Banyan Theater Company: The Price by Arthur Miller; The Sty of the Blind Pig by Phillip Hayes Dean; Collected Stories by Donald Margulies

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 Meet Our Company for the 2014 Season 

 

Rehearsals begin tomorrow, so it’s time for you to meet the company members! Five of the actors have been with us in prior seasons, and five are new to our company.

 

Don Walker will direct The Price, Mark Clayton Southers will direct The Sty of the Blind Pig, and Howard Millman will direct Collected Stories

 

We welcome them all and look forward to a spectacular 13th season!

 

 

 Box Office Opens Inside

the FSU Center Lobby Tomorrow  

 

Our trusty box office manager, Jim Taylor, will be manning the box office inside the FSU Center lobby, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, beginning tomorrow, June 3. Box office hours will be Monday-Friday from 10am to 4pm until our opening night on June 26, at which time box office hours will change slightly. To reach the box office by phone, please call (941) 351-2808.

 

Our 2014 Summer Season
 

The Price
by Arthur Miller
June 26-July 13

The Price is the story of two brothers: one a successful surgeon who walked out on his family demands to pursue personal success, the other a policeman who sacrificed his education and career as a scientist to care for his invalid father. The brothers harbor a lifetime of jealousy and anger toward each other. They reunite after an estrangement of 16 years to dispose of their deceased father’s belongings. The furniture, which is highly desired by a comic 89-year-old antiques dealer, comes to represent the brothers’ past and provide the occasion for them to confront their feelings about each other, their father, the family and their own lives. The Price was produced by the Banyan Theater Company in 2003 to great public and press response.

“… one of the most engrossing and entertaining plays that Miller has ever written. It is superbly, even flamboyantly theatrical …” —NY Times

“… a challenging, gripping and moving drama.” —Variety

2:00 pm June 28, 29*; July 5, 6*, 12, 13
8:00 pm June 26, 27, 28; July 2, 3*, 5, 9, 10*, 11, 12

 

The Sty of the Blind Pig
by Phillip Hayes Dean
July 17-August 3

The place is Chicago’s south side and the time the 1950s, just before the civil rights movement began to burgeon. Alberta, unmarried and in her thirties, shares an apartment with her mother Weedy, an old-fashioned black woman who finds solace for her troubles in religion. Their constant visitor is Weedy’s brother, a sporty, down-on-his-luck gambling man who is the despair of his strait-laced sister. Blind Jordan, a wandering street singer, shows up at their door searching for a woman he once knew. Alberta offers to help him in his quest, and when they are alone, all the emotional and sexual frustrations struggling within her bursts forth. Out of the unsettling nature of their encounter comes estrangement between mother and daughter, which subsides to an uneasy truce when Blind Jordan departs – leaving behind a disturbing awareness of much that has been lost or changed, and of much greater change still to come. The Sty of the Blind Pig won the Drama Desk and other awards when first produced in 1971.

“… eloquent, powerful, moving and beautiful …” —Time Magazine

2:00 pm July 19, 20*, 26, 27*; August 2, 3
8:00 pm July 17, 18, 19, 23, 24*, 25, 26, 30, 31*; August 1, 2

 

Collected Stories
by Donald Margulies
August 7-August 24

Ruth Steiner is a celebrated writer having burst on to the literary scene with a book of short stories when she was in her early 20s. Her fame and promise were short lived as she quickly faded as a published writer. She has maintained her place in the literary society of New York as a teacher of writing and a nurturer of writing talent. Lisa Morrison is Ruth’s student turned confidante turned competitor – for her first novel, Lisa has cannibalized Ruth’s experiences, most specifically her youthful, shattering affair with the poet Delmore Schwartz. This story will keep you engaged to the surprising conclusion.

“… sharply written and incisive dialogue.” —Hollywood Reporter

“…always fluid and lively, the play is thick with ideas, like a stockpot of good stew.” —Village Voice

2:00 pm August 9, 10*, 16, 17*, 23, 24
8:00 pm August 7, 8, 9, 13, 14*, 15, 16, 20, 21*, 22, 23

 
*Play Talks – Join us for free informal discussions with the cast following these shows.

 

Our 2014 Company
 
RON BOBB-SEMPLE* (Blind Jordan, The Sty of the Blind Pig) is thrilled to return to the Banyan after appearing in A Lesson From Aloes. Recently, he was seen in Ten Percent of Marta Solano at Stageworks Theatre in Tampa, after directing Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun there. As an actor, Bobb-Semple has moved audiences around the world with his one-man show, The Spirit of Marcus Garvey. A few of his other stage credits include: August Wilson’s Jitney, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Seven Guitars, The Piano Lesson and Fences; My Children, My Africa!; A Lesson Before Dying; Derek Walcott’s musical, Steel; and Bingo!, a musical directed by the legendary Ossie Davis who said, “Ron, you are one of the most gifted performers I have worked with.” Ron won the AUDELCO Lead Actor Award for his portrayal of Durbin Freeman in Joyce Sylvester’s A Freeman’s Hope.As a broadcaster, Ron can be heard weekly on the Uhuru Radio Network.
 

CONRAD FEININGER* (Gregory Soloman, The Price) is delighted to make his Florida debut with Banyan Theater Company. Conrad is based in Washington, D.C., where he has acted for over 20 years. Favorite roles include the one he plays here, as well as Salieri in Amadeus, Macbeth in Macbeth, Joseph Duveen in Old Masters and Oscar in The Odd Couple. When not onstage Conrad can be found on his in-line skates or working at his day job: recording books for the National Library Service for the blind and physically handicapped at the Library of Congress. Love to Kathy, Josie and Bella.

 

ALAN BOMAR JONES* (Doc, The Sty of the Blind Pig) is from Dayton, Ohio. This professional international actor is a resident artist with the Human Race Theatre Company and American Stage Theatre Company. Alan has appeared in over 60 professional shows including To Kill A Mockingbird, Jitney, Fences, Seussical, Exonerated, RACE, Permanent Collection, Piano Lesson and Dracula: A Rock Opera. He received two Onyx Awards for best Equity actor from AACTA in Pittsburgh, PA for his work in Piano Lesson and Seven Guitars. His first international performance was in Driving Miss Daisy in Sterling, Ontario Canada. His offstage credits include a made-for-TV movie entitled The Movement, seven independent films including the full-length feature film Missed It and several regional commercials. He has an in-home audio studio where he produces audio books on CD. Alan was nominated for the 2012 Audie Awards for best narration in the category of literary fiction for No One in the World by E. Lynn Harris and R.M. Johnson. In his spare time he produces internet webisodes. He would like to thank his lovely musical theater actress wife Becky Barrett-Jones for her support and love. Visit alanbomarjones.com to learn more about his upcoming projects.

 
ALAN KITTY (Victor Franz, The Price) is a nationally known Mark Twain impersonator. Now in his 35th year as Twain, Alan has received critical and popular praise for his interpretation of Twain as a stand-up comic and global superstar. He is pleased to announce that his two new shows, An Evening with Mark Twain and The Yesterday Show with Mark Twain will premiere in a double bill in September at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford, FL. Equally comfortable in comedy, drama and musical theater, his continuing study of the craft began in New York. He has since produced, written or performed across many genres both Off-Broadway and on tour. But the chance to follow last summer’s Heroes with another company of stellar talents is both an honor and privilege.
 

SARA MORSEY* (Ruth, Collected Stories) appeared with the Banyan in Athol Fugard’s A Lesson From Aloes. She calls The Hippodrome Theatre “home” and most recently played Prospera in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Margie in Good People there. At Florida Repertory Theatre, where she is a company member: The Little Foxes, Other Desert Cities, The Year of Magical Thinking and August: Osage County. Other Hippodrome productions include Doubt, The Glass Menagerie, End Days, Eurydice, Shear Madness, Master Class, Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, Three Tall Women, The Play About the Baby, The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird and many more.  Sara has appeared in regional theaters around the country and at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. Independent film: The First of May, The Votive Pit, Borderlines, Ashley Lynn. Professional narrator, Library of Congress Talking Books, M.F.A. in acting, University of Louisville. Member of Actors’ Equity Association. Sara is a professional audiobook narrator; Google audible Sara Morsey.

 

CASSANDRA SMALL* (Weedy Warren, The Sty of the Blind Pig) has appeared in TV commercials, feature films, and was an on-air radio personality. She is a runway model and motivational speaker, and a member of the musical performance group The Powerhouse Divas.Of all these endeavors,theater is her first love. She lives in San Antonio, Texas where in 2006 she earned a Globe Award for Excellence – Lead Actress in a Drama for The Renaissance Guild’s production of A Raisin in the Sun. She was also awarded Excellence – Supporting Actress in a Drama as Mrs. Muller in The Church Theater’s production ofDoubt. Previous productions include Ain’tMisbehavin’, Once On This Island, Zooman and the Sign and Crowns. Ms. Small is grateful to the Banyan Theater Company and this awesome cast and crew for the opportunity to perform. She extends a special thank you to her core support system for this endeavor: her soul mate Doug Small, and her best friend Inez Hunter. 

 

KIM STEPHENSON (Lisa, Collected Stories) is excited to be making her debut with the Banyan. Kim comes to Sarasota from San Francisco, where credits included 100 Saints You Should Know (Abby) and Seven Jewish Children/Seven Palestinian Children at Theatre Rhinoceros, The Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy)at New Conservatory Theatre, Ivy and Bean (Mom/Sophie W) at Bay Area Children’s Theater, Twelfth Night (Malvolio) at Vallejo Shakespeare and Vigilance (Cathy) at Second Wind. Other credits include Paint Your Wagon (Magda/Jennifer U/S) at Pioneer Theatre Company, Urinetown (Hope) at the Grand Theatre, Into the Woods (Cinderella) at Mack’s Inn Dinner Theater and The Crucible (Abigail) at Union Station. Kim earned her B.F.A. in music dance theater from Brigham Young University and holds a Certificate in classical acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She is currently working toward her M.F.A. at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. This one’s for you, Seth.

 

PETER THOMASSON* (Walter Franz, The Price) is delighted to return to Sarasota having previously appeared in Banyan productions of Retreat From Moscow, Becky’s New Car, Ghosts, A Lesson From Aloes and last year’s Heroes. A company member at the Florida Repertory Theatre, he book-ended the bad guys earlier this season as Uncle Henri in My Three Angels, and the psychotic Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace. He’s a 37-year member of Actors’ Equity Association. When in his home state of Georgia he volunteers with the Cistercian Order’s Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Georgia as a baker and manual laborer. Special thanks to friend Peggy Sweeney for her friendship, faithful support of the Sarasota arts and her really good food.

 

KIMBERLY WEBB (Alberta Warren, The Sty of the Blind Pig) is honored to be making her Banyan Theater debut in The Sty of the Blind Pig. She was recently seen as Annelle in Steel Magnolias at American Stage. Last year she performed in the D.C. and the Atlanta Black Theatre festivals in the shows Saul’s Juke Joint and Fighting God. Her TV credits include a lead role on an episode of Dr. G Medical Examiner. Kimberly received training at Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia. Awards include placing first statewide (Florida) in drama, as a part of the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition. She has appeared in several commercials and been a part of many film projects. In addition to acting Kimberly has a passion for fitness, dance and motivational writing. Kimberly wants to thank God for all the wonderful blessings in her life and her mother Gail Mckinney-Rogers for her constant and unconditional love, support and encouragement.  Visit iamkimberlywebb.com

 

LAUREN WOOD (Esther Franz, The Price) is thrilled to be returning to Banyan’s stage, having performed the role of Patsy the barmaid in Sideman several summers ago. Other recent Florida appearances include Agatha Christie in Vanishing Point (American Stage), Fraulein Kost in Cabaret (freeFall) and Christine in A Doll’s House (American Stage). Lauren is also a singer, a mother and wife, and owns Massage Market in Sarasota. Thanks to her family, the Banyan, and for the wonderful audiences in Sarasota that treasure and support live theater.

 
 

Executive Director

JERRY M. FINN got his first job in radio at age 14 on WBGO in Newark. Following his formal training at Emerson College and law school at Boston University, he pursued a career in professional theater and radio drama and performed in over 100 productions before settling down to win over smaller audiences in courtrooms in New Jersey. He is a member of the Bars of New Jersey and Massachusetts and is admitted before the Federal and Supreme courts. Jerry was a partner and chief trial lawyer in the New Jersey law firm Schneider, Goldberger, Cohen & Finn for over 30 years until his retirement and relocation to Sarasota with his wife Terri in 1999. Jerry and Terri founded the Banyan Theater Company in 2002. Jerry has performed in several Banyan seasons, playing The Waiter in Betrayal in the inaugural season, Alex Gal in Rough Crossing and Telegin in Uncle Vanya.  He also played Bobby Franklyn in Run For Your Wife at The Lemon Bay Playhouse in Englewood and Hamilton Orr in Smoke and Mirrors at the Island Players in Anna Maria Island.

 
 
 

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and

 

stage managers

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