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The Washington Stage Guild Presents Washington Premiere of SAM AND DEDE

The Washington Stage Guild Presents Washington Premiere of SAM AND DEDE

The Washington Stage Guild brings its season of great writers to a close with the Washington premiere of Sam and Dede, or My Dinner with André the Giant by Gino DiIorio.

One of the unlikeliest of friendships began when an aspiring writer, an Irish expatriate in France, gave a young man (whose remarkable size made him the object of derision) rides to school each day, and through the years they discuss playwriting, pro wrestling, and where their lives would lead them. The New York Times said, "Fans of professional wrestling and absurdist drama have a show to call their affectionate tribute to a stage goliath and a grappler built like a butte." These two titans of the 20th Century are embodied by two of DC's most intriguing actors - Alan Wade as Sam (Beckett) and Scott McCormick as André (the Giant) - under the direction of Stage Guild Associate Artistic Director Steven Carpenter.

"I'm proud to be directing these two stalwart actors as they both make their return to DC stages. And Gino's Absurdist-inspired script, with these icons forging a comically unexpected friendship and pondering the marks they might leave on the world, delivers both giant-sized laughs and moments of quiet rumination," says Carpenter. "It's a perfect match for the clever, thoughtful, and nuanced performances that Alan and Scott are crafting."

Sam and Dede, Or My Dinner with André the Giant is directed by Steven Carpenter. He has over 20 years' experience as a professional actor and director in the greater Washington, D.C., area. A longtime company member of the Washington Stage Guild and now their associate artistic director, he has directed Resolving Hedda, Inventing Van Gogh, Red Herring, Opus, and The Underpants, among others. Other area productions include God of Carnage at Compass Rose, The Cripple of Inishmaan at 1st Stage; The Price, Mauritius and 'ART' at Bay Theatre; Barrymore, Hysteria, Trumbo, and Mrs. Farnsworth for Rep Stage; and The Chosen at Theater J. He received a Helen Hayes nomination for his production of Thief River at Theatre Alliance and is a past recipient of the Mary Goldwater Award for Excellence in Directing. This season he appeared on stage at the Guild in Bloomsday and Hard Times and has also been seen here in Pygmalion (Henry Higgins), Summerland, Widowers' Houses, Alabama Story, and The Philanderer (Helen Hayes nomination). His third Helen Hayes nomination came for providing all of the onstage live sound effects for the Guild's It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Steven also narrates books for the blind with nearly 400 books to his credit, including The Grapes of Wrath, and Infinite Jest, and is a recipient of the Alexander Scourby Narrator of the Year Award for Multilingual Nonfiction by the American Foundation for the Blind. He is the proud father of a prize-winning chess player and baseball-loving son, Sam, who shares a birthday with his namesake in this play, Mr. Beckett.

Set designers are Resident Designer Carl Gudenius and Jingwei Dai. Other design elements are provided by Frank DiSalvo with sound, Marianne Meadows with lighting; and Resident Designer Sigrid Johaessdottir with costumes.

i??The Undercroft Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Washington, on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 9th Street, NW. It's steps from the Convention Center, and blocks from the National Mall, the Smithsonian, the Capital One Arena, Chinatown, and restaurants galore!

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