An invasion is scheduled to interrupt the normally-peaceful holiday season at St. Paul’s Church next month, as 14 gowned women and two dashing gents from the 1920s—in all their finery—bring to life “Alice’s Parlor”— four short plays of Alice Gerstenberg in the parlor of the Rectory. These feisty characters have a lot to say, and no words are minced in their tales of jealousy and passion that will curl your hair and box your ears.
In its first production of the 2014-15 season, Fringe Theater of Key West fulfills its role as a theater of the people by featuring community members in several acting roles. On Dec. 3, 4, 5, and 7, audiences will be able to see these newly discovered (or re-discovered!) actors debut.
According to Fringe Artistic Director Monnie King, “The premise of this production is to encourage and welcome new actors, entice people who may have acted in college and now would like to tread the boards again, and mix it up with some seasoned professionals like Annie Miners and Gayla Morgan.”
Alongside directors Judy Hadley and Tammy Shanley, Karen Leonard is making her directing debut, and feels that “Alice’s Parlor” is the perfect setting. Toby Armour, a highly-experienced director, is sitting in the Fringe director’s chair for the first time.
Fresh faces in the cast include husband-and-wife duo Merle and Susan Dimbath, who have both been involved in the arts for many years but are new to the stage; and Deborah Snelgrove, who developed a passion for theater through local acting classes and workshops. Other “Alice’s Parlor” actors are treading the boards for the first time since their youth; Kate Miano was previously part of a musical comedy of divas, the “toast” of St. Louis, who performed while consuming champagne. Rosi Ware previously participated in theater in London and the British Midlands, playing the role of the young ingénue. Diane May, last year’s Fantasy Fest queen, has just traded her tiara for a period costume and a parlor setting. Sarah Goodwin-Nguyen, who works as a kayak and bike tour guide, has played roles at other local theaters, but this is her first Fringe adventure. Returning actors Monnie King, Ross Pipkin, Kitty Clements, Annie Miners, Jodyrae Campbell, Janeen Gracer, Jeanne Tindel, Gayla Morgan, and Alicia Merel round out the cast. Cynthia Kemeny is Stage Manager; Ruth Cahoon and Betty Moore created the costumes.