We are thrilled to announce our cast of Jane Austin’s “Emma” adapted by Michael Bloom

Western Reserve Playhouse is pleased to announce the talented cast of our 2019 Season Production of

“Emma”

By Jane Austen

Adapted by Michael Bloom  

Directed by Keith Stevens

OUR CAST

Emma                              Shani Ferry

George Knightley       Eli Ravenson                 

Harriet Smith              Maddie Krucek

Henry Woodhouse     Dennis Runkle    

Mr. Weston                   Sid Freeman

Miss Bates                     Mia Radabaugh

Robert Martin             Eric Coulbourne

Frank Churchill          Michael Knoblock

Augusta Hawkins       Kelsey Tomlinson

Jane  Fairfax                Kayla Lehman

Phillip Elton                 Zach Manthey

Mrs. Weston                Victoria Kirgesner

 

“Emma” runs at Western Reserve Playhouse from April 19-May 4, 2019

For more information please go to westernreserveplayhouse.org.

Again, Congratulations!!!!  

“The Bridges of Madison County” by Jason Robert Brown is coming soon to WRP!

Western Reserve Playhouse is thrilled to announce our second show of the 2019 Season

“The Bridges of Madison County”  by Jason Robert Brown

Newcomer director, Sarah Coon, brings to life this acclaimed musical based on the best-selling novel, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY which was developed by the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, Songs for a New World) and Marsha Norman.

A sweeping romance about the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross, this 2014 Tony Award-winner for Best Score and Orchestrations captures the lyrical expanse of America’s heartland and the yearning entangled in the eternal question “What if…?”

This story of an Iowa housewife Francesca Johnson and her life-changing, four-day whirlwind romance with traveling photographer Robert Kincaid. It’s an unforgettable story of two people caught between decision and desire, as a chance encounter becomes a second chance at so much more. A musical that you don’t want to  miss and an Akron Area premiere.

The star studded cast filled with some of WRP’s favorites, Artistic Director Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski as Francesca (Tomorrow Morning), Bernadette Hisey as Marge (Hay Fever and Little Women), Kaity Poschner as Caroline (Little Women), Kim Sullivan as Marian/Chiara (Dogfight), and newcomers, Rob Albrecht as Robert, Kevin Michael Myers as Bud, Cameron Zona as Michael, and Rich Stimac as Charlie.

 

Directed by Sarah Coon
Musical Direction by Bryan Bird & Dave Stebbins
Stage Managed by Tiffany Bird
Light Design by Kevin Rutan
Costume Design by Luke Scattergood
Set Design by Patrick Ciamacco
Scenic Painting by Noah Hrbek
Props by Sue Snyder
Set Construction by James Gremba

“Bridges of Madison County”  runs March 1-16, 2019. Tickets are $15 to $17 and can be purchased online at WesternReservePlayhouse.org

 

TITLE: Bridges of Madison County
MUSIC & LYRICS BY: Jason Robert Brown
BOOK BY: Marsha Norman
VENUE AND ADDRESS: 3326 Everett Road, Bath, Ohio 44268
RUN DATES: March 1-16, 2019
TIMES OF SHOWS: Friday & Saturdays at 8PM, Sunday March 10, 2019 at 2PM
TICKETS: $17 for Adults and $15 for Students/Seniors
BOX OFFICE: 330-620-7314
WEB: WesternReservePlayhouse.org

Western Reserve was featured in Akron Life Magazine

If you haven’t been to Western Reserve Playhouse for a while — or ever — you might not recognize it. The barn that houses this community theater has stood in the same spot since 1886, but the past year and three months have seen big changes both inside and out, mostly due to the boundless energy and vision of the new artistic director, Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski.

“We’re trying to do something beautiful,” says the Peninsula native.

With a background singing opera since childhood as well as directing both regular and musical theater productions at venues that include The University of Akron, Woodridge High School and Independence Community Theater, she brings a wealth of ideas and experience to the playhouse’s 63rd season.

Since taking the position of artistic director a little over a year ago, Sniadak-Yamokoski has broadened the theater’s programming from three shows a year to at least one event every month, including eight main-stage shows, two to three youth shows and a $5 Bucks series of staged readings. “The biggest thing is, we added heat and proper air conditioning, so we can have it all year-round,” she says, noting the past summers-only schedule.

Other physical improvements include raising the theater’s 95 vintage seats onto a platform, extending the stage, installing LED stage lights, revamping the will-call area and adding a barn-wood bar for concessions.

And that’s just the beginning, as far as Sniadak-Yamokoski is concerned. She’d like to finish the basement with a proper shop, shower for the actors and classrooms. She also plans more landscaping around the barn, awnings over the actors’ entrance and getting the restrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For a nonprofit that relies on grants, donations and ticket sales for funding, Sniadak-Yamokoski’s wish list of improvements is daunting, but it’s all necessary to spur the theater to put on meaningful shows that challenge the community to experience different perspectives and give back. For example, during the April 2018 production of the musical “Dogfight,” about military friends who play a cruel game in a bar, donating patrons raised money for Wags 4 Warriors, a Brecksville nonprofit that pairs service dogs with veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. And this Nov. 2-17, see “Hay Fever” about a couple whose quiet weekend is upended when their children bring home unique guests.

“I have countless emails of people who said that their lives were changed within a moment from our stage,” she says. “It’s our job to make them feel something and to make them know they’ve come to a space where they can explore new ideas.”

westernreserveplayhouse.org

 

-Sharon Best

The $5 Bucks Series is HERE! THIS SUNDAY

Also, we start our new 2019 $5 Bucks Staged Reading Series with Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”.  Directed by Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s  Artistic Director, Nancy Cates.  This professional staged reading is filled with actors and actress that have graced The OSF Stage and Western Reserve Playhouse and are bringing this wonderful comedy to WRP’s stage.

In “Private Lives”, passion, laughter, romance, anger, and love set the stage for a battle of the sexes as divorced couple, Amanda and Elyot, find themselves unwittingly thrown together in Coward’s classic comedy of manners. Unknowingly booking adjoining rooms while on honeymoon with their respective spouses, Victor and Sybil, Amanda and Elyot are forced to face their true feelings for each other. Realizing they have made a pair of mistaken marriages, the divorcees attempt to escape their mismatched partners. With haste, and under the cover of darkness, they flee their honeymoon hotel and unsuspecting spouses in search of privacy at Amanda’s secluded Paris flat. Despite their passion for each other, Amanda and Elyot begin to bicker violently, just as they had done during their marriage. It is clear that the couple cannot live with each other, but cannot live without each other either. When they are discovered several days later by their jilted spouses, all four lovers must finally acknowledge just who is really suited to whom. Fast-paced, witty, and passionate, Noel Coward’s comedy is a delightful romp!

“Private Lives” will be presented on February 10, 2019 at 2pm only.
Tickets can be purchased 
on-line and at the door.

 

Review Number TWO is in!

Strong directing, cast featured in Western Reserve Playhouse’s ‘Tartuffe’

1/31/2019 – West Side Leader
      permalink bookmark

By David Ritchey

Jim Fippin, at left, and Brian Pedaci star in Western Reserve Playhouse’s production of “Tartuffe.”
Photo: Chris Douglas

BATH — Religious hypocrisy is alive and well in Ohio. Molière’s play of religious hypocrisy, “Tartuffe,” is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it was originally written in the mid-17th century.“Tartuffe” was first performed in 1664 and now, 355 years later, Western Reserve Playhouse is offering an audience-pleasing production of the show through Feb. 3.

When Molière (1622-73) first submitted the script to the French censors, he had to rewrite it twice, in 1667 and 1669, before “Tartuffe” could be brought to the stage. The censors thought the play was an indictment of all religions, not just religious hypocrisy. At its opening in France, the show ran for 33 performances, a record at the time.

The play was translated by American poet and literary translator Richard Wilbur (1921-2017), who received the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 and 1988. He wrote the script in rhymed couplets.

In the opening scene, Orgon’s family seems to be having a family conference. Orgon (Jim Fippin) and his mother, Madame Pernelle (Harriet DeVeto) happily receive Tartuffe (Brian Pedaci) into the family’s arms. Tartuffe’s pious words win him the support of some of the family. Other members of the family oppose his living in the family’s home and recognize him for the hypocrite he is.

As the play progresses, the audience discovers Tartuffe is a religious hypocrite and a leech who uses his devout style to win the confidence and financial support of Orgon.

Pedaci makes Tartuffe as slick and unappealing as a religious hypocrite can be. Molière has given him the pious words, which he uses while attempting to seduce Orgon’s wife, Elmire (Mia Radabaugh). Pedaci’s Tartuffe has a religious fervor that moves him over the top of appropriateness and, of course, generates plenty of laughs from the audience.

Kelsey Tomlinson (Dorine) as the lady’s maid wins the hearts of the audience. The maid speaks for the playwright, telling the truth and directing the audience to look at hypocrisy and the way of true love.

However, it’s Radabaugh playing the faithful wife, who unleashes Tartuffe’s lechery in a scene that is classic French comedy, with characters hidden under the table, seduction on the table and closed doors that open on truth. Radabaugh and Pedaci play the seduction duet like two well-trained performers, which they are.

Fippin as Orgon as the head of the household rushes from one crisis to another, gasping for breath and control of his family. Fippin is at his best as the well-meaning father who thinks he’s surrounded by a disloyal family.

This production gives local audiences a great opportunity to see DeVeto at her best in the opening scene. Fippin is excellent as the confused husband, father and friend. Tomlinson probably has the largest role in this madcap comedy and she follows in the tradition of the strong female comics. I hope to see her perform again soon.

Director August Scarpelli has directed with intelligence and wit. He has made intelligent choices in line interpretation and in movement. With great wit and elegance, he has shaped a difficult script, making it accessible to the audience.

This is one of the best productions to come our way in a long time. Don’t miss it.

For tickets, call 330-620-7314 or visit westernreserveplayhouse.org.

 

David Ritchey has a Ph.D. in communications and is a professor emeritus of communications at The University of Akron. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Cleveland Critics Circle.