Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



Merrimack Repertory Theatre is proud to announce the acclaimed cast and creative team of the upcoming production of Heroes by Gerald Sibleyras, adapted by Tom Stoppard, running November 19 – December 13, 2009 and directed by Carl Forsman.

Tony Award Winner Ron Holgate

Tony Award Winner Ron Holgate

Tony Award-winner Ron Holgate (Gustave) and Jonathan Hogan (Philippe) reprise their roles from the Spring 2009 Keen Company production of Heroes. Ron Holgate won a Tony Award in 1969 for his portrayal of Richard Henry Lee in the Broadway production of 1776. He later reprised the role for the film version of 1776, and also appeared on Broadway in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 42nd Street, Lend Me a Tenor and Guys and Dolls. Tony-nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Jonathan Hogan has also made numerous appearances on Broadway, including The Homecoming, As Is and Fifth of July. Ken Tigar (Henri), a television regular with over 130 television and film credits, makes his debut on the Liberty Hall stage after appearing in Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 2007 Off-Broadway production of Secret Order.

Set in 1959, Heroes tells the story of Henri, Gustave and Philippe, three World War I veterans who spend their days talking on the patio of the veteran’s home. Yearning for one final adventure, and armed with only their wits and a 200-pound stone dog for companionship, they battle old age, nagging war injuries, and a masochistic nun. It is a heartwarming tale of camaraderie and a moving portrait of the frustrations inherent in growing older.

Tony-nominee Jonathan Hogan

Tony-nominee Jonathan Hogan

With this production, Merrimack Rep builds on its relationship with Off-Broadway’s Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning Keen Company.  Artistic Director of Keen Company and Director of Heroes, Carl Forsman states, “I am thrilled to be remounting Keen Company’s production of Heroes at Merrimack. Charles Towers is a great friend, and our experience doing The Breadwinner together a few years ago told me that he has built an excellent theatre with a group of patrons who appreciate quality and intelligence. I can’t wait to share this little gem with them.”

Ken Tigar

Acclaimed playwright Gérald Sibleyras was born in 1961 in Paris.  His most notable work is the 2003 Le Vent des Peupliers, which has been translated and produced in countries worldwide including the United Kingdom, Germany, Uruguay and now the United States.  The play premiered at the Théâtre Montparnasse and received four Molières nominations including Meilleur Auteur (Best Author).  Tom Stoppard translated the play into English (Heroes) and it received its London debut at the Wyndham Theater under the direction of Thea Sharrock.  The production won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.  Future translations and productions are planned for Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Finland and many others. 

Tom Stoppard is a world renowned author, playwright, translator and screenwriter. His first produced play was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1968. His subsequent plays include The Real Inspector Hound, After Magritte, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love, The Coast of Utopia and Rock ‘N’ Roll.  Stoppard directed and wrote the screenplay for the film of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which won the Prix d’Or at the Venice Film Festival 1990 for Best Film. He also wrote the screenplay adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s Poodle Springs for HBO and Shakespeare in Love for Universal, which won him an Academy Award for best original screenplay, a Golden Globe, and the Broadcast Film Critics and American Guild Awards for Best Screenplay 1998.

The production’s creative staff includes Carl Forsman (director), Theresa Squire (costume design), Beowulf Boritt (set design), and Josh Bradford (lighting design). Carl Forsman directed the New York premiere of Heroes at Keen Company, where he is the artistic director, and previously directed The Breadwinner at Merrimack Rep.  Obie Award-winning designer Beowulf Boritt makes his Merrimack Rep debut, and his work can currently be seen in New York in the Broadway production of Rock of Ages and off-Broadway in The Toxic Avenger

Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 2009-2010 Season is sponsored by Lowell Cooperative Bank. Heroes is sponsored by Courier Corporation. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


RON HOLGATE (Gustave) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: debut.  Broadway: Milk and Honey, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 1776 (Tony Award), The Grand Tour (Tony nomination), 42nd Street, Lend Me a Tenor, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate National Tours: Annie Get Your Gun, 42nd Street, Can Can, Lend Me a Tenor, Urinetown, Man of La ManchaInternational: Lend Me a Tenor, London. Film: 1776 Television: Cabeza De Vaca, The Eagle Stirred, Gallantry, and several soap operas. Other: He has had leading roles in over 30 operas.  

(Henri) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: Secret Order (Off-Broadway, 59E59 Theaters). Off-Broadway: Thunder Rock, Rashomon, Gallows Humor, Equity Library Theatre. Regional:  Amadeus, New Harmony Theatre; Death of a Salesman, Majestic Theatre; Custody of the Eyes, Cleveland Play House. He has appeared across the country in his one-man show I Must Be Mr. Boswell about the biographer of Dr. Johnson. Film: Lethal Weapon II & III. Television: Barney Miller, Dallas, NCIS, Growing Pains, ER, Cheers, Night Court, LA Law, The X-Files, Law & Order and many more. 

JONATHAN HOGAN (Philippe) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: debut.  Broadway: Comedians, Otherwise Engaged, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Fifth of July, As Is (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations), Burn This, Taking Steps and The HomecomingRegional: He was a member of the celebrated Circle Rep for twenty-five years and worked extensively there and elsewhere Off- and Off-Off Broadway, most recently in the Keen Company’s production of HeroesFilms: In Country, The House On Carroll StreetTelevision: All versions of Law & Order, several Movies of the Week, As the World Turns, One Life to LiveEducation: Mr. Hogan is a graduate of The Goodman Theatre and School of Drama.

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