Director, Knox College 2007
Vinegar Tom takes place in two worlds. One is the realm of 17th century England witchhunts, and the second is sung commentary that takes place in present day. The main story arc is about Alice and her mother, Joan who are lower class citizens of the community. They are soon accused of witchcraft along with a wise woman in the town named Ellen. In the original production, the ensemble sang the songs between scenes in contemporary clothes. I chose however, to have a separate character sing these songs accompanied by a full band concealed behind the cyc.
In the final two scenes of the play, Joan and Ellen (who have just been hanged as witches) are dressed in white shirts and top hats invoking vaudeville as they speak text from the Malleus Maleficorum. The rest of the female ensemble have changed into various popular images of women (business, butch lesbian, party girl, innocent, mom, etc.) and are acted upon by the two former allies now transformed into oppressors. The closing song, “Evil Women” is sung with the entire cast (men and women) staring into the audience saying nothing until the last verse, when they each repeat the word “scream” with the singer. They do not repeat this word in unison, or in the same ways. At the end of the show, the cast has a slow exit off stage. There was no curtain call.
Photos by Evan Temchin.
Vinegar Tom was performed in the Knox College Studio Space in Galesburg, IL in October of 2007.
- Vinegar Tom held a second performance on closing night immediately following the 7:30 show because we had to turn away 200 people who had lined up to see it.
- Three weeks after the final performance, members of the Knox community asked the cast and myself to hold a talkback because they were still discussing the play and wanted a forum to speak with the artists involved.
- My design team and myself were all selected to design Hamlet for the mainstage spring show because of our work on Vinegar Tom.
Coming soon the music recorded from the final performance.
Stage Manager – Kat Reiser
Set Design – Kari Lefevre
Light Design – Danny Fisher-Bruns
Sound Design – Tom Fucoloro
Costume Design – Christy Dechaine
Props – Elizabeth Golemo
Music Written by Tom Fucoloro & Danny Fisher-Bruns
Music Performed by Tom Fucoloro, Danny Fisher-Bruns, Christopher Prairie, and Geoff Brown
Alice – Eden Newmark
Joan – Erica Jaffe (originally rehearsed by Bri Benson)
Susan – Meghan Reardon
Goody – Samantha Newport
Margery – Lyle Lippincott
Ellen – Elizabeth Roemer
Betty – Alicia Vallorani
Packer/Man/Doctor/Bellringer – Randy Geary
Jack – Pier Debes
Kramer and Sprenger – Erica Jaffe and Elizabeth Roemer
Singer – Olivia Cacchione