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ART: Geva cancels summer show "The Lifeguard" 

Creative differences scuttle one-man show about Ronald Reagan

Geva Theatre Center announced today that it has cancelled its upcoming summer production of "The Lifeguard," a new one-man show about Ronald Reagan that was set to star Rochester native and Oscar nominee Robert Forster. Geva heavily touted the show at its 2013-14 season announcement a few weeks back.

In the official press release, Geva Artistic Director Mark Cuddy -- who was also set to direct "The Lifeguard" -- explains that creative differences arose between Forster and playwright David Rambo. Given a lack of shared creative vision, Rambo decided to rescind the rights to the play.

This was to have been the world premiere of the work, and Cuddy had previously said that he hoped that the Geva production would go on tour.

The full press release, which appears below, mentions that Geva will announce its full summer schedule in the near future.



Full schedule of Summer Season to be announced in the coming weeks.

Rochester, N.Y., April 3, 2013- Geva Theatre Center regrettably announces that the production of The Lifeguard: Ronald Reagan and his Story by David Rambo scheduled to run in the Fielding Nextstage from June 13-30 has been cancelled.

Geva's Artistic Director, Mark Cuddy, who was to direct this play, starring Academy Award-nominee Robert Forster said, "We know many in the Rochester community were looking forward to this production, and we are sorry that it cannot proceed as planned."

"Putting together all of the artistic pieces in any production, yet alone a world premiere, requires enormous coordination and collaboration," he continued. "Most importantly, it also requires a shared vision by the entire creative team of how the written words will live onstage. Once Geva Theatre Center had secured the rights from the playwright's agent to produce this new play in June, artistic collaboration among playwright, actor and director began in earnest. It shortly became apparent; however, that actor and playwright each had a vision for the production that was not compatible with the other. In light of this basic difference, after consultation with me, the playwright made the difficult decision to rescind the rights from Geva rather than risk a compromised vision that neither actor, writer, nor director fully endorsed."

"The act of theater-making is full of risk: each project requiring an enormous amount of faith, perseverance, and trust. When a new production is born, it is a little miracle that everyone's artistic efforts have melded into one unified creation. I will always be grateful to my collaborators for their trust and talent. And I look forward to working with these two - Robert Forster and David Rambo - on other possible projects in the future."

Announcement of Geva Theatre Center's summer season will occur in the coming weeks.

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