Professional Theatre For Maine

Laughter, Love and Literature at The Public Theatre

Posted on 10/09/2012 12:00am

The Public Theatre’s 22nd season officially opens with the entertaining and clever new comedy, The Book Club Play, playing October 19 - 28.  Laughter meets literature in this hip new comedy that combines the humor of Frasier and Friends with the wackiness of reality TV, when a book club becomes the subject of a documentary film and is hilariously immortalized in all its dysfunctional glory (imagine Lord of the Flies with wine and dip).

Ana hosts a monthly book club, attended by her husband, (who likes to watch the movie instead of reading the book), and an oddball group of friends, including a professor of comparative literature whose fiancée dumped him because he didn’t know who Edward Cullen was. As the group discusses books from Moby Dick and The Age of Innocence to The Da Vinci Code and Twilight, their own storylines are ironically pulled to the surface.

“The fun thing about this play is that both readers and non-readers will be able to relate to it”, says director Christopher Schario. “At its heart, the play is about friendship and how books connect and reveal us, both to ourselves and each other. One of the things we’ll be doing with this production, is inviting our audiences to write down the name of their favorite book before entering the theatre and post it on the lobby wall before they leave. We imagine intermission will make for some very lively discussions.” The cast and staff of The Public Theatre will also be posting their “reading recommendations” on The Public Theatre’s Facebook page.

Like a great book, this delightful comedy is a delicious escape from the cynical grind of the world and an uplifting testament to the joys of reading and friendship. “There’s a strong possibility”, says Schario, “that you’ll call your friends right after the show and say: let’s start a book club.”

The Public Theatre will be working on the continuing development of the script of The Book Club Play with its award-winning playwright Karen Zacarias. Karen is currently the playwright-in-residence at the prestigious Arena Stage in DC, where a previous version of The Book Club Play appeared last fall.

Starring as Ana, the “mother-bee” of the book club, is Robyne Parrish. Robyne was last seen at The Public Theatre in Miss Witherspoon and Rough Crossing. Portraying her reluctant-to-read-the-book husband Rob, is Mike Ostroski. Mike recently appeared in the TV series Breaking Bad, and was a resident actor at the Barter Theatre in Virginia for 12 seasons. Also returning to TPT is Peter Husovsky in the role of Will. Peter has appeared in multiple productions at The Public Theatre, as well as at The Theater at Monmouth, and is delighted to be returning to Maine. Playing the role of Alex, the newest member of the book club, will be Dave Mason. Dave has appeared at TPT in Almost, Maine and last season’s Around the World in 80 Days, among others, and has been seen at Portland Stage starring in John Cariani’s most recent play Last Gas. Newcomer to TPT, Courtney Thomas will play the hip young writer Lily. Courtney is a recent MFA graduate of the acting conservatory ACT in San Francisco. Rounding out the cast will be Janet Mitchko in the role of Jen the overworked paralegal.

The Book Club Play will be performed at The Public Theatre, Lewiston/Auburn’s Professional Theatre, Oct 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, Thurs/Fri 7:30pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm, with an added matinee on Sat Oct 27 @2pm. Adults $18, Sr/Stu $16, Group Rate (10+) $15. For tickets call The Public Theatre Box Office at 782-3200 or visit www.thepublictheatre.org

The Book Club Play is sponsored by Lee Auto Malls, Center Street Dental and BLU42 Media. Season Underwriters are Sun Journal, Platz Associates, Schooner Estates, Down East Magazine, Gleason Media Services and Austin Associates.