posted June 15, 2011

HSRT Season Continues with the Side-splitting Farce, Taking Steps Title

The Hope Summer Repertory Theatre season continues with the comedic Taking Steps by Alan Ayckbourn, one of Britain's best playwrights, opening June 24th at 8 p.m. at Hope College's DeWitt Theatre.

Taking Steps is a wild ride in mistaken identity, misunderstandings and dysfunctional relationships in a ridiculously hilarious farce spanning just one night inside of a run-down Victorian manor that may or may not be haunted.  The calamity begins as Elizabeth and her brother, Mark, are plotting Elizabeth's escape from her husband, Roland, while he is away at work.  To further complicate the situation, Roland's realtor, Tristam, shows up to help facilitate the purchase of the manor from the landlord.  Come see what happens when unsuspecting Roland arrives home from work, Mark's ex-girlfriend joins the household, and Elizabeth changes her mind.  This frantic household of comedy is in the spirit is Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. 

Roland is played by Chip DuFord, celebrating his eighteenth season with HSRT!  DuFord is well known for other HSRT performances such as Professor Bhaer in Little Woman, Gregory Wagner in Room Service, General Harrison Howell in Kiss Me Kate, Froggy in The Foreigner, Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Touchstone in As You Like It, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Mr. Bumble (twice) in Oliver, The Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz, The Bullfrog in HONK!, and The Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  He has also been seen on Enthusiastic Productions' roles of Mr. Flabbinjaw, and Joel's housecat, Poo-Kitty, in the children's TV program, Come On Over, which has aired locally on WOTV4 in Grand Rapids.  He has performed at theatres nationwide for over twenty years, including Sierra Repertory Theatre in Sonora, CA., Oregon Cabaret theatre, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, and The Monomoy Theatre in Chatham, MA.

Returning for his fifth season is another HSRT favorite, Michael Hanson, playing Tristam.  You can also see him this season in Children of Eden as a Storyteller and as Llody in Guys On Ice.  Previous HSRT credits include And Italian Straw Hat (Fadinard), The Cmplt Wrks of Wm Shkspr...Abrgd, Forever Plaid (Sparky), The Foreigner (Rev. David), The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Peachy), and She Loves Me (Head Waiter).  He was also seen in The Tempest (Ferdinand), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Demetrius) at The Actors Shakespeare Company at New JerseyCityUniversity, The Threepenny Opera (Matt the Mint) at Columbia Stages, Cabaret (Cliff), The Threepenny Opera (Macheath), and Shakespeare In Hollywood (Dick Powell) at Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

Directing the production is Jim Saba, returning for his eighteenth season.  Past HSRT credits include A Year With Frog and Toad, Forever Plaid,Petite Rouge, Lost In Yonkers, The Shakespeare Revue, Scapin, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Sylvia, and over thrity productions for the Children's Performance Troupe.  Regionally he directed All in the Timing and 7 Stories (Old Globe Theatre), Blithe Spirit, Lucky Stiff and ThePhiladelphia Story (Webster University), Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol (North Coast Repertory Theatre),The Mystery of Irma Vep (Diversionary Theatre) and Girl Scouts of America (FringeNYC).  As an actor he has appeared at the Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Apple Tree Theatre and several productions at HSRT including Young Rube, The Nerd, The Odd Couple, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Tartuffe, Irma Vep, Rumors, Art, and Rounding Third to name a few.  TV credits include Law and Order, Conviction and 30 Rock.

Performances of Taking Steps continue throughout the summer on June 25, 29, July 1, 7, 14, 20, and 26.

Tickets are now on sale through the DeWitt and DeVos Fieldhouse ticket offices.  Prices range from $10-$26 for musicals and $8-$19 for plays.  Season tickets, ranging from $48-$85, are also available. 

The ticket office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Beginning June 14 the ticket office is open on Saturdays at noon. On performance dates, the DeWitt Ticket Office will be open through intermission.  The ticket office is located in DeWittCulturalCenter at 12th Street and Columbia Avenue. For tickets call the ticket office at 616-395-7890. For more information visit the HSRT website at www.hope.edu/hsrt. 

The DeWitt Theatre is located at 141 East 12th street. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in Holland's downtown on 8th street.

HSRT is now on facebook!  Keep up to date with what's happening this season by searching Hope Summer Repertory Theatre on www.facebook.com.