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The Greenhouse Effect at Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex
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The Greenhouse Effect at Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex

- Backstage with the Playwrights

The Greenhouse Effect
Abingdon Theatre Company
Artistic Directors: Jan Buttram, Pamela Paul
Dorothy Strelsin Theatre

The Greenhouse Effect
Written and Performed by
Michael Deep
At the
Abingdon Theatre Company
312 West 36th Street

Directed by Kate Bushmann
Scenic Design: Andris Krumkalns
Lighting Design: Jay Scott
Costume Designer: Ingrid Maurer
Sound Design: Ken Feldman
Production Manager: Peter Brouwer
Production Stage Manager: Kate DeCoste
Associate Artistic Director: Kim T. Sharp
Director of Marketing: Doug DeVita

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 23, 2007

Greenhouse Family Cast, in Order of Appearance: Charles, the Son; George, the Father; Missy, the Daughter; Leah, the Mother; all performed by Michael Deep. Michael Deep, a founding member of Abingdon Theatre Company, plays the gay son in midlife crisis at his mother’s funeral. Mr. Deep has written this Southern American play that jumps between present, 1978, and 1993. He shrewdly reveals more and more about his character, Charles Greenhouse’s life, through the dialogue/monologues that he has memorized with amazing perfection. In fact, he performs so seamlessly, that at times one forgets that this is one and the same performer, gay/straight/male/female/old/young, and so many moods, so many memories.

The story has been told before, the psychological upheavals that family funerals can cause, the pain of words, the contrast of lifestyles, the pride and the remorse, the needs unfulfilled and the love unrequited. But, Mr. Deep has created a new work with its own devices, twists, and even a moon and stars. Mr. Deep is even gym-fit, allowing him to bend, jump, crawl, lunge, and, generally, to maintain the stamina, concentration, and voice for this two-act, non-stop performance. He unfolds, among numerous scenarios, his mother’s fantasies about walking out on her family and disappearing, his father’s comment, “Thanks for not bringing your partner of 13 years with you”, his father’s ambivalent treatment, over the years, of his deceased mother, and the theme of Death in Venice, the death of an older man, who could not fulfill desire for a youth. As his sister, he is ingénue and self-possessed. As his mother, he is vulnerable and eccentric. As his father, he is often conflicted and sometimes cruel.

As Charles Greenhouse, Michael Deep approaches the plight of “everyman”, the coming to terms with the ravages of reality, the quest for peace of mind, the rejection of all that has not been pleasant. His gestures, accent, tone, posture, mood, and delivery all change flawlessly as he moves between characters, time, and space. And, all this on the tiny, intimate stage of the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre. To purchase tickets for future Abingdon Theatre Co. Productions, go to SmartTix.

Before or after attending an Abingdon Theatre Company production, visit Seven, a lively and elegant bistro, with comfortable booths and an international menu, 350 Seventh Avenue between 29th and 30th Streets, 212.967.1919. Tell them you saw them mentioned on

Michael Deep in "The Greenhouse Effect"
Photo courtesy of Abingdon Theatre Company

Michael Deep in "The Greenhouse Effect"
Photo courtesy of Abingdon Theatre Company

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at