Barefoot in the Park
by Neil Simon
directed by Blake Davis
Feb 18-March 4
On February 18th, Dreamwell Theatre opened its third season with the classic comedy Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon. One of Neil Simon’s earlier plays, Barefoot is set in the 1960s and explores the life of newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter in their tiny sixth floor New York apartment. He is a straightlaced lawyer who loves the wackiness she brings to his life; she is a free spirit who needs his practicality to keep her grounded. Amid lots of laughs and a couple of tears, they discover that their love makes them both stronger than they were on their own. Dreamwell founders Matthew and Sharon Falduto play the newlyweds.
New to Dreamwell, although not to the stage, are JoDeen Mozena and Peter Ryan Harty, who play Corie’s mother and Victor Velasco respectively. Ms. Mozena has appeared in many Iowa City Community Theatre shows over the years, most recently playing the title role in I Remember Momma. This is her second time performing Barefoot. She played Corie in a college production thirty years ago. Mr. Harty’s career stretches over forty years. Although this is his first crack at Barefoot, he has performed in many other Neil Simon plays. Both actors play the “scene stealing roles” of the play.
Velasco, the wacky upstairs neighbor, is the polar opposite of the very reserved Mrs. Banks, providing a parallel to the Corie and Paul relationship. Much of the humor of play is found in the interaction between the outrageous Velasco and the prim Mrs. Banks.
Matthew Falduto as Paul
Sharon Falduto as Corie
JoDeen Mozena as Mrs. Banks
Peter Ryan Harty as Victor Velasco
Bill Gerlits as Harry Pepper
Death and the Maiden
by Ariel Dorfman
directed by Matthew Brewbaker
Our second play of Year Three is a much more intense play. Death and the Maiden, by Ariel Dorfman, tells the story of Paulina, a woman attempting to readjust to a normal life after suffering the horrors of a vicious kidnapping. While trying to reconnect to her husband, Gerardo, she encounters Dr. Miranda, who may or may not have been her chief tormentor during her ordeal. She binds Miranda to a chair and interrogates him. Gerardo doesn’t know who to believe. This psychological thriller is a rivetting intellectual and emotional tug of war. This show is the first directed by Dreamwell’s first Artistic Director, Matthew Brewbaker.
Dr. Miranda — Joshue Sazon
Paulina — Ellen Stvenson
Gerardo — Jamie Ewing
International One Act Play Festival
Protest by Vaclav Havel, directed by Matthew Brewbaker
The Sound of a Voice by David Henry Hwang, directed by Jamie Ewing Springtime by Maria Irene Fornes, directed by Jessica Cook
Three very different plays combined to create a unique evening of theatre. This is the only time we produced an evening on international plays.
by Terry Lawrence
directed by Pauline Tyer
We took our audiences back to the beginning of recorded time with our final show of Year Three, Terry Lawrence’s To Jerusalem, a retelling of the last days of Jesus Christ. This rarely performed play reinterprets the relationship between Jesus and his betrayer, Judas
Director Pauline Tyer chose a unique staging for the show. For the first act, the chairs were arranged in the round which had the effect of bringing the audience into the relationship of Jesus and Judas. The ushers rearranged the chairs for a traditional proscenium setup for act two when Judas visits Jesus after the betrayal.
We were fortunate enough to have Ms. Lawrence join us for our Two Cents Night. She provided insight into the play to a nearly sold out crowd after the show.
To Jerusalem was an excellent example of Dreamwell’s commitment to producing new works.
Jesus — Jamie Ewing
Judas — Jay Stein
Beggar/Guard — Chuck Dufano