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


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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

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