The Brooke Hills Playhouse will present their annual readers' theater production, W. A. Parker's comedy, "The Congressman," this weekend only, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. The play was adapted for readers' theater and directed by Charles Calabrese of Wintersville.
"The Congressman" tells the story of a crooked politician attempting to redeem himself and his relationship with his family. Reservations are available by calling the Playhouse at (304) 737-3344.
"I've been able to assemble an excellent cast of versatile, veteran actors who enjoy the challenge of readers' theater," Calabrese said. "It's a lot like radio drama except, instead of sound effects, we have a narrator who sets the mood and describes the physical action," he explained.
Joseph Pino and Connie J. Wendel rehearse for the Brooke Hills Playhouse readers’ theater production of W. A. Parker’s comedy, “The Congressman,” to be presented this Friday through Sunday.
The crucial role of the narrator will be filled by Nancy Longo of Toronto, a Playhouse veteran last seen in last summer's "Arsenic and Old Lace." Longo also will play the role of society reporter Edith Peterson. Longo's many acting credits also include the Ohio Valley Cloak and Dagger Company, the Hope Players, the former Steubenville Players, Towngate Theatre and Excalibur Productions.
The title role of Congressman Arthur Lawrence of New York will be played by Joseph Pino of Steubenville, last seen at the Playhouse in last summer's readers' theater production of "Between the Acts." Pino also has acting credits with the Hope Players and the Ohio Valley Cloak and Dagger Company. He sang for many years with the former Civic Choral Society.
Congressman Lawrence's virtuous wife, Gertrude, will be portrayed by Pino's real-life spouse, Regina Pino, who just completed a role in the Playhouse production of "The Vagina Monologues." Other acting credits include the Hope Players, the former College of Steubenville and the Ohio Valley Cloak and Dagger Company. She also has directed drama camp musicals for the Center of Music and Art for the past two summers.
Walt Warren of Wheeling will play railroad lobbyist and lawyer Frederick Flint, the almost-Satan-like villain of the piece, the man responsible for corrupting the Congressman. Warren was seen most recently in the season-opening "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." He also has extensive credits with Ohio University Eastern, Towngate Theater and West Liberty University.
Bob Lane of Steubenville will do double duty as both a good guy and a bad guy in the comedy. playing idealistic reporter Frank Landon and crooked political boss Jim Callahan.
The play's romantic subplot involves the Congressman's niece, Marjorie McDonald, an innocent debutante, portrayed by Mary Combs-Young of Weirton, and the Congressman's idealistic aide, George Melville, enacted by Roger VanHorn, also of Weirton.
Connie J. Wendel of Glen Dale will make her readers' theater debut with "The Congressman," playing unscrupulous newspaper reporter Genevieve McSorley. Wendel also has many credits with Towngate Theatre and Ohio University Eastern.
Playhouse veteran Rob DeSantis of Follansbee will play Marjorie McDonald's father, industrialist Graham McDonald.
Director-adapter Charles Calabrese has the role of Henderson, the Congressman's loyal butler.
Patrons may keep up with events by the Playhouse and the Brooke County Arts Council by visiting their website at www.brookehillsplayhouse.com or by going to their Facebook page.