Table Manners

A comedy by Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by David Caswell
Producers: John & Alana Newstead

The dates are April 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, May 3, 4 and 5 2001

Norman … Vince Guerriero
Annie … Jan Durbin
Tom … Mark Besz
Sarah … Patti Mason
Reg … David Burnell
Ruth … Paula Penton

Director’s Notes: Sir Alan Ayckbourn is unquestionably Britain’s most popular and prolific contemporary playwright. With 58 published plays – and another two scheduled to open in the West End this coming season – he is definitely no slouch at churning them out. He pokes gentle fun at people we all know – just normal middle class bodies with perhaps a touch of eccentricity – but again he is writing about the English where such a condition is the norm and not the exception. Let me suggest that during the intermission you pencil in the names of relatives, friends or acquaintances who match each of the six characters on the stage tonight. I don’t think you’ll leave any blanks. Now just enjoy the show.

David Caswell – Director David is celebrating his twentieth year as a member of BLT, since arriving in Burlington as a refugee from Montreal. Since his arrival he has kept busy in local community theatre with involvement in over forty comedies and musicals as either an actor or director. This is his first time back as a Director with BLT since “Don’t Dress for Dinner” in 1995 – though he made an appearance on stage as definitely the oldest member of the cast in this season’s children’s play – “Sleeping Beauty.” When not around the theatre, David and his wife Jane run “The Curtain Call,” Burlington’s own theatre store and costume rental house.

Alana & John Newstead – Producers This is Alana & John’s seventh season with BLT where they have been active both on and off the stage. Alana brings a lifetime of experience in the theatre in both musical and dramatic productions both locally and in Windsor, Ontario where she attended university. John first encountered theatre in high school and forgot his love for it until re-introduced to it by his wife seven years ago and he has not looked back since. This is their first time producing for the main stage.

David Burnell – Reg David returns to the stage after a long hiatus. His last role, that of Linus in a Grade 4 production of a Charlie Brown play, prepares him well for the role of Reg in Table Manners. He says that he has been waiting long for the right opportunity to once again stride the boards and he saw Table Manners under the direction of David Caswell as that opportunity. He appreciates all the support and guidance he’s received and looks forward to future endeavours with BLT.

Patti Mason – Sarah Patti is a familiar face around BLT. A graduate of the 1998/99 and 1999/2000 Workshop Programs, Patti has been very active inside and outside of the company. Previously she has appeared in Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” for the Oakville Centre and “It’s a Mystery To Me” at the Hamilton Studio Theatre for august Productions. She has also done some commercial marketing videos. We last saw her playing the Queen in “Sleeping Beauty,” our children’s show last December where she delighted in lording it over the Lord Chamberlain – her current director. This is Patti’s first main stage production at BLT’s Drama Centre.

Paula Penton – Ruth Paula began her illustrious theatre career in Grade 3 portraying the role of a bush. She continued her training since then in roles behind the stage, finally re-emerging to play “Faerie Lightning” in “Sleeping Beauty.” Paula is delighted to be reunited with her “Sleeping Beauty” alumni, David and Patti and, unlike Ruth, who doesn’t like her relatives, she has loved working with the actors portraying them.

Mark Besz – Tom This is Mark’s second appearance at BLT, the first being in “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)” in the spring of 1997. He hasn’t done much since. Please be kind.