Steven Dietz’s This Random World
opens September 28 at WEPG
Scottie, in her 70’s and ailing, has never travelled further than a few miles from her home, according to her daughter Beth….
Who is going to Nepal on a misadventure featuring a very frustrating brief relationship with Gary….
Who has gone on a Nepal trip after breaking up with Claire….
Who was upset to learn of the death of her ex-boyfriend, Scottie’s son Tim….
Who actually isn’t dead, but simply had posted his own obituary on line as a joke….
Which turns out to have been a very dumb thing to do, as now he has trouble proving he is still alive to people like a funeral home employee named Rhonda….
Whose sister Bernadette works part-time as a paid companion to Scottie who is in her 70’s and ailing but not enough to keep her from going on round-the world adventures that even her own children don’t know about….
Including her daughter Beth, who is going to Nepal…. and so on and so on and so on.
Thus spin the lives of the inhabitants of Steven Dietz’s This Random World (the myth of serendipity), opening the West End Players Guild’s 108th season with a two-week run beginning Friday, September 28th. Renee Sevier-Monsey directs a cast featuring Ted Drury, Eleanor Humphrey, Jessa Knust, Lynn Rathbone, Tinah Twardowski, Kate Weber and Joel Zummak.
But here’s the thing: Only the audience knows that every character is connected to almost every other character is some way. Dietz’s tale is one of continuous missed connections, a series of mostly funny and sometimes touching almost-interactions that would change the characters lives if they happened, which they don’t.
Dietz is a frequent contributor to the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, where This Random World premiered to glowing reviews in 2016. He is the author of 30+ plays including Becky’s New Car, Inventing van Gogh (WEPG Season 102), Private Eyes and The Nina Variations.
WEPG’S production of This Random World will be performed seven times over two weekends at 8 p.m. Thursday (second week only), Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. All performances are in the theatre at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Boulevard in the Central West End. Free parking and the theatre entrance are at the rear of the church. Tickets to the show, as well as 2018-19 season tickets, are on sale now at the company’s website, www.WestEndPlayers.org/tickets.
Tim (Ted Drury, L) is having a hard time explaining to funeral director Rhonda (Kate Weber) that he is not dead and therefore does not need her services. Rhonda has the proof on her iPad – Tim’s obituary, posted by Tim himself as a bad practical joke. It’s one of a series of chance encounters – most of them quite funny, a few quite touching – in Steven Dietz’s This Random World (the myth of serendipity), to be performed Sept. 28-Oct. 7 at West End Players Guild.
West End Players Guild announces Season 108
For 2018-2019, West End Players Guild offers an exciting menu of three timely comedies – one of them a world premiere – plus an inspiring true story of women on the forefront of scientific exploration.
September 28-October 7, 2018: Steven Dietz’s This Random World (the myth of serendipity) mines the comedy of missed connections. “The characters are drawn with empathy and humor, and the cascading series of coincidences neatly illustrates the idea that, as the title suggests, we are all hostages to chance.” – NY Times. Renee Sevier-Monsey directs.
November 9-18, 2018: Our favorite information scientist/nuclear physicist/playwright Vladimir Zelevinsky (Manifest|Destiny, Season 106) returns to the WEPG stage with The Great Seduction, a hilarious period French sex farce that turns out not to be about sex at all. Steve Callahan directs this world premiere production.
February 8-17, 2019: Our twisted take on Valentine’s Day is Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Lauren Gunderson, America’s most-performed playwright and author of Season 107’s Silent Sky. It’s a nasty feminist revenge comedy featuring a good old boy named Kyle, his beleaguered spouse Nan and her two buddies, a sweetheart of a cross dresser named Simon and a stripper named Sweetheart. Nan has decided to teach Kyle a long-deserved lesson, and then cover him with meat and honey and feed him to a bear. Yes, it’s that funny. Directed by Teresa Doggett.
April 5-14, 2019: Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51 is a moving portrait of Rosalind Franklin, one of the great female scientists of the twentieth century, and her fervid drive to map the contours of the DNA molecule. A chorus of physicists relives the chase, revealing the unsung achievements of this trail-blazing, fiercely independent woman. Ellie Schwetye directs.
Season tickets for the upcoming season as well as individual show tickets for all four 2018-19 productions are on sale right now right here. West End Players Guild is St. Louis’s oldest continuously-operated theatre company, founded in 1911 and now presenting its second century of “big theatre in a small space.”
Actors, take note: Auditions for Exit, Pursued by a Bear and Photograph 51 will be held on Saturday, November 10, at the Union Avenue Christian Church. Mark your calendar and check for more information coming soon at www.WestEndPlayers.org/Auditions.