Mrs. Whitney

Mrs. Whitney
(October 21 - November 22, 2009)

written and directed by John Kolvenbach


What happens when a cynic by trade takes to the road in the hopes of reuniting with her one true (albeit messy) love? When her most prized possession leaves the nest, Margaret Whitney reluctantly chooses to follow her heart. In the wonderfully wicked and hilarious Mrs Whitney, a woman of a certain age drops her armor long enough to reveal her true romantic core.

Read features and reviews of Mrs. Whitney:

Her [Margaret Whitney] decision to track down her former husband, the irresponsible, philandering mess she'd kicked out two decades earlier, turns into a very funny odyssey of unexpected meetings with delightfully original characters. 
— Rob Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

[Read the full article here]

Mrs. Whitney engages the audience to laugh at the foibles of love in the real world while it dangles you dangerously above the jaws of heartbreak.
— Loni Kao Stark,

 [Read the full article here]

Patricia Hodges as Mrs. Whitney is absolutely flawless and superb! It is worth seeing the play to see her luminous performance. The play itself explores themes of love and loneliness with some very intelligent and insightful dialogue. It is very funny but also searing in its themes. A great evening out.
— Audience Member,
Kolvenbach's production, a bittersweet domestic comedy, marries rhythmic pacing and lively blocking with sensitive performances from the entire cast.
— Chloe Veltman, SF Weekly

Meet the Playwright & Director

John Kolvenbach (Playwright & Director) is the author of Mrs. Whitney, Goldfish, Love Song, on an average day, Gizmo Love, and Fabuloso. Goldfish premiered at South Coast Repertory in 2009, directed by Loretta Greco. Love Song premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in the Spring of 2006, directed by Austin Pendelton. Love Song went on to the West End, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. John Crowley directed the London production. on an average day ran at the Comedy Theatre on the West End in 2002, with Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan, also directed by Mr. Crowley.Gizmo Love premiered at WHAT in 2004. Kolvenbach directed the premiere of Fabuloso last summer at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. He also directed many productions of his early plays, including The Gravity of Means at the Greenwich Street Theatre in New York, a production that moved on to the Village Theatre and then the Belmont Playhouse.

Meet the Cast & Crew

Patrick Alparone (Fin) recently played Billy in SF Playhouse's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Other credits include Octopus (Magic Theatre); Skin (Encore Theatre Co); Twelfth Night,Ambition Facing West (TheatreWorks); A Streetcar Named Desire (Marin Theatre Company);Little Dog Laughed (B Street Theatre); The Glass Menagerie (u/s) (Berkeley Rep); Hamlet (title role) (Impact Theatre); All's Well That Ends Well (Valley Shakespeare Festival); The False Servant (ABYDOS); and Karima's City in Egypt for The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre (Golden Thread Productions). He has also been featured in commercials for Verizon, Sony Playstation, 24hr Fitness and Johnnie Walker; plays Hamlet in This is Hamlet, to be released later this year; and is featured in Trauma on NBC. Patrick is a member of Playground. Love you more Grandma.

Arwen Anderson (Louisa) is thrilled to return to Magic and be part of this exciting world premiere! Magic Theatre credits include: Mauritius, Expedition 6 and The Rules of Charity. Other favorite credits include: Streetcar Named Desire (Marin Theatre Company), Lobby Hero, The Shape of Things (Aurora Theatre Company), T.I.C. Trenchcoat in Common, Skin (Encore Theatre Company), 4 Adverbs (Word for Word), 43 Plays for 43 Presidents (Rough & Tumble), Nickel & Dimed (TheatreWorks & Brava), I Love YouYou're Perfect, Now Change (Marines Memorial Theatre), Current Nobody (Just Theater), Midsummer/4 (Central Works). Ms. Anderson graduated with degrees in Theatre and Psychology from Wesleyan University, trains and teaches aerial silk and trapeze at the Circus Center of San Francisco, and is one half of the doubles trapeze duo Zwillinge. Heartfelt thanks to Magic and to her Mutti.

Charles Dean (Francis) last appeared at Magic Theatre in 1979 as Petrone in Sam Shepard’s Suicide in Bb (with Danny Glover, directed by Robert Woodruff). This performance followed an appearance in Shepard’s In a Coma, which was Magic’s premiere production at their new Fort Mason location in 1977, as well as a number of other Magic shows in the 70’s including the world premiere of Angel City by Sam Shepard and Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet. Mr. Dean was also a company member and associate artist at Berkeley Rep where he appeared in some 80 productions over 20 years, including The Tooth of Crime in 1985. He most recently appeared in Aurora Theatre’s production of Awake and Sing by Clifford Odets, and as General Waverly in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas on Broadway. Mr. Dean has worked with other theatres including: A.C.T, The Guthrie, Seattle Rep, The Alliance, The Alley, The Huntington, The Old Globe, San Diego Rep, San Jose Rep and Marin Theatre Company.

Rod Gnapp (Tom) is a graduate of American Conservatory Theatre, and a veteran of bay area stages. Last seen at Magic Theatre in Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck, he also performed in Magic's productions of The Late Henry MossTerritoriesXXX Love Act, and Hunger to name a few. Other recent credits include: The Government Inspector, Curse of the Starving Class, Tis Pity She's a Whore, Rock and Roll (A.C.T.); and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (Marin Theatre Company). Rod's film work includes featured roles in Pixar's live action short Calender Confloption, the local independent feature Valley of the Heart's Delight (as the main bad guy), and the Miller Brothers film Touching Home (as another bad guy, being mean to Ed Harris).

Patricia Hodges (Margaret) is thrilled to be back in San Francisco and debuting at Magic Theatre in these two wonderful plays. She appeared most recently on Broadway in A Man for All SeasonsDancing at Lughnasa and Six Degrees of Separation. Off-Broadway credits includeRose’s Dilemna (Manhattan Theatre Club); and Communicating Doors, On the Verge and The Normal Heart (New York Shakespeare Festival). Regionally she has played leading roles in Night of the Iguana (Guthrie); Lettice and Lovage (After Dark Award); Mrs. Warren’s Profession, The SeagullThe Cherry OrchardWoman in Mind, Betrayal, Three Tall Women, The Clean House, Hayfever, and Much Ado About Nothing. Her most recent TV credits are Royal Pains, Another World, and a repeat offender on Law and Order.

Michael Locher (Set Designer) Recent credits include: Happy Days (Guthrie Theater); Leaving Iowa (Adirondack Theater Festival); Guys and Dolls (Broadway, Assistant Scenic Designer); and Trouble in Mind (Yale Rep). NYC: God Sex & Blue Water(Lion Theater); and The Bereaved (Associate Designer, Partial Comfort). Numerous Bay Area credits include Victims of Duty, Bone to Pick, Macbeth, The Vomit Talk of Ghosts, Roberto Zucco (Cutting Ball Theater); Seven Guitars, The Piano Lesson, Ain't Misbehavin' (The Lorraine Hansberry Theater); and design for Crowded Fire and A Traveling Jewish Theater. Coming this fall: The Creature (Thick House) and The Bald Soprano (The Cutting Ball Theater). Education: University of California San Diego B.A. (Stewart Prize in Theater), Yale University M.F.A. (Donald & Zorka Oenslager Scholarship in Stage Design).

Alex Jaeger (Costume Designer) Two Sisters and a Piano (Public Theatre, NY); Speed the Plow, November, Rock ‘N Roll(A.C.T); Rock ‘N Roll (Huntington Theatre Co.); The Paris Letter (Kirk Douglas Theatre); Looped (Pasadena Playhouse); Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Stop Kiss, Handler, Romeo and Juliet , Fuddy Meers (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Third (Geffen Playhouse); Caroline or Change, Grey Gardens, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The History Boys, and others (Studio Theatre, D.C.); and What They Have, Nostalgia, All My Sons, True West and others (South Coast Rep.) Awards: Ovation, LA Drama Critics Circle, five Garland Awards, three Drama-Logue Awards, NAACP nomination.

York Kennedy (Lighting Designer) Mr. Kennedy’s designs have been seen in theatres across America and in Europe including Berkeley Rep, Seattle Repertory, American Conservatory Theatre, The Alley Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Yale Rep, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Goodspeed Musicals and the Denver Center. Awards for theatrical lighting include the Dramalogue, San Diego Drama Critics Circle, Back Stage West Garland, Arizoni Theatre Award and the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. In the dance world he has designed for Malashock Dance, Brian Webb and Tracey Rhodes. As an architectural lighting designer he has designed both nationally and internationally numerous themed environments, theme park, residential, retail, restaurant and museum projects including the Sony Metreon Sendak Playspace in San Francisco, Warner Bros. Movie World in Madrid, Le Centre de Loisirs in Morocco and The LEGO Racers 4D attraction in Germany, Denmark, England and the U.S.A. He is a graduate of the California Institute for the Arts and the Yale School of Drama.

Sara Huddleston (Sound Designer) Ms. Huddleston joined the Magic staff in March ‘07 as their Production Director and Resident Sound Designer. She is also proud to be the Resident Sound Designer for her friends at Encore Theatre Company. Magic credits include The Joan Rivers Theatre Project, Expedition 6, The Crowd You’re In With, Tir Na nÓg (“Land of Youth”), Monkey Room, The K of D, Evie’s Waltz, Tough Titty, Mauritius and Octopus (Encore Theatre Company/Magic Theatre). Bay Area sound design credits include: In On It, American Suicide, T.I.C., Skin (Encore Theatre Company); The Shaker Chair(Encore Theatre Company/Shotgun Players); Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Macbeth (Shotgun Players); Volleygirls (A.C.T. Youth Conservatory); and Three on a Party (Word for Word).

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