Look Homeward, Angel
by StageCenter Community Theatre

Apr. 06 - Apr. 22, 2017

From the Bryan Eagle, April 2, 2017:

In 1929, the great American writer Thomas Wolfe published an autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life. It is the story of Eugene Gant from birth to the cusp of his 20th birthday, set in fictional Altamont, a fictional rendering of Wolfe's hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.

Critics agree that Eugene Gant is based strongly on Wolfe himself. His description of the real townspeople of Asheville caused some hurt feelings and Wolfe is reported to have received death threats.

In 1957, playwright Ketti Frings turned the book into a stage drama of the same name. Its original Broadway run starred Jo Van Fleet and Anthony Perkins -- pre-Hitchcock's movie Psycho -- and was directed by George Roy Hill, who a decade later directed the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Frings received the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play. The play earned Tony Award nominations for Best Play, Best Actor in a Play for Perkins and Hugh Griffith, Best Actress in a Play for Van Fleet, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design and Best Director.

Look Homeward, Angel played 564 performances during its original run. Angel, a musical adaptation, played five performances in 1978.

Look Homeward, Angel isn't performed as much as it should be these days, which is a shame because it is a powerful and moving drama. Area audiences will have the opportunity to become familiar with the play when StageCenter in Downtown Bryan opens a three-week run of Look Homeward, Angel on Thursday. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. though April 22.

Vicki Carter directs Look Homeward, Angel. She said, "This Pulitzer Prize-winning play is beautifully written with larger-than-life characters.

"It takes place in 1916 in a boarding house where a family tries to live a normal life while sharing their home and matriarch with paying room-and-boarders."

Andrew Butler stars as Eugene Gant. Others in the cast are Peter Rocha, Raquel Masco, Jordyn Brechler, Jim Ridgway, Annette Brittain, Ron Ross, John Faber, Nancy Welch, Mercy McGee, Mark Kremer, Cristina Camacho, Priscilla Villarreal, Jeff Garrison-Tate, Bill Murray, Jerry McMahon, Kate Forsythe, and Harrison C. Davies.

Carter, Colette Langley and Katie Elrod handle tech for the show, with Carter in charge of sound design. Langley and Elrod are stage managers. Maggie McGraw, Jack Mullen and Carter will handle props. Costumes are by Mercy McGee and make-up is by Katie Elrod.

Carter is excited to direct Look Homeward, Angel because it is set in the mountains of western North Carolina, where she grew up.

"The angel from the title is in a cemetery in my hometown in the mountains of North Carolina. I watched many performances of this play at a summer stock theater there," Carter said.

This is the first time StageCenter has presented the play and Carter's first time directing the full play. She did direct one scene from Look Homeward, Angel for a charity fundraiser.

Carter said, "Children will not relate to the play's humor and romance the way teens and adults will.

"People of all ages should know there is brief strong language and alcohol abuse."


Look Homeward, Angel
by Ketti Frings, from Thomas Wolfe's novel
StageCenter Community Theatre

April 06 - April 22, 2017
StageCenter Community Theatre
218 N Bryan Avenue
Bryan, TX, 77803

StageCenter is located at 201-B W. 26th St. in Downtown Bryan, above Mr. G's Pizza. Tickets for Look Homeward, Angel are $15 for adults, $12 for students and $12 for senior citizens. All tickets are Thursday night performances are $10. They can be purchased online at www.stagecenter.net or at the door, if any remain.