The Players Theatre – The Show Must Go On: Director Understudies For “The Lyons”

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Sarasota, FL—What happens when the lead of a show falls ill and can’t perform? Tickets have been sold, all the pieces of the puzzle are in place ready for a good show, and BOOM. It’s every director’s nightmare. One would think, “Well, that’s why they have understudies,” and that would be true in most cases. Understudies are an absolute must in professional theatre. Otherwise, the fate of the show and thousands of dollars invested are at stake. However, when you are a small, tight cast of a volunteer-driven show in a modestly funded community theatre, understudies are a luxury. This is the case with the Backstage at The Players’ upcoming dark comedy, “The Lyons.” Director Ann Gundersheimer has been faced with a challenge as Rosalind Cramer, who plays the part of the matriarch Rita Lyons has been forced to withdraw from the show as she recovers from a temporary illness. Ann, a resourceful, knowledgeable and talented person—typical of the talent landscape at The Players—jumped in enthusiastically and will be performing the role. Linda MacCluggage has also stepped up and will be taking over the reins of Director as Ann fills Rosalind’s role. “Pulling up bootstraps” and “If it’s to be, it’s up to me” are common phrases around The Players and this situation is no different.


Jeffery Kin, Artistic Director explains, “Well, in live theatre there are always plot twists! Sometimes, the adage… “the show must go on” really DOES comes into play. I’m proud (and we are fortunate) that our illustrious director, Ann Gundersheimer also happens to be an amazing actress. So, when our beloved Roz Cramer came down with a bad bug, Anne offered to step in and fill her shoes without losing a beat!  Now, with a little extra support from the theatre and the generous hand of Backstage Coordinator Linda MacCluggage stepping in as Director…the show WILL go on!  I have no doubt we will all rise to the occasion and create some excellent theatre!”


Backstage at The Players is dedicated to performing cutting-edge, contemporary American plays and this one is certainly no exception. Come experience this highly talented cast as they tear each other apart with “love” in this scathingly funny Broadway Hit, “The Lyons” playing from April 9 – 19 in the intimate black box theatre space at The Players Theatre. Single tickets are $18. Seating is limited and some dates are filling up fast, so contact The Players to reserve your seat.


Cast (Amended):

Rita Lyons            Ann Gundersheimer

Ben Lyons            Neil Levine

Lisa Lyons            Rhonda Hewitt

Curtis Lyons         Ross Boehringer

Nurse                      Kaylene McCaw

Brian                      Bill Morris



Director(s)             Ann Gundersheimer & Linda MacCluggage

Stage Manager     Cindy Schlotterback

Run Crew              Sandie Sanderson

Props                      Martha Kesler

Lights/Sound        Seth Berry

Tech Support        Alyssa Goudy


The Players Theatre 

838 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota FL 34236, 941-365-2494, Fax: 941-954-0282 Box Office: Mon-Sat, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and one hour prior to curtain time.

The Players Box Office is located on Tamiami Trail between 10th Street and Blvd. of the Arts.

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