Actors Theatre Presents THE BOOK CLUB PLAY & THE COTTAGE, Now thru 8/17

Actors Theatre Presents THE BOOK CLUB PLAY & THE COTTAGE, Now thru 8/17

Actors Theatre is launching a two-show summer schedule to help fill at least one empty theatre stage during a time of year that has historically been very quiet.

Coming off a critically successful post-pause season, Actors Theatre Producing Artistic Director Matthew Wiener will direct The Book Club Play and The Cottage on alternating weeks beginning June 20 at Black Theatre Troupe, 1333 E. Washington St. in Phoenix.

Both contemporary comedies, each written by a woman playwright, will feature the same cast.

The Book Club Play by Karen Zacarías is a comedy about books and the people who love them. Sandy Rustin's The Cottage, a rollicking farce inspired by the works of Noel Coward, is a tale of love, sex and betrayal.

The Book Club Play opens tonight, June 20 and runs through August 17. The Cottage opens June 27 and will close on August 10. Curtain time for both plays is 7 p.m.

"The good news is that we're bringing two fun, fresh, contemporary comedies that will end the summer theatre drought in the Valley," Wiener said. "Even better news is that Black Theatre Troupe has a great air conditioning system."

The cast for both shows includes Maren Maclean Mascarelli, (last seen in Actors Theatre's production of Fox on the Fairway); Angelica Howland (The Vibrator Play); Joe Kremer (Steady Rain); Ian Christiansen (Opus); Tyler Eglen (Good People) and Alexis Green, a recent Arizona State University graduate who is new to Actors Theatre.

Other staff and crew include Jeff Thomson, set design; Lois Myers, costumer design; Tim Monson, lighting design; Chris Neumeyer, sound design; and Amy Gilbert, stage manager.

The Book Club Play is a comedy about a group of friends who welcome a new member to their book club, only to see him tear at the fabric of their longstanding relationships. Structured as a documentary film with "character interviews" interrupting the action and with projected out-takes from the film's final cut, The Book Club Play is a sly examination of social groups, ritual and the true nature of friendship.

The Cottage, a comedy in two acts, is set in the English countryside in 1923 where Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her love affair with her husband's brother. The true meanings of fate, identity and marriage are all called into question as a surprising and hilarious web of secrets unravel in this ridiculous, potentially murderous and romantic comedy.

Tickets will be on sale shortly and can be purchased online at Ticket prices range from $18 for students (with ID) to $45 for reserved seats.

For more information, visit

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