Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog

December 17, 2010, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Tryst | Tags: , , ,


Merrimack Repertory Theatre opens 2011 with the suspenseful drama Tryst by Karoline Leach, running January 6-30, 2011, stage direction by Joe Brancato. Tryst is a riveting romantic thriller set in Edwardian London about a handsome con-man who marries simple, well-off women only to leave them inexplicably poor and husbandless the day after their honeymoons. Then one day his charms meet their match. Emotional and breathtaking, Tryst is a provocative and suspenseful drama of love and betrayal. The play contains adult content, sexual situations and nudity, and is recommended for mature audiences. Subscriptions and individual tickets are available online at or by calling 978.654.4MRT.

“Provocative, absorbing and overwhelming” – John Simon, Bloomberg

“An extraordinary night of heart-gripping theater” – Houston Press

Mark Shanahan & Andrea Maulella in the 2006 Alley Theatre production of TRYST. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

The all-Equity cast of Tryst features Mark Shanahan as George Love and Andrea Maulella as Adelaide Pinchin, reprising their roles from the 2006 Alley Theatre production. Mark Shanahan previously appeared in Augusta at Merrimack Rep, while Andrea Maulella makes her MRT debut. The creative team for Tryst includes Joe Brancato (director), Michael Schweikardt (set design), Alejo Vietti (costume design), Martin Vreeland (lighting design) and Johnna Doty (sound design). Director Joe Brancato previously directed Tryst off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre, where the production received an Outer Critics nomination for Best Play, as well as at the Alley Theatre in Houston. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of Penguin Rep in Rockland County, New York.

“I discovered the play under another title on a dreary, dark day in February in London,” director Joe Brancato said, sharing the story of how he first encountered Tryst. “I was drawn to the story but unimpressed by the interpretation I had seen. I immediately contacted the playwright, drove the five hours west of London to meet with her in Taunton, and told her of my reservations about what I had seen! As fate would have it when you live life with candor, she agreed, and together we moved forward to tell the story of George Love and Adelaide which you will witness at Merrimack Rep. This romantic psychological thriller can only find a home in theatres where the audiences have come to appreciate language and multidimensional characters. Under the artistic directorship of Charles Towers, Merrimack Rep has become such a haven for great writers as Karoline Leach who can take us to faraway places, yet somehow keep the storyline remarkably relevant and contemporary!”

Karoline Leach (born July 20, 1967) is a British playwright and author, best known for her book In the Shadow of the Dreamchild, which re-examines the life of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Prior to becoming a writer, she studied acting and worked as both an actor and director in British theatre. Her first professionally produced work as a writer was an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, commissioned by Orchard Theatre Company in 1989. An earlier version of the Tryst script, The Mysterious Mr. Love, was produced in London’s West End in 1997. Tryst opened off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre, on April 6, 2006, and has subsequently been produced in Houston, Los Angeles and Montreal.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 2010-2011 season is sponsored by Lowell Cooperative Bank. This production of Tryst has received additional support from Magic 106.7. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


Andrea Maulella

Andrea Maulella (Adelaide) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: debut. Off-Broadway: One Shot, One Kill, directed by Joe Brancato, Primary Stages; Small Craft Warnings, White Horse Theater Company; The Holy Mother of Hadley New York, Ohio Theater. Regional: To Kill A Mockingbird, Alley Theatre; Tryst, Westport Country Playhouse (Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award); The Miracle Worker, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ivoryton Playhouse; Miracle on South Division Street, Penguin Repertory Theatre; Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Hangar Theatre; Collected Stories, Portland Stage Company. Film: Love Ludlow, The Mulberry Tree, Missed Connections. Television: Guiding Light, Spin City, Talk Soup (1995), The Sopranos.

Mark Shanahan

Mark Shanahan (George) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: Augusta. Broadway: The 39 Steps, Original Broadway Company. Off-Broadway: Credits include As Bees In Honey Drown, Lucille Lortell Theatre; Appearance of Impropriety, Abingdon Theatre; Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Roundabout Theatre; The Internationalist, 45 Bleecker and the Fairfield Theatre Company; Downwinders, Madame Killer, Soho Repertory Theatre. Regional: Credits include Journey’s End, Witness for the Prosecution, Hitchcock Blonde, Treasure Island, Harvey, Alley Theatre; Tryst, Sedition, Journey’s End, David Copperfield (directed by Anne Keefe and Joanne Woodward), Around the World in 80 Days, Westport Country Playhouse; Dial M for Murder, The Fulton Opera House; Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Hartford Theaterworks; Andromeda Shack, Kennedy Center; One Foot on the Floor, Denver Center; West End Horror, Bay Street Theatre; Pioneer Theatre; Mrs. Mannerly, Women Who Steal, Penguin Repertory Theatre; Noises, Off! , Picasso at the Lapin Agile, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Film and TV: Safe Men, Bug, Endsville, David Letterman, All My Children. Directing: Alley Theatre, The Cape Playhouse, Penguin Repertory Theatre, The Depot Theatre, Lake Placid Performing Arts Center, The Charles M. Wood Theatre, The Michael Howard Studio Theatre, Actor’s Theatre Nantucket, The Script in Hand Series at the Westport Country Playhouse, Butterflies are Free with Jonathan Groff and Blythe Danner. Other: Award-winning voiceover artist, Edgar Award nominated playwright, co-storywriter of the screenplay The Troubleshooter (Universal). Education: BA, Brown University; MA, Fordham University (current faculty).


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