Livia Genise Productions Presents
“God’s Country” By Steven Dietz * April 28 – May 14
Livia Genise Productions is proud to present the first of its three productions for 2017: “God’s Country” by Steven Dietz. Written in 1988, this staged reading of the exciting, highly theatrical docudrama about the growing white supremacist movement in America, those dedicated to violent revolution and the expulsion from "God's Country" of non-Aryans, is still timely. The play covers the right wing lunatic fringe while focusing on three narrative storylines: the trial in Seattle of a paramilitary group which calls itself The Order; the career and death of Denver's Alan Berg, the outspoken, controversial, Jewish talk radio personality "assassinated" by The Order; and, finally, the hate filled career and death of The Order's founder, Robert Matthews. These narratives are skillfully interwoven into a highly theatrical evening.
Directed by Livia Genise, “God’s Country” stars Rick Robinson as Alan Berg, with a cast featuring 10 actors (David King-Gabriel, Haley Forsyth, Michael Meyer, Golda Flowers, Aubrey Campbell, Steve Sutfin, AJ Falk, Ron Delaney, Dean Jackman and Ian Wessler) playing various real-life characters: prosecuting attorneys, members of The Order and those effected by the group.. Narration is by Buzz London. The production team for “God’s Country” includes Stage Manager and sound/video board operator Kathleen King. Audio/video design is by Tim Kelly; Reece Bredl is the lighting designer at the Belleview Grange.
In his program notes, Dramaturg Mark Ropers reflects that: “It is the dissemination of partial truths, half-facts, and out-and-out lies that allow hatred to spread. Alan Berg was known for his confrontational interview methods he used to shed light on the ugly racist underbelly of American Society. Berg began his Talk Radio show in the mid-1970’s. His topics ranged from Christian hypocrisy to gun control, with his recurring theme being racism. The self-proclaimed “man Denver loves to hate,” his programs were received in more than 30 states. His direct engagement with The Order angered them to the point that they gunned Berg down in front of his house in 1984. It is disturbing to think of white supremacist groups in the latter part of the 20th Century. It is disgusting to know they still exist in 2017. In March, 2017, the Anti-Defamation League described “an unprecedented outreach effort to attract and recruit students on American college campuses.”
Says director Genise: “According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in the first 3 years of the Obama Administration, so-called ‘Patriot” groups increased by 755 %; the Center notes that there are currently 917 Hate Groups still operating in the US. So this is not a period piece. And that is why I chose to produce it, here and now. We seem to be at some kind of cross roads here in America. Each of us has a choice going forward into this ‘new’ America: to believe that it is ‘us against them’ and act accordingly ~ or to believe that we are all in this together, that we ARE our Brother’s/Sister’s keeper. I invite the audience to see this play through that prism.”
Sponsored by Sally and Joe Collonge, “God’s Country” plays April 28 & 29 at 8 PM and April 30 at 2 PM at the Belleview Grange (975 Tolman Creek Road @ Siskiyou Blvd.) and May 6 & 13 at 8 PM and May 7 and 14 at 2 PM at the Ashland Community Center (59 Winburn Way). All tickets are $15. They are available by Credit Card or PayPal Online at www.LiviaGeniseProductions.org or, by check or cash, at Paddington Station in Ashland and Grocery Outlet in Medford. (There are no refunds or exchanges.)
Livia Genise~ Director
A former Broadway actress and Camelot Theatre’s Artistic Director for over 14 years, Livia Genise has both directed and starred in many of its productions, including “Solomon’s Blade,” “Sweet Charity,” “The Last Five Years,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “A Question of Words,” “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” “The Producers,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” “All the King’s Men,” "Funny Girl,” “Rags,” “Gigi,” “Cabaret,” “Shenandoah, “The Lion in Winter,” “Sockdology,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Master Class.” She recently starred as Dotty in the Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s runaway hit, “Noises Off.”
Rick Robinson ~ Alan Berg
Rick Robinson is known to the Oregon Cabaret Theatre audiences as the director of “The 39 Steps” and “Bat Boy: The Musical,” as well as serving as producer on Cabaret productions since 2014. He was a founding producer of Lucid by Proxy, a Los Angeles-based theatre company, and he’s worked as a playwright, actor, screenwriter and film director. Robinson’s had eight plays produced in Los Angeles, and one, “Asymmetry,” published by Samuel French. He recently directed the Collaborative Theatre Project’s production of “Leading Ladies.”
David King-Gabriel ~ Actor # 1
David King-Gabriel recently appeared at Camelot Theatre as Billy Joel in “Spotlight on Billie Joel.” Other roles there include Albin in “La Cage Aux Folles.” Vittorio Vidale and Daddy Brubeck in “Sweet Charity,” Judas Iscariot in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Jean Val Jean in “Les Misérables,” Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Max Bialystock in “The Producers” and Spotlights on Musical Theatre, Simon and Garfunkel, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett, among others. King-Gabriel was last seen at Livia Genise Productions as Freddie Trumper in “Chess.”
Haley Forsyth – Actor # 4
A Lake Tahoe native, Haley Forsyth most recently directed and starred in “Marry Me a Little” for the Randall Theatre. Last season, she starred as Florence in Livia Genise Productions’ “Chess”. Forsyth has appeared as a Cagelle in “La Cage Aux Folles,” Helene in “Sweet Charity and Gertie in “Oklahoma” at the Camelot Theatre Company. She was an understudy for the Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s productions of “Noises Off” (filling in the entire last weekend) and “9 to 5.” Forsyth also appeared in two late night shows at OCT. Other highlighted roles include Reno Sweeney in “Anything Goes,” Kim MacAfee in “Bye Bye Birdie,” Ellen in “Wounded” and Miranda in “The Tempest.” Forsyth has also directed and choreographed several shows.
Michael Meyer – Actor # 10
Michael Meyer's first professional job was summer stock in 1980 at the Barn Theatre in Michigan. He went on to get his BFA in Theatre Arts from Stephens College in Columbia, MO. Meyer toured with Missoula Children's Theatre, still regarding it as one of the best jobs he's ever had. His thirteen seasons working backstage at OSF, with the occasional acting role, culminated as the Houston Bus Passenger in “The Trip to Bountiful.” Favorite recent roles include Tom in “Light Sensitive” at Theatre Convivio, Sydney in “Deathtrap” at Barnstormers and Major Arnold in “Taking Sides” at Ashland Community Theatre, where he was Artistic Director for seven years. Meyer has focused on film work the last few years and was recently at AIFF in “Concrete Canvas.” Other films include “Besetment” and the upcoming “Two on a Match.”
Where: April 28 – 30 at the Belleview Grange in Ashland. May 6-14 at the Ashland Community Center
What: “God’s Country” by Steven Dietz
When: “God’s Country” plays April 28 & 29 at 8 PM and April 30 at 2 PM at the Belleview Grange (975 Tolman Creek Road @ Siskiyou Blvd.)
and May 6 & 13 at 8 PM and May 7 and 14 at 2 PM at the Ashland Community Center (59 Winburn Way)
Outlets: All tickets are $15, by cash or check, payable to Livia Genise Productions or LGP at Paddington Station in Ashland and Grocery Outlet in Medford or Online.
Credit cards are accepted online at www.LiviaGeniseProductions.org.
(There are no refunds or exchanges.)
For further information, contact Livia Genise at 541-951-3492 and online at LiviaGeniseProductions@gmail.com or www.LiviaGeniseProductions.org
Photo by Steve Sutfin
Left standing: Ian Wessler, Right: David King-Gabriel, Seated: Rick Robinson.
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