"The Father" by August Strindberg
November 15 to December 2, 2018
Gene Frankel Theatre
August 25 to September 2, 2019
Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival

The Father photo
Brad Fryman and Bailey Newman. Photo by James Rucinski.

Newly translated and directed by Robert Greer. A proto-Freudian explanation of the unreasonable hatred that can exist between husbands and wives.

A wife casts doubts as to whether her husband is father of her daughter, in order to maintain control over daughter's academic and religious education. The husband, an army captain, would have daughter educated to be a teacher, while the mother would have her become a painter. The mother manipulates the town Pastor (who happens to be her stepbrother) and the newly arrived town Doctor for her purposes. She uses her erotic influence over the doctor and her readiness to claim that the family lawyer is her child's father to drive her husband into the arms of his old trusted nurse, who straitjackets him.

Brad Fryman* as the Captain
Natalie Menna as the Wife
Daniel Lugo* as the Doctor
Gabe Bettio* as the Pastor
Bailey Newman as the Daughter
Jo Vetter* as the Captain's Old Nurse
Tyler Joseph as the Captain’s Orderly

Costume design by Janet Mervin
Lighting design by Gilbert "Lucky" Pearto

Performed in rotating rep with "#MeThree" by Natalie Menna.

2019 CAST
Brad Fryman" as the Captain, Natalie Menna as the wife, Daniel Lugo" as the Doctor, Bailey Newman as the Daughter, Toby Miller" as the Pastor, Jo Vetter* as the Captain's old Nurse and Tyler Joseph" as the Captain’s orderly. Stage manager Georgeta Seserman.

*=member, Actors Equity


Strindberg, a titan of modern theatre on par with Ibsen, is finally getting his due this side of the pond thanks to Robert Greer, the play’s gifted director and translator. Greer has done an extraordinary service for American theatre, directing eleven Strindberg plays to date. I look forward to more...
The Captain is a punishing role, physically and mentally, and [Brad] Fryman does it justice, showing admirable range and clarity of intention.... And Laura does little else but scheme. Yet so valiantly does the subtle and suggestive Natalie Menna defend her character that she actually manages to win the audience’s sympathy, even as she drives her husband to suicide and then deprives him of the means to kill himself. Her performance is pitch-perfect, never wantonly cruel, always grounded in an unshakable belief in her right to the daughter she bore and raised.For all his alleged or admitted misogyny, Strindberg gives Menna the material she needs to defend Laura—up to and including the last word. Her arms wrapped tightly around her daughter, her prize, she declares “My daughter. Mine.”
-- Joshus Crone, Reviews from Underground

Natalie Menna plays Laura with the emotional complexity of a woman who is in her sexual prime but confined by social propriety and repressed in an unfulfilled marriage ... The Captain is a study in self-destruction.... As he tries to impose his will, he is undermined by his wife who plants doubts about his sanity in The Captain himself and in those around him. Mr. Fryman portrays his gradual mental demise through insidious doubt about his fatherhood with subtlety and a well-paced change from being the master of the household to becoming an infantilized wreck....-- Beate Hein Bennett, New York Theatre Wire

Jon Sobel, Blogcritics