B.U. School for the Arts Presents Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle

Contact: Judith Sandler, 617-353-8783 | jusandle@bu.edu

(Boston, Mass.) — The Boston University School for the Arts Theater Arts Division presents Tom Stoppard’s comedic masterpiece On the Razzle, Wednesday, May 3, through Saturday, May 6, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m., at the Boston University Theatre Mainstage.

The play will be directed by Theatre Arts Division Director Roger Croucher and Assistant Director for Performance Eve Muson. This will be the final School for the Arts production for Coucher, an internationally recognized educator, director, and actor, who leaves Boston University after six years to become the President of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Daniel Pelzig, acclaimed freelance choreographer and former Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer and Associate Artist, will provide the choreography for On the Razzle. This is the first time Pelzig, who has worked with dance, theatre, and opera companies throughout the country, has choreographed for a college age actors.

Premiered in 1981, Stoppard’s On the Razzle is a confection of verbal stunts, word plays, puns, and double-entendres. On the Razzle–the British term for going off to have a fun, and possibly risqué, time–is the story of two country bumpkins escaping for a day of adventure in Vienna. On the Razzle was adapted from an 1842 play by the brilliant and prolific Viennese playwright/actor Johann Nestroy. Nestroy’s play was also the basis for Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, which in turn was the basis for Hello Dolly.

Set in 1900, the Boston University production features an enormous set with six different scenes, a revolving stage, sumptuous scenery and elaborate costumes. The production retains the Viennese setting, and adds live musicians and Strauss waltzes to the mix.

Born in Czechoslovakia, playwright Tom Stoppard grew up in China and India. After finishing his education in England, he began his career as a journalist, reporting on film and theatre until 1964, when he left journalism to pursue a creative writing career. Known for his plays Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Jumpers, Travesties, and The Real Thing, which is currently playing on Broadway, he recently received an Oscar for his screenplay for Shakespeare in Love. Tom Stoppard has written twenty-two books, forty-one plays, and eleven screenplays to date.

The Boston University Theatre is located at 264 Huntington Avenue. Admission is $8 for the general public; $5 for seniors and students. Tickets are available through the Boston University Theater Box Office at 617/266-0800. For more information about School for the Arts events call the Events Line at 617/353-3349 or log onto the School for the Arts Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.bu.edu/cfa.

BIOGRAPHIES

Roger Croucher is an internationally recognized drama educator, director, and actor. He holds the degree of Master of Arts from Oxford University. His professional career included seasons under Sir Peter Hall with the Royal

Shakespeare Company and at the Old Vic Theatre, where he played with Glenda Jackson in The White Devil. He has appeared in films for Columbia and Walt Disney and in Classic Series for the BBC.

As a director Croucher was Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs for five years, and his production of Entertaining Mr. Sloane played at the Royal Court and the Duke of York’s Theatre. He was appointed Principal of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), a position he held for sixteen years. He has taught and directed at Syracuse University, Sarah Lawrence College, Tufts University, and has lectured and directed in many countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, New Zealand, and Turkey. He came to Boston University in 1994 as Professor of Theatre Arts and Director, Theatre Arts Division in the School for the Arts.

Croucher’s most recent directing projects at the School for the Arts include Bertolt Brecht’s Happy End and Eduardo de Filippo’s Saturday, Sunday, Monday. This is his final production at Boston University, because he has accepted a position as President of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which begins this summer.

Daniel Pelzig is a widely recognized freelance choreographer whose work includes ballet, opera, and theatre. He served as Resident Choreographer and Associate Artist for Boston Ballet from 1995-99, where he created numerous ballets. He has also created ballets for Joffrey II Dancers, Milwaukee Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet Florida and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, among others, and recently re-staged Nine Lives for the Pennsylvania Ballet. This fall, for Boston Ballet, he will collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma in the creation of a new ballet set to Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra.

Pelzig is resident choreographer for the Santa Fe Opera and he has choreographed Samson and Dalila, starring Placido Domingo and Denyce Graves, for the Los Angeles Opera, and this fall will create the dances for Aïda, starring Deborah Voigt and conducted by Mr. Domingo. For the Boston Lyric Opera he recently choreographed Philip Glass’s Akhnaten as well as Aïda, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, Romeo et Juliette, The Ballad of Baby Doe and Faust. He has also choreographed for the Scottish Opera.

Pelzig’s directorial credits include Countess Maritza at the Santa Fe Opera and Handel’s Semele for the Handel & Haydn Society. He serves as resident stage director for BankBoston Celebrity Series Family Musik concerts, specifically geared towards educating children about classical music.

Pelzig’s theatre work includes the American premiere of Privates on Parade (awarded Best Foreign Play by the New York Drama Critics Circle) at the Roundabout Theatre, Lady in the Dark for City Center Encores!, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and numerous plays and musicals at Sundance Theatre Lab, Paper Mill Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Goodspeed Opera, Berkshire Theatre Festival and Barrington Stage Company.

For the Huntington Theatre, his theatrical home for ten years, he has choreographed The Mikado, Candide, HMS Pinafore, A Christmas Carol, Iolanthe and Company. Most recently he staged the dances for As You Like It at the Seattle Repertory Company. He begins work on a new musical for the Manhattan Theatre Club next month.

Pelzig’s awards include the gold medal at the 1994 Boston International Choreography Competition, two consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a major grant from the National Dance Residency Program/Pew Charitable Trusts to support his work at Boston Ballet.

Pelzig earned his degree in cellular biology from Columbia University.