Cape May Stage Opens its 25th Anniversary Season 5/17 With HOW TO MAKE A ROPE SWING
Cape May Stage will present the world premiere of New Jersey playwright Shawn Fisher's How to Make a Rope Swing: the inaugural production of the Equity theatre's 25th anniversary season. Directed by Emmy nominee Roy Steinberg, How to Make a Rope Swing, is a dramatic story about long-buried secrets in a Jersey Shore town, and will feature guest performers Lynn Cohen and Barry Phillips along with Ben Rosenblatt. Winner of The Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, How to Make a Rope Swing opens Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse on Bank and Lafayette Streets.
Hailed by the Salt Lake Tribune as "a full realized, emotionally rich...beautifully crafted play," the story unfolds when the South Jersey town of Oakbranch is replacing an old schoolhouse. Local elders Delores Wright, the beloved town matriarch and former school principal, (played by Lynn Cohen; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Sex and the City, Munich, Social Security) and Bo Wells, a dedicated custodian and longest-serving African American school employee, (played by Barry Phillips; 30 Rock, All My Children, Mark Twain's Blues) have been selected to decide on a person after whom the new building should be named; a person who reflects the history and spirit of the town. As they come together in the soon-to-be-demolished old schoolhouse, they rediscover the circumstances of their first meeting there a half-century earlier. It was 1951, a time when the school was first integrated and the region earned its nickname, "The Mississippi of the North". Within the brick walls of the century-old building, a long-suppressed moment in the town's history surfaces and threatens to change the memory of the town and these people, forever.
Shawn Fisher has produced over one hundred shows as designer, director, producer, or playwright. His professional design credits include the New York productions of Seal Sings its Song, Cop Out, and Talking Dog and many plays and operas out west. At Cape May Stage he designed Time Stands Still, The Woolgatherer, Proof, Topdog/Underdog, and Happy Days among others. As a playwright, Fisher's original scripts include SCOPE and Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico. A native of the Jersey Shore (Ocean City), he loves coming home to work with Cape May Stage. He earned his MFA in Theatre Design from Brandeis University and currently serves as a Professor and Head of Graduate Studies in Theatre at Utah State University.
An experienced production team joins the cast including Scenic Designer Spencer Potter, Lighting Designer Cyrus Newitt, Costume Designer Michele Sinacore, and Stage Manager Lisa Shames.
How to Make a Rope Swing will run from Friday, May 17 to Saturday, June 7 at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors, and $15 students. Friday, May 17 is a half-price preview, followed by the official opening/press night Saturday May 18, and on Sunday, May 26 the matinee performance will be half-price for senior citizens (62+). Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website, www.capemaystage.org.
How to Make a Rope Swing is presented through the gracious support of The Original Fudge Kitchen. This season's sponsors include 410 Bank Street, Frescos, Cape May Winery, CapeSCape, Corner Cottage Apartments, Exit Zero, Harry's Ocean Bar & Grille at the Montreal Inn, The Washington Inn, and Lucky Bones.