February 9 - 19
Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star by James McLure
Laundry and Bourbon
roles – 3 younger women
single set – front porch of house in Maynard, Texas
On the front porch of Roy and Elizabeth's home in Maynard, Texas, on a hot summer afternoon, Elizabeth and her friend Hattie while away the time folding laundry, watching TV, sipping bourbon and Coke, and gossiping about the many open secrets which are so much a part of small-town life. They are joined by the self-righteous Amy Lee who, among other tidbits, can't resist blurting out that Roy has been seen around town with another woman. While the ensuing conversation is increasingly edged with bitter humor, from it emerges a sense of Elizabeth's inner strength and her quiet understanding of the turmoil which has beset her husband since his return from Vietnam. He is wild, and he is unfaithful, but he needs her, and she loves him. And she'll be waiting for him when he comes home—no matter what others may say or think.
Conceived as a companion piece to precede Lone Star, with which it constitutes a full evening of theatre.
"Mr. McLure's strongest suit is dialogue - salty comic banter that derives from colorful indigenous characters." —NY Times
roles – 3 younger men
single set – backyard of a bar in Maynard, Texas
The play takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and trying to reestablish his position in the community. Joined by his younger brother, Ray (who worships him), Roy sets about consuming a case of beer while regaling Ray with tales of his military and amorous exploits. Apparently Roy cherishes three things above all; his country, his sexy young wife, and his 1959 pink Thunderbird. With the arrival of Cletis, the fatuous, newlywed son of the local hardware store owner, the underpinnings of Roy's world begin to collapse as it gradually comes out that Ray had slept with his brother's wife during his absence and, horror of horrors, has just demolished his cherished Thunderbird. But, despite all, the high good humor of the play never lapses, and all ends as breezily and happily as it began.
Presented initially by the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and then produced successfully on Broadway, this hilarious study of a pair of Texas "good ole boys" on a Saturday night carouse introduced an exciting new playwright of major potential. Conceived as a companion piece to follow Laundry and Bourbon, with which it constitutes a full evening of theatre.
"LONE STAR is an uproarious comedy about two bawdily rambunctious Texas brothers peppered with the playwright's own special brand of cascading, spontaneous wit." —NY Times
March 29 – April 19
Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out by Norm Foster
roles – 3 women/4 men - doubling - all middle-age/older
single set – changing set pieces: kitchen, café, grocery, store
Teresa is an adorable, innocent woman in her 50s. She is easily shocked by risque lingerie but charmingly direct and open with everyone, from junkies to a forbidding singing teacher.
Urged by her grocer to spice up her life, she goes from camera club to salsa to bowling to archery with hilarious results. However, Foster goes deeper than antics to examine the nature of human relationships and the self, given the shortness of our lives.
Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out is episodic like a TV show. Layers of sliding screens, a few props and non-traditional lighting establish the places for Teresa’s adventures, from Mr. Lewicki’s outdoor porch to a 1950s-style diner. The lighting is kept buoyant in greens, pinks, blues and purples. The music between scenes is jazzy and jaunty befitting a comedic journey through life.
Foster demonstrates his gift for one-liners and situation comedy that reflects ordinary-lived experience. This rewarding, funny play, gallops to a warm-hearted, communal conclusion.
June 1 - 11
Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig
COMEDY – ROMANCE
roles – 3 younger women, 1 older woman, 3 younger men, 2 older men
single set – main living room in a large, stately house in Pennsylvania
In this hilarious comedy by the author of Lend Me A Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing "Scenes from Shakespeare" on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, PA is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren't nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements abound, especially when Leo falls head-over-petticoat in love with the old lady's vivacious niece, Meg, who's engaged to the local minister. Meg knows that there's a wide world out there, but it's not until she meets "Maxine and Stephanie" that she finally gets a taste of it.
"Ken Ludwig is a national treasure. He has almost single-handedly kept alive the sense of humor of Philip Barry, Billy Wilder, Preston Sturgis, George S. Kaufman, and the Marx Brothers. With Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, Ludwig established himself as the American playwright to look to for the fast and furious comedic stylings of those masters...
"Ludwig's newest farce is so funny, it will make sophisticated and reasonable men and women of the 21st century cackle till their faces hurt." --Houston Press
August 10 -20
Tribes by Nina Raine
CONTEMPORARY - DRAMA
roles - 2 young women, 2 young men, 1 older man and woman
single set – family room of a modest home.
Nina Raine explained in a 2010 interview that the idea of writing the play came to her after she saw a documentary about a deaf couple who were expecting a child, and they said that they hoped their child would be deaf. She said that it occurred to her that a family was a tribe, whose members wanted to pass on values, beliefs and language to their children. She began to see that there were "tribes everywhere," in groups including individual families and religious communities, with their own rituals and hierarchies that are hard to understand by "outsiders."
The play focuses on a comically dysfunctional Jewish British family, made up of the parents Beth and Christopher and three grown children living at home, Daniel, Ruth and Billy, the last of whom is deaf, raised to read lips and speak but without knowledge of sign language. When Billy meets Sylvia, a hearing woman born to deaf parents who is now slowly going deaf herself, his interaction with her (including her teaching him sign language) reveals some of the languages, beliefs, and hierarchies of the family and the "extended family" of the deaf community.
"A smart, lively… new play that asks us to hear how we hear, in silence as well as in speech...” --New York Times
October 12 - 22
Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie
CLASSIC – DRAMA – MURDER MYSTERY
roles - 1 young man, 5 older men, 2 young women, 2 older women, other minor characters
two sets – the office of a London barrister and the courtroom, London, England
Leonard Vole is arrested for the murder of Emily French, a wealthy older woman. Unaware that he was a married man, Miss French made him her principal heir, casting suspicion on Leonard. When his wife, Romaine, agrees to testify, she does so not in Leonard's defense but as a witness for the prosecution. Romaine's decision is part of a complicated plan to free her husband. She first gives the prosecution its strongest evidence, then fabricates new evidence that discredits her testimony, believing that this improves Leonard's chances of acquittal far more than her testimony for the defense. It is then revealed that the killer is…
"The author …takes us…into the Old Bailey during an exciting trial for murder, [then] into chambers where the human reactions of the lawyers engaged in the case may be studied; and when the trial is over and there seems no more to be said, she swiftly ravels again the skein which the law has confidently unraveled and leaves herself with a denouement which is at once surprising and credible. Mrs Christie has by this time got the audience in her pocket…It is only then that the accomplished thriller writer shows her real hand." --The Times (London)