FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Presents THE WATER ENGINE By David Mamet NOVEMBER 4-23

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FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training
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October 9, 2014
FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Presents

By David Mamet
“Extraordinary… verbal brilliance.” – The New York Times

“A vivid theatrical experience.” – New York Daily News
(SARASOTA, October 9, 2014) — The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training’s 2014-15 season opens with Pulitzer Prize winning and Tony Award® nominated
American playwright David Mamet’s riveting drama THE WATER ENGINE. Originally written as a radio drama for NPR, the play made its stage debut in 1977 and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding New Play.

Directed by Greg Leaming, the director of the Conservatory, and performed by an ensemble of eight second-year Conservatory students, this thrilling play will have one “Pay What You Can Performance” preview on Tuesday, November 4 at 7:30pm and open on Wednesday, November 5 at 8pm, running through Sunday, November 23. The Conservatory especially encourages new audience members to attend the preview “Pay What You Can Performance” of THE WATER ENGINE and pay whatever they can afford for their tickets. These special tickets are only available on the day of the performance.

A true American theatre icon, Mamet’s celebrated pieces include Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow, and American Buffalo. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984 for Glengarry Glen Ross. Acclaimed for his edgy writing style, Mamet abandons traditional forms of stage dialogue and utilizes gritty, realistic street-talk. Referred to as “Mamet speak,” his writing is filled with intentional fragments, run-on sentences, and mis-spoken phrases, giving his characters a more realistic pattern of speech.

Loyal to its original form as a radio drama, THE WATER ENGINE opens in a simple 1930s radio station as an announcer welcomes his listeners to the Century of Progress Exposition at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Initially told through the art of sound, the play follows the struggle of Lang, a suppressed factory worker on the verge of patenting his design of the most revolutionary invention of the century: an engine that runs on water. Consumed by the fear of his work being stolen, Lang takes every precaution possible to protect himself against the unknown threats of powerful corporations and their ruthless leaders. As the plot moves forward, the tale draws the actors away from the microphones, and the station merges with the world of the story, echoing the play’s constant question of what is true and what is fantasy.

“THE WATER ENGINE offers us the collision between these two worlds: one of desperation and one of supreme optimism,” said Greg Leaming. “Mamet’s nihilistic view of man and his innate greed, seen in so many of his other works, is framed here in a form of limitless potential and contrasted by an exposition fueled with the naïve optimism that the average man in Chicago so desperately needed to survive. It’s a contrast that has resonance today more than any time since its first production in 1974.”


            Josh James
Lisa Woods
Chris Alexey Diaz
Jordan Sobel
Mark Comer
Tom Harney
Kelsey Petersen
Kevin Barber
Scott Kuiper, Jacob Sherburne
Morton Gross
Lawrence Oberman
Mr. Wallace
Mrs. Varěc
Dave Murray

GREG LEAMING (Director, FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training; Associate Artistic Director, Asolo Rep) For Asolo Rep, he has directed his own translation/adaptation of Anything to Declare? as well as Hearts, The Imaginary Invalid, The Play’s the Thing, Boeing Boeing, The Game’s Afoot, Other Desert Cities and the world premiere of Jason Wells’ Men of Tortuga. For the Conservatory, he has directed The School for Lies, Twelfth Night, Cloud Nine, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pericles, Blue Window, Murder by Poe and The Mystery Plays. He was the Director of Artistic Programming for Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, as well as Acting Artistic Director for the 2001-2002 season. There he directed, among others, the world premieres of Going Native, Abstract Expression, The Third Army, Syncopation, and An Infinite Ache (also for Stamford Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Merrimack Repertory Theatre). Other credits include numerous productions around the country, including the world premieres of Losing Father’s Body, Church of the Sole Survivor, Jeffrey Hatcher’s The Turn of the Screw, as well as many other productions at Portland Stage Company, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Clarence Brown Theatre Company, Stage West, Shakespeare Sedona, Southwest Shakespeare, and Banyan Theatre Company. His adaptation/translation of Pierre Feydeau’s Le Dindon titled The Patsy will premiere at the Resident Ensemble Players in Delaware in fall of 2015.

The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is a celebrated three-year graduate program culminating in a master of fine arts degree. For more than 35 years, tens of thousands of actors from across the continent have auditioned for admission. A maximum of 12 students are admitted each year. In their second year, the students perform in the Cook Theatre, a 161-seat space designed to create an intimate experience for the audience and actors. Third-year students are seen on the Mertz Stage working with the Asolo Rep’s professional actors in exciting and signinficant roles. For more information, visit http://www.asolorep.org/conservatory/welcome.


Tickets for THE WATER ENGINE and the entire 2014-15 FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training season are on sale now at $28 for matinee performances and $29 for evening performances. To purchase tickets, call 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, visit www.asolorep.org, or visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office, located at 5555 North Tamiami Trail in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Summer box office hours are Monday-Friday 10am-5pm. Season box office hours start November 3, and are Monday 10am–4pm, Tuesday 10am–7:30pm, Wednesday–Saturday 10am–8pm, and Sunday 10am–2pm. The box office closes at 5pm when there are no evening performances, and phone lines close one hour prior to the start of any performance. Season subscription packages are also available online and by visiting or calling the box office.


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