Photographs by Barry Wisdom /
Those who grew up in the 1950s and ’60s were frequently shown educational films and filmstrips that offered moral instruction on a variety of such "behavioral" subjects as lunchroom manners, illegal drug use and dating.
Dating and marriage in the "happy days" of the late-1950s and early-1960s are the topics of the fictitious educational film that playwright Robert Bastron has used to frame his sometimes-campy, sometimes-poignant "A Contemporary American’s Guide to a Successful Marriage c. 1959," now playing at Sacramento’s Big Idea Theatre. The show, which opened June 14, continues through July 13 with performances at 8 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (no show on July 4).
The play (directed by Justin Munoz) revolves around around two young couples from Iowa – Abby (Amanda Johnston) and Mason (Ian Cullity), and Ruth (Stephanie Hodson) and Danny (Joshua Glenn Robertson). While the quartet seem to be intent on following the guidelines for safe-and-sane courtships, joyous weddings, and happily ever after marriages provided by the offstage film narrator (Jeff Kohlhepp), Mason and Ruth soon deviate from the instructional path, fueling the conflict necessary for both comic and dramatic interaction.
Through it all, Danny and Abby cling to their visions of the American Dream, and their cherished hopes for the kind of idyllic lives outlined by the narrator.
To view additional dress rehearsal photographs, click here.
JUST THE FACTS
WHAT: The Big Idea Theatre production of "A Contemporary American’s Guide to a Successful Marriage c. 1959"
WHERE: Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, Calif.
WHEN: June 14 through July 13, 2013, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; no performance on July 4
WHO: Written by Robert Bastron; directed by Justin Munoz; featuring Amanda Johnston (as Abby Lawrence), Ian Cullity (as Mason Lawrence), Joshua Glenn Robertson (as Danny Henry), Stephanie Hodson (as Ruth Henry), Shaleen Schmutzer-Smith (as Abby’s mother, Dorothy), Jamie Kale (as Abby’s sister, Sheryl, and as the Henrys’ daughter, Evelyn), Gregory Smith (as Danny’s father, and as the doctor), Ruby Sketchley (as Danny’s mother, and as Abby’s fellow nurse, Ellen), Kirk Blackinton (as Danny’s brother, Michael, and as Abby’s fellow nurse, Jeremy; June 14-29), Brian Harrower (as Danny’s brother, Michael, and as Abby’s fellow nurse, Jeremy; July 15-13), Jeff Kohlhelpp (as the offstage narrator)
HOW MUCH: $10-$20
FOR MORE INFO: Call (916) 960-3036, or go online at www.bigideatheatre.com/
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