Bowie Community TheatreBowie Community Theatre
Entertaining Since 1966

By A. R. Gurney. Directed by Scott Bloom.

the cocktail hour by a. r. gurney

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Performance Dates

April 1-16, 2011

Synopsis

A young playwright returns home to get permission from his mother and father to produce a play he has written about them. His well-to-do (and rather stuffy) parents are horrified at the idea of their private life being exposed on stage, while his sister is furious that she is only a secondary figure in the play. The cocktail hour soon turns into a shouting match, and, as more drinks are poured, family skeletons come out of the closet. This gripping play deals with the age-old conflict between children and parents over morals and values.

Cast

.

Bradley
Bill Jones

Bill Jones

Ann
Nancy Linden

Nancy Linden

John
Terry Averill

Terry Averill

Nina
Jo Black Sullivan

Jo Black Sullivan

Director's Notes

I like to think of myself as a young, cool, hip kind of guy. (I'm not, really, but I'm not above lying to myself.) I like theatre that's edgy and new, provocative, challenging, visceral, argumentative, potentially offensive, and plays that seldom satisfy everyone with a happy ending.

So why do I always end up coming back to Gurney? I don't think of him as a playwright that's edgy, provocative, challenging, or even cool. He seems to be very much an old school writer - one whose characters say what they're thinking. The endings of his plays always wrap themselves up nicely, and are almost always satisfying, if not always happy. Why would plays like that appeal to me?

I met Gurney many years ago in New York. He was the guest of honor at a convention of The American Association of Community Theatre, and I had recently joined their Board of Directors. Gurney, whose friends call him Pete, is a very kind and pleasant man who is a great friend of community theatre, which has been the primary source of his income over the years, and he graciously met with anyone who wished to talk with him.

At the time, I was preparing to direct one of his lesser known one-act plays called, The Open Meeting, for a festival that summer. I introduced myself and told him that I was going to be directing that show, and that it seemed very strange and out of character for his work, with an almost surreal farcical quality to it. He agreed with me that it was somewhat different from most of what he wrote, but that he always liked it for that reason, and that he was glad someone else liked it, too. Then he said: I think it's a little long, though. You should cut it.

For a playwright to say that is unusual, to say the least. I've communicated with him a couple times since then and always found him to be amazingly intelligent and self-aware. He understands what it takes to put on a play, and seems to think of the production first, rather than the writing.

This play, The Cocktail Hour, is about him. It's probably his most autobiographical play, and the interesting thing about it is that it's kind of edgy and challenging. Old school or not, it speaks to me on several different levels about struggling with one's past. It says something about relationships within a family that is being forced to change with the times, and desperately trying to hold onto what brings them comfort. It's about learning to deal with all the things that drive a family apart in our modern world, and learning how to love each other anyway. It's also really very witty, funny, intelligent, well-spoken, and more than a little bit sweet and charming. I guess that's why I keep coming back to Gurney. I may tend to underestimate his work, but he always manages to surprise me by being one of the great playwrights of our time.

Scott Bloom


Reviews

Bowie Blade Review: 'Cocktails,' anyone?

Bowie Patch: 'The Cocktail Hour' Opens Over the Weekend at Bowie Playhouse

Show Biz Radio: Bowie Community Theatre's The Cocktail Hour


Photos




By Del Shores. Directed by John Nunemaker.

sordid lives by del shores

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Performance Dates

January 21-February 5, 2011

Synopsis

This is an outrageous "black comedy about white trash", says playwright, Del Shores. Winner! 14 Drama League awards including Best Production. The author of Daddy's Dyin' (Who's Got the Will?) brings you a comedy that was nominated for over thirty awards during its long run in Los Angeles. The ensemble cast of Sordid Lives puts a comedic twist on a story of unconditional love, acceptance and "coming out" in a Texas family, as they all converge for the matriarch's funeral. The eccentric characters include: a mother who is wound too tight and in denial over her gay son, a barfly/singer at the local watering hole, a cheating heart whose wooden legs accidentally aid in the death of his mistress, Peggy, a good Christian woman (and the family matriarch), in a motel room, and a dozen others too unbelievable to mention. Chaos erupts in Winters, Texas, when the cheating heart's wife tries her hand at revenge therapy inspired by "Thelma & Louise" along with her best friend. Their lives intertwine, giving each a new perspective, honesty and meaning. FOR ADULTS ONLY! Mature subject matter and language.

Cast

Bitsy Mae Harling
Kaeti Bradley

Kaeti Bradley

Ty Williamson
Christopher Schenk

Christopher Schenk

Sissy Hickey
Joanne Bauer

Joanne Bauer

Noleta Nethercott
Terri Trudo

Terri Trudo

Latrelle Williamson
Debbie Samek

Debbie Samek

La Vonda Dupree
Maribeth Vogel Eckenrode

Maribeth Vogel Eckenrode

G. W. Nethercott
Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson

Wardell "Bubba" Owens
Terry Averill

Terry Averill

Odell Owens
Ken Kienas

Ken Kienas

Dr. Eve Bolinger
Nina Harris

Nina Harris

Earl "Brother Boy" Ingram
Scott Beadle

Scott Beadle

Rev. Barnes
Ken Kienas

Ken Kienas

Juanita
Bernadette Arvidson

Terry Averill

Director's Notes

Sordid, as defined in the dictionary is:

adj.

1. Filthy or dirty; foul.

2. Depressingly squalid; wretched: sordid shantytowns.

3. Morally degraded.

As appropriate as this definition is, the play Sordid Lives is more than the definition of the first word in the title. There is something to be said of the things we do that we don't talk about, the actions we take that we don't want anyone else to know about, and the feelings that we hide and suppress. Many times, we hide who we are and what we do from those around us, those who love and care for us, because we feel that we are not living up to the expectations of our loved ones. When those truths come out and our lives are exposed and raw, that's when we begin to feel as though our lives are Sordid.

Del Shores has created a masterful piece of theatre with Sordid Lives. The play discusses the unmentionables: Sex, Affairs, Homosexuality, Transvestitism, and Public Image. The story is not just the comedy you see on the stage this evening; it is also one of love and acceptance. Because of the circumstances surrounding the family, the characters in the play have to find it in their hearts to love and accept each other as they are, with all their flaws and secrets. The characters in this play are real people--they are not caricatures. With that in mind, I have tried to stay true to Del Shores' wishes so that you, the audience, can better understand who they are.

For more than a year now, I have lived with this show and these characters in my head. I have dreamed of them and imagined how I would make this show come to life on the stage. These actors on this stage have created a production above and beyond my imagination. I have truly been touched by their humor and sensitivity dealing with the subject matter and the characters. This show has made me laugh so hard and cry uncontrollably. It is an amazing story of unconditional love, acceptance and coming out in a Texas family. I hope you enjoy watching the show as much as I have enjoyed working on it.


Reviews

Bowie Blade Review: BCT serves up a 'Sordid' comic classic

Bowie Star Gazette: Bowie's sordid dark comedy a departure from lighter fare

Bowie Patch: Bowie Community Theatre Gives Glimpse into the 'Sordid Lives' of a Dysfunctional Family

Baltimore Sun: Bowie Community Theatre peeks into family's 'Sordid Lives'



By C. B. Gilford. Directed by Cynthia Bentley.

Who DUnit? by C. B. Gilford

Produced by special arrangement with Baker's Plays

Performance Dates

September 17-October 2, 2010


Synopsis

This mystery first ran as a short story in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and was later a hit on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". What happens when a famous mystery writer is murdered, goes to Heaven and discovers that not even Saint Michael knows who murdered him? There's only one answer: Saint Michael sends him back to earth to relive the past twenty-four hours of his life in order to solve the murder before it is committed. The writer realizes that everybody he knows has a good reason to kill him! And then - is he just going to sit there and let it happen a second time? So the writer must outwit both the murderer and the Archangel Michael.

Cast

Alexander Arlington
Jim Estepp

Jim Estepp

Muriel
Krista Setera

Krista Setera

Isaac
Christian Hodges

Christian Hodges

Michael
John (Jack) Degnan

John (Jack) Degnan

Annie
Gayle Carney

Gayle Carney

Harry
Ken Kienas

Ken Kienas

Miss. Jenkins
Kate Wheeler

Kate Wheeler

Andrew
Justin Hall

Justin Hall

Vivien O'Dell
Caity Brown

Caity Brown

George Brewster
Michael Hite

Michael Hite

Flo Baker
Barbara Webber

Barbara Webber

Director's Notes

Who Dunit? There are dozens of shows with this title, spelled differently, with different story lines, different characters, different playwrights, and different endings. All have the same theme, though-the bad guy/girl isn't known to the audience until the final pages of the script. Thus, the title - Who Did It? or Who Dunit? This version is no different from the dozens of other murder mysteries-you, the audience, have the distinct pleasure of figuring out who the culprit is.

This play was originally a short story in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in the 1950s, and was later a hit on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". I could have left it in its original form, using 1950s costumes, furnishings, and outdated electronic devices. However, I found that the play needed updating to be more appealing to today's astute and savvy audiences. It was my intention to remain true to the story that the playwright had written, so I kept the story line intact (copyright regulations considered), and updated only the time period, costumes and electronic developments of today. Therefore, you will see cell phones instead of rotary dial phones; PDAs instead of massive record books; angels with backpacks instead of harps, and a few other 21st Century upgrades. Also, some of the characters have undergone an upgrade-the maid is now the House Manager and the secretary/stenographer is now the Personal Assistant. Hopefully, these upgrades will enhance your enjoyment of a mystery that you need to solve.

My enjoyment of this play began with auditions and has continued throughout the entire rehearsal period. I would like to express my profound gratitude to my Producer, John Nunemaker, and Assistant Producer, Joanne Bauer, for providing the support and hard work necessary to find the team of designers and production staff to get this show on its feet and ready for you, the audience. I also want to offer my heartfelt thanks to my Stage Manager, Kate McMechen, who has been there every step of the way. And, finally, to my incredible cast-thanks for putting up with all my changes, my ridiculous requests and my many ways to drive you crazy. You rose to the challenge, and I love you for it. You've given me more than I could have ever expected or even anticipated. And, I know the audiences will agree.

Enjoy the show, and have fun trying to figure out Who Dunit?!


Reviews

Bowie Blade Review: Who Dunit? BCT wants YOU to figure it out

Show Biz Radio Review: Bowie Community Theatre Who Dunit?


Photos




By Bernard Slade. Directed by Linda Kirby.

Smae Time, Next Year by Bernard Slade

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Performance Dates

July 30-August 14, 2010


Synopsis

The plot focuses on two people, married to others, who meet for a romantic tryst once a year for two dozen years. New Jersey accountant, George and Oakland, California housewife, Doris meet at a Northern California inn in February 1951. They have an affair, then agree to meet once a year, despite the fact both are married to others and have six children between them. Over the course of the next 24 years, they develop an emotional intimacy deeper than what one would expect to find between two people meeting for a clandestine relationship just once a year. During the time they spend with each other, they discuss the births, deaths, and marital problems each is experiencing at home, while they adapt themselves to the social changes affecting their lives.

Cast

George
Ben Brunnschweiler

Ben Brunnschweiler

Doris
Lori (Marky) Markowitz

Lori (Marky) Markowitz

Director's Notes

The play takes place in a country inn in northern California. One evening in February 1951, a chance meeting over a steak dinner, will change the lives of George and Doris forever. Both are away from their spouses. Both are happily married and have three children each. But that night they begin a love affair that will last for the next twenty five years. Once a year they rendezvous at the same time and place. We see the changes in their lives, as well as the changes in manners, morals and attitudes of those twenty five years. George and Doris mirror the great shifts our society made during the 50's, 60's and 70's. For fifty one weeks every year, they have separate lives of ups and downs, happy times and sad times and just living. One weekend a year, they meet and talk and have sex. A whole year of living takes place in that weekend. I hope you enjoy the crazy, funny, and poignant times they have.

Linda Kirby


Reviews

Bowie Star Gazette: Bowie theater company features infidelity this summer

Bowie Blade Review: 'Same Time,' another professional BCT show

Baltimore Sun Review: 'Same Time' propels crowd through turbulent eras



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16500 White Marsh Park Drive
Bowie, MD 20715

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Bowie Community Theatre
P.O. Box 604
Bowie, MD 20718
(301) 805-0219