By Bruce Graham
Directed by M. Craig Getting
November 9 - December 17, 2017
From the ashes of World War II, Dutch patriots discover that one of their own – a rich and reputable art dealer – has sold rare Vermeer paintings to the Nazis. Accused of treason and on trial for his life, he must decide whether to destroy his own reputation or to reveal bigger secrets behind these works that the Dutch consider national treasures. Commissioned and developed through the Lantern's New Works Program, this world premiere by celebrated Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham spins a darkly ironic tale of ambition, genius, and deception.
The Craftsman poster art: Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window by Johannes Vermeer (1659). Courtesy of the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany.
Mary Lee Bednarek as Johanna van Meegeren • Dan Hodge as Boll • Anthony Lawton as Han van Meegeren • Brian McCann as Augustun / Rotke / Judge • Paul L. Nolan as Abraham Bredius • Ian Merrill Peakes as Joseph Pillel
The Creative Team
Meghan Jones, Scenic Designer • Kayla Speedy, Costume Designer • Shannon Zura, Lighting Designer • Christopher Colucci, Sound Designer • Janelle Kauffman, Projection Designer • Rebecca Smith, Stage Manager
News & Reviews
"Riveting theater. I haven't seen everything that Bruce Graham, the prolific Philadelphia playwright, has written... But I can say that The Craftsman, in a stirring world-premiere production from Lantern Theater Company, has to be among the very best of them. In a season already ripe with new plays, Graham's stands out..." –WHYY News more
"A richly-layered examination of truth and deception, human motivation and widespread gullibility... Bruce Graham proves once again that he is a master at observing the human condition and understanding the deep-seated emotions that drive us. And the Lantern's world-class production proves once again that this is the thinking person's go-to theater company, delivering Graham's insightful vision with a superb cast, director, and design team. In the words spoken by Dr. Bredius, 'Great art evokes a response ... emotion.' The Craftsman does, and is." –DC Metro Theater Arts more
"Intriguing... a tip-top cast. Part courtroom drama, part psychological study of obsession, the play manages to include a sweeping discussion of important questions about art and artifice, lying and forgery, hatred and revenge, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Graham has given us not only a juicy slice of history, but also plenty of relevance to chew on as we contemplate the world." –The Philadelphia Inquirer more
"The Craftsman is both a fascinating history and character study within Graham's tight narrative arc. M. Craig Getting directs this fine ensemble cast with invention and beautiful pacing of complex material." –EDGE more
"A brilliant portrayal." –Beyond My Backyard more
"A thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking play." –Talkin' Broadway more
Header Photo: Paul L. Nolan, Sally Mercer, and Charles McMahon in Copenhagen (2018); Charlie DelMarcelle, Anthony Lawton, Jered McLenigan, and Brian Anthony Wilson in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (2019); Anthony Lawton and Paul L. Nolan in The Craftsman (2017); and Bi Jean Ngo and Peter DeLaurier in The Tempest (2018). Photos by Mark Garvin.
Lantern Theater Company respectfully acknowledges that it is situated on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Unami Lenape.