The Theatre of Western Springs

by David Bottrell & Jesse Jones
Directed by Tony Vezner

May 30 - June 9, 2002
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8:00PM Sundays at 2:30PM Also, Sunday, June 2 at 7:30PM Saturday, June 8 at 2:30PM

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Meet the Bible Belt kin of Bud Turpin.  They've got a funeral to plan and - between the feuds, marital flings, and Macaroni and Ham Loaf Surprise - it may escalate into a multiple-coffin memorial service.  By the time the Turpins sort through the hangovers, money problems, and headstone engraving options, they've learned that coping with life's losses can turn out to be drop-dead funny.

The Cast and Crew of Dearly Departed - Click for a closer view
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 . . . . . . .  About  . . . . . . 

   . . . .  Notes  . . . .  

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 the play

 the authors


The Turpin Family:
Bud (the departed) Tim Feeney
Raynelle (his wife) Ginny Richardson
Marguerite (Bud's Sister)  Mary Van Nest
Royce (Marguerite's son) Tom Frohnapfel
(Bud and Raynelle's son) Mark Cunningham
Lucille (Ray-Bud's wife) Lori Proksa
(Bud & Raynelles' son) Tim Feeney
Suzanne (Junior's Wife) Sandy Squillo
(Bud & Raynelle's daughter)Susan Kosiarek

Fellow Mourners:
Rev. B.H. Hooker Dr. Jim Hannigan
Veda Arlene Page
Norval George Dempsey
Nadine Dawn Gmitro
Clyde Edward W. Wavak
Juanita Mary Maureen Gentile

Joy of Life Singers:
Tricia Boren
Holly Cejka
Joe Delaloye
Dave Santchi

The Deep South

Director’s Note
Welcome to the final play of the 2001-2002 season.  As we end the year, I couldn't resist the temptation to look back at all of the things we have shared with you, our audience, over the course of the season.

We opened the season during the week of the September 11th attacks, with The Last Night of Ballyhoo.  Then, more than ever, we needed to get away from our worries and come together as a community.  At the end of each performance when our onstage family said the Sabbath prayer with its call for peace, I felt like you, our family of patrons, were praying along with us.  Later we challenged you with the exploits of Evan Wyler and the con-artist Alexa Vere de Vere in As Bees in Honey Drown.  I received more mail and comments - split equally between negative and positive - than I have ever received after we did that play.  We then brought you the inimitable Miss Marple matching wits with yet another killer in A Murder is Announced.  You just can't beat Agatha Christie for thrills and chills.  In our fourth mainstage production you applauded the wit and verbal foolery that makes The Importance of Being Ernest such a delightful classic (and we had a great time bringing it to you). And now we offer you this play, Dearly Departed, which is a highly campy and yet surprisingly touching comedy.

Those of you who joined us for our Forum shows got a real treat this season.  We gave you the fascinating and complex drama Top Girls with its muti-layered view of women and their roles in society, and the uproariously updated Tartuffe with all of its bawdy pranks and verbal wizardry.

It's been a diverse and very rewarding season for us and we hope for you as well.  We are so gratified that we could share all of these stories - both serious and comic - with you. Our next season promises to be just as exciting and entertaining, and we hope to continue to bring you the very best stories we can find for many seasons to come.

We hope you enjoy Dearly Departed, and we look forward to seeing you again next season.

Tony Vezner, Artistic Director
And all of the Volunteers and Staff of TWS

About the Authors  
David Dean Bottrell and Jessie Jones are both Kentucky born actors who in 1991 co-wrote Dearly Departed. This was a first produced play for both of them.  That same year, Bottrell wrote Monkey Business (a one-act play about a fund-raising luncheon for a zoo). Dearly Departed received such favorable reviews and widespread productions, that they began working on a movie version which appeared in 2001 entitled Kingdom Come.
Both Bottrell and Jones have continued their acting careers with numerous stage and TV credits including NBC-TV's "Mad About You" and "Caroline in the City, " ABC-TV's "Dharma & Greg,," CBS-TV's "JAG," HBO's "And the Band Played On," and FOX-TV's "Titus."


Production Credits:
Director: Tony Vezner
Technical Director: Shelley Dotson
Stage Manager: Sue Turner
Assistant Stage Managers: Carol Dapogny, Maggie Rathke
Choreographer: Allison Henderson
Costume Designer: Julie Suarez
Costume Crew: Marilyn Darnall, Mary Dempsey, Chirs Gavlin, Kathleen Kusper, Julie Mueller, Gina Swinnen
Dramaturg: Carol Dapogny
Lighting Desiners: Angelee Johns, Thomas Palumbo
Lighting Crew: Peg Carlson, Shelley Dotson, Mickey Perkins, Mary Ellen Schutt, Cal Turner
Makeup Designer: Mary Pavia
Makeup Crew: Amy Coons, Danna Durkin, Carol Hudson, Cassandra Johnson, Donna Kanak, Jackie Weiher
Properties Designer: Pat Huth
Properties Crew: Karen Arnold, Jane Bowers, Brian Centers, Bill FitzGerald, Mike Huth, Carin Klock, Carmel Opre, Dennis Hudson, Connie Sierzputowski
Set Designer/Set Construction Chair: Rob Snyder
Set Construction Crew: Grace Abrahamson, Brian Centers, Mark Favoino, Tim Feeney, Tom Fronhapfel, Mike Huth, Caitlin Machak, Mike Pavia, Bill Rotz, Willy Steele
Set Painting Chairs: Bryon Abramowitz, Stephanie Abramowitz
Set Painting Crew: Grace Abrahamson, Tricia Madison Boren, Jane Bowers, Pat Huth, Mike Janke, Susan Kosiarek, Mary Pavia, Rob Snyder, Sandy Squillo, Donna Marie Kanak
Sound Designer: Jack Calvert
Sound Crew: Nick D'Asta, Joel Nikoleit
Production Box Office Chair: Mary Ellen Schutt
Production Box Office Crew: Linda Bremer, Peg Callaghan, Susan Cardamone, Ruth Cekal, George Dempsey, Mary Dempsey, Terry Fanning, Janet Ryan Grasso, Terry Kozlowski, JoAnn Mallon, Jill Neely, Joan Roeder, Patti Roeder, Paulette Sarussi, Fred Sauers, Carol Suda, Gina Swinnen, Marilyn Wilson
Production Hospitality Crew: Linda Bremer, Carol Clarke, Mary Ellen Druyan, Astrid Heyman, Bonnie Hilton, Jennifer Jindrich, Julie Knoch, Caitlin Machak, Lisa Machak, Nikita Machak, Craig Mahlstedt, Jan Mahlstedt, Dave Michael, Fumiko Michael, Duane Mills, Jim Patten, Joanne Patten, Nora Patten, Lauren Patten, Bill Redding, Carolyn Redding, Janette Taft, Susan Waldschmidt, Stephanie Williams
Hospitality Bakers: Carol Clarke, Kirby Harris, Astird Heyman, Bonnie Hilton, Karen Holbert, Jennifer Jindrich, Lisa Machak, Connie Sierzputowski
Production House Managers: Dave Bremer, Susan Cardamone, Jim Dutton, Karen Holbert, Roland Imes, Jon Mills, Bill Rotz, Tom Schutt, Noel Smith, Don Strueber
Production Lobby Photo Display: Marjorie Mason Heffernan, Jane Stacy
Production Posters: Kathleen Kusper
Production Program Chair: Stephanie Williams
Production Program Crew: Carol Dapogny, Joel Nikoleit, Tom Palumbo, Mike Pavia
Production Publicity Chair: Bridget Bittman
Stunt Consultant: Scott Illingworth

About the Play
Dearly Departed premiered at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut in 1991.  That same year it received great critical acclaim in its Off-Broadway opening at the Second Stage Theatre in New York. The New York Daily News said that "Dearly Departed is drop dead funny...but don't take our word, see it yourself."  Dearly Departed was then produced in Los Angeles where it received six Drama Logue Awards including "Best Production" and "Best Playwriting." It was subsequently published and has been produced in hundreds of regional theaters in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
The movie version, Kingdom Come, was as dismal a failure as the play was a success.  In spite of an all-star cast headed by Whoopi Goldberg, L.L. Cool J., Jada Pinkett Smith and Loretta Devine, the critics were quite scathing in their reviews.  The movie version is very slick, realistic, and played so broadly that it becomes slapstick farcical.  The poignancy of the Turpin family relationships is lost on the big screen, or at least in the version directed by Doug McHenry.  The movie even offers flashbacks into the life of Bud (the departed), which the stage play shows us much more effectively through the eyes of his various dysfunctional, but strangely loveable family members.

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The Set Change Crew had to turn the tables on the actors...

To obtain tickets over the phone, call 708 246-3380.

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