Heartbreak House (2006) Production Files

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Identifier: HEARTBREAK2006
Inclusive Dates: 2006
Extent:
Production Files documenting the 2006 production of George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House.  Directed by Robin Lefevre, with set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, original music and sound design by John Gromada, and hair and wig design by Tom Watson.  The production starred Swoosie Kurtz as Hesione Hushabye, Philip Bosco as Captain Shotover, Byron Jennings as Hector Hushabye, Lily Rabe as Ellie Dunn and Laila Robins as Ariadne Utterword; with Jenny Sterlin as Nurse Guinness, John Christopher Jones as Mazzini Dunn, Bill Camp as Boss Mangan and Gareth Saxe as Randall Utterword.  Understudies were Tony Carlin, Doug Stender, Angela Pierce and Robin Mosely.

2007 Award Nominations:
Tony Award, Best Actress in a Play, Swoosie Kurtz (nominee)
Tony Award, Best Costume Design of a Play, Jane Greenwood (nominee)
 
Written on the cusp of the First World War in 1913, but not published until 1919, Heartbreak House is George Bernard Shaw working in the style of Chekhov; like other Shaw plays, it is also a platform for social commentary.  The setting is a room in Heartbreak House designed to feel like the interior of an old ship; the master of the house is the elderly Captain Shotover, and visiting for a dinner party are his two married adult daughters Hesione and Ariadne, and a younger eligible friend Ellie Dunn with her father and fiancee.  Ellie is engaged to be married to the wealthy (supposedly), somewhat corrupt Boss Mangan, but is actually in love with an actor who it turns out is Hesione's husband.  As secrets are revealed, the ingenue Ellie becomes disillusioned with romance, men and wealth.  The play ends with an air raid on the House which kills some of the inhabitants--the beginning of the Great War.  Rather than responding with shock or horror, the inhabitants of the house express boredom, indifference and a desire for the bombs to continue.


Heartbreak House was first performed in New York in 1920, and in London in 1921.  It is not often revived due to its complex structure, although there was a major revival of it in 1984 starring Rex Harrison, Amy Irving and Rosemary Harris.
Production files span 2 Hollinger boxes consisting of 23 folders, two Playbills and a handful of marketing flyers.

Digital holdings on the Archive 1 server include the following folders:
Costume Bible Archive scans (17 archive-scanned costume renderings, plus a scanned photograph of the set from the balcony)
Education (Pdf of the study guide)
Lighting Design (Pdfs of the blocking script and lighting design; jpeg and tiffs include the channel hookup, instrument schedule, etc)
Marketing (Pdfs of marketing flyers)
Media (B-roll, video capture of a performance, mp3 and wav files of interviews with designers and actors)
Opening Night (Jpeg photos)
Playbill (26 jpeg scans)
Press (Archive-scanned selects)
Production Photographs (385 jpegs plus captioned selects)
Show Art

There is a related collection of marketing materials on the Marketing shelves.  Contracts and other confidential documents have been removed and are stored in the Contracts cabinets (access is limited).

The cast/family photo is in the Photographs cabinet.  
Access Restrictions: Open and available to approved researchers by appointment only. See folder details for specific restrictions.
Preferred Citation: Heartbreak House 2006, Roundabout Theatre Company Archive
Related Staged Production

Heartbreak House (2006)

This box contains the following folders:
Artistic and Management
Opening Night
NYPL/TOFT Taping
Calling Script
Master Script
Incidental Music
Sound Design
Lighting Design
Costume Design
Costume Bible
Set Design
Props
Flame Permits
This box contains the following folders:
Casting Submissions
Rehearsal Reports
Performance Reports
House Reports
Performance Statements
Tony Voters
House Seats
Ticket Services
Education
Press
 

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