The Effect


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June 16–July 8

The Effect
by Lucy Prebble
directed by Sam Weisman

Direct from The National Theatre in London and an extended run Off Broadway, Lucy Prebble has fashioned a fascinating look at neuroscience and the chemical management for what ails us.  Tristan and Connie fall in love, but is their chemistry real or induced?  This funny, moving, and perhaps surprisingly human play explores questions of sanity, neurology and the limits of medicine, alongside ideas of fate, loyalty and the inevitability of physical attraction. Starring Lindsay Crouse.


Lucy Prebble (born 1981) is a British playwright. She is the author of the plays The Sugar Syndrome, The Effect and ENRON, as well as the television series Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

About the Play 

Tristan and Connie, volunteers in a controlled drug test, fall in love—but is their chemistry real or induced? In the New England premiere of The Effect, Lucy Prebble’s funny and moving look at medicinal trial and error explores the depths of attraction and attachment, and wonders at the limits of medicine and the ever-elusive rules of the heart. Lucy Prebble’s The Effect comes to Gloucester direct from The National Theatre in London and an extended run at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York. The GSC production features Sam Weisman in his Gloucester Stage directing debut and a cast led by GSC favorite Lindsay Crouse. The Effect will run from June 16 through July 8, at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.


Stills from other productions:

Lindsay Crouse 220x220

Lindsay Crouse

LINDSAY CROUSE* was last seen at Gloucester Stage in Lettice & Lovage by Peter Shaffer. Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse made her Gloucester Stage debut in 2007 in The Belle of Amherst; followed by a return to Gloucester Stage in 2008 in Going To St. Ives, in 2010 in Table Manners, in 2011 in Living Together and in 2012 in Round and Round The Garden. A long-time veteran of the New York stage, Lindsay Crouse has performed off and on Broadway, and has won the Obie and Theater World Awards. At the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles, she starred with John Mahoney in Conor McPherson’s The Weir, breaking the theater’s box office records. On television, Ms. Crouse has guest-starred on C.S.I., Criminal Minds, Law and Order, E.R, NYPD Blue, Colombo, Murder She Wrote, Touched By An Angel, Hill Street Blues, Frasier, ARLI$$ and Alias. She spent a season as the infamous Professor Maggie Walsh on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She appeared on all three television networks simultaneously playing recurring characters on Providence for NBC, Hack for CBS, and Dragnet for ABC. She has played three different characters on Law and Order, and appeared as the formidable Judge Andrews on Law and Order SVU. A feature film veteran, some of Ms. Crouse’s best known films include The Insider, The Verdict, House of Games, Slapshot, Communion, All The President’s Men, Prince Of The City, Daniel, The Arrival, Indian In The Cupboard, Mr. Brooks and Places In The Heart, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Ms. Crouse currently teaches around the country a class that is unique in the world, combining principles of Buddhism with principles of drama, creating a fresh approach to acting, writing and directing in all media.

Sam Weisman

Sam Weisman (director) worked for ten years as an actor before making the
transition to directing. He has earned directorial credits in film, television,
and theatre. They include the feature films GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE
(which received a British Academy Award nomination for Best Children’s
Movie), THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS (starring Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn,
and John Cleese), BYE-BYE LOVE, D2: THE MIGHTY DUCKS, and
DICKIE ROBERTS (starring David Spade, produced by Adam Sandler).
He also was Co-Producer of the feature film, DAD (starring Jack Lemmon,
Olympia Dukakis, and Ted Danson).
Mr. Weisman has directed or produced over 200 television episodes, for
credits include the PBS American Playhouse production of BREAKFAST
WITH LES AND BESS, starring Dick Van Dyke and Cloris Leachman.
His television work has received three Emmy Nominations, multiple
Humanitas Awards, two Golden Globe Nominations, and a Golden Globe
Award. His Pilot of the critically acclaimed series, BROOKLYN BRIDGE,
was honored by TV GUIDE as one of the best television episodes of all
Mr. Weisman’s theatre work has received much recognition, including
multiple Drama-Logue and LA Weekly Awards, and Los Angeles Drama
Critics Circle Best Director honors for the West Coast premieres of Harold
Pinter’s BETRAYAL (starring Ian McShane and Penny Fuller) and Simon
Gray’s THE COMMON PURSUIT (featuring Nathan Lane). Other West
Coast theatre credits include James Lapine’s TABLE SETTINGS, Moliere’s
THE MISANTHROPE at USC’s Bing Theatre, and an acclaimed production
of Sam Shepard’s BURIED CHILD (starring Ralph Waite and Nan Martin)
at South Coast Repertory Theatre. Mr. Weisman was also the director and
CHAPIN, which premiered in Chicago, and then opened in New York at the
legendary Village Gate. The show went on to be a major hit in Toronto at
the Centre Stage, and in Los Angeles at the Pasadena Playhouse and the
Canon Theatre, where it was honored with a Los Angeles Drama Critics
Circle award for Best Ensemble. At The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre,
he directed Kenneth Lonergan’s LOBBY HERO, and the world premiere of
John Kolvenbach’s GIZMO LOVE.
A graduate of Deerfield Academy and Yale (B.A. Music History), Mr.
Weisman received an M.F.A. in Acting and Directing from Brandeis
University’s Department of Theatre Arts, where he is a Fellow of The
University. In recent years he has returned there to teach acting, and to
direct productions of Tom Stoppard’s ARCADIA, and Shakespeare’s
TWELFTH NIGHT. He has taught and directed at the American Repertory
Theatre’s Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University,
where he is Director of professional Development, and his production of
Neil LaBute’s THIS IS HOW IT GOES was singled out by Boston Globe
theatre critic Ed Siegel as one of the highlights of 2005. Also in that year,
Mr. Weisman returned to acting, playing Polonius in Commonwealth
Shakespeare Company’s HAMLET on the Boston Common, opposite the
Hamlet of Jeffrey Donovan.
Recent work includes developing several feature film projects, such as
THE MIRACLE OF ST. ANTHONY, a Walden Media film based on the
New York Times best-selling book of the same name. In addition, he is the
co- creator and Executive Producer of THE SING OFF, NBC Television’s a
cappella singing competition. Mr. Weisman served as Chairman of the
Executive Boards of the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment
Commission, and in 2008 he was honored as the “MVP of the
Massachusetts Film Industry” for his work in the passage of the State’s
successful Film and Television Tax Incentive program, which has brought
over $1 billion in production to the Commonwealth in five years. Other
teaching work includes semesters at Deerfield and Emerson College, as
well as guest lectures at The University of North Carolina School of the
Arts, USC, Boston University, NYU, Rhode Island School of Design, Duke
University, and Yale. He has been elected three times to the East Coast
Council of the Directors Guild of America, and is a voting member of the
Directors’ Branch of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Mr. Weisman’s interview with writer-director Paul Schrader has been
archived at the Directors Guild. In addition, he was featured in a directing
workshop sponsored by the Guild in New York.

“The irreducibility of love is the subject of “The Effect,” Lucy Prebble’s very clever — and ultimately more than clever — play…Ms. Prebble, the British author of “Enron,” has come up with an ingenious variation on one of the more common romantic formulas in fiction: Put two attractive people in an unfamiliar hothouse environment, and see what blooms.”

–Ben Brantley, New York Times Theatre Critic, on the 2016 Barrow Street Theater production of “The Effect”

Read full review here


“If our emotions are manipulated by chemicals, does that make them less real, less valid, less an expression of who we are? If a chemical causes us to lose our memory, what remains of our personality? Are we the sum total of our vital organs or does our brain harbour some extra element that gives us an identity?”

–Mark Fisher, The Guardian

Read full review here



* Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30pm with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm. In the final week of the run there will be an additional Wednesday matinee performance at 2pm.


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