The School Street Playhouse is bringing on the romance this Valentine’s Day with a funny, outrageous show perfect for a date night of any kind.
BKR Productions presents Noël Coward’s “Private Lives” on the local stage from Feb. 11-27, giving audiences the chance to spend a night with a small, talented cast and a pair of characters in a tricky situation.
Director Kyle Larsen said the play, written in the 1930s, features the characters Amanda and Elyot, a divorced couple who move on to marry other people and then coincidentally happen to honeymoon on the same day, in the same place, staying in hotel suites directly next to each other.
“And comedy ensues,” Larsen said, laughing.
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Actors Dawn Phipps and Joe Goode star as Amanda and Elyot, respectively, taking on their roles as the estranged couple with excitement.
“Even though the circumstances are not ideal because both of these characters have moved on to other relationships, there is still that spark smoldering for both of them, and you see how that plays out through the whole show,” Phipps said. “And it is a rollercoaster of emotion for both of them.”
So while Amanda and Elyot’s relationship went wrong before, Phipps said “there was some element of it that wasn’t finished,” leading to what becomes a passionate, love-hate relationship between the two.
Larsen said she has loved directing this production of “Private Lives,” and she is excited for audiences to come out, have dinner at Tam’s Backstage and come upstairs to see the show.
“It’s very different than the musical comedy because in musical comedies, you’re coordinating the music, the dance, the acting along with the sets and costumes,” Larsen said. “In this one, with having such a small, intimate cast, I was really able to work with the actors and talk about more of their intention and character development …. The people in this cast, though, are extremely talented.”
Starring alongside Phipps and Goode, Actors Connor Wood, Mallory Ivy, Aubrey Peat and John Claramunt all have a wide range of experience in theatre and at the School Street Playhouse, appearing in other previous productions.
Phipps said her background is more in theater education, starting her career out as a theater teacher. Eventually, she transitioned into school leadership, “but that part of the theatre and performing on stage has never left me,” she said.
In 2017, she decided to head back to the stage and has been performing in local shows in her free time for the past five years while leading the brand-new Forsyth County Arts and Learning Center.
Working with the rest of the cast, Phipps said she is excited for audiences to see this show and her first non-musical production in nearly 20 years.
Overall, Larsen believes guests will be able to resonate with this classic story of love as emotions fester, love grows and new partnerships are formed.
Tickets for the show are available at www.schoolstreetplayhouse.com. The School Street Playhouse is at 101 School St, Cumming, GA 30040.