Ten Chimneys

by Jeffrey Hatcher
directed by David Ira Goldstein
originally produced at Arizona Theatre Company, Tuscon and Phoenix, AZ.
January 22, 2011 through March 6, 2011

About the Premiere Production:

Love, intrigue, romance and suicide. And that’s just in the play they’re rehearsing. In the late 1930s, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the two most revered stars of the Broadway stage, decide to perform Chekhov’s masterpiece The Sea Gull. But first they must retreat to ‘investigate’ the play at Ten Chimneys, their legendary Wisconsin estate, where they are surrounded by actors, family and hangers-on. When a young actress named Uta Hagen arrives, a romantic triangle begins to mirror the events in Chekhov’s play about passion and art. The result is a sweet, sad, funny and revealing look at the private lives of artists who are always on the stage. Ten Chimneys is a world premiere by Jeffrey Hatcher, author of ATC’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Ella and Tuesdays with Morrie.

Artistic Statement

From Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein:
Jeffrey Hatcher has managed the trick in Ten Chimneys of writing an affectionate valentine to Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne and their central place in the history of the American theatre, while also refracting the tale through concordances to Chekhov’s early masterpiece The Seagull. But loving as the telling may be, it has a profound message about facing changing times, the slippery nature of truth and the true meaning of emotional loyalty. In the Lunts utopian playground, Jeffrey has found a place and a time and a story that offers an object lesson about the power of deep abiding love in these days when most all of us are facing a future of sometimes overwhelming uncertainty. Plays of such intelligence and wit are what we always hope to tackle as artists and audiences, and Ten Chimneys is just such a play.

What this grant will allow us to do:

From Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein:
In a very real way, the opportunity afforded us by the Edgerton grant could not be more fitting. Jeffrey Hatcher’s Ten Chimneys is about the Lunts spending the summer at their estate in Wisconsin ‘investigating’ Chekhov’s play, The Seagull, before facing the quick and sudden rigors of New York rehearsals. In the same way that the Lunts appreciated the need for time and space to seep in the work they were tackling, the Edgerton grant will allow the artists the benefit of time for investigation. Receiving this Edgerton grant will allow the artists and the creative team invaluable time to immerse themselves more fully in the world of the Lunts in the late 1930’s and the themes of Jeffrey’s play. It will add to the authenticity and veracity of the work.

Creative Team:

Director: David Ira Goldstein
Set Design: John Ezell
Lighting Design: Dennis Parichy
Sound Design: Josh Schmidt

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