Dinner With Friends


by Donald Margulies
Directed by Steve Gibson

Saturday, October 17, 2015, 7:30 p.m., Jane DeLong Memorial Hall, 7 Church St, Washingtonville
Saturday, October 24, 2015 7:30 p.m., Campus Theatre, 413 Market St, Lewisburg
Sunday, October 25, 2014, 2:00 p.m., Campus Theatre, 413 Market St, Lewisburg

RiverStage Community Theatre will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Dinner With Friends by Donald Margulies on October 17, 24 and 25.  Performances will be at the Jane E. Delong Memorial Hall, 3rd and Church Streets, Washingtonville on Saturday, October 17 at 7:30pm, and at the Campus Theatre, 413 Market Street, Lewisburg on Saturday, October 24 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 25 at 2:00pm.  Tickets are $15 for general admission seating with discounts available for groups and season subscriptions, and they can be purchased at the door, by phone at 570-506-8423 or at www.riverstagetheatre.org/tickets.

Dinner With Friends by award-winning playwright Donald Margulies (Collected Stories, Sight Unseen) tells the story of two married couples—Tom, Beth, Gabe and Karen—who have been best friends for over a decade.  The play begins when, during dinner at Gabe and Karen’s home one night, Beth surprises her friends by suddenly announcing that Tom has cheated on her and that they’re divorcing.  The unexpected news turns Gabe and Karen’s world upside down, and through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards in time, we see all four characters at different stages of their lives and how the breakup affects all of their relationships with each other.  Dinner With Friends has been produced Off-Broadway several times, most recently by the Roundabout Theatre Company in 2014, and was winner of Dramatists’ Guild awards and the Outer Critics Circle Award in addition to the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  It has been called, “a modern day masterpiece on the destruction of today’s marriage, filled with humor, warmth, insight and wisdom… a true feast.”

This production will be directed by Steve Gibson, a local award-winning independent filmmaker and founder of Fist-In-Post Films.  His projects have won Emmy and Billboard awards, and his feature film directorial debut (The Feed, filmed in Lewisburg) received multiple Best Feature, Best Director and Audience Choice Awards at national film festivals.  “Dinner With Friends is just an amazing story, and we know that it will make for an incredible night of live theatre that is up close and personal, fascinating, thought-provoking, and even funny,” says Gibson.  “Every time we read it, we like the story even more, and every time we rehearse, the characters get more real and we notice something new about them.  In a play that’s essentially about a breakup, you would think there would be obvious good guys and bad guys, but what’s so wonderful about Margulies’ writing is that every character has their good qualities, and you find yourself sympathizing with each of them as the story unfolds.  We have a great cast, and we hope people won’t miss this rare opportunity to see these actors bring this beautifully-written story to life.”

The show features a small, powerhouse cast of 4 experienced local actors from across the Susquehanna Valley.  The first married couple, Tom and Beth, is played by Isaac J. Conner of Williamsport and Jessica C. Paquin of Milton.  Isaac was seen most recently in Community Theatre League’s Spamalot and has starred in area productions with RiverStage, Gaspipe Theatre Company, and the Courtyard Theatre, among others.  Jessica has starred in RiverStage’s productions of All My Sons, Gypsy, and Picasso at the Lapin Agile, is a producer with Lewisburg’s Fist-In-Post Films, and brings years of performing and stand-up experience to the stage.  Tom and Beth’s best friends, Gabe and Karen, are played by Jove Graham and Virginia Zimmerman, both of Lewisburg.  Jove is a graduate of the Arden Theatre Company’s professional training program, appeared most recently in Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile as Albert Einstein, and has directed numerous RiverStage productions over the years including Fools and All My Sons.  Virginia appeared in RiverStage’s Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 earlier this year, acted in and directed many productions with the theatre department at Carleton College in Minnesota, and her first novel The Rosemary Spell will be published by Clarion Books this winter.  Set design and construction for this production is led by Dennis Merkle with stage management by Emily Gibson.

RiverStage Community Theatre, formerly known as the Milton Area Community Theatre, was founded in 2003 as a nonprofit group of actors, directors, musicians and artists committed to bringing top-notch theatre to the Greater Susquehanna Valley.  In twelve years, the group has produced 25 classic musicals, comedies and dramas, and this season is partnering with Gaspipe Theatre Company to produce a full season of five shows.  After Dinner With Friends, our 2015-16 season will continue with Craig Wright’s light comedy The Pavilion, a festival of new one-act plays, the classic musical Of Thee I Sing, and will conclude with Shakespeare In the Park in summer 2016.

“Wry and keenly observed and bathed in the unspoken sorrow that can sneak up on you in middle age…. A true feast.  Dinner With Friends is sober, wise and extremely funny.  Mr. Margulies writes with elegance and wit about intimacy, trust, privacy and the toll of time and monogamy on sexual passion, matters that aren’t easily expressed in dramatic dialogue.” —NY Times

“…full of life, warmth, laughs and wisdom…” —NY Daily News

“A breezy comedy of modern manners that turns poignant and deeply affecting by its end. Margulies touches chords that resonate with a deep affecting humanity.” —San Francisco Examiner
Meet the Cast & Crew!