ActorsNET Presents THE EXPLORERS CLUB
Laughter reigns supreme April 28 through May 14 as ActorsNET presents Nell Benjamin's comic romp, The Explorers Club.
ActorsNET Co-Founder Joe Doyle directs. He says it is as "a very silly play. In its New York debut in 2013, critics dubbed it 'a hijinks-happy cocktail,' 'wildly funny' and 'seriously demented fun. This show is sure to appeal to all who love to laugh -- and especially to fans of Monty Python and such BBC comedies as Rowan Atkinson's 'Black Adder' series.'"
Set in 1879 London, the play starts off simply. The all-male Explorers Club is asked to consider a woman explorer for membership. She has discovered an unknown tribe in a previously undiscovered land, Pahatlabong, and brings with her a blue-painted native from the tribe to present to Queen Victoria. While meeting the Queen, the tribesman, whom she calls "Luigi," creates an international incident. In response, the British declare war on Pahatlabong, surround the club and demand the explorers surrender Luigi.
"Our Explorers Club members are not the heroic Indiana Jones-types," Doyle explains. "Each has a specialty. One is devoted to snakes, another to guinea pigs and a third calls himself an archeo-theologist. A fourth arrives from his ill-fated expedition in search of the East Pole, which has been roundly mocked by members of the National Geographic Society."
"Sir Bernard Humphrey, private secretary to the Queen, is dispatched to the club to secure Luigi's surrender," Doyle notes, "but the proceedings are soon disrupted by an Irish assassin; the female explorer's twin sister, herself a countess; and a fifth explorer who has escaped from having been imprisoned and tortured by warrior monks!"
The Explorers Club stars DJ Holcombe of Yardley, PA; Aaron Wexler of Philadelphia, Kyla Donnelly of Levittown, PA, and Matthew Whiteside of Bradley Beach, NJ. Co-starring (alphabetically) are George Agalias of Hopewell, NJ; John Bergeron of Pennington, NJ; Dan Hickey of Marlton, NJ; Rupert Hinton of Princeton, NJ and Ed Patton of Fairless Hills, PA.
Andrena Wishnie of Morrisville is the show's assistant director and lighting designer. Hana Christenson of Pennington, NJ stage manages. Costume design is by Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle of Morrisville, assisted by Ruth Schanbacher of Yardley. Set design is by George Hartpence of New Hope, PA. Set construction was done by Jamie Bradley of Quakertown, PA and Jim Cordingley of Hamilton, NJ.
Performing weekends April 28 through May 14, The Explorers Club is being presented onstage at The Heritage Center Theatre, 635 N. Delmorr Avenue (Route 32), Morrisville - near the Calhoun Street Bridge. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. A complimentary wine and cheese party follows opening night. The second Friday of the run, May 5, is Talk Back Night - when audience members may remain to discuss the show with the cast and production team. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+), $15 for WHYY card members and students (high school and college) and $10 for children age 12 and younger.