Quotidian Theatre Company Presents Conor McPherson’s Darkly Comic Masterpiece, THIS LIME TREE BOWER

Chris Stinson (Joe Beneventi) is delighted to return to the Quotidian stage appearing in 2013's The Iceman Cometh as "Don Parritt”.

Chris Stinson (Joe Beneventi) is delighted to return to the Quotidian stage appearing in 2013’s The Iceman Cometh as “Don Parritt”.

Quotidian Theatre Company returns to the world of playwright Conor McPherson in one of his early masterpieces, This Lime Tree Bower.

This play continues Quotidian’s long relationship with the author, and marks the eighth McPherson play Quotidian has produced, including three DC area premiers (Dublin CarolPort Authority, and The Birds), and the US premiere of The Veil.

Michael Avolio (Ray Sullivan) returns to QTC, where he directed Hedda Gabler and The Iceman Cometh and acted in The Veil, Shining City, The Cherry Orchard, and others.

Michael Avolio (Ray Sullivan) returns to QTC, where he directed Hedda Gabler and The Iceman Cometh and acted in The Veil, Shining City, The Cherry Orchard, and others.

The play, through interwoven monologues, is an account of coming of age in small town Ireland, told by three young men. The central characters are Joe (Chris Stinson), the youngest, who is bored with school and looking for adventure; his brother Frank (David Mavricos) who is working full-time in the family chipper and hatches “his great plan” to solve all the family’s troubles, and; their friend Ray (Michael Avolio) the debauched university lecturer who is dating their sister Carmel.

David Mavricos (Frank Beneventi) is delighted to be working with Quotidian Theatre for the first time.

David Mavricos (Frank Beneventi) is delighted to be working with Quotidian Theatre for the first time.

Director Jack Sbarbori says that the play is full of moral ambiguity. “What is ethical behavior? Is it what suits the individual or society? This play provides a great deal of information about the choices made by these characters, and I suspect that audience members will quickly arrive at conclusions regarding the decency of each, although the consideration of what the characters could have or should have done will prove to be much more difficult.”

This Lime Tree Bower opens July 10 at the Writers’ Center in Bethesda, MD, and runs weekends through August 9, with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: There will be no performance on Friday, August 7, and an extra matinee will be performed on Saturday, August 8, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1670671) or by calling the Quotidian Theatre Company box office at 301-816-1023.


Our mission at Quotidian Theatre Company is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated, impressionistic style. We are proud to be the Resident Theater Company at our performance space, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

THIS LIME TREE BOWER: Chris Stinson Returns to Quotidian, Plays Teenager Joe

1-220628_origIt’s great to be back with Quotidian Theatre since my debut with them in 2013’s The Iceman Cometh. The first time, I was playing a young man seeking sanctuary from his sins in a seedy New York bar. This production finds my teenage character sharing deep personal stories with the audience inside his family’s Irish chipper.

My character Joe is an intuitive, but socially naïve 17 year-old clad in his school sweater and tie; a dress code I was very familiar with back in my own Catholic high school days. He starts off the show sharing his infatuation with the arrival of a new boy in his school: Damien. Damien is a classic bad boy who is free in all the ways Joe is not. Damien drinks, smokes, mouths off to adults and he gets all the girls. The two form an unlikely friendship, and the journey Joe takes with Damien becomes my character’s entry into the play’s larger discussion of morality and ethics.

Each of the men in the show deal with some sort of moral crisis, or are ambivalent to their own immorality. Whether it be risking life and limb for family, remaining faithful to the ones you love or daring to define your true purpose, they ultimately must answer the question: Should I…or shouldn’t I? You may not agree with everything these boys do, but Conor McPherson’s writing provides brutally honest portrayals of men at different stages in their lives, each with different codes of right and wrong.

My previous Irish production was The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Constellation Theatre; a show that relied on hilarious and bloody banter among an ensemble of wacky characters. With almost no verbal onstage interaction between us, This Lime Tree Bower asks the actors to rely solely on McPherson’s colorful and revealing monologues. When you put the monologues of the three characters together, it provides multiple story lines that creates a nice narrative tapestry for the audience to see weave itself together.

What I like about Quotidian, is that they go out of their way to dig up and produce theatrical gems that many audiences haven’t been exposed to before. While McPherson may have made his name with plays like The Weir and Shining City, The Lime Tree Bower offers an early look into his signature style.

I look forward to having people come inside The Writer’s Center and beat the summer heat.

There will be three lads sitting in their seaside chipper ready to tell you some amazing stories.


THIS LIME TREE BOWER is shot through with details of the three characters who relate the decisions they made during a strange week at a chipper in a northern suburb of Dublin. What is ethical behavior? Is it what suits the individual or society? Come find out as THIS LIME TREE BOWER plays at the Quotidian Theatre Company, July 10 – August 9, 2015 at The Writer’s Center. Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Our mission at Quotidian Theatre Company is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated, impressionistic style. We are proud to be the Resident Theater Company at our performance space, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MTO Kombucha Tasting Event at QTC on Mother’s Day, 10 May, at 2pm Matinee of LETTICE AND LOVAGE

11060021_934000009954275_5470115293332403187_oWhile Lettice drinks “lovage” to celebrate life’s special moments, Made To Order (MTO) Kombucha improves the quality of your life in a more quotidian fashion. Please join us on 10 May at the Writer’s Center at 4508 Walsh St in Bethesda, MD 20814 for a special MTO Kombucha Tasting Event. MTO Kombucha creator Ralph Crafts and his new wife, QTC actress Bobbie (Scheide) Crafts, will be on hand to tell you more about the extraordinary curative powers of Ralph’s unique product and his own touching personal history concerning its creation. A variety of samples will be available in QTC’s lobby before and after the 2pm matinee of Lettice and Lovage.

craftsKombucha is a sweetened black tea into which a Kombucha culture, called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) is added. Known as “the elixir of long life,” Kombucha’s origins and benefits trace back 2,000 years to ancient China. From there, it found its way across Russia, becoming widely established as an effective folk medicine in rural communities. The drink received international exposure when Soviet doctors discovered entire communities appeared to have been protected from dangerous environmental pollution by a nutritious drink. In recent years, Kombucha has become popular in the United States for helping people with a wide variety of health conditions, from digestive disorders, skin problems, high cholesterol and poorly functioning immune systems as well as people in good health with goals for improved athletic performance, better sleep and higher energy levels.

Join us for this unique experience!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five Star Review of LETTICE AND LOVAGE from DC Metro Theatre Arts!

11060021_934000009954275_5470115293332403187_oDC Metro Theatre Arts gives this “valentine to the English language” a full five stars!

 

 

 


 

Lettice Douffet, an expert on Elizabethan cuisine and medieval weaponry, is an indefatigable but daffy enthusiast of history and the theatre.  As a tour guide at Fustian House, one of the least stately of London’s stately homes, she theatrically embellishes its historical past, ultimately coming up on the radar of Lotte Schoen, an inspector from the Preservation Trust.  Neither impressed or entertained by Lettice’s freewheeling history lessons, Schoen fires her.  Not one however, to go without a fight, Lettice engages the stoic, conventional Lotte in battle to the death of all that is sacred to the Empire and the crown.  This hit by the author of Equus and Amadeus featured a triumphant award-winning performance by Dame Maggie Smith in London and on Broadway
Our production features Jane Squier Bruns as Lettice Douffet, Leah Mazade as Lotte Schoen, John Decker as Mr. Bardolph, Elizabeth Darby as Miss Framer, with David Johnson and Ruthie Rado.
Directed by Louis Pangaro. Tickets available today!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quotidian Theatre is Having a Props and Costumes Sale!

Have you ever wanted to own costumes, props,
or set pieces seen on QTC’s stage?

Limited time only!
April 17 – May 17, 2015

qtc01Now is your chance! During the run of Lettice and Lovage, QTC will be selling items from its recent productions of The Veil, Hedda Gabler, and Lettice and Lovage at below cost prices. Most of the items will be available for viewing and purchase in the theater lobby or on stage. (However, if you want to buy something used in the current show, you will have to wait until the end of the run to take it home.) You may also view our sales inventory with details and descriptions of each item on-line at http://www.32auctions.com/QTCprops

In keeping with our old-fashioned charm, QTC is only able to accept cash or checks payable to the Quotidian Theatre Company for any items purchased. Smaller items may be purchased via the mail, as well. Just send QTC a check (please add delivery charge) and we will mail your purchase to your address. Or, call 301-8160-1023 or email quotidiantheatre@comcast.net and we will make arrangements with you for pick-up.

Please take a look and consider supporting QTC by taking home a treasure from one of our shows!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Don Slater, Lighting Designer, Talks About the Challenges of LETTICE AND LOVAGE

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Typically, lighting is one of those aspects of theatre that most patrons cannot recall when you have done a good job of it.  Fortunately, it has been quite a while since I made it through tech week with a bad lighting design (one that the critics noticed). Even if I don’t get mentioned in the reviews, there is still great satisfaction in seeing a well lit show. Lettice and Lovage has some nice opportunities for me to continue in the vein of doing good lighting that few people in the audience are aware of.  L&L departs from many Quotidian shows in that it is set in multiple locations: the front hall of an English stately home and a couple of other, smaller locales.  As is almost always the case in a theatre with limited setting capabilities, some of the location differentiation must be defined by the lighting.  Lettice’s apartment and Lottie’s office are created in the same space on the stage, but will appear quite different through the use of furniture, set dressing, and lighting.

stage_lightsA lot of my design work is drawn from my personal affection for minimalism.  My lighting has a tendency to be somewhat spare, my set designs, even more so.  I have always worked from a limited color palette.  I think of this leaning as a natural extension of reality and feel it is quite appropriate to Quotidian’s mission.  The Writer’s Center has a small lighting rig with only 16 dimmers and I seldom use more than 20 instruments.  However, the rig is adequate for most situations and I have a very high comfort level with it.  On rare occasions do I evenly light the entire stage, more likely to end up with pools of light, darkness in between, and instructions to the cast on how to find their light.  I expect that Lettice and Lovage be treated in this manner.  One of the pleasant aspects of regular work in a small space with a minimal rig is having the luxury of building the design in your head without having to commit it to paper.  When you are dealing with 150 instruments or are new to a space, you just can’t do that.  So, I pretty much know in my head what the show will look like and how I will accomplish most of that look.  I will make the final choices for color and levels in the week before we open.

Working with Quotidian Theatre Company is a labor of love for me.  Jack Sbarbori, the Artistic Director, is quite often the set designer and set dresser.  With over 15 years of collaboration, I find that I instinctively know what he expects of the lighting for a show, especially if he is directing as well.  The other designer, Stephanie Mumford, who does our costumes, also works in controlled familiar palette.  The result of this is a well defined set of prerequisites and an easy framework within to create the lighting.  So it really is a lot of fun.  This is my first outing with Lou Pangaro directing, but I have lit several shows in which he was a member of the cast and he is aware of my idiosyncrasies. And we are all looking forward to opening.


Lettice Douffet, an expert on Elizabethan cuisine and medieval weaponry, is an indefatigable but daffy enthusiast of history and the theatre.  As a tour guide at Fustian House, one of the least stately of London’s stately homes, she theatrically embellishes its historical past, ultimately coming up on the radar of Lotte Schoen, an inspector from the Preservation Trust.  Neither impressed or entertained by Lettice’s freewheeling history lessons, Schoen fires her.  Not one however, to go without a fight, Lettice engages the stoic, conventional Lotte in battle to the death of all that is sacred to the Empire and the crown.  This hit by the author of Equus and Amadeus featured a triumphant award-winning performance by Dame Maggie Smith in London and on Broadway
Our production features Jane Squier Bruns as Lettice Douffet, Leah Mazade as Lotte Schoen, John Decker as Mr. Bardolph, Elizabeth Darby as Miss Framer, with David Johnson and Ruthie Rado.
Directed by Louis Pangaro. Tickets available today!
Posted in Lettice and Lovage | 1 Comment

Quotidian Theatre Company Presents Peter Shaffer’s Delightful Comedy Lettice and Lovage

BETHESDA, Md. – Quotidian Theatre Company regulars, Jane Squier Bruns (Lettice Douffet) and Leah Mazade (Lotte Schoen), will delight audiences in Peter Shaffer’s comedy about the most eccentric tour guide ever to lead lackadaisical visitors through one of England’s dullest stately homes.

Jane Squier Bruns plays Lettice Douffet

Jane Squier Bruns plays Lettice Douffet

Like most outrageous comedies, it has a simple premise – colliding personalities. The tourists seem bored, so Lettice’s imagination takes flight and her inventiveness goes so far that she gets fired by Schoen, a fastidious bureaucrat.

Audiences who know the author, Peter Shaffer, will recognize the excitement he generates by opposites colliding. His masterwork, Amadeus, is based on the irreconcilable differences between Mozart and Salieri. The relationships in Shaffer’s other great plays are similar –in Equus the psychiatrist and the boy he’s treating who blinds horses; in The Royal Hunt of the Sun, the conquistador Pizarro ends up killing the Inca God-king Atahualpa.

Leah Mazade plays Lotte Schoen

Leah Mazade plays Lotte Schoen

In Lettice and Lovage, the conflict is all for laughs, though, and Bruns and Mazade are joined by QTC veteran John Decker as Mr. Bardolf and newcomer Elizabeth Darby as Miss Framer, with Ruthie Rado and David Johnson rounding out the hilarious cast.

Director Lou Pangaro notes, “What’s unique about Lettice and Lovage is that here we have two amazing parts for strong women, and this one’s a comedy. There’s a bit of blood spilled, but it turns out that polar opposites can be friends.”

Lettice and Lovage opens April 17 at the Writers’ Center in Bethesda, MD, and runs weekends through May 17, with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1351426) or by calling the Quotidian Theatre Company box office at 301-816-1023.

Audience members may also join director Lou Pangaro and his talented cast directly following the 2 p.m. matinee on 26 April for an after-show discussion moderated by QTC board member, actress, and Folger Theatre dramaturg Michele Osherow.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment