N. Richard Nash’s The Rainmaker Opens at
Captivating Classic Set for Limited Run in Gloucester
Gloucester Stage Company continues its 38th season of professional theater on Cape Ann with N. Richard Nash’s moving American classic The Rainmaker from July 14 through August 5 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Set in the time of a paralyzing drought in Depression-era America, The Rainmaker tells the story of a pivotal hot summer day in the life of spinsterish Lizzie Curry, whose father and two brothers are worried as much about her marriage prospects as they are about their dying cattle. Enter Starbuck, the consummate con man, who promises to solve all their problems, for a fee. Directed by Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh, The Rainmaker cast features Brian Homer as Starbuck; Jessica Bates as Lizzie Curry; David DeBeck as H.C. Curry, the patriarch of the Curry family; Joe Short and Sean McCoy as the Curry brothers; Dave Rich as File and longtime Gordon College Professor of Theater Arts Norm Jones as Sheriff Thomas. N. Richard Nash’s most celebrated play, The Rainmaker, appeared in all three mediums; on Broadway in 1954, as a motion picture starring Katharine Hepburn in 1956, and as a television production in 1982. A musical version of The Rainmaker, entitled 110 Degrees in the Shade, debuted on Broadway in 1963.
N. Richard Nash studied philosophy and literature at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1934. While in school he directed plays at Bryn Mawr, a nearby women’s college, and received great reviews for a play he wrote featuring only female characters. Nash received the Maxwell Anderson Verse Drama award in 1940 for Parting at Imsdorf. His plays include Second Best Bed (1946), The Young and Fair (1948), See the Jaguar (1952), Girls of Summer (1956), Handful of Fire (1958), and the musical WILDCAT(1960). During the 1950s Mr. Nash was one of six writers selected by producer Fred Coe to create serious drama for television. His screenplay credits include Nora Prentiss (1946), Dear Wife (1950), and Top of the World (1955). Adapting the works of others, he wrote the script for The Sainted Sisters (1948) and Porgy and Bess (1959). Later in his career, Mr. Nash focused on writing novels. “East Wind, Rain” (1977), inspired by his time serving with the Office of War Information during World War II, took seven years to research. Other novels include Cry Macho (1975) and Radiance (1983). Mr. Nash also lectured on drama and philosophy at colleges and universities throughout the United States. He died on Dec. 11, 2000, in New York City at the age of eighty-seven.
A native Bostonian who now lives & works as an actor in NYC, Brian Homer has performed in numerous Off-Broadway productions, including Theater for a New Audience’s repertory production of Richard II/Richard III, Seattle Repertory Theater’s premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s Spinning Into Butter, and the New Repertory Theater’s world premiere of Stephen Belber’s Drifting Elegant. An actor as well as a theater arts educator, Mr. Homer holds an MFA in Acting from Brandies University where he studied with Robert Walsh.
All photos Gary Ng