By Jen Silverman
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Scenic Design by Jenna McFarland Lord
Costume Design by Tobi Rinaldi
Lighting Design by Chris Hudacs
Sound Design & Original Music by Dewey Dellay
Production Stage Manager: Diane McLean
Box Office: 617-585-5678 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, welcomes a roommate into her Iowa home: Robyn, a free-spirited, mysterious lesbian slam poet from the Bronx who’s looking to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music, books, and an occasional toke, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life.
It’s a subversive, absorbing comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.
“Deeply satisfying” – Boston Globe
“Tugs at the heartstrings and tickles the funny bone.” – Louisville.com
We sat down with Spiro to learn more about why he chose to direct The Roommate this season! Why this play? Jen Silverman is an amazing writer and this play seemed right for us. I also get to work with some of the wealth of women actors (of a certain age) here in Boston. Why the Lyric Stage?It’s my home and…
Chatting with Adrianne Krstansky and Paula Plum What Lyric Stage shows have you appeared in before?Adrianne Krstansky: Barbecue and November.Paula Plum: Too many to count, starting in 1975 when I was still in collegeand in one of the first Lyric Stage shows. And of course, manydirected by Spiro: Death of a Salesman, Sideman, 33 Variations,Blythe Spirit. What excites you about…
The cast just got a first look at the set of The Roommate. Enjoy this sneak preview! Scenic design by Jenna McFarland Lord. The Roommate opens October 19th Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music,…
Cast & Crew
Adrianne Krstansky* – Robyn
Adrianne Krstansky* (Robyn) appeared at Lyric Stage in Barbecue and November. Her Boston area credits include Doll’s House, Come Back Little Sheba (Elliot Norton, IRNE Awards) (Huntington Theatre), Paradise Lost, Britannicus,Ubu Rock (American Repertory Theater), Blackberry Winter, Imagining Madoff, On the Verge, Holiday Memories, Three Viewings, 2.5 Minute Ride (New Rep) and Every Brilliant Thing, Tribes, Snakebit (SpeakEasy Stage). She has also appeared at Gloucester Stage Company, Boston Playwrights, Israeli Stage and regionally at the Steppenwolf Theater and La Jolla Playhouse. Film credits: Burning Woman, Olive Kitteridge (HBO), and The Company Men.
Paula Plum* – Sharon
Paula Plum* (Sharon) first appeared at the Lyric Stage in 1975 in Dial M for Murder, and has since appeared here in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Elliot Norton Award), 33 Variations, The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, Private Lives, Death of a Salesman (IRNE Award, Best Actress), Three Tall Women, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Blithe Spirit, Sideman, The Heiress, Mercy Seat, and Miss Witherspoon (Elliot Norton Award). She is the recipient of five IRNE awards, the 2007 & 2017 Elliot Norton Award for Best Actress, the 2004 Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, and the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. In 2009 she was one of five actors nation-wide to receive the Fox Actor Fellowship in association with SpeakEasy Stage. As a founding member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project, she has played Cleopatra, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, and Phèdre. She has appeared regionally at the Gloucester Stage Company, the American Repertory Theatre, the New Repertory Theatre, the Huntington Theatre, and Elm Shakespeare. Film credits include: Mermaids, Malice, Next Stop Wonderland, and Irrational Man directed by Woody Allen. Television: Science Court (three seasons, ABC) and co-creator and star of “The Dick & Paula Celebrity Special” for FX. Ms. Plum is a cum laude graduate of Boston University and has studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, the Dell’Arte Institute, and École Phillipe Gaulier, Paris. She has been published in American Theatre magazine and is married to actor Richard Snee.
Spiro Veloudos (Director, Producing Artistic Director), now celebrating his 21st season as Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage, directed Souvenir and Road Show last season. In previous seasons, he directed Company, Camelot, Sondheim by Sondheim, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweeney Todd, City of Angels, Into the Woods (Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards for Best Director, Best Musical, and Best Ensemble), One Man, Two Guvnors, Death of a Salesman (IRNE Award for Best Play),The Mikado, 33 Variations, On the Town, Avenue Q (Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Ensemble, five IRNE Awards including Best Musical and Best Director), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Elliot Norton Award for Best Production and Best Director, five IRNE Awards including Best Director), Big River, Superior Donuts, Animal Crackers, Blithe Spirit, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, and Kiss Me, Kate. Spiro received the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from Salem State College. He was the recipient of the 2006 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. During his tenure, the Lyric Stage has earned numerous awards and honors including Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Production (Nicholas Nickleby, Speech & Debate, Miss Witherspoon, The Old Settler), and Outstanding Musical Production (Sunday in the Park with George), and IRNE Awards for Outstanding Production (Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Settler, Glengarry Glen Ross), and Outstanding Musical Production (Grey Gardens, Urinetown: The Musical, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George). His numerous directing credits at the Lyric Stage include A Little Night Music (IRNE Award for Direction), Glengarry Glen Ross (IRNE Award), Sunday in the Park with George (Best of the Year in Boston’s Globe, Herald, and Phoenix; Elliot Norton and IRNE Award for direction), Assassins (Best Production of 1998: The Boston Globe), Lost in Yonkers, Never the Sinner: The Leopold and Loeb Story (Elliot Norton Award, along with Assassins), and Speed-the-Plow (Elliot Norton for Outstanding Production). Mr. Veloudos received StageSource’s Theatre Hero Award (2003) and was named Best Artistic Director by Boston Magazine in 1999. He serves as the president for the Producers’ Association of New England Area Theatres, and is adjunct faculty in Performing Arts at Emerson College.
Jenna McFarland Lord (Scenic Design) returns to the Lyric Stage after having designed Warrior Class, Groundswell, November, and This Wonderful Life. Other area credits include Out of the Mouths of Babes, Gloucester Blue, New Electric Ballroom, North Shore Fish, Spring Awakening, Living Together, Table Manners, Trying, Breath of Life, Sins of the Mother, Doubt: A Parable, The Widow’s Blind Date, The Belle of Amherst, My Old Lady, Dinner with Friends, LifeX3, Spinning into Butter, The Loman Family Picnic (Gloucester Stage, resident set designer from 2002-2013), In the Heights (Wheelock Family Theatre), Grand Concourse, Bootycandy, Big Fish, The Color Purple, In the Heights, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Theatre District, and Moonlight Room (SpeakEasy Stage), Something’s Afoot, Distant Music, Steel Magnolias, The Porch, Guys on Ice, The Mousetrap (Addison Award for Best Set Design, Stoneham Theatre), Paradise, The Convert (Central Square Theater), Collected Stories, Cherry Docs (New Rep), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth (Actors Shakespeare Project), Don Giovanni (New England Conservatory), Three Penny Opera, The Full Monty, Twelfth Night, Così fan tutte (The Boston Conservatory), A View from the Bridge, Escape from Happiness (Brandeis University). Off-Broadway: The Secret of Mme. Bonnard’s Bath (New York Playwrights’ Lab), Man in Snow (La Mama). Ms. McFarland Lord received her theatre training at Emerson College and she is currently the set design teacher at the Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s public high school for the arts.
Tobi Rinaldi (Costume Design) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously designed Hold These Truths, and Murder for Two. He has designed costumes for the Spring Opera at Walnut Hill School for the Arts (The Finishing School), Assistant Design for The Bridges of Madison County (SpeakEasy Stage), and the independent film Randy’s Canvas (non-profit benefiting The Autism Project, RI). This is his second season also working at the Lyric Stage as Wardrobe Supervisor. He has previously worked in Theatre and Film in Hawaii as a Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor as well as an instructor at EMC (English Musical Theatre Camp) in South Korea. Tobi earned his B.A. in Theatre from the University of Hawaii where he has had the opportunity to train and work in traditional Japanese Theatre and Costuming under Japanese Kita School of Noh Masters as well as in Chinese Acting, Costuming, and Make Up under Instructors from the Jiangsu Province Beijing Opera Company.
Chris Hudacs (Lighting Design) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously designed Souvenir, Stage Kiss, Intimate Apparel, and Sondheim on Sondheim. Chris has designed lights for Pilobolus Dance Theater, The A.R.T./MXAT Institute, New England Conservatory, Boston Lyric Opera, Sylvain Émard’s “Le Grand Continental” (Celebrity Series of Boston), Pickleshoes Family Theater, Tiffany Mills Company (NYC), Gallim Dance (NYC), the York Theatre (NYC), Nancy Meehan Dance (NYC), Paula Josa-Jones (MA), Trinity College (Hartford, CT), Rites & Reason Theatre (Brown University) and many others. In addition, Chris has toured as a Production Manager/Technical Director with Pilobolus, Shen Wei Dance Arts, David Dorfman Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, and Stephen Petronio Dance Company. WhodaxLD.com
Dewey Dellay (Composer/Sound Design) returns to the Lyric Stage having designed Anna Christie, Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, among others. He received an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design for Miss Witherspoon and 9 Parts of Desire produced by the Lyric Stage. Other shows he has composed and designed for are The Bakelite Masterpiece, Ideation, and Thurgood (New Rep), Constellations (Underground Railway Theater). His television credits include original music for Emmy nominated National Geographic’s China’s Mystery Mummies, Discovery Channel’s Miami Jail, and he was the composer for five seasons of the show Our America with Lisa Ling for the OWN Channel. He presently is contributing music to This Is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN, and composing music for digital children’s books produced by Live Oak Media.
Cesara Walters (Props Artisan) is a Boston based theatre practitioner of many hats, Cesara received her B.A. at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London England and though she specializes in directing, stage management, and props design, she is also an experienced choreographer, make up artist, and theatre educator having led theatrical workshops for the Charles River Creative Arts Program, the young company of Stoneham’s Greater Boston Stage company, Watertown Children’s Theatre, Company One Theatre and served as the Director of Education for the Brazos Valley Players’ 2011-2012 season. In addition to serving as the Lyric’s props designer for the 2018/2019 season, Cesara has also done props design for various productions with The HUB Theatre, The Greater Boston Stage Company, Company One, The Boston Circus Guild, Fresh Ink, and Boston Children’s Theatre. Recent directing credits include Justice or Mercy (La Clemenza Di Tito) with Promenade Opera Project and Vasilisa with Charles River School. Recent stage management credits include Company One’s Hype Man, REVOLT. She Said. Revolt Again.,and The T Party, Arts After Hours’ Edges, and Boston Circus Guild’s 2017 Cirque of the Dead. Choreography credits include The King and I, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Jesus Christ Superstar with The Theatre Company in central Texas. For more information and to see portfolio images visit cesarawalters.com
Diane McLean* (Production Stage Manager) returns to the Lyric Stage for her third season. Last season she was PSM for Anna Christie, Road Show, and Souvenir. Other credits include Two Jews Walk into a War (New Rep), A Little Princess (Fiddlehead Theater Company), Coriolanus, (Commonwealth Shakespeare). Diane has also stage managed at Hartford Stage Company, Capital Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theater Festival, The Kennedy Center, and Manhattan Theater Club. She received her MFA in Stage Management from Boston University. Love to H and C.
Geena M. Forristall (Assistant Stage Manager) returns to Lyric Stage after previously working on Anna Christie, Souvenir, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Other credits include Our Dear Dead Drug Lord, The Weird (Off The Grid Theatre Company), Henry VI p. 3, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Company One), Sleep No More (Punchdrunk NYC/Emursive), and the international tour of Kultar’s Mime. She holds a B.F.A. from Hofstra University.gmforristall.com
Sivan Amir (Assistant to the Director) is a junior at Emerson College studying directing and arts management and is an artistic assistant at the Lyric Stage. At Emerson, she is a member of Rareworks Theatre Company and the executive producer of the Hidden Lantern Arts Festival. She would like to thank Spiro for this incredible opportunity!
Press & Reviews
“Directed by Spiro Veloudos, The Roommate is an irresistible treat featuring two beloved actresses at the top of their games.”
“Plum’s and Krstansky’s fine performances…elevate the production to a must-see on Boston’s theatrical fall calendar.”
“The juxtaposition between the two women is further enhanced by costume designer Tobi Rinaldi”
“Plum can pack more into a single line than most actors can in an entire soliloquy. When Sharon, on the phone with her son, says of Robyn that “She’s an interesting person,’’ Plum cracks your heart, just a little bit, with the depth of yearning she evokes in that single adjective, and you sense that Sharon has been waiting her whole life for somebody, especially herself, to be interesting.”
“Veloudos’ staging, set in a busily trimmed Midwestern kitchen designed by Jenna McFarland Lord and abetted by Dewey Dellay’s droll sound design, deftly engineers that collision of everyday and over-the-top”
“Krstansky captures both the deep sadness and the deep kindness at the root of the mysterious and flamboyant, if also euphemistic, Robyn”
“Two leading lights of Boston theater, Paula Plum and Adrianne Krstansky”
“A humorously mismatched couple, in the vein of Oscar and Felix in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” By the end, they’ve done a sort of role reversal and entered a danger zone reminiscent of “Breaking Bad.”
“The Roommate is a wonderful way to learn how to live life to the fullest, now rather than later.”
“Plum and Krstansky: a dream team operating in perfect synch with each other”
“Pure theatrical comedy gold”
“Impeccable comic timing of Plum and Krstansky”
“Be aware–the ending is startlingly satisfying”
“The innocent splash of coffee on the promotional poster does not begin to describe this thrilling drama. With unexpected twists and two exceptional leads, Jen Silverman’s The Roommate is so much more than that.”
“Krstansky brings both confidence and mystery to her conflicted character, imbuing her with a sadness that shapes the play’s final third.”
“Plum conveys that chronic unease masterfully. In fact, this may be my favorite performance by Plum to date. Her transition from suppressed to emboldened is a thing to behold.”
“This a play that starts off as a standard comedy and ends up in a far different place, so if you’re looking for some entertainment with a little bite, The Roommate is a great pick.”
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