THE BOOK CLUB PLAY
by Karen Zacarías
Directed by Kirsten Brandt
Jan 25 - Feb 19, 2017
Matinee performance added Saturday, February 18th.
A hit comedy about books and the people who love them. When the members of a devoted book club become the subjects of a documentary filmmaker and accept a provocative new member, their long-standing group dynamics take a hilarious turn. Sprinkled with wit, joy and novels galore -- from Jane Eyre and Moby Dick to Twilight and The DaVinci Code -- this hilarious comedy of manners reflects the ironies of contemporary culture.
"A delightful, fresh comedy." -- Talkin' Broadway
This production is funded, in part, by grants from the following organizations:
The Shubert Foundation
The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Glossary Of Terms. Click to see a glossary of words and terms used in the play.
Article 1 - Book Clubs and the Evaluation of Books. Click to see.
Article 2 - Womens Groups and the Rise of the Book Club. Click to see.
Article 3 - The evolution of American book clubs: A timeline. Click to see.
Article 4 - The "Oprahfication" of Literacy: Reading "Oprah's Book Club". Click to see.
From the Dramaturge - Book Clubs: Two Personal Accounts. Click to see.
Kirsten Brandt (Director). Jewel Theatre: Debut. Ms. Brandt is an award winning playwright, director and producer. She served for six seasons as Artistic Director of Sledgehammer Theatre where she directed over a dozen plays and wrote Berzerkergang, The Frankenstein Project, and Nu. She was the Associate Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre where she directed Dr. Faustus, Next Fall, The Big Meal, Legacy of Light and Groundswell, among others. As a director, Ms. Brandt's work has been seen at San Jose Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, TheatreWorks, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory, Santa Cruz Shakespeare (Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, Tempest), North Coast Repertory, and Arizona Theatre Company. She is the co-adapter of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, which had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre. Her telematic, multi-site play The Thinning Veil was produced at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she is a lecturer. Her other plays include The Mechanic's Daughter, The Waves, and an adaptation of Bronte's Wuthering Heights. She is the co-book and co-lyric writer of the award-winning rock musical The Snow Queen which premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2014. www.kirstenbrandt.com
Tristan Cunningham* (Lily) started performing when she was ten with Vermont's Circus Smirkus. After touring for eight years, she changed her focus to acting and graduated with a B.F.A from S.U.N.Y Purchase Acting Conservatory. Her Bay Area credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream with S. F. Shakespeare Festival; A Winter's Tale, The Comedy of Errors, and A Midsummer Night's Dream with California Shakespeare Theater; and The Arsonists with Aurora Theater. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and a TBA Award winner for her work in The Taming at Marin Shakespeare Theater. She is honored to be working with Jewel Theater for the first time.
Geoff (Jeffrey) Fiorito (Will) is a member of Screen Actor's Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors, as well as a residential interior designer. Film/TV: Patch Adams (Universal Films), Trauma (NBC TV), Nash Bridges (CBS TV). Commercials: Taco Bell, Marriott Hotels, Shell Oil, Cost Plus, Pepperidge Farm, Sargento, TGI Friday's, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, Oracle, California State Fair, KCBS, onsale.com, Debt-Free. Corporate films: Levi Strauss, Apple, Intel, Cisco, Sun Micro, Hewlett Packard, Autodesk, 3 COM, Seagate, AMD, Lucent, Compaq, Trend Micro, Synopsys, Cuna, Brience, PG&E, Visa, Toastmasters. Stage: Doubt, Breaking the Code ("Actor To Watch" Artsopolis/Wave Magazine), The Laramie Project, Neville's Island, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Odd Couple (Bus Barn Stage Co., Los Altos)/ A King's Legacy (Pear Avenue Theater, Mountain View)/ Anna Christie (Dragon Theater, Redwood City)/ Specter (SF Fringe Festival)/ Say Something (Above Brainwash, SF)/ Loverguys (Theater Rhino, SF)/ A Few Good Men, Talk Radio (Lafayette Town Hall Theater)/ The Night Hank Williams Died, Anastasia, Amadeus, A Christmas Carol, The Star Spangled Girl, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 (Shellie Award Nominee, Best Actor) (Center Repertory of Walnut Creek)/ Close Ties (Shellie Award, Best Supporting Actor)(Moraga Playhouse)/ The Widow's Best Friend (Willows Theater, Concord). When not acting, Geoff is designing and renovating homes; see his portfolio at www.jefffioritointeriordesign.com.
Sierra Jolene (Jen) is very excited to be on the Jewel stage for the first time and excited to be working again with Kirsten. A graduate of the CA Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Acting, she first performed in Santa Cruz at the Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival in the summer of 2015 as Lucrece in The Liar and Malcolm in Macbeth. Favorite credits include: The Monster Builder (Tamsin) at the Aurora Theater Company in Berkeley, and in Los Angeles: Nina in The Seagull, Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Thank you to both Jeffs, for the gluten free cookies during rehearsals.
Stephen Muterspaugh* (Alex) is delighted to be returning to Jewel, having appeared previously in Three Days of Rain, Saint Joan, and Harper Regan. Regional acting credits include: Cyrano and The Country House (TheatreWorks), Last Night of Ballyhoo and Servant of Two Masters (PCPA), Julius Caesar (Utah Shakespeare Festival), A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello (Southwest Shakespeare Company), Charley's Aunt (Creede Repertory Theatre), A Christmas Carol and Meet Me Incognito (Geva Theatre Center), Lend Me a Tenor (Livermore Shakespeare), King John and The Liar (Marin Shakespeare Company), and The Winter's Tale and Macbeth (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival). He is a graduate of PCPA - Pacific Conservatory Theatre and a proud member of Actors' Equity.
Brent Schindele* (Rob) is pleased to return to Jewel Theatre, where he recently appeared as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. He also played roles (and the piano) here in Gunmetal Blues and Pump Boys and Dinettes. Brent's most recent project was Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along at the Wallis in Beverly Hills, directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden; and in 2016 he completed a yearlong run in the national touring production of The Sound of Music directed by multiple-Tony winner Jack O'Brien. Other national touring credits include Peter and Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar and Tony in West Side Story. Brent starred in the Off-Broadway hit The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! in New York and around the country, and appeared (barely!) in the film Thirteen Days with Kevin Costner. In San Diego he played Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls, Curly McLain in Oklahoma! and David Lee in The Foreigner; in San Francisco he played Max Mencken in 42nd St. Moon's recent revival of It's…Superman!; and in Santa Barbara he starred in Ensemble Theatre Co.'s Marry Me a Little and Striking 12. In his native Los Angeles he originated the role of Johnny Blue in South Street at Pasadena Playhouse, played Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps, Anthony Chapman in End of the Rainbow, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet directed by Tony Plana, Cosme in Souvenir at Garry Marshall's Falcon Theatre, Luc Delbert in No Strings opposite Scott Bakula, and Franklin Shepard in Merrily We Roll Along in Hollywood, where he met his beloved wife Erika. "Not A Day Goes By..." Soli Deo Gloria.
Maryssa Wanlass* (Ana) is a Bay Area based actor, director and teaching artist. Performance credits include San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (Winter's Tale, Macbeth), Pacific Repertory Theatre (The Other Place), Livermore Shakespeare Festival (As You Like It, Hamlet, Merry Wives of Windsor), San Jose Stage (Persuasion), Pear Avenue Theater (Betrayal), San Jose Repertory Theatre (Crime and Punishment), Center REPertory Company (Witness for the Prosecution, Enchanted April), Theatre Rhinoceros (To Sleep and Dream, All About Eve). Learn more: www.maryssa-wanlass.com.
*Member, Actors' Equity Association.