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Mariemont Players Limelight Review – September, 2018

Jackie Miesle, Editor
Art Kibby, Distribution

Membership Summer Party
Mariemont Players General Membership Party
Linda Callahan and Maris Ryan did a wonderful job hosting the Mariemont Players General Membership party meeting on Saturday evening, August 18th. We had a festive gathering of about fifty members and guests. We enjoyed camaraderie, a game, good food, music by Aretha Franklin, and door prizes. Thanks to all who contributed their delicious potluck dishes. During the meeting, we heard about the upcoming events and activities of our members.

The following awards were presented during the meeting:
The 2018 Elston Hurst Award for Achievement in Technical Excellence was awarded to Liz Venn.
The 2018 F.A.M.E. Award for Friendliness, Achievement, Merit & Enthusiasm was awarded to Pat Kramer.
The 2018 Roger Grooms Award for Achievement in Artistic Excellence was awarded to Jerry Wiesenhahn.
The 2018 President’s Award for Talent, Commitment, Dedication, and Being-the- Person-Upon-Whom-All of Us-at-Mariemont-Players-Depend was awarded to Michael Sauer.
Congratulations to Liz, Jerry, Pat, and Michael, and thank you for your contributions!
Steve Winslow

We Want You (to usher)!
MPI is in need of volunteer ushers for the upcoming production of The Cemetery Club, which runs September 7-23, 2018.
Three ushers are needed for each performance. We are most in need of ushers willing to be the Head Usher and the Elevator Operator Usher. The Head Usher must stay in the lobby and does not see the show. The Head Usher must have previously ushered for Mariemont. Two ushers who are not the "Head Usher" will be able to see the performance if empty seats are available. The Elevator Operator Usher must help people use the elevator at the beginning of the show, at intermission, and at the end of the show.  If seats are available, all non-Head Ushers may watch the performance for free.
If interested, please contact Tom Peters at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All The Way – Thank You!
By Ed Cohen, Director
About two years ago, when Mariemont’s committee interviewed me to direct for the 2017-18 season, we all shared some very mixed feelings about producing ‘All the Way.’ There was a long list of reasons to not take it on: it has a huge cast (including 17 men and a large number of African-American characters) who must play multiple characters, all actual people; the script called for at least some sort of projections or video content (it’s referred to as a ‘Tally Board’ in the stage directions); it would require costuming that was accurate for the early 1960’s; and it needed a directing and design concept which would work in Mariemont’s very specific space. Yet the Board believed that we could not just pull it off, but do so without sacrificing the integrity of the show and, lo and behold, they chose me to take on what seemed even then a very daunting project.

And now that it’s over, I feel as if we accomplished something very rare: by working to our strengths and by having faith in ourselves and the material, we reached a level beyond what people might normally see in community theatre; we gave our audience as real a version of this play as they would ever see, no matter what the venue or ticket price.

It’s a long list to thank, but I have to start with Steve Winslow, who agreed to be stage manager almost two years ago, but later volunteered to also be Co-Producer when Norma Niinemets’ health wouldn’t allow her to take part. Steve also ran all the video images from his station, while still calling light and sound cues. There’s Ted Weil from Falcon Theatre who devoted hours of time (and his theatre’s computer and software) to create the video content with me. Mike Morehead watched weeks of rehearsals and developed a beautiful lighting design; Jackie Miesle, Liz Wyan and Cheryl Huffman ran lights and sound for all performances and tech rehearsals (Jackie and Cheryl operating the equipment for the first time). Dan Dermody created a completely original, evocative set design, built by Bill Pauly, Art Kibby and Tim Carney. And costumes? When our original designer was unable to continue (4 weeks before we opened), I asked Megan and Jack Williams if they could give us any time, just to get at least basic costumes; but I could never have imagined what they actually gave us, beautiful detailed costumes for 20 people, down to wigs, shoes, cuff links and pocket squares. They were there practically every night, ironing, polishing shoes, without a complaint; and with valuable assists from Dava Lynn and Jenna Pauly, the costumes were an outstanding element of this show. Dee Anne Bryll provided between-show meals (for 25) on our two-show days and the usual contributors – Ken Smith’s photography, Teresa Johns’s program, Dan Maloney’s publicity, Michael and Noreen Sauer’s opening night reception; Betsy Farro’s fantastic handling of ticketing and the box office; Tom Peters coordinating dozens of ushers; and Steve Farley and Kim Woods’ help with the building leading up to opening – were invaluable.

And there’s of course the cast: A. J. Ford; Derek Snow; Tom Peters; Arny Stoller; Dava Lynn; Aaron Bates; Sally Fint; Charles McClinon; Gary Glass; Elizabeth Leigh Taylor; John Langley; William Gibson; Fred Murrell; Burt McCollom; James Christian, Jr.; Dan Maloney; Joel Lind; Jef Brown; David Reid Hatfield; and Kenny Tessell – an amazing ensemble that gave me all they had and all I asked

Finally, thanks to our audience for their acceptance of a wordy historical drama and their willingness to see the powerful theatre that was inside of it. Thank you, Mariemont Players, for trusting me with this project; I hope it was what we all imagined a long time ago when we took a leap of faith together.
-Ed Cohen

Upcoming Auditions
Mariemont Players and director Michael Morehead announce auditions for Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley
• Audition Dates and Times: 7:00 PM Sunday, September 9th, 2018, 7:00 PM Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
• Location: 4101 Walton Creek Road, Cincinnati, OH 45277
• Performance Dates: March 8 to 24, 2019

Synopsis:
Set in rural Ireland, this compassionate, delightful, and deeply moving story explores with poetic passion two introverted misfits and their journey to find a kind of happiness.

Characters:
Tony Reilly, playing age 75.
Rosemary Muldoon, playing age 36.
Anthony Reilly, playing age 41.
Aoife Muldoon, playing age 70.

Please bring to the audition a resume, a head shot, and a list of conflicts from December through performances. Blocking and table work may be scheduled prior to the Christmas holidays. Rehearsals will begin after New Year's Day, if possible.
For more information or to review a copy of the script, please contact director Michael Morehead or producer Steve Winslow

Current Show
Get your tickets for The Cemetery Club, directed by Jerry Wiesenhahn, now!

Cast:
Ida: Mary Ann Smith
Doris: Chessie Vigran
Lucille: Barbara H. Russell
Sam: Arny Stoller
Mildred: Susan Schapiro

Synopsis:
3 Jewish widows in New York City have been friends forever and get together once a month to visit their husbands’ graves. One of them will never get over her husband’s death, the visit to his gravesite is the highlight of her month; another is just beginning to think about putting herself back out there socially and try dating; the third may have actually scheduled a date at her husband’s funeral for later that evening. How they support each other (and occasionally don’t) is a very funny (and sometimes touching) play about life, loss, friendship, and having the courage to turn a page and begin a new chapter for yourself.

The Cemetery Club runs September 7-23, 2018. To order tickets, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 OR order online at www.mariemontplayers.com. All seats are reserved and $20 each.

All Around Town
Wayne Kirsch will play Mr. English, Patricia Mullins will play Ann, and Susan Unes will play Jenny in the Beechmont Players production of Widdershins, directed by Jef Brown and produced by Pam Kaesemeyer. Performance dates: October 19-27.
Harold Murphy will play Walsh in The Milford Theatre Guild’s production of Rose’s Dilemma. Performance dates: October 19-21, 26-27.
Danny Davies will play Sy Benson, Katelyn Reid will play K.C. Downing, Tim Carney will play Uncle Morty, Samantha Toberman will play Aunt Sadie, and Sharon Shelton will perform in the ensemble in Cincinnati Music Theatre’s production of My Favorite Year. Performance dates: November 9-17.
Sally Fint, Linda Callahan and Dan Maloney were all cast in Other Desert Cities at Middletown Lyric Theater, running November 9-17.
Scott Unes will play Yusef El Fayoumy, C.J. Bossart will play Jesus of Nazareth, Michael Ireland will play Satan, Susan Unes will play Henrietta Iscariot, Dan Maloney will play Butch Honeywell, and Kenny Tessel will play Saint Matthew/Saint Thomas/Drunk Uncle Pino/Sigmund Freud in Village Players’ production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Dan Maloney. Performance dates: September 28-October 6.

From The Toolbox
By Art Kibby
A BRIGHT IDEA - Steve Farley and I recently installed 4 new LED fixtures in front of the stage and replaced the 10 work lights bulbs over the stage with LED lamps. Not only is it MUCH brighter, but the new lights make it a whole lot easier to see when building and painting sets. These lights are only 50-60 watts each, half the wattage of the old incandecent bultbs (thus saving energy) burn cool, and are rated to last from 10,000 to 60,000 hours. They all go on together with the same worklight switch by the stage manager station. It’s no longer necessary to turn on the auditorium lights for rehearsals or construction. Actors and directors may also find it easier to read their scripts during rehearsals.

August, 2018 Play Reading Report
By Anna Nixon
We offer grateful thanks to Linda Callahan for finding and negotiating with the playwright to use her copyrighted show for our reading. She also arranged for the play to be copied for our reading.
The play is entitled “Sooner/Later” by Allison Currin. It is complex with only three characters and it requires considerable and enjoyable thought to follow the mind of the playwright.
It was also performed at Cincinnati Playhouse earlier this year.
Thank you, Linda for the play and thank you, Joyce for your great cookies as ever.
Our readers were Jan Costello, Joyce and Art Kibby, Linda Callahan, Bill Hartnett (welcome back!), Fred Rothzeid, Karen Rokich , John Nixon and yours truly.
Our next reading will be on MONDAY, Sept. 17th. at 7.30 pm. (Note the change from our usual Tuesday date.)

OCTA Conference, 2018
To the cast and crew of Around the World in 80 Days…Break a leg at OCTA!!!
MPI will be excerpting Around the World in 80 Days, directed by Jerry Wiesenhahn and produced by Kristen Vincenty, at the Ohio Community Theatre Association 2018 state wide theatre conference over Labor Day Weekend.

Community
MPI extends our deepest condolences to Katey Blood on the unexpected loss of her brother, Jared, who passed away July 31st.
MPI offers our sincere sympathy to Jerry Wiesenhahn, whose mother passed away last week.

Membership
MPI Membership Renewal – Please stay and play with us for another year!
The 2018-2019 membership year begins July 1st and we hope you will renew! If you haven’t sent your renewal ($15 for individual or $25 for family), please do so as soon as possible so you can continue to receive the Limelight Review, party invitations and other news. See the membership form (enclosed, at the end of the newsletter) for more information.

Follow Us!
Let’s be social! Like/Follow Mariemont Players Inc. on Facebook!

All The Way – “A total immersion into the ‘60s!”
Lobby Display: “Wow! What a great display, all cast members pictures were in color and were mounted on the board with newspaper articles from the Cincinnati Enquirer from the time period of the JFK assassination, when LBJ had to take over the presidency.”
Pre-Show: “The pre-show music and lighting set a serious and appropriate mood for the show. I really liked the gospel songs that were included to reflect the African American culture and its involvement in the civil rights events depicted in the play.”
Program: “Teresa Johns did a very good job with the playbill. It was easy to read, cleanly laid out, and organized in a sensible way. I appreciated reading the Director’s Notes (especially the very nice dedication to Ellie Shepard), and the glossary of terms included was helpful to me in better understanding the groups referred to in the show.”
Set Design, Décor, Construction: “Dan Dermody designed a simple yet effective set that worked well for this show. Because of the ever-changing locations and time line of the play, having a neutral playing space with lots of levels gave the director many ways to use the space and to create good scene pictures;” “Bill Pauly and his set building team did great work constructing this set. Everything appeared to be very solid and well put together, which gave the actors a sturdy and comfortable place to do their work. The steps and levels added depth and interest to the set, and all of the build appeared to be well executed.”
Lighting Design & Execution: “Michael Morehead’s lighting design reflected the somber mood of the show and highlighted the different areas of the stage in very effective ways…This lighting plot seemed to be pretty complex due to all the movement and quick changes in scenes, locations, speakers, etc., and the lighting design definitely kept up with these demands;” “Jackie Miesle, Liz Wyan, and Chery Huffman did a good job of executing this lighting design. All cues appeared to be on time and well-coordinated with the action on the stage. Well done.”
Sound Design & Execution: “The sound design consisted of music cues, reporters, crowd noise, announcements etc. All were clear and were appropriate. The volume and clarity were spot on. I don’t believe there were any microphones, nor were any needed in this intimate space. The performers were able to easily interact with the sounds as required (listening to reporters’ questions and responding).”
Special Effects: “Video projection was a central component of this show, and video designers Ted Weil and Ed Cohen put together great slides to highlight different details of the show’s events as they played out. I liked how there was a slide of each historical figure depicted in the show every time a new one was introduced on stage, which helped to keep track of all of the actors and the multiple roles many of them played. The execution of the video done by Steve Winslow was timed well with all the stage action and never seemed out of place.”
Costume Design: “Head costumers Megan and Jack Williams used a simple subdued color plot to clothe the onstage characters that worked well for the tone of the show and the time period depicted. The ladies’ dresses and shoes looked like late 1960’s garb, and all of the men were rightly dressed in suits appropriate to that time period and to the political arena.”
Make-Up & Hair Design: “Megan Williams did an excellent job with the looks for all of these characters. The wigs for the women worked well and really helped to differentiate between the characters the ladies played. All of the make-up seemed appropriate for the characters and enhanced their looks onstage. Well done.”
Properties: “All props that I saw were reflective of the time period and used comfortably by the actors. I liked the President's Red Phone! The briefcases, papers, etc. all looked very real and were handled appropriately by the actors.”
Producer: “Producers Ed Cohen and Steve Winslow assembled a great production staff that clearly put together an excellent technical show. All aspects of the show flowed well from start to finish, giving the production a definitive professional quality. It seems that with all of these technical elements, this could have been a hard show to put together, but everything ran flawlessly.”
Acting:
AARON BATES AS WALTER JENKINS: “A wonderful portrayal of the very valuable Presidential White House Aide;” “As the dutiful assistant, Mr. Bates’ Jenkins was always present without dominating the scene. He was properly subdued and was genuine in his interactions with LBJ. His acceptance of the compliment of being like a son without fanfare was a choice that worked well and was consistent with his character.”
JEF BROWN AS CORMAN, SANDERS, TAILOR, BARBER: “A great job with these characters… I loved the tailor and barber movements and facial expressions. Great work;” “His characterizations were solid and he helped us understand LBJ better whether he was performing a service role (and getting chewed out) or losing out in a political scuffle.”
JAMES CHRISTIAN, JR. AS RALPH ABERNATHY: “This actor was comfortable with his character and played the role as just what he was – a friend of Martin Luther King, a minister, and a Civil Rights Activist. He was powerful at times and reflective at others;” “…he was a formidable advisor to MLK and a voice of reason. I appreciated his more level headed approach as a strong counter balance to the more excitable Carmichael.”
SALLY FINT AS LURLEEN WALLACE, MURIEL HUMPHREY, SECRETARY, WOMAN: “From these two cameos which featured well known women to a secretary and a woman, again, took some concentration to go into these roles and make them believable…That is really good acting and a great job of characterization!” “Had I not known better, I would have thought these characters were portrayed by four different women. She effectively changed her look and mannerisms with each character change and made it easy to believe each distinct character.”
A.J. FORD AS LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON: “A really historically true characterization… His mannerisms and speech were trulyTexas in so many instances. I knew this President swore quite a bit, but I had no idea he was so funny in his descriptions of situations and people;” “I cannot say enough positive things about A.J. Ford’s performance as Lyndon Baines Johnson. I knew next to nothing about this president aside from his connection to Kennedy and his Texas roots, but Mr. Ford brought him to vivid, unforgettable life. The accent, the physicalization, the pace and flow of his vocal delivery—it was all done with a professional ease that was both amazing and admirable. I enjoyed this performance so very much—thank you for sharing your gifts with the audience, and for committing so completely to such a demanding role;” “The sheer volume of material Mr. Ford had to learn was staggering! His Texas accent was unwavering throughout. He was tenacious in delivering LBJ’s dogged pursuit of his goals. He seamlessly poured on the charm when needed to lure in a rival before pulling the string to get his way. His appearance and demeanor were consistent and he was very believable as LBJ.”
WILLIAM GIBSON AS STOKELY CARMICHAEL: “All of Mr. Gibson’s scenes were filled with energy and passion, and he engaged fully in all of his acting choices… Excellent work, and I hope to see much more of Mr. Gibson on our local stages;” “A very impressive characterization of the man who was the founder of SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) and who coined the phrase ‘Black Power.’”
GARY GLASS AS ROBERT McNAMARA, JAMES EASTLAND, WILLIAM McCULLOCH, PAUL JOHNSON, JR: “Watching Mr. Glass play these bold, powerful characters was a delight. At the same time, it was particularly satisfying to watch his Paul Johnson deflated by LBJ’s machinations;” “…brought great physicalization and vocal differences to his portrayals of Robert McNamara, James Eastland, William McCulloch, and Paul Johnson, Jr. He was very engaged in every character interaction and made the most of all of his scenes. Well done.”
DAVID REID HATFIELD AS WILLIAM COLMER, ROBERT BYRD: “This character looked very natural on stage and moved well… Both characters were very well represented and stated their opposition to Civil Rights to President Johnson;” “Mr. Hatfield did a solid job with these two characters. He was believable as a longtime politician.”
JOHN LANGLEY AS GEORGE WALLACE: “A great characterization and facial expressions which really stood out because this character worked downstage. Good Southern dialect, a smiling professional politician;” “Mr. Langley’s smug and smarmy portrayal of George Wallace made it easy for us to see him as the election’s antagonist. Despite knowing who would win, his portrayal made it easy for us to root for LBJ to go ‘All The Way.’”
JOEL LIND AS CARTHA 'DEKE' DELOACH, HOWARD 'JUDGE' SMITH, AND EVERETT DIRKSEN: “This characterization was very strong. He looked like Dirksen, sounded like Dirksen, argued like Dirksen, and was convincing in his arguments and statements. Excellent work here;” “His Deke Deloach was just as sneaky as Hoover and it was enjoyable to watch them scheme together.”
DAVA LYNN AS LADY BIRD JOHNSON, KATHERINE ST.GEORGE, KATHERINE GRAHAM: “…was perfect in her attempt to calm her husband. Her movements were always very supportive of LBJ, almost to the point of real Texas woman humbleness, which was extremely historically correct;” “…did a wonderful job switching between several female roles, making each identifiable, but she was definitely strongest in her portrayal of Lady Bird Johnson. Her love and belief in her stage husband, along with her frustration, came through nicely in all of their interactions. Well done.”
DAN MALONEY AS STANLEY LEVISON, JOHN McCORMACK, SEYMORE TRAMMELL, EDWIN KING: “Mr. Maloney was solid in all of his portrayals. As Edwin King, he displayed great angst as he tried to reject his seat at the Democratic Convention in one of his stronger moments;” “These gentlemen were all recreated as what they were, historical characters, and very well represented in this production.”
CHARLES McCLINON AS ROY WILKINS, DAVID DENNIS, AARON HENRY: “These were all very heavy roles. Mr. McClinon did a wonderful job in representing these gentlemen and showing great emotion in his characterizations. Great work;” “…moved easily between playing Roy Wilkins, Aaron Henry, and David Dennis. Each character was set apart not only by simple costume additions or subtractions but also by Mr. McClinon’s vocalization. Good work.”
BURT MCOLLOM AS J. EDGAR HOOVER: “A really first class acting job. His characterization showed emotions that were Hoover. He was at times, a bit bossy, sometimes an interested bystander. His conversations with the other characters were comfortable and very natural on stage;” “His slimy maneuvering and attempts to bring down MLK and anyone else that got in his way was played deftly.”
FRED MURELL AS STROM THURMOND: “This character came across to me as a powerful man with great emotion. He was violently against The Civil Rights Act, but claimed he was not a racist – that he wanted to leave the burden of racism with each state;” “I have always looked at Strom Thurmond as a “cranky old man.” Mr. Murrell’s portrayal of a younger, disgruntled Thurmond was easy to understand. His approach appeared natural and was in line with what I would expect from this character.”
TOM PETERS AS HUBERT HUMPHREY: “This characterization was performed very well… This was a great job on this role. It was a tricky characterization because Humphrey had been a well-liked Senator for some time, working on Civil Rights Issues, social welfare and fair employment issues. What we saw was a politically savvy man running errands for the President. A step down to get a step up! Excellent!” “His movements were natural and he appeared to be comfortable with all of his blocking. His reactions conveyed appropriately varying levels of confidence and understanding of the ramifications of the political events happening around him.” “Tom Peters delivered a strong performance, and he brought the highs and lows of this character’s story to vivid life through his facial expressions, mannerisms, and vocal work. I knew nothing about the historical man, but Mr. Peters helped the audience to really connect with Humphrey’s dilemmas and emotions throughout his scenes. Great job.”
DEREK SNOW AS MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: “This is a case where history has painted a character larger than life. At first, I was surprised by Mr. Snow’s more subdued portrayal. As the show unfolded, I realized how appropriate the demeanor was…Seeing this side of such an iconic figure drove home just how unfairly he and other African American leaders were treated and with how little regard even those who were fighting for their rights held them.” “…played the indelible Martin Luther King, Jr. with a tired ease that seemed to fit the circumstances of where Dr. King was in his life as these events unfolded. Dr. King’s care and dedication was definitely displayed, but Mr. Snow also helped the audience to see the frustration that underpinned his interactions and his political dealings. And in the speech given toward the end of the show, Mr. Snow’s delivery realistically echoed the cadences and quality of Dr. King’s voice. Another very good performance.”
ARNY STOLLER AS RICHARD RUSSELL: “Mr. Stoller did a wonderful job on this characterization. He was forceful and powerful in his conversations. He moved very well on stage and gave us a good look at Russell through facial expressions as well as movement;” “Mr. Stoller’s principled old guard Russell was natural and believable. It was easy to see his frustration and respect for the political dealings of LBJ. He was certain he was right but also understood the way the political winds blow. His reactions and movements were genuine and reinforced the gravity of the situation as it unfolded.”
ELIZABETH LEIGH TAYLOR AS CORETTA SCOTT KING, FANNIE HAMER: “These two roles were very different and Ms. Taylor impressed the audience with both characterizations. She moved appropriately for both women, took beats between sentences that really brought out the character. Two very well done roles;” “Ms. Taylor adeptly showed us the place of the dutiful wife in the 1960’s as Mrs. King. Her receipt of and subsequent reaction to the tapes at the end was heart-breaking. As Fannie Hamer, her testimony was delivered with an intensity of emotion that vividly painted the picture for the audience. Her portrayals gave us great insight into these women and the time period.”
KENNY TESSEL AS EMMANUEL CELLER, WALTER REUTHER, MIKE MANSFIELD: “Mr. Tessel differentiated the characters well. He was credible in all three roles. His strongest moment was as Reuther as he was threatening to pull funding;” “Mr. Tessel did a good job on each of these characters. This was not an easy task since they all had different roles in their participation in the years during the fight for Civil Rights.”
Stage Management: “All scene changes, entrances, exits, and cues seemed to move flawlessly from curtain to curtain. There were no set changes to worry about, so no execution problems there. I imagine this may have been a difficult show to coordinate and call from a stage management perspective with all the technical cues, and Stage Manager Steve Winslow handled it all very well.”
Ensemble: “This cast definitely worked well together, and everyone seemed to have a very strong understanding of the script, the action, and the dynamics of the play. So many interactions between different characters were so well executed—bravo to this ensemble for excellent work together that made for a very engaging and absorbing show.”
Direction: “Mr. Cohen obviously had a solid grasp of the time period and characters. There was a consistent commitment to historical accuracy that enhanced the production. The pacing was spot on as the show kept me riveted as the historical events unfolded (and as a youngster, I found History to be one of my least favorite subjects)…Mr. Cohen used the entire stage and varied entrances and exits to keep the stage pictures fresh throughout…The cast had a solid understanding of their characters and each was well developed. It was easy to understand the motivations of even the characters with less stage time and/or lines.” “Director Ed Cohen put together a very talented cast of actors to play the roles in this historical drama, something that can be quite a feat on its own. Playing a real-life person whose speech, mannerisms, and other definitive features have been captured and recorded can be daunting to an actor, and there is a fine line between mimicry and portrayal that must be addressed in these situations. Mr. Cohen was able to help the actors find strong characterizations for their roles without the portrayals becoming static, boring, or heavy-handed. Stage pictures were strong in the way scenes were grouped and performed, and although the stage area didn’t change much at all, the scenes never became tedious, even with all the exposition present in the script. The pace of the show never dragged, and it was infused with energy from all of the actors that engaged the audience at all times. There were a couple of instances when a pair of characters would confront each other downstage center in complete profile, which bothered me a little and made it hard for some audience members to see both actors’ facial expressions, but overall, the direction of this show was outstanding. Mr. Cohen, his actors, and his entire production team should be very proud. Thank you for an excellent and thought-provoking evening of theatre.”

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Mariemont Players Limelight Review – August, 2018

Jackie Miesle, Editor
Art Kibby, Distribution

Save The Date!
Mariemont Players Membership Summer Party: Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 6:00pm
Bring an appetizer, side item or dessert to share. Entrée, sodas, beer and wine will be provided.

If you have not yet renewed your membership for the 2018-2019 season, you can do so the evening of the party.

Current Show
Don’t miss the Mariemont Players production of All The Way, directed by Ed Cohen! Shows are selling out!

Synopsis:
1963… An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon B. Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, this charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into the Civil Rights Act, a tinderbox issue emblematic of a divided America. Note: Graphic and crude language.

All The Way runs July 13-29, 2018. To order tickets, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 OR order online at www.mariemontplayers.com. All seats are reserved and $20 each.

Thank You All The Way Ushers!
Ann Barfels
Merritt Beischel
Betsy Bossart
Jan Costello
Chris Cullen
Danny Davies
Rilla Foster
Bill Hartnett
Susie Hurst
Art Kibby
Joyce Kibby
Wayne Kirsch
Pat Kramer
Nisrene Langenna
Mike Morehead
Anne Nixon
John Nixon
Gudrun Raynor
Karen Rokich
Linda Roll
Fred Rothzeid
Carol Schneider
Amy Stier
Stephanie Stoller
Chuck Strain
Jenn Sullivan
Donna Surber
Fred Tacon
Jeanette Tacon
Traci Taylor
Samantha Toberman
Jim Waldfogle
Lee Anne Waldfogle
Rita Winters
Lauren Woodiwiss
Karen Zaugg

Upcoming Auditions
Mariemont Players and director Becky Mullins announce auditions for Three Bags Full by Jerome Chodorov
Audition Dates/Times: 1 PM Sunday, August 12th, 7 PM Monday, August 13th
Location: 4101 Walton Creek Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45227
Performance Dates: January 11th-27th, 2019

Synopsis:
A bright French farce about a greedy merchant who finds himself snookered into being a matchmaker for two daughters, one the child of his wife and the other the maid's offspring. Rebellious young ladies, a comely new maid, pregnant ladies and mistaken identities lead to explosive hilarity. A larcenous employee who has embezzled half a million dollars even offers to return it for a managerial position and the daughter's hand. Half of the loot is in diamonds and half in cash the stashes in separate but identical bags. A third identical bag contains the maid's skivvies.

Characters (acting ages vary)
Bascom Barlow (>35) – Greedy sports goods business owner, father, husband, center of the action.
Richard Foyle (<35) – Scheming employee of Bascom, in love with Bascom’s daughter.
Boris (<35) – The Barlow’s chauffer, and the true love of Bascom’s daughter.
Mr. Cottingham (>35) – Wealthy bank merchant and friend of Bascom.
Preston Cottingham (<35) – Lazy son of Mr Cottingham. In love with the Barlow’s maid.
Jenkins (age various) – Butler for the Barlow household
Genevieve Barlow (>35) – Mrs. Barlow, competent, socialite, artistic.
Angela Barlow (<35) – Bascom’s headstrong & rebellious daughter.
Charlotte (>35) – Mysterious new maid.
Jeanette (<35) – Young love of Richard.
Kathleen (age various) – Irish, previous maid for the Barlow household, in love with Preston Cottingham.

Rehearsals will begin in November.
Please bring a resume and head shot. For more information or to review a copy if the script, please contact director Becky Mullins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All Around Town
Tim Carney will play Lord Canterville, Eric Day will play Hiram B. Otis, and Jan Costello will play Mrs. Umney in the Beechmont Players production of The Canterville Ghost (Performance Dates: July 27-August 4, 2018).

Aimée Ward will be playing Belle* in the East Side Players production of Beauty and the Beast, choreographed by Jackie Miesle. Performance dates: August 9-12, 15-18.

*Aimée will be playing Belle on August 10, 12, 16 and 18.

Harold Murphy will play Walsh in The Milford Theatre Guild’s production of Rose’s Dilemma. Performance dates: October 19-21, 26-27.

Danny Davies will play Sy Benson, Katelyn Reid will play K.C. Downing, Tim Carney will play Uncle Morty, Samantha Toberman will play Aunt Sadie, and Sharon Shelton will perform in the ensemble in Cincinnati Music Theatre’s production of My Favorite Year. Performance dates: November 9-17.

Scott Unes will play Yusef El Fayoumy, C.J. Bossart will play Jesus of Nazareth, Michael Ireland will play Satan, Susan Unes will play Henrietta Iscariot, Dan Maloney will play Butch Honeywell, and Kenny Tessel will play Saint Matthew/Saint Thomas/Drunk Uncle Pino/Sigmund Freud in Village Players’ production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Dan Maloney. Performance dates: September 28-Ocrober 6.

Congratulations!
Congratulations to all of this year’s Orchid recipients!
OCTA Spirit of Community Theater - Dan Maloney
ACT Orchid Awards

Godspell
Excellence in Lobby Display – Tom Peters
Excellence in Producing – Zachery DeCarlos Riggins
Excellence in Musical Theatre Performance – Will Graber
Excellence in Musical Theatre Performance – Julia Beitz
Excellence in Musical Theatre Performance – Aimée Ward
Excellence in Ensemble – Tom Peters and Cast

The Wisdom of Eve
Excellence in Direction – Dee Anne Bryll
Excellence in Costume Design – Chris Cullen
Excellence in Light Design – Elizabeth Boland
Excellence in Set Décor – Dan Dermody
Excellence in Set Construction – Art Kibby & Bill Pauly
Excellence in Producing – Tom Storey
Excellence in Program – Teresa Johns
Excellence in House – Steve Winslow
Excellence in Acting – Linda Callahan
Excellence in Acting – Katey Blood

The Silver Whistle
Excellence in Producing – Dan Maloney
Excellence in Set Design – Dan Dermody
Excellence in Set Décor – Dan Dermody, Art Kibby, Joyce Kibby Vicki Rafferty, Steve Farley
Excellence in Set Construction – Bill Pauly and Crew
Excellence in Properties – Vicki Rafferty and Art Kibby
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Art Kibby
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Jan Costello
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Dava Lynn
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Chessie Vigran
Excellence in Ensemble – Allan Karol and Cast

Becky's New Car
Excellence in Program – Teresa Johns
Excellence in Program Art – Teresa Johns
Excellence in Direction – Tom Peters
Excellence in Ensemble – Tom Peters and Cast
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Traci Taylor
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Lon Nease
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Scott Unes
Excellence in Overall Performance Quality – Tom Peters and Cast
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Jay Dallas Benson
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Linda Callahan

Around the World in 80 Days
Excellence in Direction – Jerry Wiesenhahn
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Jay Dallas Benson
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Eric Day
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Ryan Naish
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Patricia N. Mullins
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Eric Thomas
Excellence in Acting in a Play/Sound Execution – Patrick Kramer
Excellence in Stage Management – Jay Gossett
Excellence in Costume Design – Sharon Shelton, Kristen Vincenty and Pam Kaesemeyer
Excellence in Ensemble – Jerry Wiesenhahn and Cast
Excellence in Special Effects (Projections) – Jeff Surber
Excellence in Lobby Display – Kristen Vincenty

The Outgoing Tide
Excellence in Program Art – Teresa Johns
Excellence in Set Design – Dan Dermody
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Harold Murphy
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Michael Ireland
Excellence in Acting in a Play – Barbara Karol
Excellence in Direction – Dan Maloney
Excellence in Set Décor – Dan Dermody
Excellence in Set Construction – Bill Pauly, Art Kibby, John Nixon, Tim Carney
Excellence in Light Design – Dan Maloney
Excellence in Light Execution – Aimée Ward and Elizabeth Wyan

SW Regional OCTAFest - Around The World in 80 Days

CAST – OUTSTANDING IN ENSEMBLE
ERIC DAY – OUTSTANDING IN ACTING AS ACTOR 1
RYAN NAISH – EXCELLENCE IN ACTING AS ACTOR 2
JAY DALLAS BENSON – EXCELLENCE IN ACTING AS ACTOR 3
PATRICIA MULLINS – MERIT IN ACTING AS ACTOR 4
ERIC THOMAS – MERIT IN ACTING AS PHILEAS FOGG
PATRICK KRAMER – EXCELLENCE IN FOLEY EXECUTION
JERRY WIESENHAHN – OUTSTANDING IN DIRECTING
SHARON SHELTON – MERIT IN COSTUMING
KRISTEN VINCENTY – MERIT IN COSTUMING
PAM KAESEMEYER – MERIT IN COSTUMING
MARY KAY WIESENHAHN – MERIT IN COSTUMING
PAM KAESEMEYER – EXCELLENCE IN PROPS
THE CAST – EXCELLENCE IN USE OF PROPS

Special Congratulations to Around the Word in 80 Days – STATE OCTAFEST INVITEE

July, 2018 Play Reading Report
By Anna Nixon
We had a great turnout for this meeting: Dava Lynn (also in All The Way), Joyce and Art Kibby, Laura Hovland, Barbara Burke (welcome back, Barbara!), Karen Zaugg, Fred Rothzeid, Linda Callahan, Chessie Vigran, Karen Rokich, John Nixon and yours truly.

We read an older play (1985) “Stepping Out” by Richard Harris, a comedy about an evening tap dance class held in an old church hall. Despite the humor there is some bathos evolving from the background lives of the varied characters, especially as they are all women but one – Geoffrey. They mostly go to class to have fun but also to escape their unhappy private lives.

My thanks to Joyce for all your help– running the reading while we were away, copying the plays, cooking great refreshments!

The next reading is on Tuesday, Aug. 21st. at 7.30 pm.
“Mariemont Players Go ‘All The Way’ With LBJ”
Check out CityBeat’s review of MPI’s All the Way here!

Excerpt:
“As Johnson, actor A.J. Ford becomes increasingly presidential as the Mariemont Players’ All The Way progresses. Yet Ford also captures the aggressive insecurity of a man fighting for what he believes is right, who feels abandoned as various political interests pursue their own conflicting goals. He is particularly worried that the pro-civil-rights Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party is threatening to challenge the conservative Mississippi delegation to the 1964 Democratic convention, which could threaten party unity.

All The Way also follows civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight to bring unity to the cause. The play shows how the civil rights movement incorporated several different advocacy groups who favored different tactics, like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. As King, actor Derek Snow does a solid job of capturing the complexities facing a leader bringing together myriad valid but conflicting viewpoints.”

Membership Renewal
MPI Membership Renewal – Please stay and play with us for another year!
The 2018-2019 membership year begins July 1st and we hope you will renew! If you haven’t sent your renewal ($15 for individual or $25 for family), please do so as soon as possible so you can continue to receive the Limelight Review, party invitations and other news. See the membership form for more information.

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Mariemont Players Limelight Review – July, 2018

Jackie Miesle, Editor
Art Kibby, Distribution

Board News
Michael Sauer has had to resign his Member-at-Large position on the 2018-2019 MPI Board because of the increased travel requirements of his job. The MPI Board has chosen Dee Ann Bryll to take the Member-at-Large position to fill out Michael's term. MPI is grateful for Michael's service as past treasurer and as chair of the Chairman's Club. As membership chair, Michael has hosted the MPI membership parties for the last several years. The MPI Board will miss Michael's advanced organizational skills and his ever-cheerful manner in which he helped make good things happen for Mariemont Players.

Hey, Directors!
Director Applications are being accepted for Mariemont Players’ 2019-2020 Season!

Mariemont Players is currently accepting applications for directing for the MPI 2019-2020 Season. To receive an application and additional information please contact Dee Anne Bryll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mareimont Players hope to present theatre that make our audience think and feel about what they see on our stage. We want our patrons to be entertained but just as importantly we want them to feel an emotional connection to the material.

Our season slots are September, November, January, March, May, and July. The committee is looking for comedies that can make an audience laugh, a drama that makes them cry, or best of all a show that can do both. It could be a mystery that keeps them guessing until the end or a musical that has them singing in their seats. It could be a favorite classic with a fresh production or an exciting new show. 

In addition, we want to provide opportunities for local actors, designers, and technicians to continue to grow and develop as artists. 

Deadline for applications is July 15, 2018.

Save The Date!
Mariemont Players Membership Summer Party: Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 6:00pm. More information to come.

“The Outgoing Tide” – Thank You!
By Dan Maloney, Director

First of all, thank you to the MPI Artistic Committee and Board for believing in this show and giving me the opportunity to stage it. It was a tremendous blessing for me to bring it to MPI audiences, and I am eternally grateful for your trust and support. Thank you to Norma in particular for sharing this script with me early on, and believing I had the ability to do it justice.

Obviously, I need to thank the cast: Harold, Barbara, and Michael. This was a demanding show, and it wasn’t always easy. Your unyielding effort and commitment to the roles was all the difference. I am so proud of what we accomplished together, and I am honored you chose to share your talents with me. 

Behind the scenes, Sara Krehbiel was great as our stage manager. This was my first time working with her, and I look forward to future collaborations. Also, thank you to Aimée Ward and Liz Wyan executing lights/sound. This was Aimée’s first experience running the MPI board, and she did a fine job. Also, it was great to have Liz back in the booth for the first time in about a year. She had been recovering from a leg injury, and we’re thrilled she was able to help out once again!

The set for this show was simply EXTRAORDINARY. Dan Dermody did a fantastic job designing it, and we received more positive comments about this set than any I can remember during my time at MPI. Bill Pauly, along with his crew of Art Kibby, John Nixon, and Tim Carney did a wonderful job of bringing the set to life and getting it up in a timely fashion. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: the quality of our shows would not be the same without the hard work that goes into our sets. In addition, Art made the Adirondack chair at his home, and he also wired all the dock lights. 

We were fortunate to have Peggy Stouffer back designing costumes! This is my second time working with her, and she challenges me to expand my thinking about how the characters should dress and costumes can be used. She gave the actors the final pieces needed to fill in their characterizations, and she did it all while staying within budget! Moreover, she helped Barbara with her hair most nights, making her look just like Grace Kelly.

Liz Venn and her team did a great job painting the set. Kenneth Smith did an amazing job with photography, giving us lasting memories of this production. Pretty much everyone in the cast & crew helped some way with props. Kristen Vincenty jumped in at the last minute to help with lobby display, and she found a wonderful pattern to use a background. 

Also jumping in at the last minute was Chris Cullen sewing curtains for us, which brought the set décor together. Art Kibby and Pat Kramer put together a great promo video. As always, Teresa Johns did a wonderful job with the program art and laying out the program, including implementing all of my proposals to make it more readable. Tom Peters had the thankless task organizing the ushers, and Betsy Farro continues to make MPI patrons feel at home. In addition, there are several people who provided me with differing levels of feedback and support including Norma Niinemets, Ed Cohen, Jef Brown, Amy Stier, Linda Callahan and others. Thank you all.

Finally, I need to thank our patrons. Thank you for supporting live theater. You are our heroes.

Thank You, Ushers!

Linda Callahan

Janet Costello

Chris Cullen

Danny Davies

Rilla Foster

Susie Hurst

Art Kibby

Joyce Kibby

Bett Kooris

Pat Kramer

Nisrene Langenna

Dava Lynn

Denise Mann

Cheri Misleh

Mike Morehead

Lon Nease

Anne Nixon

John Nixon

Tom Peters

Steve Phelan

Gudrun Raynor

Cathy Roesener

Carol Schneider

Arny Stoller

Chuck Strain

Liz Taylor

Traci Taylor

Samantha Toberman

Ginny Weil

Linda Winslow

Steve Winslow

Rita Winters

Karen Zaugg

Strike Crew
By Dan Maloney

The Outgoing Tide set was struck following our closing performance on Sunday, May 27th. It was a complicated strike, especially since Art wasn’t available for the first time in as long as anyone can remember. However, we had a wonderful turnout, and we able to get it down in about 2.5 hours, which was at least an hour faster than any of us had imagined. Thank you to Bill Pauly, Dan Dermody, John Shova, Patrick Kramer, Tim Carney, Nick Briggs, Arny Stoller, Harold Dull, Michael Ireland, Barbara Karol, Sara Krehbiel, Dava Lynn, Peggy Stouffer, and Dan Maloney.

Cast Announcement
Mariemont Players and director Laura Berkemeier are pleased to announce the cast of our November production, More Fun than Bowling, by Steven Dietz.

Jake – Pat Kramer

Molly – Jackie Miesle

Lois – Elizabeth L. Taylor

Loretta – Natasha Boeckmann

Dyson – Mark Metzner

Synopsis: 
Jake owns the bowling alley in a small Midwestern town. He is sitting on a hilltop where two of his three wives are buried. Lois was zapped by lightning while carrying a bowling trophy in a thunderstorm and Loretta was killed by a ball return machine. In his younger days, he was a promising concert musician but a foul tip baseball broke his fingers which subsequently healed into a perfect bowler's grip. Jake replays the key frames of his life and is visited by his daughter Molly who has become adept at talking women into marrying her father for love and free lane time. But who is that nattily dressed man with dark glasses and a revolver lurking nearby?

More Fun than Bowling runs November 2-18, 2018. To order tickets, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 OR order online at www.mariemontplayers.com. All seats are reserved and $20 each.

All Around Town

  • NKU’s Commonwealth Theatre Summer Dinner Theatre Season will present the musical Life Could Be A Dream, directed by Dee Anne Bryll. The show runs June 6th through June 24th. Check the NKU website for ticket information.
  • Tim Carney will play Lord Canterville, Eric Day will play Hiram B. Otis, and Jan Costello will play Mrs. Umney in the Beechmont Players production of The Canterville Ghost (Performance Dates: July 27-August 4, 2018).
  • Aimée Ward will be playing Belle* in the East Side Players production of Beauty and the Beast, choreographed by Jackie Miesle! Performance dates: August 9-12, 15-18.
  • *Aimée will be playing Belle on August 10, 12, 16 and 18.


ACT/OCTA 2018

ACT/OCTA is this weekend!

When: The Annual ACT/OCTA Convention will be held June 21-23, 2018

Where: Miami University-Hamilton, 1601 University Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio 45011 (Excerpts)

Blue Ash Embassy Suites (off Reed Hartman) 4554 Lake Forest, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 (Banquet & Awards)

MPI will be represented by Around the World in 80 Days on Saturday, 6/23 at 2:00pm!

Come out and support them!

MPI’s OCTAFest job is door security Saturday morning, 6/23, from 8am-Noon, and we would greatly appreciate your help! Essentially, we will be watching the entrance to make sure people don’t go into the auditorium without a nametag or enter/exit during the excerpts. This does not mean you will have to miss the excerpts – just that you’ll need to sit near the doors. Please let Dan Maloney know if you can help! Thank you.

We hope to see you there!

Current Show
All The Way opens in just a few weeks! Don’t miss this wonderful production, directed by Ed Cohen.

Synopsis:
1963… An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon B. Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, this charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into the Civil Rights Act, a tinderbox issue emblematic of a divided America. Note: Graphic and crude language.

All The Way runs July 13-29, 2018. To order tickets, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 OR order online at www.mariemontplayers.com. All seats are reserved and $20 each.

Community:
Mariemont Players mourns the loss of long-time member Ellie Shepherd, who passed on June 3rd. Our hearts go out to Bill and their family. Please respect Bill’s privacy at this time.

Follow Us!
Let’s be social! Like/Follow Mariemont Players Inc. on Facebook!

Membership
MPI Membership Renewal – Please stay and play with us for another year!

The 2018-2019 membership year begins July 1st and we hope you will renew! If you haven’t sent your renewal ($15 for individual or $25 for family), please do so as soon as possible so you can continue to receive the Limelight Review, party invitations and other news. See the membership form for more information.

The Outgoing Tide – “Emotionally Charged and Empathetic”

House:

  • “MPI has been doing this for many years in this facility, and has it down pat. Actually, I take that back – the seating in the auditorium is vastly improved.”
  • Betsy Farro somehow remembers me each time I attend a Mariemont production!... An afternoon or evening at Mariemont Players’ Theater is always pleasurable.”

Lobby Display:

  • “As usual, MPI has professional quality photos, displayed in a strategic location at the base of the stairs.”

Pre-Show:

  • “I loved the sound of gentle, rolling waves before and during the production.  This was an excellent choice and made me feel like I was near the dock or the beach that were visible in the low light on the stage.”

Program:

  • “Mariemont always does a great job of thanking their supporters, who are such an important part of their success and reputation.”

Producer:

  • “The producer did a commendable job overseeing the production… there was a minute level of detail that went into [the] elements [of the play] and the coordination of all the elements offered a well-rounded, seamless experience, providing audience members with many subtle enhancements and subconscious deliveries of supporting information.”

Set Design, Décor, Construction:

  • The set design for this production was superior.  Within the small stage, Dan Dermody established locale and managed to fit in the sandy beach, water, the dock / boardwalk, and the rooms of the home… The Adirondack fishing chair was charming.”
  • “The set was quite ingenious… Not only did the overall construction of the major pieces evoke an immediate imagery, the set was decorated with multiple layers of minute touches that created a complete atmosphere and provided the sense of a truly live in home…”

Lighting Design & Execution:

  • The lighting design highlighted the action on stage and dimmed when the scene changed.  Lighting enhanced the mood of the production and gave a clear indication of the time of day.”
  • “The lighting was beautifully designed and was executed flawlessly.”

Sound Design & Execution:

  • “When the motorboat sounded at the climax, indicating that Gunnar was leaving the dock and starting his journey toward his self-chosen end, there was total silence in the theater as everyone in the audience took in what was about to transpire. All cues were precisely executed.”

Costumes:

  • “The costumes were composed of everyday clothing, but still gave strong hints about each character’s personalities.”

Properties:

  • “Each prop held some kind of symbolic importance for the character or the action.”

Acting:

Harold Murphy (Gunner)

  • “[Harold] gave a moving and masterful performance. Mr. Murphy established his character immediately as a gruff, no-nonsense, hard-boiled negotiator. His opening monologue, while it jumped from idea to idea did not seem overly disconnected for a person of his temperament and age – there was an audible gasp from the audience when they realized he had been talking to his son – it was a totally “wow” moment.”
  • “Harold’s engaging performance as Gunner was truly memorable. His spirited dialogue was easy and natural as he demonstrated humor, wit, frustration, and anger. Harold remained true to character and was totally convincing as an elderly man fighting dementia.”

Barbara Karol (Peg)

  • “[Barbara] was fragile and appealing as Gunner’s wife… Her character displayed an intriguing paradox of emotions – after the flashback that recounted her initial hopes and dreams, which were destroyed by her pregnancy, she became trapped in her own roles of wife and mother. While she was eager to alleviate the stress of caring for her declining husband, she was also unable to re-envision herself as anything other than a nurturer and caregiver – her cry of pain to her son about what she would do without her husband was so heartfelt. Her performance especially in the second act was compelling and completely sympathetic.”
  • “Barbara established and maintained Peg’s character as the sensible, loving wife and mother who remained the strength and support for her husband and son. She displayed a wide range of believable emotions and gave a very moving performance.”

Michael Ireland (Jack)

  • “[Michael] did a great job of portraying the tortured soul that was Jack… Mr. Ireland did a wonderful job of revealing the many dark and confusing corners of his emotional turmoil. His clear level of discomfort during Gunner’s opening monologue seemed disproportionate until the audience realizes he is talking to his father, who doesn’t recognize him… Jack’s character had the most extreme transitions and Mr. Ireland did an excellent job of shifting quickly and convincingly from a small, dreamy, emotionally wounded, browbeaten boy to a grown up, supremely stressed, emotionally overwhelmed, scarred, browbeaten adult.”
  • “Michael gives a layered performance as Jack digs through the issues of the dementia, Jack’s own marriage and upbringing, and how to finally let go of his father. He drew me in.”

Stage Management/Scene Change:

  • “The cues for the performance I attended were all well executed. The light cues in particular were absolutely essential to the performance.”

Direction:

  • ”The direction of this play was outstanding… The director did an excellent job of utilizing the entire stage, but still creating time capsules that the characters stepped into and out of seamlessly.”
  • Very nice. This is a serious play that hits home for a lot of us. If we’re not Gunner’s age ourselves we probably have a family member who is; either way, what’s happening to Gunner could happen to us or to someone we love. This play has a lot of humor, too, which was fully developed without detracting from the serious point. The script itself introduces some points which could become distractions, such as the “Don’t tell your mother/father” stuff, or the scene where Peg finds that Jack has been looking at real estate ads and suspects that he has known about Gunner’s plans all along – there doesn’t seem to be a lot of trust in this family. But the director kept the storytelling focused. Presumably the director and set designer discussed movement options during the design process; everything in this compact production was kept (figuratively and literally) straightforward. Very enjoyable.”
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