Duncan Sheik
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Duncan Sheik
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Michael Arden, Jeffrey Carlson, David Patrick Kelly, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Paolo Montalban, and Laila Robins will star in the Powerhouse Theater's concert reading of Tony Award winner Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's Nero, July 11-13 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. The show, to be directed by Daniel Kramer, is a black-comic tale of the bad-boy Emperor who fiddles as all faith in his country burns.

As previously announced, Kelli Garner, Josh Hamilton, and Matt Maher will star in Eric Bogosian's new play 1+1 (July 1-13), to be directed by Mark Brokaw, which trawls the dark undercurrent of human desire through the lives of a waitress aspiring to be an actress, an assistant restaurant manager, and a photographer. Bogosian is the author of such works as subUrbia and Sex, Drugs & Rock n' Roll.

Also on the Mainstage will be Joe Gilford's Finks (July 23-August 3), set in the summer of 1952, and involving a stand-up comic and an actress/activist whose love is tested due to the machinations of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The play is based on true events from the lives of the author's late parents, Jack and Madeline Gilford.

The Powerhouse line-up also includes a concert reading of notes to MariAnne (July 18-20) with book, music and lyrics by David Rossmer & Dan Lipton, and direction by Jeremy Dobrish, about a brother and sister torn apart by their dark past, and reunited by undying love.

Additional shows will include comedy writer Alan Zweibel's autobiographical solo, The History of Me (July 18-20); Dael Orlandersmith's new work, Horsedreams (July 25-27), helmed by Gordon Edelstein, about a ten-year-old child who must invent an adult within in order to confront the devastation that surrounds him; and Stephen Belber's Fault Lines (August 2-3), about the tortured integrity of reaching age 40 -- and what it means for men to be friends.

There will be two free "readings festivals." The first, to run June 27-29, will include Above the Fold, by Bernard Weinraub; Beast, by Michael Weller; Moving On, by Anton Dudley; O.P.C., by Eve Ensler; and Whisper from the Book of Etiquette, by Claire Chafee. The second readings festival, August 1-3, will include Enough, by Deborah Haggis; Knowing Cairo, by Andrea Stolowitz; Little Black Dress, by Ronan Noone; Mean Time, by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros; and Veronica, by John Patrick Shanley.

Events in the Outdoor Amphitheatre will include The Good Woman of Setzuan (July 11-14), by Bertolt Brecht, adapted and directed by Tomi Tsunoda, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (July 18-21), by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by Anthony Luciano. Profile Pictures, a site-specific performance installation directed and soundpainted by Mark Lindberg, will be presented in the Main Galleries of the college's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, presented July 17-31.

For more information, visit powerhouse.vassar.edu.