More About the Show
THIS SHOW RUNS APPROXIMATELY 2-3/4 HOURS.
~ We open the house 45 minutes before curtain. You may want to arrive a bit early to enjoy the exhibit in our art gallery with a cup of coffee and one of our popular big cookies.
~ Join the company of Summer and Smoke for post-show discussions following the Sunday matinees on October 21st and 28th.
~ The Sunday, November 4th performance will be audio-described, based on reservations. Click here for a description of this and other access services at TRP.
MORE ABOUT THE SHOW...
Alma Winemiller is a minister’s daughter in the turn-of-the century town of Glorious Hill, Mississippi. In her twenties, she’s already at the cusp of a nervous spinsterhood, compelled to uphold family proprieties and social duties in the place of her emotionally unstable mother. On the surface, she is an angel of mercy, as pure, selfless and aloof as the stone angel that guards the town’s fountain.
Meanwhile, next door the doctor’s son, John Buchanan, has rebelled against his family’s expectations. Rather than settling down and taking over his father’s practice, John seems determined to waste his brilliant mind, looks, charm and promising future on gambling, drink and loose women. As Alma reaches out to save her childhood friend, a deep bond develops between them. But is the basis of that bond spiritual, or merely anatomical?
Tennessee Williams claimed Alma was his best-written female character — high praise for a lady in the company of Blanche DuBois and the Wingfields. Yet when Summer and Smoke opened on Broadway in 1948 it ran only 102 performances, a disappointing follow up to Williams’ monumental earlier successes, The Glass Menagerie (1944) and A Streetcar named Desire (1947). Yet a legendary 1952 revival with Geraldine Page at the more intimate Circle in the Square vindicated the play, and is credited with forming the Off-Broadway movement.
“Summer and Smoke was one of the first plays that Williams began writing and took him the longest to finish…I would say that it was the prototype for his other more known plays,” says Randy Reyes, returning to direct his second production at TRP.
Summer and Smoke was Reyes’ introduction to Williams as an undergrad in college. “At the University of Utah my mentor, Kenneth Washington, taught an acting class in my sophomore year that focused on Summer and Smoke…It was my first Tennessee Williams experience and I remember thinking how difficult and complicated those characters were, but how exhilarating it was to explore that emotional world. Since then I’ve been a huge fan of Williams. I view him on the same level as Chekhov and Shakespeare.”
He considers the play “perfect” for the intimacy of TRP’s arena.
“Tennessee’s theatricality comes in small moments of connection or larger moments of splitting apart… It does not rely on a falling chandelier, large projection screens, or a life size helicopter landing on stage. So it is perfect for the intimacy of the arena. Audience will be able to have a more visceral experience of the play.”
Rev. Winemiller: Richard Daly
Mrs. Winemiller: Karen Bix
Alma Winemiller: Joanna Harmon
John Buchanan, Jr.: Casey Hoekstra
Nellie Ewell: Nykeigh Larson
Dr. John Buchanan, Sr.: Eric Ringham
Vernon: Jim Bitney
Mrs. Bassett: Sue Gerver
Roger Doremus: Ty Hudson
Rosemary: Christine Sweet
Rosa Gonzales: Tara Lucchino
Dusty / Archie Kramer: Taylor Evans
Gonzales: Al Saks
Artistic & Production Staff
Director: Randy Reyes
Set Designer: Rob Jensen
Costume Designer: Carolann Winther
Lighting Designer: Matthew McNabb
Prop Designer: Sharon Selberg
Sound Designer/Composer: Kevin T. Springer
Stage Manager: Malka Key
Dialect Coach: Ashley Rose Montondo
Assistant Stage Manager: Brianna Collins