Season 1/Avow

Production 1 – “Avow” by Bill C. Davis

was produced by Triangle Circle Players in association with Villagers Theatre VIP Series in January 2012 (13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22).

Out of six shows, we had two sold-out performances – almost three!

Audience members had this to say:

  • “wow, excellent production”
  • “I was moved”
  • “the cast was wonderful, very talented”
  • “better than the last show I saw in NYC”
  • “you should move the show to a larger theatre”

Reviewers said:

Articles about Darren Nye and the Production:

www.NJ-OnStage.TV Interviews:

In a Nutshell – from the Director:

Avow has a message of love, self-love and acceptance. It shows us that the Catholic Church’s view on homosexuality and celibacy, can often help to take away our dignity and tear us apart rather than bring people together and promote love between two people. Though there is hope for the Catholic Church; some progressive priests are willing to put their careers on the line and marry two gay men. It also lets you ponder the possibility that perhaps Catholic Priests should be allowed to marry themselves; does attempting to hold them to a higher standard, end up destroying some of their own lives and ability to be happy? Avow also delves into the fact that two gay men can be married, adopt children and build real families.

Avow Plot Summary:

“Avow” focuses on the universal themes and dilemmas of faith, commitment, human sexuality, obedience and family.

The Story: Brian and Tom ask their liberal and forward-thinking parish priest, Father Raymond, to witness and bless their vows to each other. Although Father Raymond understands their affection for each other, he holds that they must live a celibate life if they wish to be part of the Church. Brian is outraged. Tom becomes reflective, as Father Raymond’s words strike a chord in him. Brian’s sister, Irene, a concert pianist, is single and pregnant from an affair. Brian has convinced her to have the baby, which he and Tom will adopt. Irene, desiring nothing more than her brother’s happiness and security, tries to mediate between Brian and Tom and Father Raymond. Much to her surprise she discovers a deep attraction to Father Raymond. The attraction turns out to be mutual, forcing Father Raymond to reexamine his life of commitment and loneliness. In the meantime, Brian’s and Irene’s mother, Rose, works very hard through her confessor, Father Nash (who is also Father Raymond’s confessor), to come to terms with her son’s and daughter’s “exotic” lifestyles. As Tom begins to pull away from Brian, Father Raymond moves closer to Irene. Tom’s and Brian’s catalytic request creates five separate and linked spiritual journeys, each seeking to balance passion and faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAST:

Brad Sarboukh (Brian) is happy to be returning to the Villagers stage after last being seen here as Mr. McQueen in 2005’s URINETOWN. Previous roles include THE WEDDING SINGER (Robbie Hart), GODSPELL (Jesus), A CHORUS LINE (Paul), SIDE SHOW (Buddy), PIPPIN (Lewis), WEST SIDE STORY (Bernardo), BLOOD BROTHERS (Sammy), CURTAINS (Bobby Pepper), as well as many others throughout the years in NY and NJ. He’s performed on such stations as ABC and MTV as well as working in front of and behind the camera for some indie & short films. He is also both a recipient and nominee of the NJ Perry Award. Many thanks to Darren and Will for this opportunity to be part of such an amazing show, as well as all my friends and family for the incredible support throughout the years! Don’t know where I’d be without you all!
Will Budnikov (Tom) is excited to appear on the Villagers stage for the first time. Will has performed with The Theater Project in Cranford NJ for several years, including HEROES & VILLAINS SINGULAR (Superman/Clark Kent), various roles in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, FLAMING GUNS OF THE PURPLE STAGE (Black Dog), BLUE PEOPLE (Al), WITHOUT XCESS (Steve) and LUNCH (Joey). He has also appeared at Riant Theater in Manhattan NY in IT’S GREEK TO ME (Mikos). Will is an aspiring filmmaker and has been developing his first screen play. Darren would also like to personally thank Will for his assistance with the planning and launch of Triangle Circle Players.
David Bronovicki (Father Raymond) Dave is excited to be taking part in his first production at Villagers Theatre. His past credits include: THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, TABLE MANNERS, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Circle Players; THE SECRET GARDEN and BYE BYE BIRDIE with NBCP; 16 years with the NJ RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL and ANNIE WARBUCKS at Playhouse 22. When not working his “day job,” Dave also writes, directs, and performs with his own production company, Period Productions, which provides educational programs, original scripts & fight choreography for schools, fairs, outdoor events, and theatres in NJ, NY, PA & CT. He wishes to thank Darren for welcoming him into the cast and providing him with the opportunity to play Father Raymond and to thank his wonderful wife, Ellie, for continuing to put up with his absenteeism!
Jacqueline Alonso (Irene), has been studying and executing her acting skills for over 8 years, and has recently been accepted into The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Jacqueline has exhibited her passion for this career in several Villagers productions, from THE LITTLE MERMAID – to staring in their production of the children’s show of PETER PAN. She’s also held a lead role at Middlesex County College and supporting role in the school’s production of NOSFERATU and TARTUFFE. She is excited to be performing with Triangle Circle Players for her first time in this strong production and would like to thank those who’ve helped her get this far :3
Joanne Sternberg (Rose) has an extensive resume, having performed as a stand-up comic and in an improv troupe, in addition to multiple roles in theaters including Circle Playhouse, Playwright’s Theater, Chatham Playhouse, Summit Playhouse and several others. She was a Star Ledger Best Actress Nominee for her role as Sally in ABOUT FACE for the Women’s Theater. Some of her other performances have included THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION (Mary Pickford/Mina Edison), LADIES AT THE ALAMO (DeDe), RIVER VIEWS (Naomi), SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION (Kitty), NIGHTWATCH (Blanch), APPLAUSE (Margo), BLITHE SPIRIT (Ruth), GUYS & DOLLS (Adelade), GYPSY (Tessie Tura), RUMORS (Cassie), I HATE HAMLET (Felicia), MAN..CAME..DINNER (Lorraine), WTC (Mother Carline), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Fruma Sarah), COMPANY (Susan) and several others. She has also performed with Murder to Go Productions, and in corporate roles. Avow will be her first performance at Villagers Theatre.
Mike Levine (Father Nash) has been appearing at area community theaters for the last ten years, including Edison Valley Playhouse in ASSASSINS (Charles Guiteau), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Don Pedro) and LOOT (Mr. McLeavy); Playhouse 22 in CURTAINS (Johnny Harmon), JEWTOPIA (Rabbi and Grandpa), YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU (Kolenkhov), THE ODD COUPLE: FEMALE VERSION (Manolo) and …A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE (in a memorable–at least to him–portrayal of Groucho Marx); Villagers Theatre in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, JEKYLL & HYDE (Archibald Proops) and LUCKY STIFF (eight characters); and 4th Wall Musical Theatre in ASSASSINS and KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (prison guard and prisoner). A graphic designer by day (and often by night), he greatly enjoys these opportunities to use the stage as an artistic extension of his “normal” life. And he expects that his involvement with the premiere production of Triangle Circle Players will provide additional rewards in that regard.
Elaine Susarchick (Julie), Elaine is thrilled to be performing for the first time at the Villagers Theater. Prior to a long hiatus and raising a family, roles have included: THE SANDBOX (Mommy), PLAZA SUITE (Muriel), FUNNY GIRL (Bubbles, Dancer), GYPSY (Maid, Ensemble). She has also performed standup at the Comedy Cabaret in Doylestown PA. In addition to acting and dancing, Elaine has enjoyed writing, choreographing, and directing for various local school productions. Elaine would like to thank Darren for casting her in this role, and her supportive family and friends for their love
and encouragement.
 UNDERSTUDIES:
Thomas C. Buckley (Tom), AVOW marks his debut with Triangle Circle Players and is thrilled to be a member of this production.  A Countertenor, he has been heard as the soloist in Handel’s MESSIAH, Mozart’s REQUIEM, Bernstein’s CHICHESTER PSALSMS, and Vivaldi’s GLORIA.  He has been heard in roles such as Cherubino (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO), Refugee (FLIGHT) and Sesto (GIULIO CESARE).   A graduate of Westminster Choir College in New Jersey (BM Sacred Music/Voice Performance), he was a member of the Westminster Choir and has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Korean Broadcast Symphony (at the United Nations in NYC) and Philadelphia Orchestra.   His 2011-2012 season includes residency at SPOLETOUSA in Charleston, SC, a concert tour of Italy as well as various recitals through CT, NY, and PA.  Currently he is on faculty at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.
Melissa Sheil (Irene) has had a life-long interest in the theater and after a long hiatus to establish her career and start a family; she is very excited to reemerge into theater with the Triangle Circle Player’s very first production.  Melissa’s line of work has demanded many public speaking engagements and presentations and she is thrilled to be switching gears to get involved with the creative, entertaining side of stage.  Thanks a million to Darren for recognizing my over-the-top enthusiasm and giving me the opportunity to be part of this incredible performance!!  Thanks to my family for allowing me to be me!
 PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
Darren Nye has been involved with theater productions and community organizations since high school. In the mid-90’s, he was also Program Committee Chair for www.gaamc.org and produced/hosted several entertaining game shows (family feud, dating game, newlywed game, match game, price is right). In the late 90’s, he served as President as well as Webmaster of the Pride Center of New Jersey www.pridecenter.org. Since mid-2000 he has served on and off as President, Engineer and Webmaster of a local volunteer Fire Company. Professionally, Darren is a Co-Founder of the former www.planetout.com, which later merged with www.gay.com and is now owned by www.heretv.com; he also served as Community Director and MSN Producer. He has been involved in the I.T. industry for over 25 years, and today he is employed as VP Interactive & I.T. for a small marketing agency in New Jersey. He also runs his own part-time consulting firm www.nyetech.com. When not busy working or volunteering, he enjoys spending time with his partner Patrick, dogs and friends – having dinner, going to theater and movies, traveling (cruise ships is a favorite), glamping (glamorous camping) and scuba diving. Darren’s also a private pilot and enjoys recreational flying; he’s a member of a flight club and is also their webmaster. To learn more about why Darren started Triangle Circle Players and his selection of Avow, read the related October 2011 Courier News and The Home News story here: http://bit.ly/tcplayers

 

PLAYWRIGHT:

Bill C. Davis may be best known as the author of Mass Appeal, which premiered at The Manhattan Theatre Club, produced by Lynne Meadow, directed by Geraldine Fitzgerald, and starred Milo O’Shea and Eric Roberts.

The play moved to Broadway where it received the Outer Critic’s Circle Award. Mr. Davis adapted the play as a screenplay and it was made into a movie starring Jack Lemmon and Charles Durning and was chosen one of the ten best films for that year by The National Board of Review.

In 1994, in a time before gay marriage was a hot political issue in the United States, Mr. Davis wrote the first draft of Avow. The script has recently been revised by Mr. Davis. Other than a recent reading at Grace House in NYC in September 2011, the revised script is being performed for the first time by Triangle Circle Players.

Several celebrities were in the cast at the Grace House reading: Michael Urie (Brian), Ryan Spahn (Tom), Kate Middleton (Irene), Jeremiah Wiggins (Father Raymond), Marsha Mason (Rose), Phillip Clarke (Father Nash) and Suzanne Pilzer (Julie).

Avow has a long history. It’s first production was at the George Street Playhouse in 1996 with Gillian Lynne directing; it was also videotaped. It then had a workshop production at the Director’s Company in New York City in 1998. There were also a few readings with Michael Lindsay-Hogg directing, who was intending to direct the play in New York, but the timing was not in the cards. Avow was finally done off-Broadway at the Century Theatre Center in the summer of 2000. It appeared off-Broadway again in 2009 at the 45th Street Theatre.

The play has been produced around the country. The play has also been translated into French by Dominique Piat – entitled – Parcours – (Journeys) – and In German by Pascal Breuer – entitled – Bekenntnisse – (Confessions.)

Read more at http://billcdavis.com

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A NJ theater production company focusing on LGBTIQ topics.