Ray Chambers & Bob Sicular Set for San Jose Rep's BILL W. AND DR. BOB, Now thru 7/15

Ray Chambers & Bob Sicular Set for San Jose Rep's BILL W. AND DR. BOB, Now thru 7/15

A talented cast energizes the critically acclaimed play, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, by Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey, to close the highly successful 2011-2012 season for San Jose Rep. Directed by Richard Seer, the work is a quick-witted and honest docu-drama following two dynamic and dedicated men who, in the midst of their battle with acute and debilitating alcoholism, formed a formidable and historic alliance to help each other and others combat the same addiction.

In 1929, successful New York stockbroker Bill Wilson, played by Ray Chambers, crashes with the stock market and turns to drinking. Dr. Bob Smith, played by Bob Sicular, is a surgeon from Ohio who has also been an alcoholic for thirty years, often going into the operating room with a hangover.

Through an astonishing series of events, Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet and form a relationship, each helping to keep the other sober. This is the amazing and often humorous story of the two men who pioneered Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as the story of their wives, who founded Al Anon. These four people were the starting point for all the 12-step-oriented recovery programs that are now implemented all over the world, for issues ranging from alcohol to food to sex to gambling to shopping. The story of how they discovered how to help each other live without the thing they are addicted to is intriguing, moving, and inspiring.

The production runs from tonight, June 21 to July 15, 2012 with Press Opening Night on Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the San Jose Rep Box Office at 101 Paseo de San Antonio or can be purchased online at www.SJRep.com or by calling 408.367.7255. Approximate Performance Run Time: 2 hours with one 20-minute intermission.

While this work does not imply affiliation with or endorsement from Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc., it tells an incredible story of hope and healing through real human connection. The journey that Bill W. and Dr. Bob took together has become a beacon of hope in the dark for so many people around the world.


Ray Chambers (BILL W.) is appearing on the San Jose Rep stage for the first time. He was last seen in the Alan Ayckbourn play The Life of Riley at The Old Globe where previous productions include Macbeth, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Coriolanus, The School for Scandal, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Comedy of Errors. As an associate artist for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, some of Mr. Chambers’ leading credits are The Count of Monte Cristo, Coriolanus, Henry V, The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, A Doll’s House, Tartuffe, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ghosts, and Saint Joan. Mr. Chambers has been seen in theaters across the country such as Syracuse Stage, Studio Arena Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, and Two River Theater Company in New Jersey. He is currently Head of Acting with The Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre.

Robert Sicular (DR. BOB) is delighted to return to San Jose Rep where he has previously appeared in The Weir, The 1940’s Radio Hour, and On the Verge. Mr. Sicular’s regional credits include performances with Denver Center Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare in Santa Fe, and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. In the Bay Area, he has appeared at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, Marin Theatre Company, PlayGround, Traveling Jewish Theatre, and The Christmas Revels. Film and television credits include General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, Never Die Twice, Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya, and Love & Taxes. Mr. Sicular is a native of Berkeley and a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Carrie Paff (LOIS: JUNE 21 – JULY 12) is thrilled to return to San Jose Rep where she has previously been seen in Double Indemnity (a co-production with A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle), Legacy of Light, A Picasso, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (a co-production with Arizona Theatre Company), and The Haunting of Winchester. Regional credits include A Delicate Balance, Small Tragedy, and Betrayal at Aurora Theatre Company; A Streetcar Named Desire and Tiny Alice at Marin Theatre Company; After the War at American Conservatory Theater; How the Other Half Loves at Center REP; and Joan Rivers: A Work In Progress at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s Leicester Square Theatre. Film work includes Love & Taxes, Presque Isle, Opal, This is Macbeth, and This is Hamlet. Ms. Paff holds a master’s degree in educational theater from New York University and is the cofounder of StageWrite, building literacy through theatre.

Rachel Harker (LOIS: JULY 13, 14, 15) returns to San Jose Rep where her previous work includes Legacy of Light, The Dresser, and The Glass Menagerie (San Jose Rep on Tour). She played the role of Lois in Bill W. and Dr. Bob in New York and Boston. Ms. Harker has worked at Marin Theatre Company in Bellwether and the New Works Festival at TheatreWorks. She won Elliot Norton and Independent Reviewers of New England awards for her portrayal of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire as well as Elliot Norton awards for her roles in Ashes to Ashes and The Lover at New Repertory Theatre, and The Cutting at Stoneham Theatre. Other theatre credits include Sherlock’s Last Case at American Stage Festival, Lend Me a Tenor at Lyric Stage, and Private Lives at The Public Theatre in Maine. Her film work includes Disney’s The Game Plan, The Invention of Lying, Don MacKay, and The Legend of Lucy Keyes.

Kandis Chappell (ANNE) was a leading actress with San Jose Rep in its early years, appearing in Miss Julie, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Philadelphia Story, among others. She was last seen at San Jose Rep in Extremities in 1985 (directed by Tom Ramirez). Ms. Chappell is an associate artist of The Old Globe in San Diego where she has appeared in more than 30 productions. Ms. Chappell has also worked on Broadway, at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and in theaters across the country.

Cindy Goldfield (WAITRESS, HENRIETTA, Mrs. Johnson, MYRNA, RUTHIE, HEN) was last seen at San Jose Rep in Spring Awakening and Splitting Infinity. She recently appeared in Project: Lohan at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City and will reprise her role this summer at The Costume Shop/American Conservatory Theater. Ms. Goldfield’s regional acting credits include Center REP, TheatreWorks, 42nd Street Moon, Willows Theatre Company, Broadway By the Bay, Marin Theatre Company, Playhouse West, Golden Thread Productions, ODC Theater, Brava! for Women in the Arts (notably in Scalpel! by D’Arcy Drollinger), and eight seasons of A Christmas Carol with American Conservatory Theater. Ms. Goldfield also enjoys the cabaret collaboration of Goldfield & Koldewyn and is a two-time recipient of both the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the Dean Goodman Choice awards.

Mike Ryan (CLERK, MAN WITH A RIFLE, EBBY THATCHER, DR. SILKWORTH, T. Henry Williams, TUNKS, Frank Sullivan, NORMAN SHEPARD, LLOYD, EDDIE, BILLY DOTSON) is excited to return to San Jose Rep, where he has previously appeared as Peter/M. du Chatellet in Legacy of Light. Other local credits include Anatol in Anatol (Aurora Theatre Company); Johnny in Hello and Goodbye, George in Of Mice and Men, Father Flynn in Doubt (Jewel Theatre Company); and over thirty productions at Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Regionally, he’s performed at La Jolla Playhouse (Boy, The Green Bird); Geva Theatre Center (Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Christmas Carol); and Hangar Theatre, as well as Shakespeare Festivals in Texas, Idaho, and Oklahoma. Mr. Ryan received his MFA from the University of California, San Diego and his BFA from Southern Methodist University.


Samuel Shem (CO-AUTHOR), the pen-name of Stephen Bergman, is a doctor, novelist, and activist. A Rhodes scholar, on faculty at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Shem has been described as “easily the finest and most important writer ever to focus on the lives of doctors and the world of medicine” (Harvard Club of NYC), and his novel The House of God as “one of the two most significant medical novels of the 20th century” (The Lancet). In 2008, The Spirit of the Place won two national awards for best novel of the year. Bill W. and Dr. Bob, off-Broadway for five months in 2007, won a national performing arts award and is now produced widely. www.billwanddrbob. com. Dr. Shem was playwright-in-residence at the Boston Shakespeare Company, and his off-Broadway “Shem Plays” are published in The Best Short Plays anthologies. He has given more than fifty commencement speeches on how to stay human in medicine.

Janet Surrey (CO-AUTHOR) is a clinical psychologist, author, Buddhist teacher, co-founder of the Jean Baker Miller Center at Wellesley College, and co-author of Women’s Growth in Connection and Mothering Against the Odds, dealing with women’s relational psychology, addiction, and spirituality. On faculty at Harvard, she is now a member of the Institute of Meditation and Psychology, and co-author with her husband Samuel Shem of Bill W. and Dr. Bob and We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues Between Women and Men, which won the 1999 Paradigm Shift Award of the Boston Interfaith Council. Known around the world for her writing and speaking, she recently completed a training program as a Community Dharma Leader. Ms. Surrey and her husband live in Boston and Costa Rica, and give great thanks to Rick Lombardo for helping develop Bill W. and Dr. Bob and directing it in Boston and off-Broadway.

Richard Seer (DIRECTOR) previously directed Sonia Flew for San Jose Rep. An award-winning actor and director, he has directed and/or performed in more than seventy productions at theaters in this country and Great Britain, including The Old Globe, Goodman Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Huntington Theater Company, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Edinburgh Festival, and Sybil Thorndike Theatre in England. On Broadway, he received the Theater World Award for his performance in the 1978 Tony Award®-winning production of Hugh Leonard’s Da. As its resident director, Mr. Seer’s Old Globe credits include Old Wicked Songs, Da, All My Sons, Blue/Orange, Fiction, Vincent in Brixton, Trying, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Romeo & Juliet, The Price, The Last Romance, and The Life of Riley. Mr. Seer has been Chair of The Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program since 1993 and is currently The Old Globe’s interim artistic advisor.

Robin Sanford Roberts (SCENIC DESIGNER) is thrilled to be back at San Jose Rep, where she previously designed the sets for Love in American Times, Sonia Flew, Splitting Infinity, and This Wonderful Life. On Broadway, she designed It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues. Ms. Roberts’ regional credits include over 24 productions for The Old Globe:The Price, Fiction, Blue/Orange, Da, and Old Wicked Songs; Voir Dire and Scotland Road (directed by Craig Noel); and many others. She has also designed for Portland Center Stage, Denver Center Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Swine Palace Productions, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Roberts holds a degree in Architecture from Louisiana State University and an MFA in Scenic Design from the University of California, San Diego.

Cathleen Edwards (COSTUME DESIGNER) is delighted to return to San Jose Rep, having previously designed costumes for Love in American Times, The Dresser, and Sonia Flew. Well-established in the Bay Area, she has designed the costumes for numerous productions at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, TheatreWorks, and a number of other companies. Among her several awards are two Drama-Logues (Pacific Overtures and Follies) and two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards (Pacific Overtures and Crucifer of Blood). Her work has been seen as far away as New York (Hard Times at the Joyce Festival), Alaska (Noises Off, All My Sons, and Watch on the Rhine for Alaska Repertory Theatre), and Moscow (Desire Under the Elms at the Moscow Theatre Festival).

Trevor Norton (LIGHTING DESIGNER) returns to San Jose Rep where he previously designed the lighting for Sonia Flew. Regionally, Mr. Norton has designed numerous shows for The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Festival/LA, La Jolla Playhouse, A Noise Within, Bottom’s Dream, and many more. Awards include a Patté Award for All My Sons (directed by Richard Seer) and a Garland Award for The Illusion. Currently, Mr. Norton teaches design and management at University of Redlands. He owns Cleverco Designs; has a BA from Occidental College; an MFA from the University of California, San Diego; is a private pilot; and has a wonderful family (wife Jennifer and kids Lillian and Reid) who lets him work crazy hours.

Paul Peterson (SOUND DESIGNER) returns to San Jose Rep having previously sound designed for Sonia Flew and Splitting Infinity. His work in regional and National Theatres consists of over 95 shows at The Old Globe in San Diego, including Nobody Loves You; Anna Christie; Odyssey; The Life of Riley; Engaging Shaw; Welcome to Arroyos;Plaid Tidings; The Last Romance; I Do! I Do!; Lost in Yonkers; Kingdom; Six Degrees of Separation; The Women;Sight Unseen; The Pleasure of His Company; Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; Bell, Book and Candle;Hold Please; Restoration Comedy; Pig Farm; Vincent in Brixton; The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow; Moonlight and Magnolias; Blue/Orange; Time Flies; Pentecost; Splendour; Compleat Female Stage Beauty; and many others. Mr. Peterson has also designed for Milwaukee Repertory Theater, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Baltimore’s Centerstage. Mr. Peterson holds a BFA in theatre, with an emphasis in technical design for the theatre, and is a member of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.

Dave Maier (FIGHT COORDINATOR) is an award-winning fight director whose work was seen in San Jose Rep’s The Understudy, Spring Awakening, Legacy of Light, and As You Like It. His talents have also been utilized at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Magic Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He is the resident fight director at California Shakespeare Theater and a company member with Shotgun Players in Berkeley. Mr. Maier’s performance credits include Ajax the Great in the Shotgun Players’ production of In the Wound, and Swordsman in San Francisco Opera’s production of Cyrano de Bergerac, where he served as fight double for Placido Domingo. Mr. Maier teaches theatrical combat at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and is a founding member of Dueling Arts San Francisco.

Stephanie Schliemann (STAGE MANAGER) has worked on The Understudy, Double Indemnity, Spring Awakening, Love in American Times, The Dresser, and Ain’t Misbehavin’, among others, at San Jose Rep. Other local stage management credits include Flower Drum Song, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, Gypsy, and The Wizard of Oz at American Musical Theatre of San Jose; Anansi the Spider, Orson’s Shadow, and The Last Schwartz at Marin Theatre Company; Le Nozze di Figaro and The Magic Flute at Opera San Jose; and Race, Marcus, The Tosca Project, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and At Home at the Zoo, among others, at American Conservatory Theater. She has also worked with Teatro ZinZanni and the Circus Center of San Francisco.

Deirdre Rose Holland (ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER) is excited to be back for her fourth show with San Jose Rep, having previously worked on A Christmas Carol, Spring Awakening, and Legacy of Light. Her regional credits include the 2011 Summer Shakespeare Festival, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and The Mystery of Irma Vep (The Old Globe); and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later and the world premiere of Bonnie and Clyde (La Jolla Playhouse). Additional credits include Anna Karenina and The Barber of Seville (Opera San Jose); and the 2010 Summer Hot Dog Series (Palo Alto Children’s Theatre). Ms. Holland holds an MFA in stage management from the University of California, San Diego.

About San Jose Rep: San Jose Rep is the premier non-profit, professional theatre company in the South Bay, presenting six to seven main stage productions each year. Now in its 31st year as a major contributor to the South Bay’s cultural community, San Jose Rep’s mission is to engage, entertain and inspire people. San Jose Rep produces innovative theatrical performances that offer fresh perspectives into the human condition, educational programs that promote life-long learning, and outreach initiatives that benefit our diverse community.

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