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American Song - Joanna Murray-Smith’s Critically-Acclaimed Drama

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Archived 19 Apr 2020 - Posted: 20 Feb 2020
After a sell-out Australian premiere season in 2017, the critically-acclaimed production of Joanna Murray-Smith’s American Song comes to Glen Street Theatre at Belrose on Sydney’s Northern Beaches from 26 – 28 March.

The production comes to Glen Street Theatre after a limited season at Melbourne’s Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, followed by an eleven-city Australian tour in partnership with Critical Stages Touring. 

Directed by Tom Healey (The Spook, The Shape of Things), the work features Red Stitch ensemble member Joe Petruzzi (Mambo Kings, The Devil’s Playground, Jurassica) in a reprisal of his provocative and profound solo performance as Andy.

Andy’s experience is common to many of us. The slow accumulation of a good life: love, work, friendship, family. But unforeseen events lead him to places he never imagined. As Andy heads off to work to give the biggest presentation of his career, he wishes his teenage son Robbie goodbye. Eight hours later, everything has changed.

Australian award-winning playwright Joanna Murray Smith's latest play attempts to shed a little light on the horrifying phenomenon of American gun violence. It tells the story of one father, Andy, as a tragedy unfolds.

First commissioned in the United States, and produced there in 2016 to great acclaim, American Song reaches beyond national or cultural borders in an intimate exploration of parenting, love and the question, ‘what could I have done differently?’

Ella Caldwell, Red Stitch Artistic Director said: “Red Stitch is thrilled that audiences around Australia will experience our celebrated production of American Song. Touring interstate and to regional audiences is an important part of our vision - to ensure these timely, urgent works reach a broader audience, and to sustain the life of exceptional productions.”

Joanna Murray-Smith is one of Australia’s most prolific playwrights. With more than 20 plays to her name, they have been performed by some of the world's greatest leading actors including Annette Bening, Meryl Streep, Laura Linney, Dame Diana Rigg, Sam Waterston, and John Slattery. Her plays include Switzerland, Pennsylvania Avenue, Fury, True Minds, Songs for Nobodies, The Gift, Rockabye,  and The Female of the Species, amongst many others.


“American Song is one of Joanna Murray-Smith’s most mature, refined and important works… interesting…individual and universal… Petruzzi is such a good fit for the role… powerful and so well directed by Tom Healey.” The Australian

4 STARS - “Tom Healey’s assured and well-paced direction lends the play emotional and dynamic energy…Joe Petruzzi gives a nuanced but muscular performance.” Herald Sun

“Tragic and timely.” The Age

“Murray-Smith is at her best here…Petruzzi’s Andy is multi-layered…Healey paces his performance to perfection.” Stage Noise

4 STARS - “Joe Petruzzi commands and holds our complete attention…a commanding and extraordinary solo performance.” Theatre People


Written by Joanna Murray-Smith

Director Tom Healey

Cast Joe Petruzzi

Set & Costume Design Darryl Cordell

Lighting Design Bronwyn Pringle

Composer & Sound Designer Patrick Cronin

Remount Director Ella Caldwell

Production Manager Clare Springett

Stage Manager Natasha Marich

American Song

Joanna Murray-Smith’s Critically-Acclaimed Drama

26 – 28 March 2020

Glen Street Theatre, Cnr Glen Street, Blackbutts Rd, Belrose

Available now, online.

This article archived 19 Apr 2020

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