compensate. When her husband drank himself to death with the money, she swallowed her resentment. When her second son set out to take revenge, she equivocated with him.
And now her daughter is pregnant by that same neighbor's son. 
And she is still willing to strike a bargain to get her children to a better place.
But it wouldn't take much to convince her she's compromised enough.

Directed by Timothy Johnson
 
with Anthony T. Goss, Linda Kuriloff, Al-nisa Petty
Lily Santiago, and George Sheffey

with post-show talk by
Rashida Z. Shaw McMahon
Associate Professor of English
Associate Professor of African American Studies
Wesleyan University


Read More:
EVER YOUNG
a ferocious comedy by
Alice Gerstenberg

The Poinciana

It is the lioness who does the hunting in the pride, and the longer she lives, the fiercer she becomes.

Mrs. Payne-Dexter rules the veldt.
Mrs. Dorchester is a deferential, if muddled soldier;
Mrs. Blanchard roams afar, but within the rule;
and Mrs. Courtney-Page is the fearsome  queen of the coming generation.
The claws are always sharp  when these widows and divorcees meet,
but this afternoon at the Royal Poinciana Hotel (Palm Beach),
one reveals a broken heart  and a tender hope she's cherished for decades.

The instinct of these ready predators is keen...
and acting on it, they discover the secret to staying ever young.

with Rosina Fernhoff, Sidney Fortner, Wendy Merritt, and Kim Yancey-Moore

Directed by Alex Roe
Backgrounds by Pamela Lawton

Read More:

DRAMATURGY
by Jon Lonoff

CONSTANCY
by Neith Boyce


Dodge, Reed, Boyce
Rex literally knocks at the window of Moira, a lover he jilted months before. Hoping to fan the passionate flames of their affair back to a blaze, he's once again ready for anything--anything but to be seen for what he actually is.
The story of a woman who has learned bitter lessons from heartbreak, and is ready to give a little instruction of her own to a man who once had her heart, and now has her understanding.

Inspired by a real rendez-vous between
Mabel Dodge and John Reed.

with post-show conversation led by
J. Ellen Gainor
Professor of Performing and Media Arts
at Cornell University
 

Featuring Elisabeth Ahrens and Paul Bomba
Directed by Laura Livingston


Read More:
DRAMATURGY
by Jon Lonoff
THE POT BOILER
by Alice Gerstenberg

Prosperous and prolific playwright, Mr. Sud--an inveterate hack--offers to let a hopeful neophyte, young Wouldby, attend a first read and rehearsal of his new play. 
Mr. Inkwell pursues a desperate and dishonorable plot to sully Miss Ivory, cheat her father of a fortune,
and break her promises to the upright Mr. Ruler. 
But what of Mrs. Pencil, his former lover?
The plot thickens, Sud editorializes throughout,
and the actors strain to make something of the nonsense.
Then someone finds the revolvers.

Another day in the theater.

with post-show conversation led by
Dorothy Chansky, PhD
Professor of Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism
at Texas Tech University

Featuring:

Mike Durkin ~ SJ Hannah ~ David Murray Jaffe
Olivia Killingsworth ~ Jen Reddish ~ Jay Romero
Tom Staggs

Directed by Alex Roe
Backgrounds by Vincent Gunn
Video Ops by Rachael Langton



Read More:
DRAMATURGY
by Jon Lonoff

SUPPRESSED DESIRES
by Susan Glaspell

Henrietta and Stephen were happily married, until Henrietta discovered psychoanalysis.  Now no stone 
-- dream, utterance, look, shrug --
will be left unturned on the quest for its hidden meaning.
But when sister Mabel, visiting them for a spell,
catches the disease herself, the couple are in a fight for their
wedded life.

A comedy of close quarters with two much time on our hands.

with post-show conversation led by
J. Ellen Gainor
Professor of Performing and Media Arts
at Cornell University


Elisabeth Ahrens and Paul Bomba
directed by Laura Livingston
 
Read More:
DRAMATURGY
by Jon Lonoff


THE PARLOUR CAR
by William Dean Howells


Miss Galbraith and Mr. Richards, recently separated lovers find themselves confined to the same compartment of a railway car on the way to Albany.   Mortifying though it may be, it is also a chance to look a little more closely at the reason for their spat.
And when the car is de-coupled from its train, stranded on the lonesome track ...well, who knows what may happen.

with post-show conversation with
Polly Howells
 
Read More:
DRAMATURGY
by Jon Lonoff


DOUBLE
FEATURE

FOURTEEN
by Alice Gerstenberg
and
CRISS CROSS
by Rachel Crothers


love
                      letter
A society grand dame, her eligible daughter, and their unflappable butler prepare for a dinner for fourteen.  But when one guest cancels, leaving a table of unlucky thirteen, the game is afoot!  A comedy of extreme disproportion.

A steel-tempered writer is asked to give her consent to the marriage of her ward to an artist of great promise and passion, but middling accomplishment and drive.  All she must consider is the true weight of her own love.
OLD LOVE LETTERS
by Bronson Howard

love letter

The time for burning old letters has come for a young widow,
yearning to put her past behind her.

But what if one of them came to life?
A tender and loving tribute to second chances
by the author of The Henrietta (Metropolitan Playhouse, 2013)

OVERTONES
by Alice Gerstenberg
Unquestionably the author's most famous play.
Two women, one married to a wealthy man of affairs
the other to a struggling painter,
meet for tea.

If only they'd left their alter-egos at home.
Hearts
by Alice Gerstenberg

A game of social distance, 1917 style.

It's a gamble for one of four card players,
seeking to be accepted into her small town's impenetrable Society, where the stakes are far higher than the wagers.

To win at hearts, you must give yours away....
or capture everyone else's.

The Rope
by Eugene O'Neill
Gene
Saturday, April 4, 2020
Abraham Bentley is a miserly farmer
whose son and son
-in-law are set
on getting revenge for his ill treatment of them
and getting his fortune...if he really has one.
The only witness is a perfectly guileless 10 year old girl.

He Said and She Said
by Alice Gerstenberg

Alice Gerstenberg

Saturday, March 28, 2020
Set against the backdrop of the Great War, when a loyal husband and wife hear insinuations that their dearest unmarried friend has turned her sights from her young man overseas and is now set on breaking up their happy home, friendships foreign and domestic are strained to the breaking point.

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