4th Wall Presents Cline Helmed 'AVOW' 4/2 - 4/4

By: Mar. 21, 2009

NY City casting director, Bob Cline, has spent many years behind the audition table - but returns to the stage in the Bill C. Davis play, AVOW, presented by 4th Wall Theatre in Bloomfield, NJ.

"Bob has directed for us for years," says Executive Director Gwen Ricks-Spencer who is directing the piece. "He had a successful career as an actor before moving behind the scenes. I was thrilled when he agreed to take to the stage for the role of Brian in this production."

AVOW concerns dilemmas of faith, commitment, human sexuality, obedience and family. Though sympathetic to Tom and Brian's affections, their priest, Father Raymond, sticks to the church's long-held beliefs that they cannot marry and should remain celibate when asked by the couple to witness and bless their vows. Their catalytic request creates five separate and linked spiritual journeys, affecting Father Raymond, Tom, Brian, his sister Irene, and their mother Rose; each one seeking to balance passion and faith. Fraught with contemporary controversy and adult situations, it is offset by its exhibition of indomitable faith, diplomacy, heart and humor.

"AVOW was chosen for our season long before Proposition 8 made it into the minds of those outside of California," says Artistic Director Gregory G. Allen. "Bill C. Davis has written a play that is just as timely now as it was when it was first produced over ten years ago at George Street Playhouse in New Jersey."

Cline is joined by a talented cast in this production. Gus Ibranyi as Tom, Matt Burns as Father Raymond, Kym Frank as Irene, Melissa Surow as Rose, Michael Craig as Father Nash, and Kate Daly as Julie.

4th Wall is known in Northern New Jersey for producing edgy, lesser known musicals, but has stepped outside of their box to produce this play. It is a limited run with only three performances on April 2, 3, 4 at 8:00 pm, with a talk-back with the author on the closing evening. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.4thwalltheatre.org or by calling 973-748-9008 ext 279. 4th Wall performs at the Westminster Arts Center on the campus of Bloomfield College where AVOW is a part of their "Out & Proud Week" for the LGBT community.

4th Wall is also offering an "April Arts Stimulus" for those who have been laid-off due to the current economic climate. Those people can see Thursday night's show for free by contacting the box office. "We understand that people need to cut back on expenses," noted Ricks-Spencer. "We've taken a hard look at our own finances and made decisions for this season and next which reflect the economic realities we all face. That being said, we still believe that everyone should have a chance to enjoy the arts and if our making tickets free to a performance helps just a few people have a chance to go out and enjoy themselves for a few hours, its more than worth it."

Photo by Tom Schopper

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