[Capdist-announce] Walton Beacham's "I Am Barbie" Comes to Catskill

Steven Patterson kaliyuga.steven at gmail.com
Mon Aug 21 15:43:44 EDT 2023

Looks like it’s Barbie’s world and all of us are just living in it!
Piggybacking on the phenomenal success of Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster BARBIE
film, Bridge Street Theatre is proud to present the East Coast premiere of
Texas playwright Walton Beacham’s “I Am Barbie” from August 31st through
September 10th on the theatre’s intimate “Priscilla” Mainstage, located at
44 West Bridge Street in Catskill, NY.

It's Barbie’s 60th birthday (she still looks absolutely *fabulous*, by the
way), and she celebrates by reminiscing with us about her innumerable
careers, everyone’s obsession with her chest, her on-again-off-again
relationship with Ken, and with other characters from her life including GI
Joe, She-Ra, Skipper, Annette Funicello, Britney Spears, and her creators
Ruth Handler and Jack Ryan. Barbie’s ascension as a cultural icon, symbol,
and statement of feminine status, power, and vulnerability was probably one
of the most unlikely developments of the second half of the 20th Century –
and she’s *still* goin’ strong!

Originally premiered at Houston’s Main Street Theatre back in 2011, the
play was initially scheduled to be presented at BST during its 2016 Season,
but the theatre was unable to find the right actors to fill the roles. Not
a problem in 2023! Featured in the cast of *this* production are Olivia
Sargent as Barbie, with Natalie Arneson, Amanda Ferguson, and Max Kantor
portraying a host of other characters, both real and fictional. Rob Maitner
directs, with sets and lighting design by John Sowle, costumes by Michelle
Rogers, wigs and styling by Nellie Gamboa of Catskill’s GOODHair W&MC, and
artwork by Julie Chase. Production Stage Manager is Hannarose Manning.

“This will be only the second time the play has ever been presented, and
we’ve been lucky enough to assemble an absolute dream team to bring it to
our stage,” says John Sowle, Bridge Street’s Artistic and Managing
Director. “For the past several years, director Rob Maitner has been
producing, assembling, and performing in a massively popular cabaret series
at 54 Below in Manhattan called ‘Sondheim Unplugged’, and he brings an
ideal comic sensibility to this fiendishly tricky material. There’s an
almost John Waters-like combination of campiness, raucous hilarity, social
critique, and sincere emotion in Walton’s writing and Rob and this cast
absolutely nail it. You should definitely leave the kiddies at home for
this one, though – we’re recommending it for audiences 12 and over.”

The theatre also plans some extra added attractions to go along with the
play’s presentation. Opening night Friday September 1st  will be a Cosplay
evening, with audience members encouraged to show up in costume (of course,
if you want to show up in costume at ANY of the performances, no one’s
gonna stop you!). And throughout the run, there’ll be a life-sized Barbie
box in the theatre’s lobby for patrons to step inside for a ”Mint-in-Box”
photograph of themselves. And keep your eye on the slideshow in the lobby
beforehand and the projections onstage during the show. You may catch a
glimpse of some of your friend’s and neighbor’s personal Barbie collections!

“I Am Barbie” will play for eight performances only, August 31st –
September 10th. Thursday – Saturday performances begin at 7:30pm, with
Sunday matinees at 2:00pm. Discounted advance tickets are available for $28
online at bridgest.org/i-am-barbie-tickets/. Seats at the door are $30. All
tickets for patrons ages 18 and under are $15. Additionally, any remaining
seats for the preview performance on Thursday evening August 31st and the
Sunday afternoon matinee on September 3rd will be sold at the door on a
“Pay What You Will” basis. Just show up before curtain time and pay
whatever you feel you can afford for any seat that’s still available. Doors
always open one-half hour before curtain time.

This delightful production promises to be an hysterically funny and
surprisingly touching look at what it’s like being a Barbie Girl in a
not-so-Barbie world. Come for the laughs, leave with a lump in your throat.
Want more details? Just visit the theatre’s website at

*Events at Bridge Street Theatre are supported in part by the New York
State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor of New York and
the New York State Legislature and by Public Funds from the Greene County
Legislature. Bridge Street Theatre’s entire 2023 Season is sponsored by
generous donations from Mary E. Barrett and Ted and Mary Neumann in memory
of Helmut and Emily Neumann.*

*Performance Calendar:*Bridge Street Theatre presents
The East Coast Premiere of

*I AM BARBIE*by Walton Beacham
with Olivia Sargent, Natalie Arneson, Amanda Ferguson, and Max Kantor
Directed by Rob Maitner
Set and Lighting Design by John Sowle
Costumes by Michelle Rogers
Wig Design and Styling by Nellie Gamboa
Production Stage Manager: Hannarose Manning
August 31 – September 10, 2023
Bridge Street Theatre’s “Priscilla” Mainstage
44 West Bridge Street, Catskill, NY

Thursday August 31 @ 7:30pm (“Pay What You Will” preview)
Friday September 1 @ 7:30pm (Opening & Cosplay Night)
Saturday September 2 @ 7:30pm
Sunday September 3 @ 2:00pm (“Pay What You Will” performance)
Thursday September 7 @ 7:30pm
Friday September 8 @ 7:30pm
Saturday September 9 @ 7:30pm
Sunday September 10 @ 2:00pm (Closing performance)

*Tickets:*Advance tickets available at
$28 General Admission, 18 & under $15
Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to each performance (on a
space available basis) for $30, 18 & under $15
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