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Powerful struggle of life against death … So let’s face it, the success of this production depends on the dramatic skills of the person portraying Vivian. That actress must have the ability to touch our hearts and excite our minds simultaneously. She has to make us believe that Vivian’s entire life was ennobled by the research of esoteric poetry even as she is dying before our eyes. From the minute the cold, penetrating spotlight hits the bare feet of the bald cancer patient hooked up to the intravenous machine, Susie McCarthy commands the stage and every person in the audience.

– Shirle Gottlieb, from her review in the Long Beach Press-Telegram published May 28, 2004

Ralphie, played by Nate Wozniak, is blind in a daydream as his dad, junior theatre major Tim Werth, and   mom, freshman theatre major Annie Booth, wheep to him. A Christmas Story opens tonight at the University Center for the Arts and will run Thursday through Sunday until December 15.

Powerful Wit … The Palos Verdes Players 2nd Stage bids its current location adieu with the powerful production of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “W;t.” … “W;t” is skillfully directed by Margaret Schugt, who is aided by a phenomenal script and a talented cast. Schugt’s production is commanding and intense, skillfully maneuvering between the simple and the complicated with realism, humanity and delicacy. Primarily set in a cancer unit, “W;t” follows the life and excruciating death of Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., brilliantly portrayed by Susie McCarthy. … Once again, the Players 2nd Stage makes good on its commitment to diverse material, staging small plays that engage active audiences, participating in edgy themes or complex ideas; plays that prompt thoughtful analysis and promote discussion on the way home. “W;t” does a wonderful job of engaging its audience members and taking them along to thoughtfully analyze and experience the life and death of Dr. Vivian Bearing.

– Brenda Arrieta, from her article in Beach Reporter published June 4, 2004

Donne deal: Poet’s work at heart of Pulitzer Prize-winning play … Margaret Schugt is … a perfect fit for the Palos Verdes Players’ 2nd Stage, a small theater that dares to push buttons to provoke thought, as demonstrated by the recently staged “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and “Burn This,” not exactly your average community theater fare. … Some are surprised that the Palos Verdes Players was able to secure the rights to the play. “My guess is that it hadn’t been done in Los Angeles for a long time,” Schugt said. “And I understand why some may be scared to do it. I’ve never seen a play that is so intellectually challenging and emotionally immediate at the same time.

– Kari Sayers, from her article in Rave! published May 28, 2004


PVP’s ‘Seven Year Itch’ worth scratching … Direction for the PV Players is provided by Martha Duncan, and although the pacing could be snappier, the production has many funny moments. … Restless and itchy, Nozzi has some fine moments … The best performance in this show is that of Sara Pillet as the Girl. Childlike and naïve, she plays down her sex appeal, relying instead on her crack timing and sweet, youthful charm… The subject matter is still relevant, and you could certainly do worse than spending a mild summer evening being entertained by this inconsequential but funny comedy.

– Kari Sayers, from her review in Rave! published July 24, 2004

Michael Anthony Nozzi does a wonderful job as the frenzied Richard Sherman. He creates a sympathetic character, and has a knack for comedic timing. Sarah Pillet plays the naïve and sexy girl without overdoing her ignorance and innocence like Marilyn Monroe once did (in nearly all of her films). The girl is aware, which makes her more than just a sexual object. The play even gives us time to listen in on her thoughts. … The Seven Year Itch is entertaining from start to finish because the actors are good in their roles, and the roles that they inhabit are well written. The play itself is interesting, thought provoking and as relevant today as it ever was.

– Rachael Stillman, from her review in Easy Reader published July 15, 2004

“[A] brutally human and beautifully layered new play…you feel both enlightened and, in a strange way, enormously comforted.”
– New York Times

“A dazzling and humane new play that you will remember till your dying day.” – New York Times Magazine

acting-workshopVivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliant and difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing, intensely rational. But during the course of her illness – and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital – Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience. In her extraordinary first play, Margaret Edson has created a work that is as intellectually challenging as it is emotionally immediate.

Winner of the
1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Winner of the
Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play

Good Times and Outstanding Talent


PV Players Celebrates Good Times and Outstanding Talent at the 2002-2003 Season Awards Show

November, 2003

Celebration was the name of the game when PV Players Community Theater honored one and all at its 2002-2003 Main Stage Season Awards Banquet on Sunday, November 9, 2003. For the third year in a row, Daryl Hogue and Tony Torrisi hosted the evening’s festivities and together were a smash hit with their ‘bits’ and renditions of the season’s shows. Cast and crew reunited to celebrate the past year’s productions, which included Inspecting Carol by Daniel Sullivan, The Lion in Winter by James Goldman, Laughter on the 23rdFloor by Neil Simon, Angel Street/Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton, Sylvia by A. R. Gurney, Murder Room by Jack Sharkey and Tartuffe by Moliere.

Three members were honored this year for their dedicated service. The recipients of these awards have shown commitment and devotion to the theater and were honored appropriately. Receiving the Exemplary Service Award was a relative newcomer, although you wouldn’t know it from her roster of participation, as she had be involved with nearly every show of the past year. Diana Mann, a resident of Redondo Beach, created dazzling costumes for a number of shows, while learning the ins and outs of producing. She has since taken over the costume warehouse at PVP and given it a complete overhaul, as well as trying her hand at producing her first production, London Suite, the opening show of the 2003-2004 Main Stage season.

512520dd356fd.preview-620Receiving the Dedicated Commitment Award was a very active member of the community and the theater’s treasurer, Leon Cohen, a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes. In his time involved with PVP, he has not only showed his commitment to theater, but also to the success of the theater in the future. He has appeared on numerous stages across the South Bay theater scene, including PVP, before and since taking on a more active part in the executive board.

The Outstanding Dedication Award went to a very worthy person and a veteran of theater in this community and others. Jack Drake, a resident of Redondo Beach, is past artistic director and founder of PVP’s 2ndStage, as well as the theater’s vice president. He was honored for his dedication, commitment and drive that has developed the 2nd Stage into a leading outlet for non-traditional theater in the South Bay, taking on such endeavors as the Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel and original works by local playwrights.

Every Main Stage show from the past season was represented in one of the almost 20 categories, although one show seemed to run away with top honors, garnering a majority of the awards. The very successful and popular Laughter on the 23rd Floor, directed by Tony Torrisi, earned the coveted award of Best Play, as well as Best Director for Tony Torrisi, Best Producer for Linda Reinhardt and Carl Miller, both Best Supporting Actor and Actress (Bill Wolski and Sara Wilson) and Best Scenic Artists. In addition, one very talented actor earned two acting awards. Stephan Alan Carver received Best Lead Actor for his role of Orgon in Tartuffeand Best Character Actor for his role of Detective Rough in Angel Street/Gaslight. The complete list of recipients include:

Best Play – Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Best Lead Actor – Stephen Alan Carver, Tartuffe

Best Lead Actress – Allison Laurence, Sylvia

Best Supporting Actor – Bill Wolski, Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Best Supporting Actress – Sara Wilson, Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Best Character Actor – Stephen Alan Carver, Angel Street/Gaslight

Best Character Actress – Susan “Sam” Jones, The Murder Room

Best Director – Tony Torrisi, Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Best Producer – Linda Reinhardt & Carl Miller, Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Best Costume Design – Liz Reinhardt, Tartuffe

Best Light Design – David Sexton, The Murder Room

Best Sound Design – Victor Reinhardt, Tartuffe

Best Set/Set Design – The Lion in Winter, Designer: Sam Uskovich

Best Scenic Artists – Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Helen Fearon, Pat Moriarty & Daryl Hogue

Best Set Dresser – Marushka Dernajova, Inspecting Carol

Best Stage Manager – Dylan Harrison Bailey, Angel Street

Best Backstage Crew – Dennis Bosch, Judy Cooper Frilando & Dana Kirkendoll, The Murder Room

Best Light Board Operator – Scott Seagren, Sylvia

Best Sound Board Operator – Ashley Dupuy, Sylvia