2001 Season

Little Murders

by Jules Feiffer
directed by Rachael Lindhart
March/April

Written by Jules Feiffer in 1967, Little Murders is an unforgettable and provocative satire set within the violent confines of New York City and a grim world of neurosis and paranoia. At the time of the original production, the play was considered savagely cynical, but today it is a painfully accurate look at city life. Little Murders will be directed by Rachael Lindhart, who directed Desdemona, A Play About a Handkechief for Dreamwell in 1999.

Cast:

Carol Newquist – Rich Putnam
Marjorie Newquist – Pauline Tyler
Kenny Newquist – Jamie L. Ewing
Patsy Newquist – Sarah Michal Haaf
Alfred Chamberlain – Chuck Dufano
Reverend Dupas – Beth Branchow
Lt. Practice – Jim Evans
The Judge – Evelyn Stanske

Crew:

Assistant Director – Gerry Roe
Stage Manager – Lu Miller
Sound Design – Evelyn Stanske
Lighting Design – Laura Hudson Kettrell
Costume Design – Jean Newkirk
Props – Nate Haddock
Sound – Paul Chakrin
Lighting – Kevin Swatek
Costume Crew – Rose Clark

Director’s Notes

When Jules Feiffer wrote this play in 1967 he called it a “post-assassination play” and prefaced it with a New York children’s street chant, circa 1964: “2, 4, 6, 8 – who do we assassinate?” And the next year, with the shootings of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King by political assassins, he might have been regarded as the prophet of an era of unprecedented violence.

That was, however, over 30 years ago, and we might say we have not had acts of violence with such impact on our national psyche since that awful period. Those of us over fifty tend to have etched into our memories where we were and what we were doing at the time of those assassinations – at that time when we thought violence couldn’t get any worse.

However, present-generation young people are likely to remember incidents of local violence–in Jonesboro, Arkansas; in Springfield, Oregon; in Paducah, Kentucky; in Littleton, Colorado; and at Santana High School. Many of you reading this will recall where you were and what you were doing on November 1, 1991, when we first heard reports of shooting in Van Allen and Jessup Halls.

In a time when we need terminology like “drive-by shooting” and “road rage”, and where workplace violence can be considered a public health problem, the world Feiffer sees in Little Murders will be, I hope, more compelling and truthful than ever.

Corpus Christi

by Terrence McNally
directed by Matthew Brewbaker
June

The New Yorker has called Terrence McNally “one of our most original and audacious dramatists and one of our funniest.” He is the author of such critically acclaimed plays as Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, The Lisbon Traviata, and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. In Corpus Chr isti, McNally gives us his own unique view of the story of Christ, and in doing so provides us with one of the most vivid and moving passion plays written. McNally’s controversial play is an affirmation of faith and a drama of such power and scope that it has been called blasphemy by the religious right and hailed by audiences and critics alike as one of his best and most poignant works to date.

Cast:

Joshua – Jeffrey Hanson
Judas – Scot R West
John – Christian Krieg
James – Jamie L Ewing
Peter – Mateo Salazar
Philip – Matthew Falduto
Matthew – Nicholas Hamel
James The Less – Dan Fairchild
Bartholomew – Kevin Swatek
Andrew – Don E. Schneider
Thomas – Chuck Dufano
Simon – Joshua Martin
Thaddeus – Dustin Wood

Director: Matthew Brewbaker
Assistant Director: Kristen Ruddle

Lysistrata

by Aristophanes
directed by Jamie L. Ewing
October

Lysistrata was written in 412 B.C. It survives today largely because it is an extraordinarily witty and ribald farce. It is also a political satire written by Aristophanes in a desperate attempt to point out the disastrous folly of the war being waged between Athens and Sparta. Dreamwell will present a newly updated version that uses modern language to emphasize Aristophanes’ use of the sexual impulse as a seductive plea for peace, and an end to the absurdities of war. Jamie Ewing, who most recently directed Sound of a Voice for Dreamwell’s International One Act Play Festival, will direct this ancient yet timely farce, and X.J. Kennedy will be present for Two Cents Night on October 26.

Cast:

Lysistrata – Kristy Hartsgrove
Kalonike – Kelly Garrett
Myrrhine – C. E. Haworth
Polecat from Anagyra – Jeff Emrich
Lampito – Sarah Michal Haaf
Ismenia – Sandy Marz
Beauty Queen of Corinth – Zoe Kingsbury
The Chorus of Old Men
Chorusmaster – Josh Sazon
Drakes – Rich Putnam
Philourgos Phaedrias – Chuck Dufano
The Chorus of Old Women
Stratyllis – Vicki Krajewski
Chorus – Robyn Miessler-Kubanek & Mindi Chamberlain
The Commissioner – Scot West
Scythian Cop – Christopher Hitchcock
Kinesias – Daniel A. Fairchild
Spartan Messenger – Brian Tanner
Second Athenian – Christopher Hitchcock
Gatekeeper – Sandy Marz
Reconciliation – Nervous McStabby

Crew:

Assistant Director/Stage Manager – Lu Miller
Technical Coordinator – Clareann Despain
Costumes and Props – Rose Clark, Katherine Garrett, Rich Putnam
Set Design – Craig Margulis
Lighting – Mike Stone

Director’s Notes

Normally, I am a huge fan of coincidence. I tend to get this wave of excitement and shock that rolls through my stomach, the not-unpleasant feeling you get on the edge of the first drop on a roller coaster ride. Sure, there is sometimes a creepy edge to coincidence, but we tend to be drawn to things that give us the heebie-jeebies. This time, however, the experience is not in the least pleasant. How were we to anticipate the events of September 11 when selecting this play – a play about the reestablishment of peace in a time of war – in May of 2000? Are we to shy away from this wonderful translation of a remarkably durable play, simple because it espouses peace at a time when a vocal majority of America feels the need for war? Is a bawdy, outrageous comedy that sucker punches bureaucracy and warmongering politicking not appropriate in this time of national tragedy?

Yes, it is.

Don’t get me wrong. It is not our intention to make a table-thumping, wholly-round dismissal of war. This is not a knee-jerk, seditious, malicious production with an axe to grind with our leaders. Many of us (myself included) would probably consider ourselves pacifists under normal circumstances, but we are not using this to foment anti-war sentiment. You will make that decision on your own. What we want to do is take you away from the headlines, set you down, and make you laugh at X. J. Kennedy’s perceptive translation of this script. Undoubtedly, there are a number of themes we hope you will see: women as the building block of society by the unsung role they often play in the family, in addition to their power over men by retaining femininity – to name just two. But, most importantly, we want you to laugh. Laugh long and loud. Don’t forget the tumultuous times we live in, but set them aside for a while to share a positive experience with the people in this room. Sure, there are some cheap penis jokes scattered throughout, but we work hard for them (so to speak)! I love these characters, I love working with these fine actors and this marvelous crew. And I hope you will be able to set aside coincidence for an hour and a half to hop on this roller coaster ride of a comedy.