Past Productions

44 Plays for 44 presidents

Playwrights – Andy Bayiates, Sean Benjamin, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Chloe Johnston and Karen Weinberg
Fall 2016

Directed by Becca Hollowaydsc_7764
Stage Manager- Ben Harvey

Actors:
Michael Ermel
Martin J. Hughes
Marisa Lerman
Elizabeth Mazur
Jessica Miret
JT Nagle
Carmen Fisher Risi

Plot Summary
Oil Lamp Theaters 44 Plays For 44 Presidents is an upbeat, rapid-fire celebration of the American presidency that’s guaranteed to brighten your mood and lift your spirits. Told in a snappy vaudevillian style, this revue remembers each of our 44 presidents with his own short play a brief vignette that may consist of a sketch, a dance, a musical number ranging from a Bach cantata to Gospel, a borscht-belt roast even bread-eating! 44 Plays condenses over 225 years of star-spangled historical malarkey into high-energy entertainment.

Created and originally produced by Chicagos experimental theater company The Neofuturists, 44 Plays For 44 Presidents celebrates the comic, tragic and sometimes surreal lives and legacies of our presidents. This provocative chronicle explores the human and humanly fallible side of each of our 44 presidents while underscoring the important role that WE, the American people, have also played in shaping this history. After all, for better or worse, we elected each of leaders, and have thus, in many ways, written our own story.


weekend comedy

Playwright- Jeanne and Sam Bobrickmsb_1224
Summer 2016

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Becca Venable

Actors:
Nicolette de Guia as Jill
Martin J. Hughes as Tony
Denise Smolarek as Peggy
Rob Weinstein as Frank

Plot Summary
Peggy Jackson, a 50-ish matron, has dragged her reluctant husband, Frank, an office-supplies dealer, off for a long weekend in a remote cabin with no phone, no wi-fi, no newspapers, no television and no kids. Peggy has romance on her mind, while stick-in-the-mud Frank is dully wondering what they’re going to do all weekend. Peggy finally gets Frank in the mood, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Jill and Tony, a pair of twenty-somethings. Through a mistake, they’ve also rented the same cottage to celebrate their fourth anniversary of cohabitating. To his wife’s chagrin, Frank insists that the younger couple stay for dinner. Ultimately, the two couples agree to share the one-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin for the weekend.

They start out having a good time together, but the close quarters and the differences between the two couples lead to inevitable frictions. Frank and Peggy: long married, middle class, hard-working, taking each other for granted. She’s sarcastic and frustrated; he’s oblivious, irascible and complacent. Tony and Jill: mawkishly in love, well-to-do and living a free and easy life. She’s earnest and idealistic; he’s smug and spoiled. What ensues is a delightful exploration of the stages of life and love.


On Golden Pond

Playwright- Ernest Thompsonmsb_8506
Summer 2016

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Ben Harvey

Actors:
Zach Bloomfield as Charlie
Nick Dorado as Bill Ray
Valerie Gorman as Ethel Thayer
Austin Molinaro as Billy Ray
Julie Partyka as Chelsea Thayer
Joe Schmitt as Norman Thayer

Plot Summary
Summer has returned again to Golden Pond, and so has Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and his wife, Ethel, who are back for a 48th year at their idyllic summer cottage. In their golden years, the elderly couple provide a perfect contrast to each other: Though battling heart palpitations and a failing memory, Norman remains spirited and cantankerous while Ethel, 10 years his junior, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to color their long life together. As Norman approaches his 80th birthday, they are visited by their estranged daughter, Chelsea, and her fiancé, who go off to Europe and leave his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness in return. While their bond strengthens, intimations of mortality are in the air with a growing sense of urgency for Norman to make peace with his daughter. When she returns, Chelsea is married and her stepson has the relationship with her father that she always wanted. Will father and daughter be able to communicate at last?


Father of the Bride

Playwright- Caroline Franckedsc_1549
Spring 2016

Directed by Keith Gerth
Assistant Directed by Marisa Lerman
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Andy Clifton as Mr. Banks
Anna Cline as Delilah
Evan Cullinan as Tommy Banks
Michael Dalberg as Massoula
Michael Ermel as Pete
Nicholas Hodge as Joe
Nicola Howard as Mrs. Banks
Katie Mancuso as Kay Banks
June Miller as Miss Bellamy
Grant Niezgodski as Buckley Dunstan
Gus Schlanbusch as Red

Plot Summary
Mr. Banks learns that one of the young men he has seen occasionally about the house is about to become his son-in-law. Daughter Kay announces the engagement out of nowhere. Mrs. Banks and her son are happy, but Mr. Banks is in a dither. Buckley and Kay don’t want a “big” wedding—just a simple affair with a few friends! Then trouble really begins. The guest list grows larger each day, a caterer is called in, florists, furniture movers and dressmakers take over, and the Banks household is soon caught in turmoil—not to mention growing debt.


Proof

Playwright- David Auburnimg_7348
Winter 2016

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Traci Cidlik

Actors:
Martin J. Hughes as Hal
Joe Page as Robert
Ann Marie White as Catherine
Hannah Williams as Claire

Plot Summary
On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit? Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play.


Barefoot in the Park

Playwright- Neil Simonimg_4612
Winter 2016

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Traci Cidlik

Actors:
Matt Bartholomew as Victor Velasco
Eric Bays as Paul
Beth Goldberg as Mrs. Banks
April Tayloir as Corie
Cody Wimmer as Telephone Repair Man

Plot Summary
Corie and Paul are newlyweds, fresh from their honeymoon. Corie is still enthralled by her recent sexual awakening and the adventure that comes with youth and marriage. She wants their passionate romantic life to continue at full speed. Paul, however, feels it is time to focus on his burgeoning career as an up-and-coming lawyer. When they don’t see eye-to-eye about their apartment, their neighbors, and their sex drive, the new marriage experiences its first patch of rough weather.


It’s A Wonderful Life- A Live Radio Play

Playwright- Joe Landry
Winter 2015

Directed by Keith Gerth
Music Director: Becca Holloway
Stage Manager- Traci Cidlik

Actors:
Martin J. Hughes as Jake Laurents
Marshall Kious as Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood
Marisa Lerman as Lana Sherwood
Amanda Meyer as Sally Appelwhite
Joe Page as Freddie Filmore
Stephen Smith as Bud Collyer

Plot Summary
Oil Lamp Theater invites you to kick off the holiday season with their presentation of Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play. This heartwarming classic is a show within a show. It’s December 24, 1946 in Studio A at WBFR Radio, and a cast of six actors is preparing to present It’s a Wonderful Life live to the listening audience. With the help of only a sound-effects artist, the ensemble re-enacts the story of George Bailey, a young man whose dreams of traveling the world are thwarted by his sense of responsibility to the family business. Down on his luck, Bailey, compassionate yet disheartened, is at the end of his rope. He questions his purpose in life and considers ending it all. Just then, an angel arrives to show Bailey how the lives of those he loves would be affected if he were not around. The story’s message is profound and remains relevant for today’s audiences.


 

Jest A Second!

Playwright- James Sherman
Fall 2015

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Victoria Apodaca

Actors:
Andrew Clancey as Joel
Neil Austin Edwards as Dr. Rosen
Evan Johnson as Bob
Ricky March as Abe
Elizabeth Mazur as Sarah
Julie Mitre as Miriam

Plot Summary
In the follow-up to the heartwarming farce “Beau Jest,” Sarah’s brother Joel fears telling their parents he’s gay. So once again Bob comes to the rescue, donning an outfit to play Joel’s perfect, if somewhat butch, Jewish girlfriend.


Bleacher Bums

Playwright- Joe Mantegnaimg_1908
Summer 2015

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Beth Goldberg as Ruth
Emily Hawkins as Cheerleader
Martin J. Hughes as Greg
Eric Loughlin as Decker
Katie Mancuso as Melody
JT Nagle as Richie
Dennis Schnell as Marvin
Rob Weinstein as Zig

Plot Summary
In the bleachers at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, die hard Cub fans root for their team. The group includes a rabid cheerleader, a blind man who follows the game by transistor radio, a bathing beauty, a nerd, and various other bleacher denizens. As the game proceeds, they bet among themselves on every conceivable event, go out for frosty malts or beers, try to pick up the bathing beauty and, occasionally, watch the game.


Never the Bridesmaid

Playwright- Bill Jepsenimg_1133
Summer 2015

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Cristiana Barbatelli as Kathleen
Martin J. Hughes as Anthony
Eric Loughlin as Brian
June Miller as Doris
Daniella Rukin as Maria
Stephen Smith as Elmer
Desiree Staples as Therese

Plot Summary
Maria and Anthony are twins who’ve been damaged by love. Widowed once and divorced twice, Maria longs for a relationship but feels the stigma of a “three-time loser.” Dumped by his fiancé four years earlier, Anthony hasn’t dated since. Each has a lot to say about the other’s love life, but both are floundering in their own—while preparing for the 40th anniversary of their parents’ perfect marriage.


Oil Lamp After Dark Presents
Murderers

Playwright- Jeffrey Hatcher
Summer 2015

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Neil Austin Edwards as Gerald Halverson
Lauren Lichtenstein as Minka Lupino
Julie Mitre as Lucy Stickler

Plot Summary

Murderers is one play told in three stories.

THE STORIES:THE MAN WHO MARRIED HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW is Gerald Halverson’s confession of an illicit love and a plan to shelter five million dollars from the IRS.

MARGARET FAYDLE COMES TO TOWN is about Lucy Stickler, the long-suffering wife of Bob, a septuagenarian who used to have a roving eye.

MATCH WITS WITH MINKA LUPINO stars Minka Lupino, Riddle Key’s ever-sunny, ever-helpful receptionist. Minka is a fan of crime novels who becomes an avenging angel on a mission to rid the retirement community of its predators.


 

Later Life

Playwright- A.R. GurneySpring 2015

Directed by Barbara Anderson
Stage Manager- Nicole Szontagh

Actors:
Claudia Garrison as Other Women
Ed Kuffert as Other Men
Henry Odum as Austin
Julie Partyka as Ruth

Plot Summary
Austin has spent his entire life convinced that something terrible is bound to happen to him. One night, at a party, he has the pleasure of rekindling a romance begun almost thirty years ago with Ruth. Comically, and sometimes painfully, these two people rediscover each other and themselves while a bevy of free-spirited other guests rally behind them and remind them of the infinite possibilities that life holds, should one only choose to pursue them.


Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon

Playwright- James McLureLone Star and Laundry and Bourbon
Winter 2015

Directed by Elizabeth Lovelady
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Sara Heller as Hattie
Lauren Lichtenstein as Amy Lee
Lexi Saunders and Elizabeth
Joe Boersma as Ray
Michael Dalberg as Cletis
Evan Johnson as Roy

Plot Summary
In Lone Star, heavy-drinking Vietnam veteran Roy offers his unique perspective on the world, mostly to his naïve younger brother Ray As he waxes philosophical and shares stories from the war, he reveals a sensitive soul that is unmoored after his stint on the battlefield and struggling to re-acclimate to life in his small Texas hometown.

Laundry and Bourbon offers us the world from Elizabeth’s (Roy’s wife) perspective. The play takes place as Roy’s wife  is folding laundry and sipping bourbon and Cokes with her friend Hattie  As the two of them engage in idle gossip, the turmoil of Elizabeth’s troubled marriage to Roy is slowly uncovered. They are joined by Amy Lee who self-righteously reveals that Roy has been spotted around town with another woman. As the plot continues to twist and turn, we see Elizabeth’s true nature and the true nature of her relationship with Roy.


 

The Odd Couple

Playwright- Neil Simon
Winter 2015

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Cristiana Barbatelli as Gwendolyn Pigeon
Zach Bloomfield as Vinnie
Michael Dalberg as Roy
Elizabeth Mazur as Cecily Pigeon
Chris Miller as Oscar Madison
Grant Niezgodski as Speed
Rob Weinstein as Murray
Steve Zeal as Felix Ungar

Plot Summary
The Odd Couple is a madcap comedy that tells the story of two hilariously mismatched roommates.  Felix Ungar is a fastidious and hyper-critical man who, in the midst of a dissolving marriage, finds himself living with his longtime friend Oscar Madison, a carefree slob.  The two struggle to reconcile their different lifestyles and hilarity ensues.  The madness is witnessed by their poker buddies, and the Pigeon Sisters,  their upstairs neighbors. As the tension builds, their friendship begins to suffer, and could even crumble completely.  Will they be able to put aside their differences and learn to compromise, or will they part ways forever?


It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Playwright- Joe Landry
Holidays 2014

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Martin Hughes as Jake Laurents
Marshall Kious as Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood
Marisa Lerman as Lana Sherwood
Joseph Page as Freddie Filmore
Stephen Smith as Bud Collyer
Jennifer Vance as Sally Appelwhite

Plot Summary
Oil Lamp Theater invites you to kick off the holiday season with their presentation of Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play. This heartwarming classic is a show within a show. It’s December 24, 1946 in Studio A at WBFR Radio, and a cast of six actors is preparing to present It’s a Wonderful Life live to the listening audience. With the help of only a sound-effects artist, the ensemble re-enacts the story of George Bailey, a young man whose dreams of traveling the world are thwarted by his sense of responsibility to the family business. Down on his luck, Bailey, compassionate yet disheartened, is at the end of his rope. He questions his purpose in life and considers ending it all. Just then, an angel arrives to show Bailey how the lives of those he loves would be affected if he were not around. The story’s message is profound and remains relevant for today’s audiences.


Turn of the Screw

Playwright- Jeffrey Hatcher (Based on a short story by Henry James)
Halloween 2014

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Martin Hughes as The Ensemble
Jennifer Vance as The Governess

Plot Summary
A governess battles to defend two children from possession by evil spirits in a lonely manor house, but are the ghosts real or a product of her own fevered imagination? In this critically acclaimed adaptation of the classic Henry James story by playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher (Stage Beauty, Three Viewings), two actors bring all of the characters to life. Jennifer Vance plays the eager young governess, determined to protect the children in her care at all costs. Martin Hughes takes on the rest of the characters of the story, from the children’s distant uncle, to the estate’s housekeeper, to the troubled 10-year-old boy.


Dinner With Friends

Playwright- Donald Margulies
Fall 2014

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Actors:
Eric Bays as Tom
Laura Coleman as Beth
Chris Miller as Gabe
Megan Skord-Campbell as Karen

Plot Summary
When one of America’s most celebrated playwrights holds a mirror up to modern relationships, are you strong enough to look? This the challenge issued in Donald Margulies’ Pulitzer-winning Dinner with Friends, now at Glenview’s Oil Lamp Theater. Gabe and Karen, a happily married couple, have been friends for decades with Tom and Beth, also married. Everything changes when Beth reveals that Tom has been unfaithful and their marriage is on the verge of imploding. The story is not the divorce, however, but the shockwave effect it has on Gabe and Karen’s relationship. At first they feel forced to pick sides, then they begin to notice the cracks in their own marriage. This “rueful comedy” exposes the insecurities that everyone faces when big changes happen in their lives. The characters are real and relatable: They might be your friends, your family … they might even be you.


Making God Laugh

Playwright- Sean Grennan
Summer 2014

Directed by Brent Stringfield
Stage Manager- Matthew Tepperman
Assistant Director- Mark Cagle

Actors:
Andy Clifton as Bill
Michael Dalberg as Thomas
Beth Goldberg as Ruthie
Marisa Lerman as Maddie
Chris Miller as Richard

Plot Summary
A priest, an actress and a football player walk into a family gathering — and the results are much more entertaining than any one-liner. Making God Laugh centers around a couple of beleaguered empty-nesters as they host their three adult children — a devout priest, an aspiring actress and a former football star — over the course of 30 years of family celebrations. Full of unexpected plot twists and turns, Making God Laugh is a clever, heartwarming spin on the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!”


Come Blow Your Horn

Playwright- Neil Simon
Summer 2014

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Michelle Tewksbury

Actors:
Marisa Lerman as Peggy Evans
Chris Lysy as Alan Baker
Amanda Meyer as Connie Dayton
Denise Smolarek as Mrs. Baker
Grant Terzakis as Buddy Baker
Rob Weinstein as Mr. Baker

Plot Summary
Before becoming famous for Broadway hits like Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Lost in Yonkers and Brighton Beach Memoirs, Neil Simon wrote the swinging ’60s comedy Come Blow Your Horn. Simon’s first Broadway show — and later a film starring Frank Sinatra — Come Blow Your Horn follows Buddy, a 21-year-old virgin who flees the boredom of his parents’ house for the bachelor’s life at his brother Alan’s New York apartment. Alan teaches Buddy to be a ladies’ man, transforming him into a carbon copy of himself. But along the way, Alan starts developing feelings for one of his many girlfriends, and his carefree persona gives way to vulnerability and a desire for connection. As Alan grows out of the role, Buddy takes over as the resident playboy.


Sylvia

Playwright- A.R. Gurney
Spring 2014

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Managers- Dustin Peek and Grant Terzakis

Actors:
Eric Bays as Tom/Phyllis/Leslie
Nicola Howard as Kate
Daniella Rukin as Sylvia
Stephen Silver as Greg

Plot Summary
In this romantic comedy by the author of Love Letters, the long-married Greg and Kate adopt a street-smart mutt named Sylvia (played, alas, by a human). But Sylvia soon turns into a bone of contention for the empty-nesters, as Kate feels that she is losing Greg to his adoring new best friend. This imaginative take on a midlife crisis leads to lots of laughs and thoughtful insights on love, marriage, jealousy and canines.


The God Committee

Playwright- Mark St. Germain
Spring 2014

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Angie Miller

Actors:
Kelly Farmer as Dr. Ann Ross
Marshall Kious as Domenick Piero
Mike Maloney as Father Charles Dunbar
Amanda Meyer as Dr. Kierra Banks
June Miller as Nella Larkin
Joe Page as Dr. Alex Gorman
Stephen Smith as Dr. Jack Klee

Plot Summary
A heart has suddenly become available for transplant … and the members of St. Patricks Hospital’s Heart Transplant Selection Committee have only a matter of minutes to decide which of three patients will receive it. With hints of Twelve Angry Men, ER and Grey’s Anatomy, The God Committee provides a dramatic but also amusing glimpse into the machinations of a transplant program, as seven professionals — three doctors, a social worker, a psychiatrist, a nurse and a priest — encounter a conflict of emotions, ethics and responsibilities as they try to select who will live … and who will die.


The Girl in the Freudian Slip

Playwright- William F. Brown
Winter 2014

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Dustin Peek

Actors:
Eric Bays as Dr. Alec Rice
Heidi Katz as Paula Maugham
Spencer Glenn Miller as Mr. Wellman
Daniella Rukin as Barbara Leonard
Cassandra Schiano as Leslie Maugham
Steve Zeal as Dr. Dewey Maugham

Plot Summary
This delightfully crazy comedy from Tony-nominated playwright William F. Brown (The Wiz) delves into the case of a staid East Coast psychiatrist who deals with his forbidden attraction to a nymphomaniac patient by writing a play about it. But all his psychodrama threatens to come spilling out when his teenage daughter discovers the script, and it somehow ends up in the hands of a literary agent — who just happens to be the real woman at the center of his fantasy. It’s a 1960s-style comedy in the spirit of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Bob Newhart Show, with a nod to Love, American Style.


It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Playwright- Joe Landry
Holidays 2013

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Dustin Peek

Actors:
Zach Bloomfield as Freddie Filmore
Steve Silver as Jake Laurents
Megan Skord Campbell as Sally Applewhite
Emily Berman as Lana Sherwood
Stephen Smith as Bud Collyer
James Dauphin as Harry Heywood

Plot Summary
Oil Lamp Theater invites you to kick off the holiday season with their presentation of Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play. This heartwarming classic is a show within a show. It’s December 24, 1946 in Studio A at WBFR Radio, and a cast of six actors is preparing to present It’s a Wonderful Life live to the listening audience. With the help of only a sound-effects artist, the ensemble re-enacts the story of George Bailey, a young man whose dreams of traveling the world are thwarted by his sense of responsibility to the family business. Down on his luck, Bailey, compassionate yet disheartened, is at the end of his rope. He questions his purpose in life and considers ending it all. Just then, an angel arrives to show Bailey how the lives of those he loves would be affected if he were not around. The story’s message is profound and remains relevant for today’s audiences.


Crimes of the Heart

Playwright- Beth Henley
Fall 2013

Directed by Elizabeth Lovelady
Stage Manager- Dustin Peek

Actors:
Cristiana Barbatelli as Meg
Sam Hicks as Barnette
Jaclyn Holtzman as Chick
Laura Coleman as Lenny
C. Jaye Miller as Babe
Evan Johnson as Doc

Plot Summary
The Magrath sisters face a day of reckoning in the darkly hilarious Crimes of the Heart, the Pulitzer Prize-winning portrait of a dysfunctional Southern family by Beth Henley. Holed up in their grandaddy’s house in Mississippi, the quirky trio finds themselves in the midst of yet another of their signature family dramas — it seems that the youngest, Babe (C. Jaye Miller), has gone and shot her abusive husband. Meanwhile, the eldest — unmarried sister Lenny (Laura Coleman) — is becoming an older maid all the time and Meg (Cristiana Barbatelli) has just seen her dreams of a singing career dashed.


Circle Mirror Transformation

Playwright- Annie Baker
Summer 2013

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Rebecca Cagney

Actors:
Bill Chamberlain as Schultz
June Miller as Marty
Anna Schutz as Lauren
Stephen Smith as James
Hallie Peterson as Theresa

Plot Summary
Set in the small town of Shirley, Vermont, Circle Mirror Transformation explores what happens when five people come together to take a six-week adult acting class. Prodded by dramatic exercises and ice-breaking games, these small town “non-actors” discover their own talents … and those of the people around them. This tender and sharply observed play by Annie Baker (The Aliens, The Flick) won the Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2010.


Par for the Corpse

Playwright- Jack Sharkey
Spring 2013

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Grant Terzakis

Actors:
Eleanor Katz as Andy
Rob Weinstein as Lionel
Joe Schmitt as Jed
June Miller as Gert
Martin Hughes as Mark
Mike Shields as Rick
Dana Parker as Bettina
Jasmine Ryan as Hazel
Elizabeth Klinge Peterson as Daniella
Beth Goldberg as Thelma

Plot Summary
Writer Alexandra Ellis lives in an isolated Catskill retreat with Gert, her housekeeper and factotum. When Alexandra invites a group of friends to her home for dinner one wintry evening, a blizzard unexpectedly strands the group — but the blizzard soon proves to be the least of their problems. The dinner party takes a dark and murderous turn when one of the guests is poisoned and the group quickly realizes they have a killer in their midst. Soon everyone, even the hostess, becomes a suspect. Murky motives are revealed and unexpected plot twists play out as the hostess and her guests examine clues and make deductions in an effort to solve the crime.


Alone Together

Playwright- Lawrence Roman
Spring 2013

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Jasmine Ryan

Actors:
Andy Clifton as George
June Miller as Helene
Ryan Dooley as Keith
Megan Captaine as Janie
Martin Hughes as Michael
Christopher Lysy as Elliott

Plot Summary
When George and Helene Butler send their youngest son off to college, they are looking forward to a quiet home and time with each after years of faithful parentage. But in the hilarious comedy Alone Together, that’s easier said than done. The couple’s eldest son sneaks back into his old room, the middle child returns after being kicked out by his wife and a homeless coed shows up looking for temporary housing. This witty and wise comedy deals with boomerang kids from the perspective of parents who both want their freedom and their children to be happy, well-adjusted adults.


Beau Jest

Playwright- James Sherman
Spring 2013

Directed by Ron Ben-Joseph
Stage Manager- Bridget Lachowsky

Actors:
Andrea Rappaport as Sarah
Rick March as Abe
Laura Coleman as Joey
Josh Greiveldinger as Chris
Judi Schindler as Miriam
Shaun Nathan Baer as Bob

Plot Summary
James Sherman’s warmhearted comedy Beau Jest tells the story of Sarah Goldman, who doesn’t think her traditional Jewish parents will respond favorably to her boyfriend, a gentile guy named Chris Cringle. So what’s a nice girl to do but create a fictional Jewish doctor as her imaginary beau and hire a male escort to play him in front of the family? The problem is, her charade is a little too successful and Sarah starts falling for the fake! This sweet romantic comedy was an Off-Broadway success and also spawned a 2008 movie version starring Lainie Kazan.


three-2013Three Viewings

Playwright- Jeffrey Hatcher
Winter 2013

Directed by Gretchen Sonstroem
Stage Manager- Megan Captaine

Actors:
Joe Page as Emil
Jasmine Ryan as Mac
June Entwistle Miller as Virginia

Plot Summary
An infatuated man, a jewel thief with a secret, and a widow with a wheeling, dealing (and now deceased) husband each take the stage in the trio of tales that is Three Viewings. Featuring Joe Page, Jasmine Ryan and June Miller, Three Viewings comes in the form of three intertwined monologues all set in a Midwestern funeral parlor. Written by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher (Stage Beauty, Casanova), this comic drama reveals truths both funny and painful about love, money and loss.


It’s a Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play

Playwright- Joe Landry
Holidays 2012

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Angie Miller

Actors:
Zach Bloomfield as Freddie Filmore
Joe Page as Jake Laurents
Susan Steinmeyer as Sally Applewhite
Elizabeth Mazur as Lana Sherwood
Martin Hughes as Harry Heywood

Plot Summary
Based on a story that appeared in Good Housekeeping and later adapted into a beloved movie directed by Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life finds the idealistic George Bailey on the brink of suicide one Christmas Eve. Luckily, he meets an angel who shows him the value of his life and saves him, thus earning his wings. For this radio play version, the theater is transformed into the 1940s radio studio of New York station WBFR. The small town of Bedford Falls is brought to life by five actors, clever and surprising sound effects and a lot of imagination. It’s a good old-fashioned way to celebrate the holidays with a timeless tale still rings true today and will touch your heart as powerfully as ever.


Weekend Comedy

Playwrights – Jeanne and Sam Bobrick
Fall 2012

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Angie Miller

Actors
Jay Cook as Frank
Nicola Howard as Peggy
Eric Bays as Tony
Jasmine Ryan as Jill

Plot Summary
A couple in their mid-fifties and a couple in their late twenties have accidentally rented the same cottage for a three-day holiday weekend. They decide to share it. We watch the comedic clash between generations.


Summertime Livin’ Easy

Summer 2012

Directed by Barbara Anderson and Ed Kuffert
Stage Manager- Angie Miller

Actors:
Zach Bloomfield
Martin Hughes
Elizabeth Mazur
Joe Page
Elizabeth Rude
Jasmine Ryan

Plot Summary
Oil Lamp Theater is excited to be moving from their traditional space in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago to beautiful downtown Glenview. As an introduction to our new community, Oil Lamp is presenting an evening of one act plays which explore the trials and tribulations of theater and love.


Memory House

memory-2012Playwright – Kathleen Tolan
Winter 2012

Directed by Keith Gerth
Stage Manager- Kristin Toerpe

Actors:
Claudia Garrison as Maggie
Kersten Katerina Haile as Katia

Plot Summary
One winter night a woman bakes a pie as a girl tries to finish her college essay. As the deadline looms, unexamined issues of the girl’s adoption from Russia, the rupture of her parents divorce, and the fear of leaving home break through the surface as the mother cajoles, deflects, and maneuvers around her own feelings of sadness and loss. Unfolding in real time, Memory House is about a young and an older woman who are forced to grapple with the past as they face an uncertain future. A funny and moving story about the complexity of living in the world today.


The God Committee

god-2011Playwright – Mark St. Germain
Fall 2011

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager-Sarah Borer

Actors:
Cristiana Barbatelli as Dr. Kiera Banks
Jay Cook as Dr. Alex Gorman
Keith Gerth as Dr. Jack Klee
Gary Murphy as Fr. Charles Dunbar
Ben Nicholson as Domenick Piero
Kate O’Connor as Nurse Nella Larkin
Misti Patrella as Dr. Ann Ross

Plot Summary
Medicine, Money and Morality clash when the Heart Transplant Selection Committee of St. Patricks hospital have only minutes to decide which of three patients will receive a heart that has suddenly come available. A cross between TWELVE ANGRY MEN and E.R., the GOD COMMITTEE takes us into the inner workings of a Transplant Program and a decision, for both their candidates and their program, that is a matter of life and death.


The Subject Was Roses

roses-2011Playwright – Frank D. Gilroy
Spring 2011

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Kristin Toerpe

Actors:
Jean Waller as Nettie Cleary
Keith Gerth as John Cleary
Eric Bays as Timmie Cleary

Plot Summary
It is May of 1946 and Timmy Cleary is home from the war to his estranged parents John and Nettie in the Bronx apartment where he grew up. As their reunion promises a return to life as it never was, John, giving up a lucrative business opportunity, attends a ball game with his son and grudgingly at Timmy’s request, returns with roses for Nettie, an insincere attempt at reconciliation. Reminiscing, the three attempt to recapture the past and all it symbolizes but the idyll is shattered amidst recriminations and the next morning Timmy announces he is leaving once again as husband and wife must face the reality of life with only their memories… Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 1965.


First Night

first-night-2011Playwright – Jack Neary
Winter 2011

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Kristin Toerpe

Actors:
Tricia Rogers as Meredith
Keith Gerth as Danny

Plot Summary
This bright, warm, wise comedy about dreams, life and love occurs on New Year’s Eve. Danny Fleming is waiting to close up the video store where he works. An hour before closing Meredith O’Connor or Sister Meredith Louise walks in. In the eighth grade, Danny fell in love with Meredith, but she went out of his life to pursue her vocation. Now she’s back and the sparks fly when Danny learns she has left the convent to seek him out.


Later Life

later-2010Playwright – A. R. Gurney
Fall 2010

Directed by Barbara Anderson
Stage Manager- Sarah Borer

Actors:
Beth Goldberg as Ruth
Keith Gerth as Austin
Edward Kuffert as Jim, Roy, Duane, Ted, Walt
Claudia Garrison as Sally, Marion, Nancy, Esther, Judith

Plot Summary
Austin has spent his entire life convinced that something terrible is bound to happen to him. One night, at a party, overlooking Boston harbor, he has the pleasure of rekindling a romance begun almost thirty years ago with Ruth. Now a multiple divorcee, Ruth’s personal life is in such turmoil that mutual friends look to Austin as Ruth’s last shot at normalcy.


Sylvia 2010

sylvia-2010Playwright – A. R. Gurney
Spring 2010

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Karla Nessfield

Actors:
Eric Bays as Tom, Phyllis and Leslie
Keith Gerth as Greg
Megan Hincks as Sylvia
Suzanne Scanlon as Kate

Plot Summary
In celebration of the Theater’s five-year anniversary, the Theater produced “Sylvia” which was the Theater’s first full-length production in 2005.


Alone Together

alone-2009Playwright – Lawrence Roman
Fall 2009

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Evan Hill

Actors:
Eric Bays as Elliott Butler
Keith Gerth as George Butler
Caleb Probst as Michael Butler
Laura MacGregor as Helene Butler
Megan Hincks as Janie Johnson
Evan Hill as Keith Butler

Plot Summary
Alone Together delighted audiences on Broadway with Janis Paige and Kevin McCarthy playing a middle aged couple whose children have finally left the nest. They are alone together, but not for long. All three sons come charging back home after experiencing some hard knocks in the real world, and Mom and Dad have quite a time pushing them out again.


The Odd Couple

odd-2009Playwright – Neil Simon
Spring 2009

Directed by Gretchen Sonstroem
Stage Manager- Susanna Sandoval

Actors:
Kate Compton as Gwendolyn Pigeon
Brad Davidson as Roy
Tracy Garrison as Cecily Pigeon
Keith Gerth as Felix
Bill Hyland as Vinnie
Gary Murphy as Oscar
James Turano as Murray
Michael B. Woods as Speed

Plot Summary
This classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assembled for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger who has just been separated from his wife. Since he is very fastidious and none too tense, they fear he might commit suicide and go about locking all the windows. As the action unfolds, the clean-freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together with hilarious results as The Odd Couple is born.


Mass appeal

mass-2009Playwright – Bill C. Davis
Winter 2009

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Keri Godsey-Mack

Actors:
Stephen Kaiser as Mark Dolson
Keith Gerth as Father Farley

Plot Summary
Father Tim Farley, a lover of the good things in life, is comfortably ensconced as priest of a prosperous Catholic congregation. His well-ordered world is disrupted by the arrival of Mark Dolson, an intense and idealistic young seminarian whom Father Farley reluctantly agrees to take under his wing. There is immediate conflict between the two as the younger man challenges the older priest’s sybaritic ways, while Father Farley is appalled by Mark’s confession that he had led a life of bisexual promiscuity before entering the priesthood.


The Dining Room

dining-2008Playwright – A.R. Gurney
Fall 2008

Directed by Elizabeth Lovelady
Stage Manager/Assistant Director- Rachel Neuman

Actors:
Beth O’Neill as Actor #1
Jenna Rabideaux as Actor #2
Stephen Kaiser as Actor #3
Gary Murphy as Actor #4
Jessie Spear as Actor #5
Keith Gerth as Actor #6

Plot Summary
The play is set in the dining room of a typical well-to-do household, the place where the family assembled daily for breakfast and dinner and for any and all special occasions. The action is comprised of a mosaic of interrelated scenes—some funny, some touching, some rueful—which, taken together, create an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species: the upper-middle-class WASP. Dovetailing swiftly and smoothly, the varied scenes coalesce, ultimately, into a theatrical experience of exceptional range, compassionate humor and abundant humanity.


12 Angry Jurors

jurors-2008Playwright – Reginald Rose
Spring 2008

Directed by Gretchen Sonstroem
Stage Manager- Elizabeth Lovelady

Actors:
Danielle Cochrane as Foreperson/Juror #1
Mat Simonian as Juror #2
Keith Gerth as Juror #3
Kate Brown as Juror #4
Sarah Antrim-Cambium as Juror #5
Jenna Rabideaux as Juror #6
Chad Meyer as Juror #7
Janice O’Neill as Juror #8
Jim Volkober as Juror #9
Gary Murphy as Juror #10
Robert Gerovski as Juror #11
Beth O’Neill as Juror #12

Plot Summary
The drama depicts a jury forced to reconsider its nearly unanimous decision by the single dissenter who sows a seed of reasonable doubt. As in most American criminal cases, the twelve must unanimously decide on a verdict of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’. The case at bar pertains to whether the young man murdered his own father. These twelve then move to the jury room, where they begin to become acquainted with the personalities of their peers.


The Girl in the Freudian Slip

freudan-2008Playwright – William F. Brown
Winter 2008

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Michael Creighton

Actors:
Emily Carlson as Barbara Leonard
Keith Gerth as Dr. Dewey Maugham
Michele Gross as Leslie Maugham
Chad Meyer as Dr. Alec Rice
Beth O’Neil as Paula Maugham
Mat Simonian as Mr. Wellman

Plot Summary
A staid New York psychiatrist has a fashion artist for a wife, a perceptive seventeen year old for a daughter, a social lion bachelor author for a friend, a wildly hung up young man as his principle patient, and a former patient for his Achilles heel. A sexually emancipated young lady, she wrestled with nymphomania on the doctor’s couch for three years and in his subconscious for a tormenting period of time. He controls his secret yearnings until unforeseen circumstances throw him into a cozy confrontation with this young lady.


Foolish Games

foolish-2007“Scripted” by Mark Harvey Levine
“Carnality” by Mark Lowenstern
“After You” by Steven Dietz
“Answering The Echo” by Larry Harris

Fall 2007

Directed by Josh Johnson
Stage Manager- Josh Johnson

Actors:
Beth O’Neill as Michelle and Dora
April Pletcher as Amy and Elaine
Jeff Taylor as Ben and Simon
Keith Gerth as Phil and Ben

A series of one-act plays all revolving around the central theme of lost opportunities. The plays explored the challenges we all face in trying to decide which course in life is the “correct” course. In “Scripted” the course was all predetermined. The other plays explored what happens when we don’t choose the “correct” path in life.


“Laundry and Bourbon” and “Lone Star”

laundry-2007Playwright – James McClure
Spring 2007

Director – James Whittington
Stage Manager- Keith Gerth

Actors:
Leslie Frame as Elizabeth
Lauren Mustain as Amy Lee
Tori Ulrich as Hattie
Josh Johnson as Ray
Jeff Taylor as Roy
Ray Shoemaker as Cletis

Plot Summary
Laundry and Bourbon”
The setting is the front porch of Roy and Elizabeth’s home in Maynard, Texas, on a hot summer afternoon. While the ensuing conversation is increasingly edged with bitter humor, from it emerges a sense of Elizabeth’s inner strength and her quiet understanding of the turmoil which has beset her husband since his return from Vietnam. He is wild, and he is unfaithful, but he needs her, and she loves him. And she’ll be waiting for him when he comes home—no matter what others may say or think.

Lone Star”
The play takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and trying to reestablish his position in the community. Joined by his younger brother, Ray (who worships him), Roy sets about consuming a case of beer while regaling Ray with tales of his military and amorous exploits.


2 Across

2across-2007Playwright – Jerry Mayer
Winter 2007

Director – Ron Ben-Joseph
Stage Manager- Mark Dodge

Actors:
Katherine Wray as She
Keith Gerth as He

Plot Summary
Two strangers, a man and a woman board a San Francisco BART train at 4:30 AM. They’re alone in the car, each is married, both are doing the New York Times crossword. She’s an organized, sensible, psychologist. He’s a free spirited, unemployed ad exec. She is a crossword pro, he always quits. When he tosses his puzzle away, she snaps, “Crosswords are a metaphor for life, those who finish, succeed, those who don’t, fail.” As the train ride ends it’s obvious each of them has been changed for the better. And we’re dying to know, will these two meet again?


Dinner with Friends

dinner-2005Playwright – Donald Margulies
Fall 2006

Director – Ron Ben-Joseph
Stage Manager- Mark Dodge

Actors:
C. Sean Piereman as Tom
Kate Parker as Beth
Katherine Wray as Karen
Keith Gerth as Gabe

Plot Summary
Gabe and Karen, a happily married couple, have been friends for decades with Tom and Beth, also married. Everything changes when Beth reveals that Tom has been unfaithful and their marriage is on the verge of imploding. The story is not the divorce, however, but the shockwave effect it has on Gabe and Karen’s relationship. Winner 2000 Pulitzer Prize.


Love Letters

love-letters-2005Playwright – A.R. Gurney
Spring 2006

Director – Stacy Lind
Stage Manager– Michael Bradley

Actors:
Lindsay Porter as Melissa
Keith Gerth as Andy

Plot Summary
Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, both born to wealth and position, are childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence begins with birthday party thank-you notes and summer camp postcards. Romantically attached, they continue to exchange letters throughout their lives.


Three Viewings

three-viewings-2005Playwright – Jeffrey Hatcher
Winter 2006

Director – Bob Bills

Actors:
Joan Glacy as Virginia
Jodi Morton as Mac
Keith Gerth as Emil

Plot Summary
Three comic/dramatic monologues set in a midwestern funeral parlor over a three-day Christmas weekend.


Sylvia

sylvia-2005Playwright – A.R. Gurney
Fall 2005

Director – Gretchen Sonstroem

Actors:
Kyla Thomas as Sylvia
Chad Meyer as Tom, Phyllis, and Leslie
Joan Glacy as Kate
Keith Gerth as Greg

Plot Summary
The story of Sylvia centers on Greg, a successful man depressed by the working world. He finds his job as a currency trader empty, and he doesn’t know where to turn. One autumn afternoon in Central Park, Sylvia, a stray dog, leaps onto his lap and into his life, offering unconditional love.


WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

love-2005April 2005

Series of One-Act Plays
Mrs. Sorken
The Bug Swatter
The Ferris Wheel
The Problem
The Man Who Couldn’t Dance
The DMV One

Playwrights – Gurney/Druang/Selmeier/Miller/Katims/Zagone

Directors – Gretchen Sonstroem and Keith Gerth

Actors:
Nancy Greco as Mrs. Sorken
Kate Cares as Robin and Hank Hilbert as David
Chad Meyer as John and Kyla Thomas as Dorie
Nich Radcliffe as Eric and Nilsa Reyna as Gail
Rob Biesenbach as Husband and Jessica Fry as Wife
Leah Rose as Woman and Keith Gerth as Man

The Theater’s first production was an evening of one-act plays all revolving around the common theme of love. Open auditions were held for casting and over 100 actors showed up to perform. The show ran for one weekend, three performances.