Art… literally brought to life…
June 20, 2017
WILTON MANORS, FL: “I’ve always been drawn to the paintings of the great Impressionists,” award-winning playwright and director Michael Leeds mused recently. “As opposed to the idealized forms and perfect symmetry that was the norm, the Impressionists chose subjects from all walks of life, capturing who they were and what they were doing in that fleeting moment in time. I was especially intrigued by the women in their paintings. What were they thinking? What were they feeling? What was their world like?”
Leeds explores this theme when Pigs Do Fly Productions presents the World Premiere of his new play, Impressions, at the Abyss Stage in Wilton Manors. The production will run from July 21 – August 6. (There will be a preview performance on July 20th at 8 pm.)
From a Monet matron to a Degas dancer, Impressions brings these women to life to reveal their joys, their fears and their passions.
“When Michael approached me with his ideas during our last production, Invasion of Privacy, I became excited immediately,” Pigs Do Fly Productions founder and Executive Producer Ellen Wacher says. “By wonderful coincidence that period of art is my favorite. I’ve worked with Michael – I am, and always have been – a great admirer of his work, and now, after reading the play I can hardly wait to see it myself!”
“Writing Impressions gave me the opportunity to enter the world of each painting and imagine the events surrounding the moments captured by these incredible artists,” Leeds explains. “And, although it wasn’t intentional, when I was done, I found these women were all linked in some way by the limitations society imposed on them due to their gender, their class, or their age.
“Of course, none of this would be possible without the enthusiastic support of Ellen Wacher and Pigs Do Fly Productions,” Leeds continues. “When I first brought the project to Ellen, I had no idea she was a passionate devotee of the Impressionists. We’re both incredibly excited to see how it all comes together. The production elements of the play present many challenges in how to best bring these paintings to life. Luckily, I’ve got three extremely versatile actresses, and a great design team. To quote a Sondheim lyric, “Putting it together bit by bit… Art isn’t easy!”
Wacher and Leeds have cast three award-winning actresses – Patti Gardner, Barbara Sloan, and Karen Stephens – to bring the iconic paintings Leeds has chosen to life. Along with Edgar Degas and Claude Monet, Leeds has chosen works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Mary Cassatt, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Gustave Caillebotte, Frédéric Bazille, Isaac Israëls, and Marie Bracquemond to ‘illustrate’.
Leeds and Wacher have enlisted recent Carbonell Award-winner Jodi Dellaventura to design the Impressions set. Others on the show’s design team are Kevin Black (Projections), Ardean Landhuis (Lighting Design), Jerry Sturdefant (Costume Design), David Hart (Sound). Kevin Raymond Hammond (Wigs). Jeff Ostrow will serve as Impressions’ Production Stage Manager.
Tickets for Impressions are $35 and are available on line at www.pigsdoflyproductions.com, or by calling 866-811-4111. Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 pm, and on Sunday at 5 pm. All performances will take place at The Abyss Stage, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors, FL 33305
For more information about Pigs Do Fly Productions, please visit www.pigsdoflyproductions.com. For more information about Ellen Wacher, please visit www.ellenwacher.com. To set up interviews, or for photos, please contact Carol Kassie at firstname.lastname@example.org / 561-445-9244.
By Michael Leeds
July 21 – August 6
(Preview performance July 20 at 8 pm)
Thursday – Saturday at 8 pm
Sunday at 5 pm
For tickets: www.pigsdoflyproductions.com / 866-811-4111
All performances will take place at
The Abyss Stage
2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors, FL 33305
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Michael Leeds: (Writer/Director) B’way: Swinging On A Star (Writer/Director Tony Award nom. Best Musical). Off-B’way: Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah – The Songs of Allan Sherman (Drama Desk Award nom. Best Director/Best Choreographer), the European Premiere of Arthur Miller’s Playing For Time (Edinburgh Fringe Festival First Award), A Little Night Music at Houston Grand Opera starring Frederica Von Stade and Regina for Florida Grand Opera starring Lauren Flanigan. Film: choreographed End of Summer starring Jacqueline Bisset, co-wrote The Simian Line starring William Hurt and Lynn Redgrave, and The Last Film Festival starring Dennis Hopper. His many SF directing credits include Mack And Mabel (Carbonell Best Musical) and The Light In The Piazza (Carbonell nom Best Musical, Silver Palm Award for Direction). Michael is Assoc. Artistic Director of Island City Stage where his directing credits include The Twentieth Century Way (Carbonell nom. Best Ensemble), The Timekeepers (6 Carbonell Awards including Best Director and Best Production of a Play), the World Premieres of Have I Got A Girl For You, POZ, Feeding The Bear and his own play Who Killed Joan Crawford? which received the 2016 Award for Best New Work of 2016 by the Broward/Miami New Times. His other plays include The First Step – Diary of a Sex Addict, The Gift, Starmaker and Impressions. Michael teaches an ongoing weekly acting class. (www.LeedsWorkshop.net)