Touchstone opens 35th Season with Teatro Potlach’s American Debut and Edith Piaf Tribute
Bethlehem, PA – Touchstone Theatre ushers in their 2015-16 season with the American debut of Italian theatre company Teatro Potlach in their original production The First 100 Years of Edith Piaf. The play, directed by Pino Di Buduo and performed by Nathalie Mentha, runs September 17-20, 2015.
Edith Piaf, who would have been 100 years old in December, was a French cabaret singer who became widely regarded as the country’s greatest international star. Her autobiographical songs reflect the loves, losses, and sorrows of her life, from her early years being raised in a brothel to eventually performing acrobatics and singing on the streets.
The tale told in The First 100 Years of Edith Piaf starts in 1939, when Edith was in her early 20’s. It is the period of Jacques Prévert’s poetry; of Cartier-Bresson’s photography; of Jean Cocteau’s theatre tales; of the coming of the Second World War; of the songs from Charlie Chaplin’s films; of the French Resistance; and of the struggle for life and for love. These stories of French gangsters, women in love, passions, dreams, and memories come alive in this musical journey through Piaf’s immortal songs, such as her signature song “La Vie en rose”, which translates to “Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses”. According to Teatro Potlach, “The performance theme, the soul which ties all the stories together, and maybe even more Edith Piaf’s own soul, seems to be: ‘Whatever happens, don’t ever stop believing in love.’”
Touchstone Artistic Director Jp Jordan first encountered Potlach in fall of 2013, while in Beijing for Touchstone’s Journey from the East project. “The world is a small place,” he reflects. After seeing Potlach perform at the Shanghai Theatre Academy’s Experimental Theatre Festival, Jordan invited them to Bethlehem to perform as part of Touchstone’s season. “I was blown away by their performance of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” he says. “The performance was at once both lyrical and percussive… the amazingly talented Potlach Ensemble controlled the stage.” After their American debut at Touchstone, Potlach will continue on to perform in San Antonio, California.
Touchstone’s season of mainstage productions is supported locally by season sponsors First Generation, an integrated marketing communications company, and RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship. Print sponsorship is provided by Working Dog Press. Nationally, this production is supported through a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theatres’ Travel & Exchange Network (NET/TEN), supported by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Teatro Potlach’s The First 100 Years of Edith Piaf performs September 17-20, 2015 at Touchstone Theatre. Shows are Thursday through Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm; tickets are $25 / $15 for students and seniors, with group rates available on request. On Thursdays, Touchstone offers a pay-what-you-will option at the door only, allowing patrons to name their own ticket price. Advance tickets may be purchased at 610-867-1689 or online at www.touchstone.org
Celebrating thirty-five years, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with a dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. Visit us on the web at www.touchstone.org
Contact: Lisa Jordan