On Stage Now

The Dining Room
A comedy by A.R. Gurney,
Directed by Maya Levy
Sept. 15, 16 ,22, 23,24, 29, 30, Oct. 1
Starring: Mack Maginnis, John Chetta, Calvin Billiot, Ronda Powell, Angelique LaCour, and Kristin Dugas.

Reveling in the over-blown distresses of suburban life, this show is composed of inter-related scenes in a dining room, portrayed as a central room of family life. The play has been described as “If the dining room walls could talk, this is what they would say.” These scenes, funny, touching, and poignant, trace various lives representing a demonstration of American life. From scene to scene the actors change roles, personalities, and ages to play at once a mischievous boy, a crotchety grandfather, a giggling school girl, or an Irish maid. Taken as a whole, the scenes ultimately coalesce into a theatrical experience of compassionate humor and abundant humanity.

Cast of Characters
(in order of appearance)

Ronda Powell Agent
John Chetta Client
Kristin Dugas Sally
Calvin Billiot Arthur
Angelique LaCour Annie
Mack Maginnis Father

Production Staff

Producer

Donna Heier

Stage Managers

Erin Ketry

Set Design & Decoration

Ronda Powell & Adrianne LaCour

Lighting Design

Alex LaVanway

Lighting Technician

Kathryn Steele

Props

The Cast

Costumes

The Cast

Chef

A.C. Powell

Set Artist

Trisha Duffy Vitrano

Publicity

Ellen O’Connell

Poster Artist

Maya Levy

Graphic Design & Program

Wendy Schneider

Special Thanks

Sheila Reno, Lucy Friedrich, Bridgette Griffith, Katie Wainwright, James and Jackie Griffith, AC Powell, Sandy Werner

 

 

The cast wishes to acknowledge most special thanks to RONDA POWELL for her generosity and devotion to the play Ronda lives in Hammond and brought over her dining room (chairs, sideboard, China, crystal, silver, beautiful Oriental rugs and linens). She spent endless hours searching for the perfect party props, costumes, set pieces all the necessities a major production requires. Thank you, Ronda, for making your dining room our Dining Room.

The Dining Room at Playmakers is a ‘must see’
by Desiree Waguespack, The St. Tammany Farmer

"What holds this poignant comedy together is its affectionate
focus on a bygone era, when families actually dined together in a formal dining room. Guaranteed to leave the audience nostalgic
for a slower, more genteel culture, this comedy is a must see for audiences of all ages." Read the article

Fine performances served up in 'Dining Room'
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Stephen Cefalu, The Times-Picayune

"Levy's talented cast is comprised of six skilled actors who complement each other nicely. Each is up to the task of creating a new and unique character on a moment's notice.
This is a smart production that is totally entertaining and extremely
enjoyable."

The Dinning Room: Beautifully Directed
September 18, 2006
Lou Gavin, The St. Tammany News Banner

Playmakers Theater opened its 2006-07 season with the delightful comedy The Dining Room with an opening night champagne gala this past Friday before an exceptionally enthusiastic audience. Other evening performances are on Friday and Saturday, September 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 8:00pm. Matinee performances are on Sunday, September 24 and October 1 at 2:00pm.

The play was written by A.R. Gurney. It is beautifully directed by Maya Levy who deftly brings to life a dining room in the house of a typical well-to-do New England family in a bit of unique staging. Instead of a blackout between scenes and the scenery changing around the characters, the characters change around the scenery. The play has no real plot or character development. But, that’s what makes it so deliciously enjoyable. The whole play takes place at and around a dining room table. Each of the play’s scenes, more aptly described as “vignettes” of life, is beautifully portrayed by an exceptionally talented ensemble of three men and three women. Each of the actors performs several roles, creating 57 different characters whose moods range from the comic to the serious but always revealing the dynamic intra-relationships of families. In one of the 18 vignettes the dining room is the scene of a hilarious birthday party; in another an old man and his reluctant son make plans for his funeral; and in still another, family members try to help their aging mother through Thanksgiving dinner; all spiced with the humor, compassion and a bit of pathos that embrace families. These are just a few examples which focus on the nature of the upper middle class.

But what makes this play a wonderful two hours in the theater is the dexterity of the actors as they each perform eight to ten diverse roles. It is difficult enough for actors to stay in character playing one role, so it is a theatrical coup when actors excel at performing multiple roles. Angelique LaCour is an absolute delight as she glides smoothly from a WASPish matron to a frumpy maid, with a variety of roles in between. Rhonda Powell is a commanding presence on stage in all her roles, particularly when she portrays a woman having tea in the dining room after a tryst with her lover and again in a scene where she hires a handyman, played by John Chetta, to restore her dining room table. She is equally outstanding as the feisty Aunt Harriett. Mark Maginnis turns in a convincing performance as the father, grandfather embarrassed lover, and other roles. He is particularly engaging in a scene in which he blames the government for the Great Depression of the 1930’s and another in which he is paired with a real scene stealer, Razzle Dazzal, a white Maltese puppy, who we are told is a veteran of several productions. Kristin Dugas shows off her acting versatility playing an old, old lady, an impish little girl and a young lady not quiet comfortable with her sexual orientation, among other roles. John Chetta and Calvin Billiot have largely supporting parts in multiple roles. Chetta is particularly effective as an undecided client and Billiot as an overbearing architect.

The producer of the play is Donna Heier. The stage manager is Erin Ketry. The set is beautifully designed and decorated by Rhonda Powell and Adrianne LaCour, with the dining room table the center piece. In fact those who remember the old fashion dining rooms will be touched with a bit of nostalgia reliving the era when the dining room was the central room in homes.

This is a must see play if for nothing else than to witness the excellent acting and the unique staging. Ticket are $10 adults, $5 students. Playmakers Theater is located off Lee Road in Covington. For information and ticket reservations, call Playmakers at 985-893-1671.

The Information represented here in no way influences or represents decisions by the Board of Playmakers. If the information is incorrect, please notify Playmakers. This is done as a free service. All changes must be approved by the Board of Playmakers. Contents of this site Playmakers, Inc. 2001, PO Box 724, Covington, LA. 70434 or phone 985-893-1671 for reservations.

 


The Dining Room Jr. Ringer T-Shirt

Ticket Prices
Adult $10.00
Student $5.00
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Show times
Friday-Saturday @ 8:00pm
Sunday matinee @ 2:00pm

For ticket reservations call 985-893-1671.

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