October 6 - October 30, 2016
King of the Mountains
A World Premiere by Ben Clawson
Commissioned with the support of The Dramatists Guild Foundation in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of The National Park Service October 6th - October 30th, 2016
For three days in May of 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt and the naturalist John Muir camped alone together in the Yosemite. One expected to be paid homage, revered for his accomplishments, and praised for his wilderness prowess. The other desired to have his voice heard, his philosophy followed, and his wisdom sought. The problem was, both men wanted to do all the talking.
A complex look at the ongoing battle over what do do with our public lands told through the unique wit and whimsy of Luna favorite Ben Clawson (Tilt the Unlit Candle, Dangers of Electric Lighting, and The High Water Mark).
Directed by Cheryl Katz
Cast: Ian Gould and Rik Walter
Production and Design: Christopher and Justin Swader (Set Design), Jorge Arroyo (Lighting Design), Andy Cohen (Sound Design), Deborah Caney (Costume Design), Liz Cesario (Production Manager), and Dan Viola (Stage Manager)
Running Time: 90 minutes, no intermission
Talkback Schedule: October 9th and 20th
Meet The Playwright
Ben Clawson received his B.F.A. in Theater from Montclair State University. He is the author of numerous full-length plays, short comedies, and evenings of thematically connected one acts. His plays have had professional productions, readings, and workshops throughout New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. and New Orleans. He has written commissioned works for the Luna Stage Company, The Montclair State University School of the Arts, and the Contagious Drama Theatre Workshop. He has been an evening winner and finalist in the Samuel French Short Play festival, national finalist for the American College Theater Festival's John Cauble One-Act Award, finalist for the Princess Grace Award in playwriting, and recipient of the Kennedy Center's David Mark Cohen award. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, and a founder of the StrangeDog. Theatre Company, with whom he has produced many of his plays.
NJ Arts Maven says: "mesmerizing"! ... "Ian Gould as Roosevelt and Rik Walter as Muir are superb." ... "Cheryl Katz's energetic and efficient direction keeps the tension high throughout the play." ... "Once again, Luna and Ben Clawson have tackled a historic event, imbued with dramatic conflict, that has not only entertained us but has taught us something as well. In so doing, they have fulfilled one very important criterion of good theater. You won't want to miss King of the Mountains."
Meet The Cast
Click on each photo to listen to an interview with the actors.
Ian Gould is happy to be back at Luna Stage where he played Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen. Off-Broadway appearances include Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Hamlet, Macbeth and A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court, all for The Acting Company, In Bed With Roy Cohn at Theatre Row, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Winter's Tale and Measure For Measure with New York Classical Theater, where he is an Associate Artist. Regionally he has appeared at the Guthrie Theater, Center Stage, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and multiple seasons in rep at Great Lakes Theater and Idaho Shakespeare Festival. He got his BFA from NYU and his MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC.
Rik Walter Theater: Off-Broadway, Walnut Street, Orlando Shakes, Connecticut Rep, Two River ("Best Actor in a Comedy" in Noises Off), Ivoryton Playhouse, Premiere Stages, Chester Theatre (as Charles Dickens), and most recently The Bickford (as Fr. Rivard in The Runner Stumbles), among many others. Television: Unforgettable, 30 Rock, all Law & Order's, American Masters, and several soaps no longer on the air, as well as a smattering of indie films. A co-founder of The New York International Fringe Festival FringeNYC), and co-founder and Producing Director of UP Theater Company in his "upstate Manhattan" neighborhood of Inwood, where he also founded Men Without Garages, a discussion group, with beer. Vero nil Verius. www.rikwalter.com