FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2017 Contact: Lisa Joyce, 503-485-4300, email@example.com
SALEM—Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee’s award-winning drama, opens July 7 at the Pentacle Theatre.
“This is a rare opportunity to see Albee’s towering American masterpiece,” said director Ed Schoaps. “It’s a powerhouse of a play that stunned audiences by its frank realism and emotional depth when it premiered in 1962, and it’s as true to life today as it’s ever been,” Schoaps said.
During a late night of post-party “Fun and Games” with burnt out college professor, George, and his sharp-tongued wife, Martha, we meet the newest young faculty member, Nick, and his tipsy wife, Honey. What starts out as nightcaps and scholarly small talk quickly turns into an all-night contest of words, wits and wills between George and Martha that catches Nick and Honey in the crossfire. Deep secrets are revealed as both couples careen toward the truth about themselves, one another and their relationships.
“Forget what you think you know about Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” said Schoaps. “You’re going to see a scathingly smart, viciously funny, intense and emotionally compelling story that will leave you breathless at the end. This is one of the best modern plays ever written, which is why it endures.”
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? returns to the Pentacle stage for the first time in 33 years, Schoaps said. “The timing and casting couldn’t be better,” he added.
The show’s cast features Heathre Powell as Martha, Michael Swanson as George, Max Romprey as Nick and Paris Rumbolz as Honey.
Schoaps is dedicating the show in honor of playwright Edward Albee, who died in September, and the late Jack Bellamy, who directed Pentacle’s previous production.
“Jack Bellamy changed my life as an actor when he cast me as Nick in Pentacle’s 1984 show,” Schoaps said. “I learned so much from Jack—he not only taught me about Albee’s script but also what it means to be fearless onstage—and from working with our talented original cast.”
Opening night will feature a cast reunion of the 1984 Pentacle production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Fred Owen, who played George, Louise Larsen, who played Martha, and Susan Jenks Holmes, who played Honey, will join Schoaps as special guests.
What: Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Directed by Ed Schoaps and assistant directed by Kate Thomas.
When and where: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? runs from Friday, July 7, through Saturday, July 29, at The Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave. NW, about 6 miles west of downtown Salem.
- Heathre Powell as Martha. Powell’s recent work at Pentacle Theatre included assistant directing John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Edward Albee’s first play, A Zoo Story, as Pentacle’s entry in the 2017 American Association of Community Theatres One-Act Festival. She also played Jeanie in Pentacle’s production of Hair.
- Michael Swanson as George. This is Swanson’s 17th Pentacle Theatre show. His previous shows include The Diviners, Educating Rita, Misery, and most recently, God of Carnage. He also acted in Mauritius at Salem Repertory Theatre and Lonesome Hollow at The Verona Studio, in addition to several film roles.
- Max Romprey as Nick. Romprey returns to the Pentacle stage for a second time this year, after appearing in Noises Off earlier this season. His other Pentacle shows include roles in The Aliens, The Diary of Anne Frank and The Addams Family.
- Paris Rumbolz as Honey. Rumbolz returns to the Pentacle Theatre stage after appearing earlier this year in Jesus Christ Superstar. Before Pentacle, Rumbolz played Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, Wormtrox Alpha in Big Trouble in Little Hand, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Frenchie in Grease and Grandma Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof.
Tickets: Tickets cost $23 for weekday performances and $24 for weekend shows. Seniors, students, active military and Pentacle Theatre members receive a $1.50 discount. There is an additional $1 fee on opening night for the catered post-show party.
- Advance tickets are available at Pentacle’s downtown Salem ticket office at 145 Liberty St. NE or by calling 503-485-4300 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, or anytime online at pentacletheatre.org.
- Tickets for low-income persons: In partnership with Salem for All, Pentacle Theatre offers half-price tickets to Oregon Trail Card holders. For information, go to salemforall.org.
CONTENT ADVISORY: Pentacle Theatre seeks to inform our patrons about content that may be objectionable. Because tastes vary—and what is offensive can be subjective—we encourage you to read the script before purchasing a ticket if you’re concerned.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is an emotionally intense play with adult themes, language and actions. Mature high school students interested in theater and literature have a rare opportunity to see a Tony Award-winning American drama of the 20th century that shocked audiences when first produced. Parental guidance is recommended.
- Language: Strong language including insults, verbal assaults, profanity and religious epithets.
- Sex: Sexual references and double-entendres. Discussions of premarital pregnancy and male impotence. Kissing and petting between an unmarried couple.
- Alcohol and tobacco use: Heavy drinking by all characters; two smoke cigarettes.
- Violence: A couple fights physically. A man threatens a woman with a toy shotgun.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact director Ed Schoaps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-881-7494, or call the Pentacle Theatre office at 503-485-4300.
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