An Evening of Very Strange Plays

The Actor’s NightmareThe Bald SopranoThe Swimmer
by Christopher Durangby Eugene Ionescoby F. Xavier Hogan

Post-season show

September 15-17, 2005
The Boal Barn Playhouse

Production Staff

DirectorCaitlin Osborne
CostumerEmily Romanczyk
Technical DirectorOz Osborne
Stage ManagerDebbie Meder

About the Show

Program Cover, Artwork by
Samantha Shoffner

What makes a nightmare? In my dream world, scary things don’t take the shape of monsters under the bed. I dream that my teeth are crumbling, falling out. I blink my eyes and can’t get them open. I try to lead a class that gets larger, noisier, and more out of control. I must pack my bags to go on an important trip, but the piles of stuff are enormous, and I’m already late. And occasionally I find myself about to go onstage in a play that I can’t remember rehearsing. Situations familiar, spinning out of control.

Tonight we present to you three nightmares in the absurdist vein. Three familiar situations, where the events unfold as in a dream.

An empty theater, a living room, a park bench.

An unprepared actor, a nonsensical dinner party, a drowning man.

And just as in our dreams, each situation grows increasingly irrational, disturbing, and tense. And, naturally, humorous – after all, we can be sure that we are going to wake up.

If you have performed on stage, Durang’s Actor’s Nightmare may seem familiar. Can our hero perform Shakespeare, Noel Coward, and Samuel Beckett without rehearsal? Could you?

The Bald Soprano is Ionesco’s nightmare of miscommunication. What happens when the words we know just stop making sense? Can we ignore them, hoping that the meaning will be clear? Or must we become alive to the possibility that no one has been listening or understanding us for a very long time?

Hogan’s Swimmer gives us a window on a stranger’s enigmatic nightmare. Accept the absurd premise, and then try to arrive at a solution: If a man is drowning in no water at all, what could possibly save him? Love, a good swat on the head, a stiff drink? Therapy? A swimming lesson?

Enjoy the shows, and sweet dreams.

Caitlin Osborne, Director

The Actor’s NightmareThe Bald SopranoThe Swimmer
George SpelvinJ. Thomas PogueMr. SmithMercer BristowThe SwimmerKael Janson Weis
Meg, Stage ManagerLaura WaldhierMrs. SmithBonny FarmerWomanPat Hazelton
Sara SiddonsSusanna RittiMr. MartinRob ArnoldPolicemanBob Lillie
Dame Ellen TerryElaine Meder-WilgusMrs. MartinAmber DaughtryKid on ScooterBen Correll
Henry IrvingMichael WaldhierMary, the MaidKatie BrownYoung WomanAmanda Memoli
The Fire CheifMark SchroederTap DancerJeff Bleam
The ClockAdam SwartzBusinessmanRob Arnold
DrunkOs Osborne
Young ManAdam Swartz
Produced by permission of Dramatists Play Service Inc.Produced by permission of Samuel French Inc.Produced by permission of Pioneer Drama Service,
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