2 Pianos 4 Hands
by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt
June 1 - July 1, 2012
As children, Ted and Richard don’t have much in common – except for the shared desire to become classical pianists. But does either of them have what it takes? 2 Pianos 4 Hands is a play with music that follows the dynamic and comical journey of two boys into adulthood, their musical aspirations gleaming like the grand pianos that they play masterfully on stage from beginning to end.
Illustration by Jamie Hogan
Running Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes including a 15 minute intermission.
2 Pianos 4 Hands is, in a word, brilliant!
Watch the interview with the actors from the show
'207 on WCSH6 TV:
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS
Ted Dykstra (Co-Writer) Ted has performed 2 Pianos 4 Hands over 750 times in 11 Canadian cities (including 4 Toronto runs) as well as New York, Washington, DC, London’s West End and Tokyo. He has directed productions of 2P4H across the US, in Australia and Hong Kong. He has received Dora Mavor Moore Award (Canada's Tony) nominations as an actor, director, writer, producer and composer, and was awarded Doras for Fire (Acting + Musical Direction) and 2 Pianos 4 Hands (Producing) as well as a Chalmers Award for writing 2 Pianos 4 Hands. As an actor, he has played leading roles on every major stage in Canada. Some of his favourite memories are title roles in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hamlet andAmadeus, Cousin Kevin in The Who’s Tommy (Dora nomination), Daffyd Llewellen in A Chorus of Disapproval (Dora Nomination), Bottom inMidsummer Night’s Dream, and Ariel in The Tempest. He has acted in dozens of movies and TV shows, and received a Gemini Award for his performance in Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion. Ted is a founding member of Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre, where he has directed many shows, including Jitters, Billy Bishop Goes To War, Leaving Home (Dora nomination), Under Milkwood, Salt Water Moon, and Fool for Love. He has directed numerous other productions including Frost/Nixon (Canadian Stage), Tuesdays with Morrie (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company),Cinderella (Elgin Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (Canadian Stage/MTC), Aladdin (National Tour/Elgin Theatre, Toronto Dora nomination) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Neptune Theatre, Halifax). Upcoming; he will reprise his acclaimed performance of his one man adaptation of Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata, and will direct The Glass Menagerie, both for Soulpepper Theatre.
Richard Greenblatt (Co-Writer) Richard Greenblatt trained as an actor at RADA in London, and has acted, directed, and written for theatres across Canada and abroad, as well as in radio, television and feature films. He has directed well over 100 productions, the vast majority being original Canadian plays, as well as many classical texts, including several plays of Shakespeare,The Cherry Orchard, and Mother Courage, amongst many others. He has also directed numerous award-winning plays for young audiences, including Danny, King of the Basement, Wrecked, Mirror Game, and The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh. As an actor, he has played leading roles across Canada and in Toronto, including Creon in Anouilh'sAntigone, the Father in Enda Walsh's bedbound, and the tile role inSpinoza, amongst many others. He has been a co-writer of the award winning plays i.d., 2 Pianos 4 Hands, Letters from Lehrer, Care, and Sibs(which was also filmed for CBC Television). He performed 2 Pianos... a staggering 750 times, including four runs in Toronto, an extensive Canadian tour, The Promenade Theatre in New York, The Comedy Theatre in the West End of London, The Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C. and Theatre Ginza in Tokyo, Japan. Richard has been Resident Director at Young People’s Theatre, Deputy Artistic Director at Canadian Stage, and Artistic Director of The Hour Company. He has taught acting, directing and play creation at most of the theatre training institutions in Canada. He has won four Dora Mavor Moore Awards, two Chalmers Playwriting Awards, and received numerous other nominations.
ABOUT THE CAST
TOM FREY (Director/Ted) is thrilled to be at Portland Stage. This production marks his eighth as director of 2 Pianos 4 Hands. He has also logged over 600 performances as an actor in this show. He began his association with 2 Pianos 4 Hands over ten years ago, first covering the role of Richard on the American National Tour, subsequently performing that role nearly 250 times all over the United States and Canada in such venues as the Buffalo Studio Theatre, Geva Theatre in Rochester, the Ordway Theatre, 1000 Islands Playhouse (ON), the Piggery Theatre (QC) and others. He then switched to the role of Ted and tried that for nearly 350 performances (and counting) in venues including the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Hartford Stage (Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Road Show), Laguna Playhouse, Dallas Theatre Center, the Globe Theatre, Regina (SK), Merrimac Repertory, and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. Tom now directs the show throughout the States, having done so at the Peterborough Players, Colony Theatre in Burbank, Park Square Theatre, MusicalFare, Penguin Repertory, the Little Theatre on the Square, and the historic Cape Playhouse. As a Music Director, Tom has been behind the piano for Beehive and Smokey Joe’s Café at the Cape Playhouse, as well as a second production of Beehive at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Other credits include multiple roles in Dirty Blonde at the Cleveland Playhouse (Cleveland Critic’s Pick for Best Actor in a Musical) and Pittsburgh Public Theatre; Souvenir (with Semina DeLaurentis) at 7 Angels Theatre; The Woman in Black and Free Man of Color at the Penguin Repertory; Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes; Billy Bishop in Billy Bishop Goes To War; and Guildenstern in Rosenkranz and Guidenstern Are Dead. Recently Tom Directed, Music Directed and Co-Starred in A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline with the Fiddlehead Theatre Co., starring the brilliant Bridget Beirne. Tom studied piano at Western Michigan University and graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Professional Actor Training Program.
JEFFREY ROCKWELL (Richard) began his association with 2 Pianos 4 Hands playing the role of Ted in several regional productions. He has recently taken on the role of Richard as well and is delighted to be reprising it for the Portland Stage production. Other performances which have found him alternating behind and in front of a keyboard include Buddy Toupee in Gunmetal Blues,Jidder in Musical of Musicals-the Musical!, and the Piano Player in Billy Bishop Goes to War. He has also musical directed productions of A Little Night Music, Follies, and Godspell, as well as composing the music and lyrics for stage adaptations of Ray Bradbury'sDandelion Wine (two productions in LA) and Francois Truffaut's The Last Metro (produced in LA and New York). His children's opera of Rip Van Winkle, commissioned by the San Diego Opera, has been produced in grade schools there for nearly twenty years. He began his formal piano studies at the age of nine and concluded in his twenties with a degree in theatre arts from the College of William and Mary and a stint at Juilliard as an acting student. During that time, he soloed with orchestras in such works as the Rhapsody in Blue, the Liszt E-flat major concerto, the Brahms B-flat major concerto, the Franck Symphonic Variations, and Mozart's A major concerto, K. 414. As a musical theatre actor, recent roles include Emile in South Pacific and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, both for Sierra Repertory Theatre, as well as the Grinch cover for the San Diego Old Globe Theatre's annual production. Other leading-man roles in regional theatres include four El Gallos (The Fantasticks), three Sky Mastersons (Guys and Dolls), two Fredrik's (A Little Night Music), two Quixotes (Man of La Mancha), two Julian Marshes (42nd Street), and single stabs at Stone (City of Angels), Frank Butler (Annie Get Your Gun), Higgins (My Fair Lady), Arthur (Camelot), and Ravenal (Show Boat). For this production, he would like to offer his heartfelt thanks and condolences to his piano teachers, whose demises were most likely hastened by working with him. They encouraged his passion (Mrs. Wilson), helped him find a "voice" (Mr. Chenoweth), and instilled discipline with tough love (Mr. Turner). So much music, so little time, so few fingers.
ABOUT THE DESIGN TEAM
ANITA STEWART (Set Designer) has worked as a set and costume designer at leading theatres across the country, including: the Guthrie, Seattle Rep, Canadian Opera Company, Minnesota Opera, A.R.T., Steppenwolf, Hartford Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Long Wharf Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, Boise Contemporary Theater, New Jersey Shakespeare and Portland Stage Company. Anita's desire to play a meaningful role as an artist in a specific community brought her to Portland Stage Company in Maine as Artistic Director, a company for which she had previously done significant freelance design.
SUSAN THOMAS (Costume Designer) is now in her sixth season as the Costume Shop Manager at Portland Stage. Some of Susan’s design credits at Portland Stage include: (current season)The Snow Queen, The Santaland Diaries, 2 Pianos 4 Hands, (previous seasons) A Christmas Carol , The Real McGonagall, Mary’s Wedding, Fully Committed, and Longfellow: A Life in Words. Shows Susan has designed at various theaters include: Goat, Tea & Sympathy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Indoor/ Outdoor, Almost Maine, As You Like It, The Tempest, Henry V, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Richard III, and One for the Road. Susan has worked in the costume shops of a variety of regional and local theatres including: Mad Horse Theatre, Theatre Department at USM, Maine State Music Theater Costume Rentals, Geva Theater Center, Shakespeare & Company, The Theater at Monmouth, Fenix Theatre Company, The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, and Port Opera. Enjoy the show!
GREGG CARVILLE (Lighting Designer) is a free-lance lighting and sound designer who has worked in the Portland area for a while. A native of Maine, he previously worked for Portland Stage in both administrative and production roles. Gregg is currently the technical director for Merrill Auditorium and other City of Portland venues. He received a MFA in Lighting Design from NYUTisch School of the Arts in 2002. He continues to free-lance as a designer as well as consults on various theatrical projects.
SHANE VAN VLIET (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be in her fourth season at Portland Stage. Some of her other credits include; The Theater at Monmouth, national and international tours with Jean Ann Ryan Productions, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Two Beans Productions, Theaterworks and The Radio City Rockettes. She has worked on numerous productions in New York with Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Turtleshell Productions, T. Shcreiber Studios and The New York Fringe Festival as well as The Washington D.C. Fringe Festival and she spent some time in Buffalo, NY working with The Kavinoky Theater and Sheas Performing Arts Center.