Dinner With Friends

By Donald Margulies

Directed by D. Scott Glasser

In their Connecticut home, international food writers Gabe and Karen are preparing the perfect evening; a delicious meal, a good bottle of wine, and dinner with their long-time best friends Beth and Tom. But over a dessert of coffee and lemon-almond-polenta cake, Gabe and Karen discover that Beth and Tom are divorcing. As each side of the story comes out, tremors ripple through the quartet as they renegotiate their relationships with each other. While Beth and Tom each adjust to their separate lives,

Gabe and Karen find that they must re-examine their own relationship and sense of well-being. Exploring how we react when our closest friendships come into conflict, Dinner With Friends reveals how resilient relationships truly can be.

The play premiered at the 1998 Humana Festival of New American Plays and opened in New York in 1999. It is the winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and is also the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, the Dramatists Guild/ Hull-Warriner Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, and a Drama Desk Award nomination.

Dinner With Friends is "a breezy comedy of modern manners that turns poignant and deeply affecting by its end. Margulies touches chords that resonate with a deep affecting humanity," says the San Francisco Examiner. The New York Daily News called it "full of life, warmth, laughs and wisdom."

Artistic Director D. Scott Glasser says about the play, "Playwright Donald Margulies is an acute observer of the complexities of contemporary relationships. In Dinner With Friends, he tells the story of two couples and four relationships that face the realization that things change. When I saw the first production of the play at the Humana Festival in Louisville, I was struck by how easy it was to relate to each character's predicament and how much I saw myself in all four characters. Margulies paints their portraits with humor, compassion and understanding."

Produced by The Rep

Presented at the Madison Civic Center in the Isthmus Playhouse.

Performances August 31 &endash; September 23, 2001

Tickets prices are $30 for Friday and Saturday performances, and $24 for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday performances. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Civic Center ticket office, 211 State Street, or by phone at (608) 266-9055. For information on group sales, call Madison Rep at 256-0029 ext. 13. Audience discussions are scheduled to follow the 1:30 p.m. performance on September 2 and the 7:30 p.m. performance on September 12. These informal gatherings are an opportunity for the audience to meet cast members and discuss the play. For more information about Dinner With Friends, read the audience guide on-line at www.madisonrep.org

Please note that Dinner with Friends contains adult language and situations. The show is intended for mature audiences.


About the Production

The cast features Carrie Hitchcock (Karen), Terence Gallagher (Gabe), Kathleen Turco-Lyon (Beth), and Richard Shavzin (Tom).

Hitchcock is returning to the Rep where she was last seen as Belinda Blair in Noises Off. Other Rep credits include Amanda Prynne in Private Lives, and various roles in A...My Name is Alice, A...My Name Is Still Alice, and A...My Name Will Always Be Alice. A Milwaukee-based actress, Hitchcock has also performed with Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Skylight Opera Theatre, and Renaissance Theaterworks.

Gallagher, a Chicago-based actor, has acted at The Goodman Theatre, the Court Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Co, and the Organic Theatre. Gallagher was in The Boys Next Door, Reckless, and A Wrinkle in Time at Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee.

Turco-Lyon recently played Gertrude in Nebraska Shakespeare Festival's production of Hamlet (directed by D. Scott Glasser). She has performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the California Shakespeare Festival, Oldcastle Theatre in Vermont, and Woodie King's New Federal Theatre in New York City. She recently appeared in the NBC series, Ed.

Shavzin is back at Madison Rep after a 20-year hiatus&emdash;in 1980 and 1981 he appeared here in Getting Out and the world premiere of Bad Drama. His recent credits include Master Class at the Royal Alexandra in Toronto, and Root Causes at Victory Gardens in Chicago. He served as artistic director at the Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago from 1993-1998, where he also acted in several productions.

The design team includes Frank Schneeberger, scenery; Maureen McGuire, costumes; John D. Tees III, lights; and Jack Sayre, sound. The stage manager is Kevin A. Freeman.

The Playwright

Donald Margulies was the 2000 recipient of the Sidney Kingsley Award for outstanding achievement in the theater by a playwright. His other plays include Collected Stories (Pulitzer Prize finalist and Hull-Warriner nominee); The Model Apartment (Hull-Warriner nominee and Obie Award winner); Sight Unseen (Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Hull-Warriner and Obie awards); July 7, 1994; The Loman Family Picnic; Found a Peanut; and What's Wrong with This Picture? Margulies wrote the teleplay for the HBO version of Dinner With Friends that premieres August 11.