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Performances run April 22–May 8.


Communists weren't the only ones hunted during the "Red Scare" of the 1950s. Gays and lesbians were also targeted as threats to the USA as part of the "Lavender Scare." "Coming out of the closet" was almost unheard-of, as it could easily end a career or even a life. And no one even considered the possibility of gay marriage.

The Philadelphia-area premiere of screenwriter and playwright Topher Payne's comic drama "Perfect Arrangement" brings a mix of laughter and tears to a coming out tale on The Heritage Center stage, presented weekends April 22-May 8 by the nonprofit ActorsNET theatre company.

"Topher Payne's script is a romp," Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle said. "In it, two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, are assigned the task of ferreting out 'sexual deviants' within their department. Unbeknownst to their boss, they are both gay. To keep their personal lives private, they marry each other's partners and live in two adjacent apartments that conveniently share a closet. This allows them to appear to be 'traditional couples' to the outside world by simply switching places through the closet - that is until their pompous boss and his ditzy wife come to visit."

Dinner with the boss leads to a series of complications that seamlessly interweave sitcom-style comedy and challenging drama, as the couples come to realize they can't rely on their closet forever. This tale of the 1950s still resonates in today's society, where identity issues are the stuff of everyday news...which often translates into the kind of thought-provoking comedy served up in Topher Payne's engaging play.

Produced by Allison Howe and Co-Directed by Hayley and Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski, the cast includes Charlotte Kirkby, Nicholas Pecht, Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski, John Boccanfuso, Rick Pine, Lucinda Miller and Susan Fowler. Em Ricciardi stage manages. The costumer is Mary Jane McCarty. Set design and construction were done by James Cordingley, Casey Muccioli, Glen Firestone and Joan Arkuszewski.

"Perfect Arrangement" is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. Performances are at the Heritage Center Theater, 635 N. Delmorr Avenue, Morrisville, Pennsylvania, and the show runs April 22-May 8, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2. Ticket reservations, including seat selection, are available at ActorsNET has installed a continuous state-of-the-art air purification system that kills airborne viruses within minutes.

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