New Show to Take the Stage in November
Bear poop. Cheez Whiz. Garth Brooks.
What in the world do these have in common? They are just a few of the offbeat topics explored in CAMP Rehoboth’s hilarious trilogy of one act plays coming in early November. While each play in It’s Complicated 3.0 has an underlying dramatic theme, funny, rapid-fire dialogue and rich, humorous characters drive all three pieces.
Compiled by director Russell Stiles, the plays’ common thread is the sometimes humorous and sometimes complicated relationships of partners and friends within the LGBTQ community. The plays cleverly place characters in unusual situations forcing them to come to grips with the problems these relationships can present.
The first play, The Gulf, by Audrey Cefaly, explores the differences in a lesbian relationship when each partner moves in different directions, all acted out on a fishing boat in the salt flats of rural Alabama.
The second is Super Hot Raven and Raven II: The Ravening, by Megan Gogerty, set in an old Victorian mansion where a “super hot” Baltimore Ravens fan becomes captivated by an ethereal poet, all while fixing her radiator.
The final piece illuminates the difficulty of saying goodbye when three best friends are tasked with scattering the ashes of the person who bonded them all together. Scattered, by F.J. Hartland, reveals the emotional ties of the friends as they share their most intimate moments.
The plays feature actors Ashlie Workman, Darci Vollero, Lauren Leone Baker, Richard Gamble, Bruce Ricketts, Peter Keeble, and Gwen Osborne. Many of these actors enjoy a rich relationship with CAMP Rehoboth, whether it be through the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus, past CAMP Rehoboth theatrical productions, or other volunteer contributions. Other cast members have acting credits ranging from shows in London’s West End, award-winning audiobook narration, and forays on the silver screen. One play even features a voiceover from Liane Hansen, erstwhile senior host of the National Public Radio newsmagazine Weekend Edition Sunday.
How did director Russell Stiles select the diverse group of plays making up It’s Complicated 3.0? First of all, he had to find funny LGBTQ-centric plays. He then began looking for shows with simple but intriguing sets, and plays with more men in them (you guessed it…a direct request from many male playgoers!). He found The Gulf and Super Hot Raven and Raven II: The Ravening, but these are stocked with female actors and female-based themes, so Stiles’ search was not over.
Then, F.J. Hartland, an award-winning playwright and a friend from Russell’s Pennsylvania theater days, offered up his one-act play, Scattered. The play features three gay men and one straight woman (Osborne proclaims that it’s her first straight role!)—and so, It’s Complicated 3.0 was born.
Russell brings his own sensitivity to the plays, especially when it comes to the themes of love, passion, and death. After years of vacationing in Rehoboth, Russell and Patricia, his wife of over 40 years, were lured to a permanent home here in 2016 by close friends Bob Hoffer and Max Dick. It was Bob (in Russell’s words, “a spark of a man”) who led Russell into volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth as a part of Sundance, the Block Party, and CAMPcierge programs. Sadly, Bob died within the year.
Also, Russell’s wife Patricia has had breast cancer, and now, as a survivor, volunteers at the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. Russell himself has had a bout with prostate cancer. So both have chosen to spend their time giving back to their community, and in their words, “doing life.”
So, they have plunged into volunteering, working in homeless shelters, advocating for veterans and animals, and of course, doing theater.
Russell says, “I wish I had learned at a much earlier age to trust my heart much more than my head.” Stiles has chosen plays that portray just that, treading the complicated path of letting go of people we love and fiercely holding on to those still here.
By the way, bird poop, Cheez Wiz, and especially Garth Brooks do not actually appear in these plays. But they are talked about. To find out how, come see the funny, sad, complicated characters that make up It’s Complicated 3.0.
Come out to share these rich stories of life in the LGBTQ community. ▼