Thursday, October 30, 2014

Praise and Reviews for SEMINAR

The audience and critics have spoken...hear what all the SEMINAR buzz is about.

"5 stars out of 5...a raucous comedy . . .  'Seminar' is a charmingly amusing delight and is one of the best comedies to play locally in far too long." 

- Chris Curcio, KBAQ Radio (Read full review here

"...very funny...Playwright Theresa Rebeck's script is razor sharp...well presented by a terrific ensemble...great fun..." 

- David Appleford, Valley Stages (Read full review here)

"...acid-etched comedy...this play is one you won't want to miss...Actors Theatre's production, with a crackerjack cast and taut direction...immediately yanks the audience into a tinderbox of jostling egos and sexual tension."

- Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (Read full review here)

"SEMINAR is one tightly knit, fast-paced, engaging, and provocative comedy of mixed manners and artistic insights. A solid ensemble delivers Rebeck's rapid fire dialogue with bristling conviction and energy." (Read full review here)

What did you think of SEMINAR? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

SEMINAR performing at the Black Theatre Troupe Building in Phoenix from October 24th - November 9th. 

Get tickets at

Friday, October 24, 2014

SEMINAR Reveals the Dreams and Nightmares of Writers

For those who have ever wanted to write a book, manuscript or movie, the process of creating, writing and perfecting a written work can be an exercise in emotional mayhem. SEMINAR delves into the trials and tribulations of four novelists that sign up for a class designed to help them in their writing endeavors.

Best-selling author of memoir The Accidental Caregiver, Gregor Collins was once in the same boat as Seminar’s group of passionate would-be novelists. Collins stated, “When this book occurred to me there was immediate resistance and doubts: I’d convince myself I wasn’t an author and that it was something ‘other’ more gifted people did, as if being an author was some hallowed ground or a club I would never be invited to.” The book chronicles Collins’ time as a caregiver for Maria Altmann, a remarkable woman nearly three times his age who became revered in the art world. As Collins worked to get his book written, he encountered just about every emotion imaginable and may have even created a few new ones in the process.

“Once I realized I was basically piecing together a 350-page love letter to Maria and our relationship, and that no one could ever delete it and it would be around forever, the floodgates opened. I now had a responsibility to write the book. I owed it to love, to art, to the elderly/caregiving community and to myself. So I went home at night after a shift and would laugh and cry as I wrote it,” explained Collins. His best-selling novel is now in the process of being turned into a play for the stage in New York City. Let the next roller coaster of emotional highs and lows begin…

Seminar functions very much on reality competition show logic,” director Ron May said. “Throw a handful of clashing personalities together in a situation where they’re all in the same room vying for the same thing; mix in an even more ruthless, more articulate Simon Cowell; marinate in a bit of sexual tension and serve up the contact sport.”

Seminar is a provocative comedy from Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck – the first of three women playwrights Actors Theatre will feature during the season – and will run from Oct. 24 to Nov. 9 at the Helen K. Mason Theatre at Black Theatre Troupe, 1333 E. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix.

The story revolves around Leonard (David Barker), a celebrity writer who fell from grace offering private writing lessons to up-and-comers. Four aspiring young novelists – Douglas (Andy Cahoon), Martin (Will Hightower), Kate (Kerry McCue) and Izzy (Kim Richard) sign up for the class. Under Leonard’s recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored. Season-ticket packages ranging from $108-$170. All tickets can be purchased online at

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SEMINAR - Star-Struck

SEMINAR cast member Will Hightower (playing Martin) guest blog posts, reflecting on the progression of his theatre career from studying in college to joining the Actors Theatre cast with some of his favorite actors and actresses.

Imagine growing up with a passion for football, admiring the heroes on and off the field for years, and with each passing year renewing your love for the game. Next, imagine playing alongside living legends from your hometown.

That’s what it feels like to play Martin in SEMINAR alongside Kerry McCue, Kim Richard, Andy Cahoon and David Barker. 

Top it off with my theatre idol Ron May directing and that’s game folks!

How did they achieve this status in my eyes (and yours too, I hope)? Let me explain.

The first Actors Theatre show I attended was THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN OF JENNY CHOW, directed by Matthew Wiener in 2006, because my Phoenix College theatre professor Gerald Burgess performed in the remarkable cast. It was an enjoyable and eye-opening experience, but that level of skill and status of Actors Theatre at that time felt like an unrealistic dream.

In 2007, I started my second year of college and became jaded with the curriculum of plays written by dead, white men. I started to wonder if I should have taken the full-ride scholarship to ASU for computer science instead of pursuing this now fading passion for theatre. Not exactly “the best years of my life” as sold to me in high school.

Eventually, the theatre club on campus decided we should see a play outside of little college world, but how? In a pre-Facebook society, we didn’t know where to get suggestions or how to discover new experiences. Luckily, thanks to something called a “Newspaper” with a review for a little known play titled, “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” we saw the production by Stray Cat Theatre. After watching it with the lovely Kim Richard as CB’s Sister, I realized why I gave up computer science’s banal cubicle farm. This kind of theatre I wanted to perform and stories I wanted to tell!

In 2008, I transferred to ASU where I met David Barker—an intense and intimidating acting professor. I had limited experience with David until I saw his “Dodging Bullets” performance in 2009. In awe of his ability and accomplishments, I signed up for his movement class and his professional development class for the following semester. It ended up becoming an earth-shattering experience, causing more soul searching and dwelling on life choices. Ultimately, I learned from the best to accept criticism and gained awareness about my acting body as tools for my career.

In 2009, I returned as an audience member to Actors Theatre to watch Kerry McCue in RABBIT HOLE and then I saw Columbinus, directed by Ron May, at Stray Cat Theatre. Two devastatingly dramatic performances that, again, reminded my angst-y-college self that stories worth telling exist! I still believe Columbinus is one of my favorite theatre experiences to this day.

Finally, this year I saw Equivocation with Andy Cahoon acting and David Barker directing at Southwest Shakespeare Theatre Company. While I am not extremely well-versed in Shakespeare, I found the production powerful and riveting.

I also saw Andy in Childsplay’s Robin Hood, but this was something else. The play was so good it made me angry! I continue to try figuring out why. (I might have a problem.)

And now I have the privilege to perform and play with all of these amazing artists who affected me in unknowable ways. Every day at rehearsal I remember what a gift I have to feel so star-struck. 

- Will Hightower

Purchase tickets to see Will Hightower on stage as Martin in SEMINAR - running October 24th through November 9th, 2014. 

Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Monday, October 6, 2014

SEMINAR: Constructive Criticism

David Barker guest blog posts as he discusses how his experience providing constructive feedback as a theatre professor versus his character Leonard in SEMINAR shredding the egos of his pupils one semi-colon at a time.

In "Seminar" I play Leonard, a teacher who unleashes criticism with no regard to anyone's feelings, decorum or ethics.  In my 33 years of university teaching, 31 at Arizona State University and 2 at UC Santa Barbara, I've always explained on the first day of classes that the ability to receive constructive criticism is required.  It is required for artistic growth and development. But it is also difficult, particularly for actors.  This is why: as an actor you become the target of criticism.  The way you move, the way you speak, the way you behave, your emotions, in short, you, in person become the target.  So when I tell you, for example, "you are not speaking loud enough" or "you should be much more upset" or "you are moving too quickly," it often is challenging for the young actor to separate artistic analysis from personal attack.  The first day of classes I ask what the difference is between these two comments: "you are not committing enough to your objective," and "you are a moron." One has to do with craft, and the other is personal. 

Enter Leonard, the amoral, alcoholic, verbally abusive former professor (he was fired for sleeping with students) who teaches four young, aspiring writers in "Seminar."  His criticism is ruthless and relentless, and deeply personal.  Leonard eschews some generally accepted rules of a civilized society.  He chooses his words to cut through ego and pretense and apparently to wound.  During his diatribes in Theresa's Rebeck's 2011 comedy, Leonard attacks the four twenty-something's with piercing words such as moron, whore, coward, pussy, whiner, nobody, weenie and big baby.  He doesn't care if someone's feelings get hurt.  He is in the business of training writers, and preparing them for the cutthroat competition they're going to face in the real world. 

At ASU, I pride myself in being a tough teacher; straightforward and honest, but completely ethical and understanding. So, in playing Leonard, my immediate point of connection is his intensity, which comes very easily to me. But the acting challenge becomes bringing to life his complete lack of sensitivity, which is more and more foreign to me as I age closer to my 60s and deepen my compassion for others.  My four precious grandchildren have softened me considerably. Fortunately I'm sharing the stage with four dedicated, talented young actors who are present every moment and generous: Kerry McCue, Kim Richard, Andy Cahoon and Will Hightower. And I trust the caring and sensitive directorial eye of Ron May.   They all want every moment to spring to truthful and specific life.  In the incubative confines of the rehearsal studio, surrounded by artists I trust, the vicious verbal attacks become fun, particularly when I consider they all serve a greater good: the bridge to the profession Leonard provides all his students with, eventually. 

- David Barker

Get your tickets for SEMINAR- running October 24th through November 9th, 2014. 

Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SEMINAR: October 24 - November 9, 2014

Dates Playing: 10/24/2014 - 11/9/2014

Written By: Theresa Rebeck
Director: Ron May
Venue: Black Theatre Troupe


In SEMINAR, a provocative comedy from Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck, four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard, an international literary figure. Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored. The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting Broadway comedy.

Five hundred dollars a week for all the abuse you can take. And maybe some sex. SEMINAR is a biting Broadway comedy about power, sex and art. Written by a woman who has spent her share of time around writers, (Rebeck has enjoyed several Broadway hits and was the creator of NBC’s Smash) - she knows something about the pressures of academia and the publishing world, as well as the internal drive of unbridled ambition. The play traffics in questions about subjectivity in writing, the existence of true talent, and the power struggles and compromises that come with selling work. Full of hilarious quips and zingers, SEMINAR is ultimately quite insightful about the vulnerability of truth in an insincere world.

Please note: This play contains mature themes and adult language.

Leonard - David Barker
Douglas - Andy Cahoon
Martin - Will Hightower
Kate - Kerry McCue
Izzy - Kim Richard

Director – Ron May
Set Design – Jeff Thomson
Lighting Design – Paul A. Black
Costume Design – Lois K. Myers
Sound Designer – Chris Neumeyer
Stage Manager – Aaron Wheeler.

Get your tickets at

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

PREVIEW: The Agony and Ecstacy of Steve Jobs

Actors Theatre of Phoenix's No Sweat (For You) Summer Season kicks off this weekend with returning production of THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS.

Show Schedule:
Saturday, July 5 at 10:00 p.m. (Tickets here)
Wednesday, July 9 7:00 p.m. (Tickets here)
Saturday, July 12 10:00 p.m. (Tickets here)
Wednesday, July 23 7:00 p.m. (Tickets here)

Ron May reprises his provocative and intense monologue that pulls back the curtain veiling America’s most mysterious technology icon with a wickedly funny tale of pride, beauty, lust and industrial design.

What the critics said about this powerful production:

"...seeing the play will also give those obsessive consumers a chance to experience Rom May give one of the finest theatrical and all-encompassing emotional performances seen on any valley stage this year, and that's more than the price of any obscenely expensive upgrade could ever be worth."

- David Appleford, KEZRadio (Read full review here) 

"...timely...trenchant...The red-hot topicality of the piece is not hte best reason to see it; rather, the genius of 'Agony and Ecstasy' is the way it gives emotional resonance to the news through the passion and wit of its narrator. It's a guilt trip. But thanks to Daisey's vivid writing and May's energeized performance, it's the most entertaining guilt trip I've ever had."

- Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (Read full review here) 

Get your seats before we sell out for THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS.

Featured at The Black Theatre Troupe Building at 1333 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ.

Visit for the the No Sweat (For You) Summer Season schedule. 

Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Actors Theatre of Phoenix will rev up production for THE BOOK CLUB PLAY again this week. Thanks to all who came out and supported opening weekend.

Here's what the audience and critics said about THE BOOK CLUB PLAY:

"My husband and I saw the show opening night - Saturday. It was wonderful! We recommend it to everyone." 

- Mary LeBlanc

"The Actors Theatre production has an energetic, hardworking cast and confident direction that gets you thinking about just what justifies 'art.' "

- Gil Benbrook, Talk in Broadway Phoenix (Read full review here)

"'The Book Club Play' was terrific! Well-written, beautifully acted and skillfully directed. This one is a must see!"

- Barbara Oliver

"... This popcorn offering is a guaranteed tickler for anyone who loves to read. ... In this production, directed by Matthew Wiener, the characters are brought vividly to life by some of the Valley's most eminently watchable actors."

- Kerry Lengel, The Republic (Read full review here)

"A real page turner ...Under Matthew Wiener’s direction, 'The Book Club Play' feels like a beautiful timepiece slowly wound until its springs finally burst forth — maximizing the playwright’s portrayal of book clubs as a microcosm of society." 

- Lynn Trimble, Art Musings Writer (Read full review here)

Get your tickets for THE BOOK CLUB PLAY running Saturday, July 5 2014 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 6 at 2:00 p.m.

Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Opening Week of THE COTTAGE

Actors Theatre of Phoenix is pleased to announce opening weekend for THE COTTAGE at The Black Theatre Troupe Building.

Performance Schedule for this week:

THE COTTAGE (a comedy in two acts), is a rollicking farce inspired by the works of Noel Coward. Set in the English Countryside in 1923, this tale of love, sex and betrayal begins when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her love affair with her husband's brother. The true meanings of fate, identity, and marriage are all called into question as a surprising and hilarious web of secrets unravel in this ridiculous, potentially murderous, romantic comedy.

Have you purchased your ticket yet? 

Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

AT Phoenix Summer Book Club - Opening Weekend and Fifty Shades of Grey

What are you reading next? In preparation for OPENING WEEKEND of Actors Theatre of Phoenix's upcoming production THE BOOK CLUB PLAY (running June 20 - August 17 2014), cast member Joseph Kremer wrote a book report on one of the mentioned books in the play:

Fifty Shades of Grey…One Million Shades of Ugh

A Book Report by Joseph Kremer

Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic romance novel by E.L. James (published by Vintage Publications) that describes a brief sex affair between hot, clumsy college girl Anastasia Steele and the wealthy former crack baby Christian Grey.

The story takes place in Oregon and Washington with a slight detour through “Stupid Town." Anastasia is a privileged Caucasian virgin that works in a hardware store and drives a Volkswagen Beetle. Her daily battles filled with nothing but boring generation Y angst until ONE DAY her roommate becomes ill and can’t interview the “self-made” super-rich, piano playing, and helicopter flying Christian Grey for the college paper. Anastasia conducts this interview for her roommate, in which afterwards Christian becomes bewitched by this dopey fawn of a girl and decides that he’s going to seduce her and bring her into his world of…spanking and Gregorian chant (I’m not kidding).

Christian emails Anastasia a contract saying that she will be “submissive” to his “dominant” for a whole bunch of erotic play. The proposed contract fills her with incredulity, upon which, she whines about endlessly. Their affair boils over into an anti-climactic (irony!) argument and makes the reader wonder: “Will the couple survive this tragic occurrence? And more importantly…does anyone care?”

Here’s a concise review of this novel: The author’s prose is child-like at best, which forces the reader to slowly crawl through hundreds of poorly described situations and scenes. The story and its characters are completely two-dimensional and predictable, with some of the characters acting simply as filler for a pathetic little plot that goes nowhere. While I was reading it I found myself constantly forcing my eyes to the page because they kept rolling to the back of my head.

HOWEVER, there is a dark and mysterious element that is lurking in the pages of this novel, touching female readers and giving them an impetus to read on. And that element is the feeling of NOT HAVING TO MAKE A DECISION. The biggest fans of this novel are those that want to be swept up in a sexual fantasy that involves them not having to answer their boyfriend or husband endlessly asking, “I dunno. What do you want to do?” The fans of this novel are those that want to be seduced, desire to be flirted with, and simply want an A personality in not only their day-to-day lives, but in the bedroom as well. That is the ONLY explanation I have for this publication selling over 100 million copies since 2012.

In conclusion, there’s really nothing of depth in this book, so don’t waste your time reading it. Do yourself a favor and go see The Book Club Play instead. I hear it’s funny.

- Joseph Kremer


Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Opening Week for THE BOOK CLUB PLAY

Actors Theatre of Phoenix is pleased to announce opening weekend for THE BOOK CLUB PLAY at The Black Theatre Troupe Building.

Performance Schedule for this week:

THE BOOK CLUB PLAY is a contemporary comedy about a group of friends who welcome a new member into their book club, only to see him tear at the fabric of their longstanding relationships. It is a new play about the literary set. It is a comedy for book lovers. And yet, wrapped inside its sleeve, it becomes a sly examination of social groups, ritual, and the true nature of friendship.

Have you purchased your ticket yet? 

Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

No Sweat (For You) Summer Season - Special Showings

From Steve Jobs to The Boob Show and Scorpius Dance Theatre to Sinatra, Sondheim and Noel Coward, Actors Theatre has added nine special events including one-person shows, modern dance, a celebration of the Great American Songbook and Adam Smith and Friends in concert to its first-ever No Sweat (For You) Summer Season.

Here's a preview of our special events:

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS - “One of the finest theatrical and all-encompassing emotional performances seen on any valley stage” - David Appelford, KEZRadio
By Mike Daisy, performed by Ron May

Saturday, July 5 @ 10 p.m.
Wednesday, July 9 @ 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 12 @ 10 p.m.
Wednesday, July 23 @ 7 p.m.

Ron May reprises his provocative and intense monologue that pulls back the curtain veiling America’s most mysterious technology icon with a wickedly funny tale of pride, beauty, lust and industrial design.

THE FEVER - ”Mesmerizingly theatrical—a profoundly engaging journey through the awakening of a pampered man's conscience." —NY Newsday.

By Wally Shawn, performed by Mike Lawler

Friday, July 11 @ 10 p.m.
Wednesday, July 16 @ 7 p.m.

With compassion, eloquence, and ruthless self-scrutiny, the playwright discovers that having good intentions toward the dispossessed is not enough. He reaches the inevitable conclusion that the politically correct are guilty themselves unless they take action. The narrator has succeeded in defining his own guilt but is uncertain whether or not he has the personal courage to join in the struggle. 

THE BOOB SHOW -A hysterically funny, empowering, and poignant musical exploration of breasts!

Written and Performed by Sally Jo Bannow
Friday, July 18 @ 10 p.m.
Sunday, July 20 @ 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 3 @ 7 p.m.

This musical celebration is appropriate for anyone who's ever had a boob, or just loved one from afar. Whether they are big, small, scarred, saggy, or man-boobs, The Boob Show will leave you feeling uplifted!

Choreography by Lisa Starry

Saturday, July 19 @ 10 p.m.
Friday, August 1 @ 10 p.m.

Scorpius has been a constant presence in the metropolitan Phoenix arts community since its inception in 1999, combining the motifs of humor, drama, and both organic and technical movement to form a very distinct brand of dance theater.

A synthesis of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor of 30 years ago, Adam Smith takes the stage with this very special performance; a preview of his new, up and coming CD titled So Simple Now. 

Get up close and personal with Scorpius Dance Theatre as they bring back their mesmerizing production, Intimate, which originally deputed in 2005. The show features breath-taking solos, seductive duets, energetic group pieces and entertaining dance films.

A NIGHT WITH NOEL - The Music of Noel Coward
Hosted by Ian Christiansen

Saturday, July 26 @10 p.m.

Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise". Actors Theatre’s production of The Cottage is influenced by the style of this great artist.

THAT’S LIFE: FROM SINATRA TO SONDHEIMGreat voices, great songs, great times

Featuring Kristen Drathman, Rusty Ferracane, and Craig Bohmler

Sunday, July 27 @ 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 10 @ 7 p.m.

An evening of song celebrating standards from the Great American Songbook and classics from the Broadway Stage. With music from Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Julie Styne, Marvin Hamlish, Kander & Ebb, and Stephen Sondheim.

TWO SHOTS - Two Men, Two Plays, One Evening
Written and performed by Ben Tyler and David Barker
Wednesday, July 30, @ 7 p.m.

The Sperm of Ten Men, Written and Performed by Ben Tyler. In 1991 Tyler agreed to be a sperm donor for his brother and sister-in-law.

Dodging Bullets, Written and Performed by David Barker. In 2004, in an upscale Boston suburb, a brain surgeon tried to kill Barker and his sister.

BLACK AND 25 IN AMERICA -  Invisible and without voice – that’s what it means to be a young, Black adult in America.

Written and performed by Jeremy Gillett
Wednesday, August 6 @ 7 p.m.

The play explores the issues of race, class, gender and identity through the life stories of characters Big Man, Joshua Thomas Northington III, Darron, and Marcy. Gillett gives his audience insight on what it means to be a young, Black adult in America. Through a series of vignettes, the play reveals how each character feels invisible and without voice.

 ADAM AND FRIENDS - A synthesis of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor of 30 years ago – with a today sound.

Featuring Adam Smith and Special Guests
Wednesday, August 13 @ 7 p.m.

After a year in the recording studio, Adam Smith returns to the stage with this very special performance; a preview of his new, up and coming CD titled So Simple Now and songs from his current album Around the Bend with a few favorite cover songs. Adam will be joined on stage by special guest performers.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Actors Theatre of Phoenix Summer Book Club - What are you reading next?

What are you reading next? In preparation for Actors Theatre of Phoenix's upcoming production of THE BOOK CLUB PLAY (running June 20 - August 17 2014), cast member Angelica Howland wrote a book report on one of the books discussed in the play. 

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

A Book Report by Angelica Howland

First, in my opinion, Presumed Innocent, the book, is not as good as Presumed Innocent, the movie.

Second, I did not care for the book at all. Not that it wasn't well written and sometimes intriguing. I just felt like, at times, I was swimming through jargon and detail to get to the real story.

Which is this... A woman is raped and murdered. She was a well liked and beautiful yet, career climbing prosecutor for the DA, sometimes using the casting couch for her advancement.

Some of the male types involved in the the investigation are positioning themselves for reelection or promotion and are preening like peacocks. One of the head prosecutors for the DA is a man named Rusty. He had an affair with the victim but, because he has no aspirations to be more than he already is, the victim dumped him. Which has made him obsess over her and seriously alienated his wife. In an effort to keep the affair under wraps and spare his wife further humiliation, Rusty asks a colleague and good friend of his to take the lead on the case. No luck.

The evidence, though strange, points to Rusty as the murderer, outs the affair and he is put on trial. However, the evidence is too murky to convict him and the case against him is dismissed and the murder goes unsolved.

But... Rusty later finds damning evidence in his own home.

Guess who did it? Rusty's wife. And guess why? Old fashioned jealousy and revenge.

The moral? A man's penis can really get him into a lot of trouble.


Get your tickets for THE BOOK CLUB PLAY now. 

Follow Actors Theatre of Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Actors Theatre of Phoenix Summer Season - Meet the Cast

Add some comic relief to the hot Arizona summer with Actors Theatre of Phoenix's upcoming season:

Get ready for some rollicking comedy and thought-provoking theatre with a kick-ass cast that will double up for two productions.

From June 20 - August 17, THE BOOK CLUB PLAY will kick-off the first weekend and THE COTTAGE the following weekend.

Meet the cast for Actors Theatre of Phoenix's Summer Season productions of THE BOOK CLUB PLAY and THE COTTAGE:

Maren Maclean, who will perform as Ana in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY and Sylvia in THE COTTAGE:

Maren Maclean feels thrilled/thankful to return to Actors Theatre after playing Pamela in Fox on the Fairway.

Favorite productions include Belinda in Noises Off at Phoenix Theatre, Kate in Shrew at Southwest Shakespeare Co. and Hilda in Venus Observed at Verse Theatre Manhattan.

Angelica Howland, performing as Jen in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY and Marjorie in THE COTTAGE:

Angelica Howland makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, Brian, son, Harrison and two wagging piles of furry love, Charlotte and Hansel.

Some of her recent theatrical credits include: At Birth with The Hormel Festival of New Plays and Musicals 2014, All New People with Stray Cat Theatre, The 39 Steps with Phoenix Theatre, In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) with Actor’s Theatre (ariZoni Award, Actress in a Major Role).

Alexis Green, performing as Lily in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY and Dierdre in THE COTTAGE:

Alexis Green graduated from ASU in 2013 with her BA in Theatre Arts.

While at ASU, Alexis produced and performed in their first ever black theater festival which included four plays and almost thirty performers. Her recent credits include Life in the Cancer Lane with Inkwellchick Productions, Wedding Band with The Black Theatre Troupe, and the National Geographic film American Blackout. In the fall, Alexis will be pursuing her MFA in Acting at Brown University.

Joe Kremer, who will perform as Rob in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY and Beau in THE COTTAGE:
Joseph  feels incredibly proud and humbled to join in these two productions at Actors Theatre.

Kremer’s most recent role at Actors Theatre was Denny in A Steady Rain. Recent productions in the valley include Love's Labour's Lost at Southwest Shakespeare, All New People at Stray Cat Theatre and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Phoenix Theatre. "

Tyler Eglen, who will perform as Will in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY and Clarke in THE COTTAGE:

Tyler returns again to Actor’s Theatre after playing as Stevie in GOOD PEOPLE.

Tyler’s many work hats include actor, educator, fight choreographer and media designer and an ASU MFA graduate. Tyler’s past work includes productions with Arizona Theatre Company, Straycat, Childsplay, Actors Youth Theatre and other theatres outside of Arizona.

Ian Christiansen, who will perform as Alex in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY and Richard in THE COTTAGE:

Ian feels ecstatic about joining Actors Theatre and this marvelous group of artists.

Previously he played Frank in Body Awareness and Dorian in OPUS. Other appearances in other companies include Love's Labour's Lost (Southwest Shakespeare), Sons of the Prophet (Stray Cat Theatre), The Light in the Piazza (Phoenix Theatre).  Ian holds a BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama and participates as a proud member in Actor's Equity Association.

Purchase your tickets for Actors Theatre of Phoenix Summer Season at

And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for schedules, promotions and show news. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Angelica Howland joins Actors Theatre for The Book Club Play and The Cottage

Meet our guest blogger Angelica Howland, the upcoming star in the Actors Theatre summer season: 

Angelica makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, Brian, son, Harrison and two wagging piles of furry love, Charlotte and Hansel. 

Some of her recent theatrical credits include: 

-At Birth with The Hormel Festival of New Plays and Musicals 2014
-All New People with Stray Cat Theatre; 
-The 39 Steps with Phoenix Theatre; 
-In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) with Actor’s Theatre (ariZoni Award, Actress in a Major Role).  

And some favorite theatrical credits include: 

-Doubt and A Parable with Actors Theatre, 
-You Can’t Take It With You with Phoenix Theatre  
-The Yellow Boat and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse with Childsplay.  

This year marks 20 years that I have been a professional actress. In November of 1995 I played Jenny in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at Phoenix Theatre. Working with the late Michael D. Mitchell was my first experience with a professional director and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. None. I had taken drama in high school but up until this point, I wanted to be a dancer. An injury made me change my focus. Which is very good because I was quite mediocre. And clumsy.

Anyway, Mr. Mitchell gave me my first crash course in the art of acting. A week into rehearsals, as we Brodie girls stood there being girls, Michael came to us and told us that the other three were doing very well but, that I needed work. I was stunned. All my lines were memorized. I was playing, "the beautiful one" and I thought, "Am I not being beautiful enough?" He said, "Angelica, do you know the story we are telling?" I didn't. I had memorized my lines and my cue lines but, no -- I had no idea what the story was that we were telling.

I went home that night and read the entire play. Three times, cover to cover. That week I rented the movie starring Maggie Smith. I thought deep thoughts and began to listen to what the actors around me were saying. At the end of the week, Mr. Mitchell looked at me and smiled. That was it. Just a smile. And I breathed a sigh of relief. That man gave me a gift I have used every project since: "Do you know the story you are telling?" Thank you, you wise angel of a man!

What story am I telling now? This current project with Actors Theatre is a new adventure for me. I'm telling two stories (The Book Club Play and The Cottage) and . At the same time. And they are two very funny, yet very different ones. I'm nervous. And so excited.

I'm playing with Maren and Ian for the first time. Two actors I greatly admire -- who are also good friends. And I'm once again getting to share the stage with my dear friend, Joe. We share a comfortable chemistry that allows us to play in a way that pleases us both. Not to mention its a ton of fun. Tyler was my reader for an audition in the winter. All I could think as we read together was,"'Wow -- I hope I get to work with him one day.' and, woo hoo! My wish was granted. I just met Alexis yesterday and I'm already chomping at the bit to get down and dirty in the rehearsal hall with her. I can't wait to get down and dirty with all of them.

AND? I'm working with Matthew Wiener. Matthew and I have done several projects together now. I used to be afraid of him. I would go into his auditions shaking like a leaf. Now? Not only has he taught me many valuable lessons concerning the art of storytelling and we speak an unexplained kind of shorthand when we work together, he is also my friend.

I consider Actors Theatre the playground in my own backyard. I'm so fortunate to have a place to play and still get to be in my home city while raising my son. I've worked with several artists on the boards and behind the scenes of this theatre company who have pushed me creatively and I have done work I am very proud of on their stage. It thrills me to be celebrating this 20 years of storytelling with several members of my theatre family. I kind of want to wrap the world up in my arms right now and give it a hard squeeze.
I'm a lucky, lucky woman.

- Angelica Howland 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Last Week for GOOD PEOPLE!

One more week to catch GOOD PEOPLE. Don't miss David Lindsay-Abaire's critically acclaimed "dark comedy" in Phoenix. Get your tickets for TALK-PROVOKING theatre here.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Praise for GOOD PEOPLE

Thanks to all who have attended GOOD PEOPLE so far and for the positive response from both friends and followers on our Facebook Page

We appreciate the POWERFUL support from my community. 

GOOD PEOPLE is running at the AZ Opera Center now until May 11 - get your tickets today

Here's what the audience is saying about this Actors Theatre of Phoenix production:

"Adding my enthusiastic support for Good People at Actors Theatre of Phoenix. What a strong cast- moving performances. Everyone was great but a special nod to Katie McFadzen! (In addition, Tom gives a big thumbs up to the comfortable chairs and leg room!!)" 
- Janet Arnold

"Oh my Lord! Actors theatre "Good people" is such a great show! I was on the edge of my seat! So engaging and superbly performed! No flaws! Just brilliance! What a fabulous night of theatre!" 
- Lillie Richardson

"Adding my enthusiastic support for Good People at Actors Theatre of Phoenix. What a strong cast- moving performances. Everyone was great but a special nod to Katie McFadzen! (In addition, Tom gives a big thumbs up to the comfortable chairs and leg room!!)" 
- Matthew Wiener

"Break a leg to the cast of Actors Theatre of Phoenix's "Good People" opening tonight. Great preview last night with Katie McFadzen, Maria Amorocho Weisbrod, Rusty Ferracane and Cathy Dresbach in the AZ Opera space. Interesting script and outstanding cast!" 
- Brenda Edwards

"Good People is great theatre with some very talented theatre artists at the top of their game. Special shoutout to Katie McFadzen. So proud."
- Dwayne Hartford

Thanks to the Phoenix community for coming out and supporting Actors Theatre - let your friends know about GOOD PEOPLE and feel free to come again! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Good People at the Arizona Opera Center

Actors Theatre of Phoenix presents GOOD PEOPLE -
April 25 - May 11.

Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo, where this month’s paycheck covers last month’s bill, and where Margie Walsh has just been let go from her job at the Dollar Store. Facing eviction and scrambling to catch a break, Margie thinks an old flame who’s made it out of Southie might be her ticket to a new start. With his signature humorous glow, David Lindsay-Abaire explores the struggles, shifting loyalties and unshakable hope that come with having next to nothing in America.

GOOD PEOPLE will run at the Arizona Opera Center now through May 11 - have you purchased your tickets yet?

 Read the latest review of the GOOD PEOPLE production here.

"A play title like "Good People" just has to be ironic — because what could be more boring than characters without flaws? — and Actors Theatre's latest dark comedy does not disappoint." - Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic