The American Dream Gone Awry: Christopher Durang’s Betty’s Summer Vacation

June 11 – 30, 2019 at The Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3

Described by the New York Times as “ecstatically angry…relentlessly fierce, relentlessly  funnyBetty’s Summer Vacation returns Christopher Durang to the ranks of America’s most incisive living playwrights and a vivid testament to the fact that satire, shaped with enough idiosyncratic charm, can sear like no other form…”

 

Christopher Durang’s 1999 comedy leaves a trail of tears from the merely perverse to the apocalyptic in a route that (audience be trigger warned) includes scenes involving the whereabouts of a severed penis, homage to Mr. Durang’s artistic ancestor, Joe Orton.  Twenty years since its creation, the play’s themes conjure current events, including the Michael Jackson scandal via the documentary Leaving Neverland; daily discussion of the Rule of Law (or lack thereof); Lorena Bobbitt’s Amazon docuseries Lorena, and the ongoing discussion about the effects of the group psychology.

Betty’s Summer Vacation previews Tuesday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 12 @ 7:30 pm, Opening night isThursday, June 13 @ 7:30 pm.  Curtain is 7:30 pm for the Tuesday through Saturday performances, and 2:30 pm for Sunday matinees.

The cast includes Kirsten Quinn as Betty, Amanda Schoonover as her beach pal Trudy, who welcome summer renters beachcomber Buck, played by Chris Fluck, and loner Keith, played by Anthony Crosby.  The cottage owner, Mrs. Siezmagraff, played by Tina Brock, also picks up along the way Mr. Vanislaw, the life of the party (and exhibitionist) played by Bill Rahill.  Once ensconced, the vacationers share one long day in this idyllic house by the sea with Voices who reside in the ceiling, played by Kassy Bradford, Carlos Forbes and Josh Hitchens.  Tina Brock directs.

Designers on Betty include Dirk Durossette, Set Design; Millie Hiibel, Costume Design; Adriano Shaplin, Sound Design;  Mark Williams, Properties, and Madison Caudullo, Stage Management.

Christopher Durang is a playwright whose plays include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination, Best Book of a Musical, 1978), The Actor’s Nightmare, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie award; off-Bway run 1981-83), Beyond Therapy (on Broadway in 1982, with Dianne Wiest and John Lithgow), Baby with the Bathwater (Playwrights Horizons, 1983), The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Public Theatre, 1985; Obie award, Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award), Laughing Wild (Playwrights Horizons, 1987), Durang/Durang (an evening of six plays at Manhattan Theatre Club, 1994, including the Tennessee Williams’ parody, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls), Sex and Longing (Lincoln Center Theatre production at the Cort Theatre, 1996, starring Sigourney Weaver).

The 2019 season marks The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s 13th year presenting rarely-produced gems with an absurdist flair from authors around the globe.  Known for their humorous and thoughtful interpretations of seldom seen works, the IRC’s 2018 season included critically-acclaimed sold-out productions of French playwright Jean Anouilh’s Leocadia (Time Remembered) and Tennessee Williams’ The Eccentricities of a Nightingale.  2019 also marks the IRC’s first three-show season, which will conclude with William Inge’s Come Back, Little Sheba for Fringe 2019 at The Bethany Mission Gallery, September 3 -22.

The IRC is a 501C3 non-profit organization, and a member of The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and a participant in the Barrymore Awards, a program of Theatre Philadelphia.  The IRC’s 2018-2019 season is funded in part by generous grants from from Wyncote Foundation; The Samuel S. Fels Fund; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; The Charlotte Cushman Foundation; The Virginia Brown Martin Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation; The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, with support also provided by PECO and administered regionally by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia.

Tickets for Betty’s Summer Vacation are $15 – $25, and are available at BettySummerVacation.bpt.me, by visiting www.idiopathicridiculopathyconsortium.org, or by calling 215.285.0472.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s