Go Ahead and Gather in THE DINING ROOM

by Lesley Grigg

When’s the last time you used the dining room for actually dining? For some, this room is only occupied during the holidays and children are prohibited from even entering without permission. The table may be used for work or storage if not just for show. It’s where heirlooms and fine china are displayed and only taken out when company needs to be impressed. Those who utilize the dining room on a daily basis are those who strive to hold on to old fashion traditions of family togetherness and conversation.

Jean Laustsen, Lauren Wilson-O’Connor, Larry Krevitz, John Pinto, Joe Perignat, Ken Marblestone and Laura Scotti.

Traditional family values is one of the themes of THE DINING ROOM. Audiences will witness eighteen different stories relating to a wide variety of relationships, including fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, husbands and wives, some of which that start in the dining room and others that may end there. While only certain stories deal directly with the purpose of the room itself, this is the part of the house where each character chooses to spend their time to process whatever they are going through. Whether this room acts as a quiet retreat, a confidential space, or party central, it’s still the preferred location.

Throughout each of the various scenes, eight actors portray 54 dramatically different roles. This talented and multi-dimensional cast includes Laura Scotti, Larry Krevitz, Ken Marblestone, Jean Laustsen, John Pinto, Lauren Wilson-O’Conner, Jo Page, and Joe Perignat. No matter what the age and personality of the character they take on, each actor fully immerses themselves into the scene, bringing the audience along for the ride. Not only can these actors smoothly transition from role to role, we also watch as each story effortlessly transitions from one to the next, some changes even employing the actors to reset the scene or linger into the next, all without a lighting cue.

Joining the cast in each performance are two guest performers, some of whom have never appeared on stage before. These guest stars include leaders of the community, some in the political, medical, or theatrical arena.

Since all action takes place in the dining room, the table was center stage. The choice of dark hardwood set pieces, fine china props, and an ornate chandelier made for a warm and classy set, mostly representing a dining room of the upper class. While an underlying theme of the play was that dining rooms are underutilized and only valued by “a dying breed” of those with the time and inclination to actually dine there, the stories shown here bring about a renewed appreciation of the room no matter if it’s used to gather, work, eat, fight, or heal.

by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Jean Brenner
September 27-October 12, 2013
Town and Country Players
4158 York Rd.
Buckingham, PA 18912

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