by Noël Coward
Directed by DIEGO ARCINIEGAS
Honeymooning in France with their new spouses, an ex-husband and wife find themselves sharing a balcony at the same hotel. Within days of being reunited, their fiery romance reignites, despite their new spouses. The two couples are pulled into a hilarious roundelay of affiliations and new partnerships are formed. Tony Award and Drama Desk Winner for Best Revival.
This fresh take on Noël Coward‘s (Blithe Spirit) iconic 1930 play, PRIVATE LIVES will run from June 2 to 25. Directed by award-winning director, educator and actor, Diego Arciniegas, this uproarious timeless romantic comedy, set in a sophisticated world of cocktails, glamour, and sparkling repartee follows the ups, downs, and all-arounds of passion and betrayal.
Performances are Wednesday & Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday & Saturday at 8:00pm, and matinees Saturday & Sunday at 3:00pm indoors at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester MA.
Critical Praise for Gloucester Stage’s PRIVATE LIVES
“absurd, playful, highly entertaining – leaves the audience rolling in the aisles.“
“elegantly stylized production complete with a consummate cast of five that delivers”
“once Elyot dares to leap over to Amanda’s balcony, the energy onstage begins to crackle.”
Made Possible in Part by:
Meet the Creative Team
Sir Noël Peirce Coward / Playwright
Noël Coward was born in 1899 and made his professional stage debut as Prince Mussel in The Goldfish at the age of 12, leading to many child actor appearances over the next few years. His breakthrough in playwriting was the controversial The Vortex (1924), which featured themes of drugs and adultery and made his name as both actor and playwright in the West End and on Broadway.
During the frenzied 1920s and the more sedate 1930s, Coward wrote a string of successful plays, musicals and intimate revues including Fallen Angels (1925), Hay Fever (1925), Easy Virtue (1926), This Year of Grace (1928), and Bitter Sweet (1929). His professional partnership with childhood friend Gertrude Lawrence started with Private Lives (1931), and continued with Tonight at 8.30 (1936).
During World War II, he remained a successful playwright, screenwriter and director, as well as entertaining the troops and even acting as an unofficial spy for the Foreign Office. His plays during these years included Blithe Spirit, which ran for 1997 performances, outlasting the War (a West End record until The Mousetrap overtook it), This Happy Breed and Present Laughter (both 1943). His two wartime screenplays, In Which We Serve, which he co-directed with the young David Lean, and Brief Encounter, quickly became classics of British cinema. However, the post-war years were more difficult. Austerity Britain – the London critics determined – was out of tune with the brittle Coward wit. In response, Coward re-invented himself as a cabaret and TV star, particularly in America, and in 1955 he played a sell-out season in Las Vegas featuring many of his most famous songs, including “Mad About the Boy,” “I’ll See You Again” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.”
In the mid-1950s he settled in Jamaica and Switzerland, and enjoyed a renaissance in the early 1960s, becoming the first living playwright to be performed by the National Theatre when he directed Hay Fever there. Late in his career he was lauded for his roles in a number of films, including Our Man In Havana (1959) and his role as the iconic Mr. Bridger alongside Michael Caine in The Italian Job (1968). Writer, actor, director, film producer, painter, songwriter, cabaret artist as well as an author of a novel, verse, essays and autobiographies, he was called by close friends “The Master.”
His final West End appearance was Song at Twilight in 1966, which he wrote and starred in. He was knighted in 1970 and died peacefully in 1973 in his beloved Jamaica.
Diego Arciniegas / Director
Diego Arciniegas made his debut at Gloucester Stage Company playing La Patumiera in The Primary English Class (opposite the delightful Paula Plum) so long ago he doesn’t recall the date. (It might have been the late eighties or early nineties!) He is delighted to make his directorial debut after so long a time. A life-long fan of Noel Coward, Diego has played Nicky Lancaster in The Vortex at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Charles Condemine in Blythe Spirit at the Public Theatre in Lewiston, ME, and Leo Mercurey in Design for Living at the Publick Theatre Boston (in residency at the Boston Center for the Arts), where he served as Artistic Director from 2001 to 2011. At the Publick, Diego directed a decade’s worth of classic and contemporary plays by Shakespeare, Stoppard, Shaw, Coward, and Checkhov (among others). Of particular relevance was a production of Coward’s Hay fever in 2011. Last fall, Diego played Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first computer, in Ada and the Engine at Central Square Theatre in Cambridge.
In addition to his theatrical endeavors, Diego has held an academic appointment at Wellesley College for over 25 years, teaching acting and rhetoric in the Theatre Studies Department, and, on occasion, Shakespeare in the English Department and Spanish Drama in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. His essay, “Retracting Antonio: In Search of the Merchant of Venice,” was published in a collection of essays entitled Shakespeare’s Sense of Character (Yu Jin Ko, ed.), by Routlage Press, ISBN-13: 978-1409440666.
Meet the Cast
Serenity S’rae / Sibyl Chase
Serenity is making her Boston professional debut at Gloucester Stage as Sibyl in Private Lives. Hailing from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, the actress, writer, and producer, is graduating from Boston University’s School of Theatre this May with a BFA in Theatre Arts Performance. Serenity’s passion for the arts began early, and she honed her skills at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, studying theater, where she spent her final two years of high school. Her theater credits include Uncle Vanya, Dontrell Who Kissed The Sea, and Stupid Fucking Bird. While at Boston University, S’rae has produced two theater shows and was commissioned to write plays, showcasing her versatility as a theatre maker.
Gunnar Manchester* / Elyot Chase
Gunnar is a New York-based, Providence-born actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He is a recent graduate of the MFA Acting program at Brown University/Trinity Rep. His regional theater credits include: Tiny Beautiful Things, A Christmas Carol (Trinity Rep); The Tempest, The Late Wedding, Summer and Smoke, Tom & Eliza (Brown/Trinity Rep) and was the understudy for Jason in CLYDE’S (The Huntington). He also has appeared in: Ironbound, Arcadia, Uncle Vanya, As You Like It (The Gamm Theatre); Great Comet, Spring Awakening, Straight White Men, Church (The Wilbury Theatre Group); Much Ado About Nothing, Cymbeline (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); and Exit the King (Actors Shakespeare Project).
Katie Croyle* / Amanda Prynne
Katie Croyle is a New York City based actor, born and raised in Massachusetts. She is thrilled to be making her Gloucester Stage debut! She’s had the pleasure of working at The Geffen Playhouse, Williamstown Theater Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, The Arden, EgoPo Classic Theater, Theater at Monmouth, Theater Workshop of Nantucket, White Box, On the Verge, Philly Shakes, NPL and more. Katie has workshopped new plays in New York and regionally with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Concord Theatricals/Sam French, New Dramatists, The Tent, The McCarter, Williamstown, Conch Shell Productions, Rites & Reason Theater and Writing is Live at Brown. She is a co-founder of the devised dance-theater company, Ninth Planet, based in Philadelphia. MFA: Brown/Trinity, BA: Bryn Mawr College. Many thanks to everyone at GSC, Lanes Coven and my sweet family.
Stephen Shore* / Victor Prynne
Stephen Shore is thrilled to be in Gloucester Stage Company’s production of Private Lives. Select NE Credits: Airness (Vermont Stage Company), Constellations (Middlebury Acting Company), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Huntington Theatre Company), Once (Speakeasy Stage Company), Big River and Our Town (Heartwood Regional Theatre Company). Select Regional Credits: Treasure Island (Fulton Theatre), Million Dollar Quartet (Encore Musical Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Cymbeline (Virginia Shakespeare Festival), Of Mice and Men (Cardinal Stage Company), Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical (Georgia Shakespeare Festival), The Rocky Horror Show and Oklahoma! (Roxy Regional Theatre Company). TV Credits: The Food That Built America (History Channel). Proud graduate of UNC School of the Arts (BFA). Stephen would like to thank Grace, Barb, Chris & Victoria for their love and support. For Dad. www.StephenTShore.com
Jennifer Bubriski / Louise
Jennifer is happy to be making her Gloucester Stage Company debut. Favorite roles include Pam in Hurricane Diane (Huntington Theatre Company), Jacqueline in La Cage Aux Folles (Seacoast Rep), Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha (Seacoast Rep), Mrs. Brice in Funny Girl, Lady Croom in Arcadia and Belinda in Noises Off (Concord Players), and Nat in Rabbit Hole (Umbrella Stage).
Lily Steven / Understudy Sibyl, Amanda, Louise
Lily Steven is excited to be making her GSC debut with this show! Recent regional credits include The House of Ramon Iglesia (Caroline) at Moonbox, In the Next Room (Catherine Givings) at the Studio Theatre Tierra del Sol, Indecent (Chana, for which she won a BroadwayWorld award) at Cape Rep, The Moors (Emilie) and Miss Holmes Returns (Olive) at Greater Boston Stage Company, A Christmas Carol (Belle) at The Hanover Theatre, The Old Man and the Old Moon at The Umbrella Stage Company, and La Cage Aux Folles (Anne) at Reagle Music Theatre. University of Miami BFA Musical Theatre. Love to MDAE. lilysteven.com
Alex Jacobs / Understudy Elyot & Victor
Alex Jacobs is a Boston based teaching artist. Gloucester Stage patrons may remember him from 2021’s Baskerville and the Never Dark reading of Darwin’s Basement. Previous credits include, John Deserves To Die (Fresh Ink), The Rocky Horror Show (Moonbox), The Lyons (Titanic stage Co.) Steve (Zeitgeist), The T Party (Company One), The End of the World (Boston Actors Theatre), Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde & Animals Out Of Paper (New Hampshire Theatre Award winner, Best Supporting Actor) (Hampstead Stage Co.), 39 Steps & Noises Off (Winnipesaukee Playhouse), Alex holds a BA in Theatre from Leeds University England, MFA in Acting from Brandeis and is an Assistant Professor at Salem State University.
Meet the Production Team
Nia Safarr Banks / Costume Design
Nia Safarr Banks is a Costume Designer from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and is currently studying to receive her Master of Fine Arts at Boston University. She was nominated in 2019 for Richmond Critic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design in a Play An Octoroon ( TheatreLab), and Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design in a Play A Christmas Kaddish (Richmond Triangle Player) Her credits include: August Wilson’s Seven Guitars (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), Paradise Blue (GSC), Passover (American Shakespeare Center), and The Barber of Seville (The Santa Fe Opera).
Anshuman Bhatia† / Lighting Design
Anshuman Bhatia design’s for Opera, Theater, and Dance have been seen at Arena Stage, Austin Opera, Bard Music Festival, Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, Classic Stage Company, Dublin’s Civic Theater, Hartford Stage, HERE Arts Center, Keen Company, Kentucky Opera, LoftOpera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Madison Opera, Opera Columbus, Opera Omaha, Opera San Jose, Pacific Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, Primary Stages Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Repertory Theater of Saint Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Soho Rep, The Atlantic, The Juilliard School, The McKittrick Hotel, The Park Avenue Armory, The Public, Virginia Arts Festival, WP Theater, Writers Theater | Previously for Gloucester Stage : Grand Horizons | Member USA829 | M.F.A. NYU | www.bhatiadesign.com
Eric Hamel / Sound Design
Eric is a storyteller that utilizes audio and music to create innovative experiences. He has designed sound and music for multiple Boston area theatres including the Wellesley Summer Theatre, the Greater Boston Stage Company, the Lyric Stage, Theatre on Fire, and the Titanic Theatre. In addition to being a theatre artist, Eric is also a game designer, composer, and sound designer for video games. He’s worked at companies from Electronic Arts to numerous indie studios across the US. His work can be played on PC, mobile devices, X-Box, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch. He is co-founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of Boston-based indie game studio Worthing & Moncrieff. He is a graduate of both the Boston Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center. Additionally, Eric is a game scoring professor at Berklee College of Music.
Izmir Ickbal† / Scenic Design
Izmir Ickbal is honored to be designing at the Gloucester Stage for the first time. He is a New York based international multi-disciplinary designer who has worked with numerous theaters and productions across the country and internationally including the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Company One Boston, The Tank, BRIC House, 59E59 theaters, New York Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, National Black Theatre, Mark Taper Forum (Center Theater Group) and Theater For A New Audience. Others include the International Festival of Arts, The Esplanade Theatres, Singapore, and the Auditorio De Tenerife Spain. In 2019 he was nominated for Best Scenic Design at the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards and the Elliot Norton Awards in Boston. He received a Master of Fine Arts at the Yale School of Drama and is currently an Assistant Professor of Theater Design and Technology at Syracuse University. He is a member of USA-829. More info: izmirickbal.com
Angie Jepson / Fight & Intimacy Direction
Angie Jepson is an intimacy director, fight director, actress, and professor in the Boston area. She became a certified Intimacy Director with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators this past year, and she is honored to contribute to this ever-expanding and evolving field. Her philosophy is that each individual actor, no matter their age or experience level, deserves a safe, supportive and creative space where they can bring their full artistic selves into their scene work. Her intimacy and fight work has been seen onstage at theaters including the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Huntington Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Gloucester Stage, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Greater Boston Stage Company, Central Square Theatre, and at several universities in the Boston area. She is currently on faculty at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and the Brown/Trinity MFA program.
Jessie Marasco / Production Electrician
Jessie Marasco (Production Electrician) is very excited to be back at Gloucester Stage! Some recent credits include Moonbox Productions’ Torch Song & House of Ramon Iglesia (Production Electrician), Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet (Production Manager), Hub Theatre Company’s Into the Breeches! (Production Manager), and Representation and How to Get It‘s New England tour (Production Stage Manager).
Ella Mooradian / Wardrobe & Production Assistant
Ella Mooradian is a Junior Musical Theater major at Dean College with a passion for costumes. This is her first time working with Gloucester Stage and she is thrilled to be here! Her most recent costuming endeavors have been Dean College’s productions of Pippin, and All Shook Up! Ella has also recently worked as an ASM for Homebrewed Theater Company, and as a Props Master for Dean College’s production of Clybourne Park. She is so excited to be working with this amazingly talented cast and crew and hopes you all enjoy the show!
Ingrid Pierson* / Production Stage Manager
Ingrid Pierson (Production Stage Manager) is a New Jersey based stage manager. NYC: Disney Theatrical Group, Jersey Boys, Signature Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Page 73, Working Theatre, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Jewish Plays Project, Partial Comfort Productions, Gingold Theatrical Group. National Tour: Aladdin, Theatreworks USA. Regional: Theater at Monmouth, Shakespeare@, Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, Argyle Theatre, Luna Stage, Triad Stage, Mill Mountain Theater, Weathervane Repertory Theatre, Surflight Theatre, Allenberry Playhouse. Education: B.F.A., UNC-Greensboro. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Mikaela Salcedo / Rehearsal Asst. Stage Manager
Mikaela is a New York based artist who is thrilled to start her summer here at Gloucester Stage Company. Mikaela is a graduate of Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and a proud Dominican-Sicillian American. mikaelasalcedo.com
Emme Shaw / Properties Design
Emme is thrilled to be back with Gloucester Stage! Previous work with GSC includes: Out of the Mouths of Babes, Cyrano, The 39 Steps, Native Gardens, Baskerville, Reparations, and Paradise Blue. Other recent credits include Miss Holmes Returns with Greater Boston Stage (design/acting), and BLKS (Elliot Norton recipient design), English, Fairview, and The Prom with Speakeasy Stage. Emme is the Properties designer and supervisor at Boston College Theater Department, and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon Drama. Thank you to Phoebe.
Zoe Stanton-Savitz / Performance Asst. Stage Manager
Zoe Stanton-Savitz is a stage manager, sound/media designer, and playwright from Palo Alto, California. She recently graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied theatre arts and writing and worked on more than twenty productions. Stage management credits include Are There Penguins in Space? (2023 SLC), Influencer (2023 Melancholy Players), Women’s Naked Shakespeare Sonnet Festival (2021 SLC), Treehouse (2021 SLC), Mulligan: First Year Graduate Solos (2021 SLC). In the fall she will be attending Columbia to start working towards an MFA in playwriting. She is so excited to work with the amazing team at Gloucester Stage Company and learn from the staff as well as fellow apprentices.
Critical Praise for Noël Coward’s PRIVATE LIVES
“What an entertaining play it is!”
“Gorgeous, dazzling, fantastically funny.”
“A brilliant comedy. A very funny play.”
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
ºMember of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC)
† Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE
First performance at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh on 18th August 1930