Academic Theatre at CCBC Catonsville to Present THE RUBY SUNRISE, 11/8-12
"The Ruby Sunrise" is a compelling and interesting take on a little known piece of television trivia -- Philo Farnsworth, a farm boy and self-taught scientist, developed the first electronic TV system, but General David Sarnoff took the credit. Rinne Groff's play, which loosely chronicles the incident, moves from a farm in Indiana, where Ruby as a young girl struggles to turn her dream of the first all-electrical television system into a reality, and then jumps forward to a McCarthy-era New York TV studio where Ruby's heirs fight over how her story should be told. Groff adds more complexity by making the major characters female and imagining how women would have handled the phenomenon of television: from early idealism and sparks of genius, to promises fulfilled and compromises brokered, and beyond.
Academic Theatre at CCBC Catonsville will perform "The Ruby Sunrise" 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9, 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11 and 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Center for the Arts Theatre (formerly the Q Building Theatre) at CCBC Catonsville, 800 S. Rolling Road. Tickets which are $8 for the general public and $5 for seniors, CCBC faculty, staff, students and alumni and are available from the CCBC Box Office at 443-840-2787 or online at https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/team.asp?sponsorID=5975. The Center for the Arts Theatre is accessible to people with disabilities but requests for accommodations should be made when purchasing tickets.
In 1920s Indiana, farm girl, runaway and natural engineering genius Ruby (Paris Brown of Windsor Mill, who is also cast as Elizabeth Hunter) is convinced she knows how to send images through the air via electricity, if only she can build a working model. Her aunt Lois (Anita Spicer-Lane of Arbutus, also plays Ethel), while indifferent to her tinkering, agrees to take her in, but Lois's boarder Henry (Hayden Muller of Baltimore who also has the role of Paul Benjamin) is attracted to Ruby's ideas and her passion. Thirty years later, Ruby's daughter Lulu (Emily Doll of Ellicott City) is working in television for producer Martin Marcus (Charles Gearhart of Baltimore). She approaches the writer Tad Rose (Aaron Hancock of Catonsville) in an attempt to have her mother's story told. What she discovers is that she must navigate the challenges and shortcomings of television in the McCarthy Era while trying to stay true to her history and to herself. Morgan Phillips of Catonsville plays Suzie Tyrone, a stereotype of a dumb blond starlet.
CCBC Theatre faculty member Ryan Clark directs. Scenic and lighting design provided by Technical Director G. Maurice "Moe" Conn with costumes by James J. Fasching.
Pictured: Charles Gearhart as Martin Marcus. Photo Credit: Frey Photographic.