Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment "Believe None of Us"

The Ruth E. Flournoy Theatre Endowment was created in 1998 by Mrs. Flournoy as a departmental support fund in honor of her husband, Dan H. Flournoy '64, and her children, Sarah M. Flournoy '97 and John W. Flournoy '99. Return from this endowment annually supports visiting guest artists on campus, including teachers and production support professionals ranging from single performances to residential teaching/performing engagements. Over the years, this generous endowment has supported the artistic and educational mission of the department in various ways. 

For the 2015-2016 school year, the Flournoy Theatre Endowment supported a workshop performance of Believe None of Us, adapted from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet by Jemma Alix Levy, which was performed in the Johnson Theater on Sunday, November 1, 2015.  The Flournoy Visiting Professional Playwright this year  is Adam Rapp, who will be on campus from March 28 until April 1, 2016.   

ADAM RAPP

Adam Rapp is an award-winning playwright, theater director, novelist, and filmmaker. He is the author of numerous plays, which include RED LIGHT WINTER (Steppenwolf, Scott Rudin Productions at Barrow Street Theatre), which won Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best New Work, an OBIE, and was named a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. THE PURPLE LIGHTS OF JOPPA ILLINOIS, commissioned by Southcoast Rep, received its world premier at the ’14 Pacific Playwrights Conference, and he will direct its Off-Broadway premiere at The Atlantic Theater Company this Spring. Prior to that he will also be directing the world premiere of his new play, WOLF IN THE RIVER, Off-Broadway, at The Flea Theater. He has published eight novels for young adults, including Under the Wolf, Under the Dog (Candlewick Press, 2006), which was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, Punkzilla (Candlewick Press, 2009), which was named a 2010 Michael J. Printz Honor Book, and The Children and the Wolves (Candlewick Press), which was named one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. He is also the author of the adult novel, The Year Of Endless Sorrows (Farrar Strauss & Giroux, 2006), and the graphic novel, Ball-Peen Hammer (First Second Books, 2009). As a filmmaker he wrote and directed the feature, WINTER PASSING, for Focus Features and Stratus Films. Starring Ed Harris, Zooey Deschanel, and Will Ferrell, WINTER PASSING was an Official Selection of the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and was released in February of 2006. His second feature, BLACKBIRD, which he adapted from his play, won Best Narrative Feature at the Charlotte Film Festival, and received a Special Jury Award for Achievement in Directing from the Florida Film Festival. BLACKBIRD was an Official Selection of South by Southwest and The Edinburgh Film Festival. He directed the feature LOITERING WITH INTENT, starring Marisa Tomei and Sam Rockwell. He directed the world premiere of Karen O’s psycho opera, STOP THE VIRGENS, for The Creators Project at St. Ann’s Warehouse, which was then selected for The Vivid Live Festival, where it sold out the Sydney Opera House for six performances. He also directed Sam Shepard’s TRUE WEST at Actors Theatre of Louisville, which went on to be named one of the 2012 Best Moments in Culture by Louisville’s N.P.R. Affiliate, WFPL. His production of FINER NOBLE GASES garnered a Fringe First Award at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he received The List’s Best Newcomer Prize.His novel, KNOW YOUR BEHOLDER, was published in hardcover by Little Brown & Co. in March, 2015, and is due out in paperback in February, 2016.  His playwriting honors include Boston’s Elliot Norton Award, The Helen Merrill Prize, The 2006 Princess Grace Statue, a Lucille Lortel Playwright’s Fellowship, and The Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. PEN recently honored him with the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award.

Believe None of Us

Believe None of Us is a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet that looks at how the character of Hamlet differs in each of the three “original” texts of the play (the 1603 First Quarto, the 1604 Second Quarto, and the 1623 First Folio) by putting the three Hamlets in conversation with each other. Adapted and directed by Jemma Alix Levy.

The cast included: Ben Crystal, actor, author, producer, and Artistic Director of Passion in Practice; Dr. Matt Davies, actor, director, and Assistant Professor in the MLitt/MFA Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin College; Alex Fthenakis, actor, Producer of Pepperdine Scotland, and Producing Artistic Associate of Muse of Fire Theatre Company; Sean Hagerty, actor, director, and Associate Artistic Director of New York Classical Theatre;

History:

From 2012-2015 The Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment supported the department’s production season by hiring high quality Technical Directors from around the country. They coordinated the artistic work of faculty, guest artists and students to execute the highest caliber productions our department have ever presented.

• 2013-2015 Latiana Gourzong was the recipient of the Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment.

• 2012-2013 Andrew Becker was the recipient of the Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment.

• 2011-2012 Anthony Lawrence was the recipient of the Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment.

Past Playwright Festivals include:

2010-2011: Lucinda McDermott's Feeding on Mulberry Leaves along with several other special performances and events.

2009: Lucy Thurber's Where We're Born, directed by Marquita Robinson ’10.

2009: Christopher Cartmill's ’84 (written and directed by Christopher Cartmill) The Apotheosis of Vaclav Drda, and readings of The Robbers of Madderbloom, and Nebraska Dispatches.

2008: Tom Ziegler's (written and directed by Tom Ziegler) Father Frances.

2006: Paula Vogel's (directed by Tom Ziegler) How I Learned to Drive, and (student directed by Michael Wagoner ’07) The Long Christmas Ride Home, and a reading of Paula Vogel's (directed by Tom Ziegler) The Oldest Profession

2005: Neil LaBute's (directed by Tom Ziegler) The Shape of Things. A Reading of LaBute's Fat Pig, and The Mercy Seat.

2004: Bo Wilson's (directed by Tom Ziegler) War Story, Bo Wilson's (directed by Tom Evans) My Uncle's Business.

2003: Wendy Kesselman's(directed by Tom Ziegler) The Notebook. Readings by Dwayne Yancey Monument Avenue, Brad Hearn's The High Watermark, and Emily Ecton's ’92 Reign of Tara.

2002: Arlene Hutton's Last Train to Nibroc, and John Henry Redwood's No Niggers, No Jews, and No Dogs. Both directed by Tom Ziegler.