Stop Kiss

By Diana Son

Directed by Roseann Sheridan

Set in present day New York City, Callie, a savvy New Yorker, and Sara, a recent transplant from the Midwest, meet, become friends, and develop, much to their surprise, mutual affection, fears, and desires. In time, an unspoken attraction develops between the two friends. When their tentative first kiss provokes a shocking act of violence, putting one of the women in a coma, their lives are changed forever.

Playwright Diana Son uses a powerful theatrical device of two converging timelines: one of the events leading up to the kiss, the other of the aftermath following the kiss. This technique of beginning the play with what turns out to be the past, and alternating between past and future totally engages the audience to wondering "how did this happen?" and "why did this happen to these two ordinary women?" Stop Kiss tells that story.

Produced by Mercury Players in the Evjue Studio at the Bartell Theatre, 113 E. Mifflin Street, Madison (just off the square).

Performances: March 15-31, 2001

March 15*
7:30 pm
March 16
8 pm
March 17
5 and 8 pm
March 18
5 pm
 March 22
7:30 pm
March 23
8 pm
March 24
5 and 8 pm
March 25
5 pm
March 29
7:30 pm
March 30
8 pm
March 31
5 and 8 pm

Tickets are $10 on Thursdays and $12 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

*March 15 show is a "Pay-What-You-Can" preview

For reservations call 608-242-0150. For more information call Rob Matsushita 608-270-1795.


Thoughts From the Director

STOP KISS is about loving and the consequences of loving--both wonderful and terrifying, both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Through humor and ordinary interactions, important questions are asked: When do we risk our personal safety for the sake of speaking our truth? What happens when our hearts are open to another person? Taking risks, both personal and emotional, is at the core of Diana Son's deceptively simple play. Stop . . . or go forward? Kiss . . . or keep walking? Speak up . . . or stay silent?

At a time, and in a community, where we often find a false sense of security, we may think that we no longer need fear prejudice or hatred. Seeing two women kissing on TV and in the movies is so commonplace that it's no big deal. Then suddenly there is hate mail over the Madison School District's proposed LGBT Resource Teacher position, and Stop Kiss gains immediate relevance in our lives.

In the wake of their attack, Callie is no longer "the blueberry muffin lady"; now she's "the lesbian traffic reporter whose lover got beat up." Her private life is suddenly a public statement. She receives letters from other gay-bashing victims and their families, letters encouraging her to "speak truth to power" . . . and, as she says to the comatose Sara, "I don't know what that means, Sara . . . do you?" We discover, through this story, that if you make a personal commitment, you also take a stand. And all because of a single kiss.

Playwright Diana Son

Diana Son's plays have been produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Ensemble Studio Theatre; La Jolla Playhouse; The Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival; the Mark Taper Forum; New Georges; and Soho Repertory Theatre. She is a member of New Dramatists. She is a graduate of New York University's dramatic literature program, and lives in New York. Her other plays include Boy, R.A.W. (ŒCause I'm a Woman), Fishes, 2000 Miles, Stealing Fire and Happy Birthday Jack, and she is a staff writer for the NBC-TV show "The West Wing."

Director Roseann Sheridan

Roseann Sheridan (director) is the Associate Artistic Director for American Players Theatre where she has been employed for the past thirteen years. At APT, Roseann plays a key role in artistic programming, auditioning & casting, season planning, and artistic management. She recently served as Asst. Director on The Government Inspector at APT and Machinal at the Missouri Repertory Theatre. She has taught and directed at the UW Center-Fond du Lac campus, Lincoln University of Missouri, and independently taught performance and audition classes and workshops. She holds an MFA in Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a BA in Russian and Theatre from the University of Richmond.

The Cast

Megan D. Pincus (Callie) grew up „onstage‰ in Southern California. Roles in school and community theatre productions in California include: Madge Kendall in Elephant Man, Penny Sycamore in You Can't Take it With You, Lady Bellaston in Tom Jones, Geminae in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Cinderella's Stepmother in Into the Woods.  Last seen in Talking Spirits, a cemetery tour written by Callen Harty.

SaRa Schabach (Sara) makes her Madison stage debut with this production of Stop Kiss. She has over 10 years of dance and voice training. She has appeared in many shows in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin, including the role of Reno in Anything Goes, Lola in Damn Yankees, Aldonza in Man of LaMancha, and Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa. In New York City she appeared in Godspell, Laundry and Bourbon, and White Liars/Black Comedy.

Christopher Babiarz (George) last appeared with Mercury Players Theatre in July as Pinocchio's Father and a contralto Policeman in Project Blitzkrieg. Earlier roles with Mercury Players include Sam in Temp Slave! The Musical. Babiarz has also portrayed John Hinkley in Assassins, Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and Harry Brewer/John Arscott in Our Country's Good.

Ed Clifford (Peter) is making his Mercury Players debut in Stop Kiss. He has acted in adventure productions such as Alice in Wonderland and A Christmas Carol. This summer, he will begin graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mickey Crocker (Mrs.Winsley/Nurse) has acted in theatre and film in New Mexico, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In Santa Fe, she studied with the brilliant Kim Stanley and earned her BA in theatre with the help of a scholarship from Greer Garson. Mickey appeared with Miss Garson in The Madwoman of Chaillot. In San Francisco, she trained at ACT and appeared at many Bay Area Theatres, including The Magic Theatre and Marin Theatre Company. While there, she was cast as one of the astronaut's wives in The Right Stuff. In Los Angeles, Ms. Crocker was active as an actress, director, and member of the Board of FirstStage in Hollywood, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of new material for stage and screen.  Stop Kiss is Mickey's first show since returning to her hometown of Madison.

David Pausch (Detective Cole) is making his fifth appearance with Mercury Players. He most recently appeared in The Good Person of Setzuan and in It's a Small World Uber Alles in last summer's Project Blitzkrieg. He has produced, stage managed and written for the company, most recently collaborating with Meredith Berlin for Blitzkrieg 2: Electric Boogaloo. He also serves as President of the Mercury Players board of directors. In his normal life, he works for the University of Wisconsin, and plans on returning to the university in the fall to pursue his MA in Arts Administration.