The year 2020 ushers in a new decade and, along with it, a new, varied, and exciting Bobcat Players season. Due to a three-year construction plan at Beaver Area High School/Middle School, the building that houses the Ed Schaughency Theater, we are restructuring our season in order to continue to bring our audiences a full slate of shows. That means a regular two-weekend production in the spring and fall and two special one-weekend productions in May and September. Rest assured we will not “vacation” in the summer; in July our outreach committee has arranged the presentation of a one-weekend dinner show at the Oak Arbor Grille in nearby Bridgewater. That means five plays that hopefully will entertain, enchant, and keep our loyal audiences clamoring for more.
Though school construction prevented us from launching our 2019 summer show, we’ve maintained a strong cast and will inaugurate our new season with the highly acclaimed One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean. This modernization of Carlo Goldoni’s A Servant to Two Masters is a hilarious farce complete with slapstick, silliness, and song. The hero of the show is Francis Henshall, a man with an enormous appetite and no meal in sight.But that’s just one of his problems as he finds himself in Brighton, England, in 1962. Fired from a skiffle band, embroiled in a fix with small time gangsters, employed simultaneously by two demanding masters, Francis isn’t sure if he’s coming or going – or going quite bonkers. Add the fact that one of the “guvnors” is a girl disguised as her dead twin brother. Add a highly affected actor who milks every dramatic moment. Add a musical score of 60s songs for multiples of entertaining scenarios. A Broadway hit of 2014, this show is sure to leave everyone hungry for more.
May brings our first special, The Gentleman Clothier, a charming contemporary comedy by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. This is the cautionary tale of Norman Davenport, a tailor who is about to open his own fashionable men’s store in Halifax, Canada. It is a dream come true where his clientele can expect elegance, impeccable service, and high fashion style. But try as he might to find fulfillment in this grand achievement, Norman cannot help but feel he is misplaced in the twenty-first century and would love nothing better than to be a part of the genteel and unhurried Victorian age. With the help of a charming and attractive customer, and two employees, a young girl who is a skilled seamstress and a man who is a jack of all trades, Norman learns to re-examine the fabric of his life. In doing so he discovers some blunt truths in the cliche “Be careful what you wish for.”
We promised we would not rest on our accolades during the summer, and we are pleased to announce our production of The President, a farce by Ferenc Molnar, at the Oak Arbor Grille in Bridgewater, Pennsylvania. This is the tale of a driven executive who is entrusted with the care of a major contributor’s daughter, only to discover that his ward has married and is carrying the child of a lowlife proletarian thug. He has one hour to transform this groom and father-to-be into a proper gentleman fit to meet the girl’s parents. With a dazzling array of secretaries, shopkeepers, shoemakers, and sundry other characters, he embarks on a Pygmalion styled reconstruction that will leave the audience gasping for breath and gaping in admiration. Join us for this limited run and enjoy not only the show but a delectable repast fashioned by owner and master chef Bill Sluder.
September brings another special one-weekend production of an exquisite contemporary drama, The Revlon Girl, by Neil Anthony Docking. In keeping with our tradition of producing quality scripts, we proudly bring this extraordinary title to our stage. The time is 1966; the place is the small Welsh village of Aberfan. Six months earlier a terrible tragedy has occurred, forever altering the lives of these humble, hardscrabble townsfolk. Now, a small group of mothers meets in a church basement to share their stories, combat their grief, and attempt to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. To help them ease their pain, they turn to the Revlon girl, a young and naive cosmetics representative who helps to transform them with a wave of her mascara wand. Based on a true story, this is a beautiful saga of fragility, loss, and sisterhood in the face of senseless devastation. Ultimately, it is a tribute to a strong band of women intent upon re-discovering and re-claiming the beauty they have been denied.
We close our season with a hilarious musical mystery farce, Lucky Stiff, with music by Stephen Flaherty and book and lyrics by Lynn Aherns. We are excited to bring to our stage our first musical in years, this zany production by the award-winning team of Ragtime and Seussical the Musical. Harry Witherspoon, an unassuming shoe salesman, comes home after a hard day’s work to discover an unusual telegram. An uncle he never has met, a manager of a casino in New Jersey, has died and intends to leave him millions - provided he takes the embalmed, decidedly dead body to Monte Carlo and to pass him off as very much alive. On arrival, Harry discovers more characters in pursuit of his Uncle Anthony’s money than he ever wagered. Needless to say, hilarity, mistaken identifies, and catchy show tunes ensue. We’re gambling on the fact that you’ll love this production.
So that’s the season, from Brighton to Monte Carlo and myriad destinations in between. As always, we thank our loyal audiences for the incredible support we’ve had from you over the years. With each new production we are so thrilled to see you stepping into the Ed Schaughency Theater and joining us in our efforts to bring quality theater to Beaver County. We hope you will always come along for this ride and continue to laugh with us, cry with us, and most of all, join with us as always in falling head over heels in love with the theater.