The Robber Bridegroom

About the Creators

Alfred Uhry, a playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter, is the only author to have received the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and Academy Award for his work.  Born in Georgia in 1936 to a prosperous family of German-Jewish descent, Uhry attended Brown University in Rhode Island, where he received a degree in English and drama in 1958. He then relocated to New York City, where he taught English at the Calhoun School. In 1975, after several failed attempts at writing a successful play, he collaborated with Robert Waldman to adapt Eudora Welty's short novel The Robber Bridegroom into a musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1976. The production received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and  marked Uhry's first success as a playwright.  His “Atlanta trilogy” -- Driving Miss Daisy (1987, Pulitzer Prize), The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1996, Tony Award) and Parade (1998, Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical) all draw on Uhry's heritage as a Southern Jew, bringing together aspects of both Southern and Jewish culture.  Uhry's lesser-known theatrical works include contributions to Swing (1980), Little Johnny Jones (1982), and America's Sweetheart  (1985). He also wrote the screenplays for Driving Miss Daisy (Academy Award) and Mystic Pizza (1988). 

Robert Waldman (Music)

Robert Waldman first collaborated with Alfred Uhry when they wrote musicals at Brown University.  Upon graduation, he studied composition at Juilliard and then became a protégé of Frank Loesser.  He has written music for television shows, films, and commercials.  His songs written with Alfred Uhry have been widely recorded as well as heard on Broadway in the score he created for Here’s Where I Belong.  His music has also been heard throughout the United States and Europe in ballets and in the theatrical scores for the American Shakespeare Theatre’s production if Twelfth Night and The Acting Company’s School for Scandal.

About the Director

Peter Reynolds has directed productions of Company, Pericles, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery and Beautiful Thing for Temple Theatre, where he was an adjunct theatre professor. He has directed for Philadelphia Theatre Company in their collaborations with Philadelphia Young Playwrights and was Artistic Coordinator for the Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ Saturday Series. He spent two seasons with Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center in New Jersey where he assisted the Producing Artistic Director. Peter hails from the Midwest and for six years served as Artistic Director of HealthWorks Theatre-Chicago, winner of the 2000 Award of Excellence in Prevention Education as well as the 2001 Hall of Fame After Dark Award. Regionally Peter has worked at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, HotCity Theatre-St. Louis, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Building Chicago, Apollo Theatre-Chicago, City of Maples Repertory, Face to Face Productions, Lillian Russell Theatre, and on the stages of the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and Southern Illinois University. He received his M.F.A. in Directing from Temple University.

Production Photos

Rosamund (Janet McWilliams) and Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV)
Rosamund (Janet McWilliams) and Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV)
Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV) and Clemment Musgrove (Andy Joos)
Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV) and Clemment Musgrove (Andy Joos)
Rosamund's Dream (Janet McWilliams)
Rosamund's Dream (Janet McWilliams)
Rosamund (Janet McWilliams) and the Residents of Rodney (Jennifer Brown, Joshua Hoover, Katherine Glavin)
Rosamund (Janet McWilliams) and the Residents of Rodney (Jennifer Brown, Joshua Hoover, Katherine Glavin)
Jaime (Charles Illingworth IV) explains how he steals with style to the Raven (Jessica Ciaramella)
Jaime (Charles Illingworth IV) explains how he steals with style to the Raven (Jessica Ciaramella)
Salome (Amy Walton) makes a deal with Goat (Justin Damm) and Goat's Mother (Kristi A. Good)
Salome (Amy Walton) makes a deal with Goat (Justin Damm) and Goat's Mother (Kristi A. Good)
Goat (Justin Damm) and Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV)
Goat (Justin Damm) and Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV)
Residents of Rodney (Katherine Glavin, Brian Kurtas, Justin Damm, Jenny Jacobs, Joshua Hoover, Jennifer Brown)
Residents of Rodney (Katherine Glavin, Brian Kurtas, Justin Damm, Jenny Jacobs, Joshua Hoover, Jennifer Brown)
Rosamund (Janet McWilliams) and Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV)
Rosamund (Janet McWilliams) and Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV)
Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV) and the ladies of Rodney (Kristi A. Good, Kate Reynolds, Jenny Jacobs, Katherine Glavin, Jennifer Brown)
Jamie (Charles Illingworth IV) and the ladies of Rodney (Kristi A. Good, Kate Reynolds, Jenny Jacobs, Katherine Glavin, Jennifer Brown)

Press Release

VILLANOVA THEATRE PRESENTS THE TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM

Villanova Theatre ends its 2006/2007 season with The Robber Bridegroom, a rollicking musical fairy tale set in Depression-era Mississippi.  Directed by theatre professor Peter Reynolds, The Robber Bridegroom runs March 27 – April 1 and April 10 – 22, 2007 at Vasey Hall on the Villanova University campus. Show times are 8:00pm Tuesday – Saturday and 2:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $18-$24, with discounts for seniors, students, and groups, and may be ordered by calling the Villanova Theatre Box office at (610) 519-7474. Additional information is available online at www.theatre.villanova.edu.

Vividly presented in “story theatre” style and driven by a rousing bluegrass score, The Robber Bridegroom tells the tale of a charming gentleman bandit who lusts after the daughter (and gold) of a rich plantation owner.  In fairy tale fashion, the girl is bedeviled by a wicked stepmother who’d like to see her dead.  The bandit encounters his own share of troubles when he finds himself competing with a rival bandit, who carries around his brother’s talking head in a trunk.  It’s a rollicking country romp where goats and ravens talk, a good square dance solves any problem, and -- when it comes to love and riches -- anything goes.

“I believe wholeheartedly that theatre should challenge audiences.  It should encourage introspection and thoughtful consideration of the issues we face in our lives,” said Reynolds. 

“But I also believe in the wise words of my father, who once said to me, ‘Peter, people want to laugh and have a good time at the theatre.’  The spring is quickly approaching and now is a good

time to have fun and enjoy the great music and lively tall tales of The Robber Bridegroom.”

Alfred Uhry, a playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter, is the only author to have received the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and Academy Award for his work.  Born in Georgia in 1936 to a prosperous family of German-Jewish descent, Uhry attended Brown University in Rhode Island, where he received a degree in English and drama in 1958. He then relocated to New York City, where he taught English at the Calhoun School. In 1975, after several failed attempts at writing a successful play, he collaborated with Robert Waldman to adapt Eudora Welty's short novel The Robber Bridegroom into a musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1976. The production received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and  marked Uhry's first success as a playwright.  His “Atlanta trilogy” -- Driving Miss Daisy (1987, Pulitzer Prize), The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1996, Tony Award) and Parade (1998, Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical) all draw on Uhry's heritage as a Southern Jew, bringing together aspects of both Southern and Jewish culture.  Uhry's lesser-known theatrical works include contributions to Swing (1980), Little Johnny Jones (1982), and America's Sweetheart  (1985). He also wrote the screenplays for Driving Miss Daisy (Academy Award) and Mystic Pizza (1988). 

Robert Waldman first collaborated with Alfred Uhry when they wrote musicals at Brown University.  Upon graduation, he studied composition at Juilliard and then became a protégé of Frank Loesser.  He has written music for television shows, films, and commercials.  His songs written with Alfred Uhry have been widely recorded as well as heard on Broadway in the score he created for Here’s Where I Belong.  His music has also been heard throughout the United States and Europe in ballets and in the theatrical scores for the American Shakespeare Theatre’s production if Twelfth Night and The Acting Company’s School for Scandal.

Peter Reynolds is an assistant professor of theatre at Villanova University.  He recently received his M.F.A. in directing from Temple University, where he directed productions of Ragtime, Company, Pericles, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Mystery, and Beautiful Thing.  He has directed for the Philadelphia Theatre Company in their collaborations with Philadelphia Young Playwrights and was also Artistic Coordinator for the Philadephia Young Playwrights’ Saturday Series.  He spent three seasons with the Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center in New Jersey, where he assisted the Producing Artistic Director.  Peter hails from the Midwest and for six years served as Artistic Director of Health Works Theatre in Chicago, winner of the 2000 Award for Excellence in Prevention Education, presented by Mayor Daley and the Chicago Department of Public Health, as well as the 2001 Hall of Fame After Dark Award.  Regionally he has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Groove Mama Ink in New York City, HotCity Theatre in St. Louis, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Building Chicago, Apollo Theatre in Chicago, City of Maples Repertory, Face to Face Productions, Lillian Russell Theatre, and on the stages of the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign and Southern Illinois University.

The cast of The Robber Bridegroom features a mix of graduate theatre students, undergraduate students, and guest artists, including Jennifer Brown (Airie), Jessica Ciaramella (Raven), Justin Damm (Goat), Kristi Good (Goat’s Mother), Joshua Hoover (Big Harp), Charles B. Illingworth IV (Jamie Lockhart), Andy Joos (Clemment Musgrove), Janet McWilliams (Rosamund), Jared Nelson (Little Harp), Amy Walton (Salome), Jarad Mitchell Benn, Shannon DeVido, Katherine Glavin, Jenny Jacobs, Brian Kurtas, Kate Reynolds, and Tom Riordan (Residents of Rodney).

The Robber Bridegroom runs March 27 – April 1 and April 10 – 22, 2007. Show times are 8:00pm Tuesday – Saturday and 2:00pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $18-$24 and may be ordered by calling the Villanova Theatre Box office at (610) 519-7474. Visit www.theatre.villanova.edu for more information.

Cast of Characters

Big Harp: JOSHUA HOOVER
Airie: JENNIFER BROWN
Raven: JESSICA CIARAMELLA
Goat: JUSTIN DAMM
Goat's Mother: KRISTI A. GOOD
Jamie Lockhart: CHARLES ILLINGWORTH IV
Clemment Musgrove: ANDY JOOS
Rosamund: JANET McWILLIAMS
Little Harp: JARED NELSON
Salome: AMY WALTON
Ensemble: SHANNON DeVIDO, KATHERINE GLAVIN, JARAD MITCHELL BENN, JOSHUA HOOVER, JENNY JACOBS,
BRIAN KURTAS, KATE REYNOLDS, TOM RIORDAN