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rogue, (rôg), n. [<16th-c. thieves' slang <L.rogare, to ask]

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2012 American Theatre Wing
National Theatre Company Award


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Itamar Moses' 'The Four of Us'


Directed by Cynthia Meier

June 16–June 27 , 2010

Thursday–Saturday 7:30 P.M., Sunday 2:00 P.M.
plus Wednesday June 16 Preview 7:30 P.M.

Musical Preshow begins 15 minutes before curtain
Discussion with the cast and director follows all performances

Pay-What-You-Will Nights:
Wednesday June 16 Preview
Thursday June 17 Preview
Thursday June 24

Half-price Student Rush 15 minutes before curtain

Performance Schedule

The Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y
300 East University Boulevard

Free Off-Street Parking
See Map and Parking Information

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

The Four of Us traces the fraught relationship between a young playwright named David and a young novelist named Benjamin. They meet at Musicians’ Camp when they’re 17, spend a few months together in Prague in their early 20s, and end up pursuing divergent destinies back in New York. What appears to be a simple “buddy story” turns into an Escher-like exploration of the relative value of fame and friendship.


John Shartzer (David) and Matt Bowdren (Benjamin)

Photo by Tim Fuller


Two Characters Times Two: Rogue’s The Four of Us plays with the lives of two real-life literary figures

Review of The Four of Us by Nathan Christensen in the June 24 Tucson Weekly

The Four of Us comes straight from today’s generation

Review of The Four of Us by Chuck Graham on June 21 in Let The Show Begin! at

Two actors add up to lovely Four

Review of The Four of Us by Kathleen Allen in the June 18 Arizona Daily Star

New AC lets Rogue raise audience’s temperature

Preview of The Four of Us by Kathleen Allen in the June 11 Arizona Daily Star

From The Rogue’s new YouTube channel:
We sat down with John Shartzer and Matt Bowdren to get their thoughts on performing Itamar Moses’ The Four Of Us.


Cynthia Meier (Director)

Cynthia Meier (Director) is the Managing and Associate Artistic Director for The Rogue Theatre for which she has adapted and directed James Joyce’s The Dead, directed Othello, Animal Farm, Orlando, Happy Days, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Fever and The Cherry Orchard, and performed in Not I, Our Town, A Delicate Balance, Immortal Longings, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Red Noses, The Goat (Best Actress, Arizona Daily Star 2008 Mac Award), The Maids, Endymion and The Balcony. A co-founder of Bloodhut Productions, Cynthia has also performed in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Arizona Repertory Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire (Arizona Theatre Company), Blithe Spirit and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michigan Repertory Theatre), Romeo & Juliet and Chicago Milagro (Borderlands Theatre), A Namib Spring (1999 National Play Award winner), and Smirnova’s Birthday, The Midnight Caller, and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (Tucson Art Theatre). Cynthia is a Faculty member in Speech at Pima Community College and holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of Arizona. In 2000, Cynthia was awarded the Tucson YWCA Woman on the Move Award.

Director’s Notes

Last night after rehearsal, Matt and John and Nic and I were sitting around joking. Mostly, I was listening to the boys’ adventures, laughing at their baiting of one another. Then Matt said he wanted to hear stories from my “mysterious” past. Prompted by the question “What was the worst drug I ever used?” I told about the time a friend sent me a plane ticket to New York City for New Year’s when I was 21 and heartbroken. The boys listened patiently as I described discovering Edward Hopper at the Whitney, lunching at the Algonquin Hotel, seeing the original cast of A Chorus Line, dining at Sardi’s, drinking at all hours of the day—an adventure I knew, even at the time, I would never forget. For a moment I was swept away by this glamorous vision of myself. Then we turned off the lights, left the theatre, and the boys went out to their nightly revels while I came home to ponder the path of that 21-year-old girl leading to this 53-year-old woman.

Through these rehearsals, I’ve watched these beautiful young men, wondering what place this play, this soon-to-be memory will hold in their future. Will they, thirty years from now, remember this precipice before the rest of their lives? The Four of Us sits as a kind of Möbius strip that we can’t help but turn over and over in our hands. It is a memory of a friendship, partly created, partly lived (as all memories are), loosely based on the friendship of playwright Itamar Moses and Jonathan Safran Foer (author of Everything is Illuminated). But even lodged in these specifics, the play prompts a reflection on who we are and what we were and how we perceive each other. I hope you, too, have the chance to see your past or imagine your future through Benjamin and David and Matt and John. And now: the adventure begins…

—Cynthia Meier, Director of The Four of Us


Itamar Moses (Playwright)

Itamar Moses (Playwright) grew up in Berkeley, Califormia, and earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale University and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. He has taught playwriting at both Yale and New York University. In addition to The Four of Us, he is author of Bach at Leipzig, Back Back Back, Outrage, Celebrity Row, and Yellowjackets. He was born in 1977.

Read more about Itamar Moses and his plays in the March 2010 issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine.


John Shartzer (David) and Matt Bowdren (Benjamin)

Photo by Tim Fuller



Benjamin Matt Bowdren
David John Shartzer


Cast Biographies

Matt Bowdren (Benjamin)

Matt Bowdren (Benjamin) played the Director in Six Characters in Search of an Author and Billy in The Goat at The Rogue. Matt graduated with his BFA in Acting from the University of Arizona, and is pursuing his MFA in Acting at the University of Georgia. His credits include Hamlet (Live Theatre Workshop), Betrayal, The Shape of Things (University of Georgia), Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, and Biloxi Blues (Arizona Repertory Theatre). Matt understudied Twelfth Night and Molly’s Delicious at Arizona Theatre Company. In New York City, he toured in Midsummer Night's Dream with Hudson Shakespeare Co., and Somewhere in Between with Collaborative Stages.

John Shartzer (David) was last seen as Roderigo in Othello at The Rogue, and played Guy in the Now Theatre’s Some Girls last fall. Other Rogue Theatre credits include Animal Farm, Orlando and Six Characters in Search of an Author. You may also have seen John as the Powerball in the Arizona Lottery’s latest ad campaign. His most recent film, Queens of Country, will be released next March. He is a proud member of the U of A’s only all-improv comedy troupe, The Charles Darwin Experience.

John Shartzer (David)


Notes on the Preshow music

Improvisation has been a key tool in the rehearsal process for many Rogue productions. The Four Of Us is no exception. Much of the staging you see tonight can be credited to improvisation by John and Matt. Early in the process, we asked our actors to improvise a band-practice based on the few details provided in one scene. The only clue to the band’s sound is in a line from David: “We both play keyboards.” Matt and John dusted off the Casio, set up some speakers, plugged in, and played.

Part of what makes The Four Of Us such a wonderfully puzzling play is the blurred line between fact and fiction. Both characters frequently fictionalize events—they’re writers. Because the historical legitimacy of each scene is questionable, Cindy and I decided it might be fun to imagine “the band that wasn’t,” the band that our heroes Benjamin and David imagined at Young Musicians Camp, the band whose hits you’ve never heard and whose album cover art you’ve never seen. MegaCläp, the band you see in our pre-show, is the product of this experimentation.

And if you come back for more than one performance, you’ll see and hear another MegaCläp hit-in-the-making. The pre-show is completely improvised each night!

—Nic Adams, Assistant Director

From The Rogue’s new YouTube channel:
MegaCläp—the keyboard duo comprised of Young Musicians’ Camp graduates David and Benjamin—coming to The Rogue!


Production Staff

Stage Manager Ashley Simon
Assistant Director Nic Adams
House Manager Susan Collinet
Assistant House Manager JoAn Forehand
Box Office Manager Thomas Wentzel
Poster and Program Thomas Wentzel


Scenic Design Joseph McGrath
Costume Design Cynthia Meier
Lighting Design Clint Bryson


Clint Bryson (Lighting Design)

Clint Bryson (Lighting Designer) has designed lights for The Rogue Theatre’s productions of The Balcony, The Dead, Endymion, The Cherry Orchard, Happy Days, The Goat, Red Noses, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Orlando, Immortal Longings, Animal Farm, A Delicate Balance, Our Town, Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I, Act Without Words and Othello. Other lighting design credits include As Bees in Honey Drown and Golf Game for Borderlands, Woman in Black for Beowulf Alley, and The Seagull for Tucson Art Theatre. Clint is currently the Shop Foreman, Production Technical Director and Marketing Director for Catalina Foothills Theatre Department where he designs and coordinates the construction of all scenery. He is also a member of Rhino Staging Services, and a regular participant in Arizona Theatre Company’s Summer on Stage program where he designs and builds the scenery as well as teaches production classes. Clint thoroughly enjoys the passion and integrity that The Rogue brings to their productions and looks forward to playing his part in their creative journeys.

Ashley Simon (Stage Manager) was the Stage Manager for The Rogue Theatre’s Othello and Immortal Longings, and Assistant to the Stage Manager for Arizona Theatre Company’s The Glass Menagerie, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Kite Runner, A Raisin in the Sun, Hair and The Lady with All the Answers. She stage managed The Mousetrap, Same Time Next Year and Forever Plaid at The Theater Barn in the Berkshires. At Florida Stage, she was Assistant to the Stage Manager for the world premieres of Deborah Zoe Laufer’s End Days, Roger Heddon’s The Count and Jessica Goldberg’s Ward 57. Ms. Simon is a graduate of the BFA Theatre program at Sam Houston State University.
Ashley Simon
Nic Adams (Assistant Director)

Nic Adams (Assistant Director) has appeared with The Rogue Theatre in Othello, Orlando and Six Characters in Search of an Author and with the Now Theatre in This Property is Condemned and The Zoo Story , both “Rogue After Curfew” productions. A theatre student at the University of Arizona, Nic performed in the Arizona Repertory Theatre’s productions of Titus Andronicus and Candide.


Our Thanks

Tim Fuller
Shawn Burke
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Arizona Daily Star
Delectables Restaurant & Catering


John Shartzer (David) and Matt Bowdren (Benjamin)

Photo by Tim Fuller


Performance Schedule for The Four of Us

Location: The Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y, 300 East University Boulevard
Free off-street parking! Click here to see map and parking information.

Performance run time is approximately 1 hour 35 minutes with no intermission, not including musical preshow or post-show discussion.

Wednesday June 16, 2010, 7:30 pm PREVIEW, PAY-WHAT-YOU-WILL
Thursday June 17, 2010, 7:30 pm PREVIEW, PAY-WHAT-YOU-WILL
Friday June 18, 2010, 7:30 pm OPENING NIGHT
Saturday June 19, 2010, 7:30 pm
Sunday June 20, 2010, 2:00 pm matinee

Thursday June 24, 2010, 7:30 pm, PAY-WHAT-YOU-WILL
Friday June 25, 2010, 7:30 pm
Saturday June 26, 2010, 7:30 pm
Sunday June 27, 2010, 2:00 pm matinee


World Premiere at the Old Globe, San Diego, California,
Louis G. Spisto, CEO/Executive Producer, Jerry Patch, Co-Artistic Director, Daarko Tresnjak, Co-Artistic Director.

Originally produced in New York by the Manhattan Theatre Club,
Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Barry Grove, Executive Producer



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