February 26, 2024
Annapolis, US 45 F

Colonial Players to Return to the Stage in April for In-Person Performances

Ben Carr and Laura Gayvert in Mayag Virgin. Image: Colonial Players/Brandon Bentley.

Annapolis community theatre Colonial Players is excited to welcome back patrons on Friday, April 9, 2021 for the opening of Maytag Virgin by Maryland playwright Audrey Cefaly. Edd Miller directs Laura Gayvert and Ben Carr in the two-person show in which a neighborly friendship becomes an unexpected journey of healing and self-discovery. Eleven performances are scheduled, closing on Sunday, April 25.

Compliance with local and state pandemic guidelines posed unique challenges to director and set designer Edd Miller. The 180-seat theatre-in-the-round has been transformed into a more traditional stage to more distance between the actors and viewers. The audience will be limited to about 30 people to ensure appropriate social distancing.

“I love a challenge,” Miller said. “When designing a set, the play’s needs and the author’s suggestions must be considered. Now we add county and state health restrictions. It’s a lot but well worth the effort if we can have theater again. But there are advantages. Now we have a background to play off of, and we benefitted from having the set complete before rehearsals started.”

Rehearsals have been limited to just the actors, director, and stage manager Herb Elkin. While everyone else wore masks, the actors wore face shields. Even under the unusual circumstances, the actors were eager to get back to the stage.

“Being able to do this show, with this team, at this time… I feel like Charlie when we got the golden ticket to the chocolate factory,” said Gayvert, who plays small-town widow Lizzie. “I have loved Maytag Virgin from the first time I read it years ago. This show is about rebirth in a lot of ways. It’s about finding your way back and finding your happy again. It’s about trusting the person next to you. It’s about survival. I can’t imagine a better show with which to begin again.”

“This whole process has been so different. From the beginning we really never knew if the plug was, understandably, going to be pulled,” said Carr, who portrays Lizzie’s new neighbor Jack in the play. “I knew the last 12 months had started to erode away any flicker of a flame of creativity. Getting into the theatre has been the cure-all I needed.”

When the doors open on April 9, guests will be required to wear masks at all times. All tickets must be reserved in advance to allow the stage manager and ushers to seat guests in a socially distanced manner.

To broaden the viewership of Maytag Virgin, Colonial Players looked to online streaming. Over the past few months, volunteers installed a system of high-definition, computer-controlled cameras to accommodate online viewing of performances.

Tickets are available now for both in-person and streaming performances and are $20.21 and can be purchased through the Colonial Players website (www.thecolonialplayers.com). Live performance tickets can also be purchased by phone via the box office (410-268-7373). The box office is not accepting in-person sales at this time. Full details on tickets and Colonial Player’s enhanced safety protocols are available on its website.

Colonial Players’ presentation of Maytag Virgin is supported in part by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County.

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