At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s Landing townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of Farce. Gathering for their tenth wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken and wife Chris must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and mis-communications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity..
Produced by Special Arrangement with Samuel French Inc.
Recommended for ages 15 and up (Contains Mature Language)
Rumors will be performed at the Von Braun Center Playhouse on Jul 15, 16, 21, 22 & 23, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m. and Jul 17 & 23, 2016 @ 2 p.m. Tickets for Rumors are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors (65+), students, and active duty military and can be purchased online here or you can call the box office at 256-536-0807 for group rates and handicapped seating.
DIRECTOR – John Hancock
John has over 25 years of experience acting, directing and performing technical wizardry with HLT, TRC, TH and several other Huntsville and surrounding area theatre companies. John still makes select appearances onstage—when he finds a role that excites him—but he now largely prefers the opportunities he’s afforded to lead collaborative efforts on theatrical projects as a director… and in this he has amassed a rather impressive resume. Some of his directorial highlights include “Leading Ladies” (TH); “Lend Me a Tenor” (TH—Best Show & Best Director, ‘Noahs’ and ‘Wings’); “The King & I” (HCCA); “Perfect Wedding” (TH—Best Show & Best Director, ‘Noahs’ and ‘Wings’); “Kiss Me, Kate!” (HCCA); “How the Other Half Loves” (TH – Best Show & Director, ‘Noahs’); and “Incorruptible” (TH—Best Director, ‘Wings’). But John, like most directors, started as an actor and, early on in his career, was cast, almost exclusively, as the “bad guy”—the evil doer, the antagonist, the less- than-savory character… or at least the guy that nobody wanted to get the girl. Now, he gets cast as the “old guy.” And his portrayal of the lovable “old guy,” Ben, in IMP’s “The Secret Garden” earned him a Wings Judges Choice Performance Award. Among his other favorite or more notable roles are Frank James in TH’s “The Trial of Frank James” in Huntsville, Alabama, Gandalf the Gray in FP’s “The Hobbit”, Captain Lawrence Oates in TH’s “Terra Nova”, Baron Mirko Zeta in AN’s “The Merry Widow”, Bishop Harold Clarke in TRTC’s “The Moving of Lilla Barton”, Count Carl-Magnus Magnum in WBS’ “A Little Night Music”, John Dickinson in IMP’s “1776”, Jigger Craigin in HCCA’s “Carousel”… AND Lenny Ganz in HLT’s 1994 production of “Rumors”. Despite his impressive résumé of directorial, onstage and back-stage successes (over 70 community theatre productions), John is probably still best known to Huntsville audiences as the guy running around the VBC Playhouse lobby, in his signature ‘Hawaiian’ shirts, as Theatre Huntsville’s House Manager.
CASSIE – Claire Crenshaw
CHRIS – Nina Soden
Nina is excited to be back on stage in another Theatre Huntsville production and working once again with Director John Hancock. She would like to thank John and Tara for giving her the opportunity to play side-by-side with such an amazing cast in one of her dream roles. She’d like to thank Tiffany Gray, her understudy, for making it possible to accept the role even though she has had to travel for work throughout the process. She’d like to thank her wonderful husband Eric, and her beautiful children for their never-ending love and support. Lastly, but definitely not least, Nina would like to thank each and every one of you for coming to see the show and hopes that you enjoy it as much as she has enjoyed the process.
CHRIS (Understudy) – Tiffany Gray
Tiffany Gray is very excited to be part of her first Theatre Huntsville production as well as being blessed to work with such a talented group of people. She has performed in productions with Mainstage Theatre at University of Alabama in Huntsville. Previous productions include Erma in “Anything Goes” and Pauline in “A Bright New Boise”. Tiffany is most grateful to John Hancock for giving her the opportunity to be a part of the Theatre Huntsville family. She would also like to thank her family for the encouragement to audition for this show. She looks forward to working with Theatre Huntsville in future productions.
CLAIRE – Sarah Brown Comer
(ed. Note – this bio was crowd-sourced by Sarah’s friends) Sarah exhibits a confidence and poise in front of a camera or a live audience, making her so strong she blows the world’s most common phobia out of the water. As Boeing’s Chief of Staff for the Space Launch System, she does some awesome stuff with rockets all the while singing and making sure four dudes at home, big and small, stay alive, bathe occasionally and use the potty. The only thing that rivals Sarah’s passion for space, geekery, and shenanigans is the love for her family; in these, her ferocity is transparent. Also known as the Mother of Dragons, this gal can occupy any space and make it flourish, harnessing energy from unknown sources. She’s, like, almost a rocket scientist. Sarah dedicates this show to her husband of TEN YEARS, Bryan Comer, who has sharpened her wit for the last twelve years and kept her ready for farce at a moment’s notice. Isle of view, cranberry sauce.
COOKIE – Valerie MacMurdy
Valerie is happy to return for her fourth Theatre Huntsville production. She most recently appeared as Vernadette Simms in “The Dixie Swim Club” with The Whole Backstage Theatre in Guntersville. When not on stage, Valerie can be found working at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library or volunteering with A New Leash on Life. She thanks her husband for putting up with all of her drama.
ERNIE – John Seigh
John would like to take this opportunity to thank John Hancock, our esteemed Director, for the opportunity to work on Neil Simon’s “Rumors.” He has been involved in theater for almost 30 years and over 60 productions, starting in his church and moving to Community Theater several years later. He has been an actor, director, assistant director, technical director and stagehand, in such productions as, “Inherit the Wind”, “A Christmas Carol”, “Monster in the Closet”, “Noises Off”, “Mister Roberts”, “Lend Me A Tenor”, “The Odd Couple” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. He’s been active with Theatre Huntsville, Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater, Renaissance Theatre and The Whole Backstage. When not pursuing theater activities, John loves anything to do with his grandchildren, computers and playing golf. He sends his love to his lovely wife, Rene’, his grandchildren, actors in their own rights, Nikki and Hudson. And, as always, Forever Bits…the guilty one who got me started in theater. My muse, friend & angel…you are missed.
GLENN – De’ Tray Wade
De’ Tray enjoys being a character and just wants to perfect his acting!
KEN – Patrick Green
Patrick is thrilled to be reunited in this terrific play with so much of Huntsville’s best talent. He last worked with Jake in “The Boys Next Door” (TH), but he was also directed by Jake in the award-winning TH production of “Biloxi Blues”. He most recently worked with both Johns (Hancock and Seigh) in “Camping with Henry and Tom” (TH). And his first Neil Simon performance was in Renaissance Theatre’s production of “Barefoot in the Park”. What a joy to work with Sarah (“Almost, Maine”–TH) again, as well. Patrick has a Master in Fine Arts–Acting degree from the University of Tennessee and has performed in about 70 plays and musicals in the past 30 years.He currently teaches Upper School English at Randolph School. Special thanks to his wife Angie (it’s my turn, now!) and his sweet Daisy Mae for all the inspiration he needs for this zany play.
LEN – Jake Barrow
Jake Barrow has appeared in several Huntsville productions over the years. His past roles include Clown in “The 39 Steps”, Richard in “Richard III”, Daniel Kaffee in “A Few Good Men”, and the title role of Hamlet. He has also directed such productions as “Enchanted April”, “Biloxi Blues”, “Rabbit Hole”, and most recently “The Boys Next Door”. He’d like to thank John for giving him the chance to play with the big kids again and his lovely wife, Erin, for putting up with his grumpiness because he had to learn a lot of lines again.
PUDNEY – Daphne Noble
Daphne makes her Theatre Huntsville debut with this show. She was last seen as Seacole in “Much Ado About Nothing” with Rocket City Shakespeare. When not on stage, Daphne can be found volunteering with A New Leash on Life, helping homeless kittens find their humans.
WELCH – Josh Phillips
Josh is happy be joining the company to work on this fun show. He is a 2013 graduate of Birmingham Southern College with a BMA in Music and Theatre. In 2014 he spent a year serving as the directing intern for New Stage Theatre in Jackson, Mississippi. Some favorite shows he has directed are “Betrayal”, “Dublin Carol”, “Stick Fly”, “Winnie the Pooh”, and the premier of “Up in the Air” in Chicago. He was last seen on stage in Theatre Huntsville’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” as Algernon. Josh has had a blast working with this wonderful company and hopes you enjoy the show!
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR – Tara Ferguson
Tara is excited to assistant direct for TH for the first time. In the last year she has played a policewoman in the Pirates of Penzance, stage managed A Christmas Story, was assistant stage manager/propsmistress for Superior Donuts, and played a Catholic Inquisitor in Evil Cheez’s production of Bluebeard, which was also her first foray into AD’ing. Tara is also the Facilities Chair for the Theatre Huntsville Board of Directors, the assistant director of the upcoming show The Game’s Afoot, and will make her (co)directorial debut with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, along with Gina White. Tara would like to thank her family for being so understanding about her headfirst dive back into theatre after a long absence.
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – James Blieir