Mary Baldwin Theatre Presents Neil Simon’s Rumors

September 22, 2003

Staunton, VA – Mary Baldwin Theatre kicks off its 2003-2004 season with an anniversary dinner, a dinner with no butler, no cook, a missing hostess, a host suffering from a gunshot wound, and an assortment of fumbling guests who are desperately trying to discover, hide, and spread rumors about themselves and the others. Sounds like the recipe for a terrific night — a terrific night of hilarious confusion and slapstick comedy in Neil Simon’s Rumors.

Come join Chris and Ken Gorman, played by Mary Baldwin student Ash White and local actor Bill Smith, as the first couple to arrive and discover the suspicious and chaotic scenario at the posh home of Charley and Myra Brock. Join Claire Ganz, student Joanna Casto, as she eagerly gets sucked into the gossip, while her husband Lenny, professor of Business Management Ed Petkus, frantically tries to dismiss it. Delight in the kooky, yet lovable antics of the clueless Cookie and Ernie Cusack, senior Lauren Stafford and local actor Bob Wright (who is reprising this role after over ten years). Observe the frustrating bickering of socialites Cassie and Glenn Cooper, Freshman Rachael Jones and local actor Mike Lafferty. Then, root for Officer Welch and Pudney, students Jess Hilden and Lauren Depéw, as they desperately attempt to decode and dispel all of the night’s rumors.

Directed by recent Mary Baldwin graduate Anne C. Meacham and produced by Mary Baldwin professor Terry Southerington, Rumors is intended to tickle the funny bone and satisfy any audience member’s appetite for gossip. The rumors start flying at 8 pm on October 1, 2, 3, and 4 with a 2 pm matinee on Sunday, October 5. All five shows are performed at Mary Baldwin’s Fletcher Collins Theatre in Deming Hall.

Be sure to reserve your place for the rest of Mary Baldwin Theatre’s 2003-2004 season. During the nights of November 19-23, 2003, Mary Baldwin Theatre will offer Shakespeare-lovers and novices, alike, the opportunity to enjoy the “citizen’s comedy,” The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Dr. Virginia Francisco. Next, enjoy the wonderfully improbable, hilarious, and celebrated Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, directed by professor Frank Southerington and running February 6-8 and February 11-15, 2004. After that, travel back to the turn of the century South to witness family rivalry at its best (or worst) in professor Terry Southerington’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, playing March 31-April 4, 2004. Finally, end your theatre season May 5-9, 2004, with The Verbena Rowan Project, an original play written and directed by Mary Baldwin University’s own professor Todd Ristau. Mary Baldwin Theatre’s season promises to have a little something for everyone.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. Reservations are recommended. Mary Baldwin Box Office is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. For credit card reservations or additional information call 540/877-7189.