The Santa Monica High School Theatre Arts program’s production of Edward Albee’s acclaimed play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, will open tomorrow night.
Director Frank Ford has chosen to follow last month’s epic production of The Music Man, one of America’s happiest musicals, with Albee’s searing drama in which an embittered professor and his angry wife turn an evening of no-holds-barred drinking into a wicked game, in which the couple subject the professor’s young colleague and his wife to a marathon battle, sparked by mind games and sexual intrigue.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf will run Thursdays through Saturdays, May 19, 20 and 21 and May 26, 27 and 28 in the Humanities Center Theater, Samohi’s intimate stage space on the second floor of the school’s English building.
“To ask a professional actor to do one of the four roles in this play is to challenge them to reach the highest levels of their art,” said Ford, Santa Monica Civic Light Opera’s Artistic Director, as well as director of the Theater Arts program. “To ask high school actors to do this play is to ask them to go miles beyond anything they or anyone else thought they could do. They’re doing it… brilliantly!”
Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin are appearing in the latest Broadway production of Virginia Woolf.
Brett Fisher, SMCLO producer and managing director, seen on the podium for all Samohi and SMCLO musicals, oversees the entire production operation and serves as the show’s producer. Of the new production, he said, “It’s exciting to see Ford challenge his students like this. Those coming to come see all of our shows this season…are experiencing an exhilarating ride that exposes young actors to all the challenges and experiences this program is geared to provide.”
Alex Nicolaou, a senior who has appeared in seven prior Samohi productions, is playing the professor in Virginia Woolf He’s previously appeared in Play It Again, Sam, Goodbye Charlie, and Noises Off.
Senior Rose Bloomfield, last seen as the “Dream girl” in Play It Again, Sam and on television, in Disney Channel’s Movie Surfers, is the professor ’s shrewish wife.
Anthony Alvarez, a junior who was in The Music Man and played Bogart in Play It Again, Sam, is the young professor, and Stevie Evans, a senior, is his wife. She also appeared in Play It Again, Sam, and Noises Off.
The SMCLO/Samohi 2005 season will also include a bonus production of one-act comedies by David Ives, that will be staged on June 2, 3 and 4, in the Humanities Center Theater, and will wind up the season in July with My Fair Lady, the grandest of the Lerner and Loewe musicals, featuring talented alumni and working professionals, as well as Samohi students.
Tickets for all of the remaining season productions — including Group Discounts — are available by phone through the SMCLO production office at (310) 458-5939, or on the web at www.smclo.org.
The Santa Monica Civic Light Opera, a sponsored educational activity of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, serves as a partner to Samohi’s Theatre Arts Program, “enhancing the student experience through mentoring by alumni and theatre professionals and developing productions for the Humanities Center and Barnum Hall stages,” in Fisher’s words.
In February, it won two NAACP awards — Best Lighting and Best Sets — out of eight nominations for its production last summer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
For additional information about the Santa Monica Civic Light Opera and the Samohi Theatre Arts Program, contact Brett Fisher, Producer and Managing Director, at (310) 458-5939.