Colonial Players to focus on dilemmas

2005-06 season opens with Depression-era play, ends on `Salesman'


Arundel Live

Arts and entertainment in Anne Arundel County

August 19, 2005|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Colonial Players opens its 57th season next week, and the all-volunteer company has endured - and flourished - without ever resting on its laurels or becoming stodgy.

The slate for the 2005-2006 season will offer plays that deal with the theme of human dilemmas - beginning with a play set in Depression-era rural North Carolina and concluding with the mid-20th-century classic of the travails of a desperate salesman.

The season opens Aug. 26 with Ed Simpson's The Battle of Shallowford, which is set in a general store in rural North Carolina in 1938 on the night of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds broadcast. Immersed in conversation, the men miss the disclaimer at the beginning of the broadcast and believe they are under attack by Martians. They rush to protect their town, leaving the store owner's teenage daughter, Ruthie, behind with her friend, Lonny, whose science-fiction reading enabled him to realize the truth about the broadcast.

Convinced this might be the end, Ruthie has plans for Lonny and herself before departing this world. Colonial's production is directed by Joe Thompson, who seemed to have his cast ahead of schedule at Sunday's rehearsal of this comedy that runs through Sept. 24.

Another comedy, Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, to be directed by Colonial's Edd Miller, opens Oct. 14 and runs through Nov. 12.

The play, which ran on Broadway in 2002, is the tale of Marjorie, whose therapist has recently died, leaving her with no life outside of caring for her complaining mother. But Marjorie's long-lost childhood friend, Lee, returns to introduce a range of exciting new adventures to the whole family.

January will bring Abi Morgan's Splendour, which is set in an elegant Eastern European state residence where a journalist has arrived to profile the country's dictator while a mob closes in on the house. The wife of the dictator is joined by her best friend and tries to remain composed as civil war looms. The journalist's translator selectively filters information. Colonial's production of this award-winning play, written in 2000, will be directed by Barbara Marder.

This season's musical, Enter The Guardsman, will be directed by Lois Evans and runs from March 10 through April 8.

Written by Scott Wentworth, Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler, Guardsman premiered in London in 1997 and arrived in New York in 2000. It is a backstage romance about an actress who after six months has decided she is no longer in love with her leading man husband. The actor resorts to disguises to rekindle his wife's affections, with amusing consequences.

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, to be directed by Lee Dorsey, closes Colonial's season.

Miller's 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama deals with salesman Willie Loman, who searches for the reasons he has failed. Confrontations between Willie and his wife, his sons and his business associates uncover a series of revelations that leave Willie in despair, his dreams shattered. Death of A Salesman will run from April 28 through May 27.

For the 25th consecutive year, the Players will present A Christmas Carol. The production, which will run from Dec. 8 to 18, is not a part of the season subscription series.

For further information and to order season subscriptions, check out Colonial Players' Web site at

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