Written by Bruce Graham
Directed by Edd Miller
January 10 - 25, 2014
Run time: 1h 45m
Coyote On A Fence is a play about men on death row in a maximum security prison. Young Robert Alvin (Bobby) Reyburn, resigned to his execution for a hate crime, occupies a cell next to John Brennan, a seasoned veteran of many appeals, who writes and edits the prison newspaper, The Death Row Advocate. John writes obituaries of the executed. In the stories and exchanges between these distinct personalities, as well as their sardonic female guard, we are introduced to a world and people we may never have visited before.
Coyote on a Fence: The Origin, discusses the inspiration for the play and some of the research and correspondence that went into its writing.
About the Playwright
Bruce Graham is a native Pennsylvanian and a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania who teaches film and theater courses at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is the author of almost 40 scripts for the stage, movies, and television and has written episodes for television series and soap operas. The New York production of Coyote on a Fence won The Rosenthal Prize as well as two Drama Desk Nominations. It also was produced on London’s West End. His play Something Intangible won seven Barrymore awards, Philadelphia’s equivalent of the Tony Awards, in 2009. Graham has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation, and the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. He is a two-time winner of an Edgerton Foundation award for new plays.
About the Director
Coyote on a Fence is the 14th show Edd has directed at Colonial Players since he joined the Annapolis theater group in 1965. His most recent directing stint at CP was Going to St. Ives, which won awards for best play, best direction, and best lead actress in the 2012 Washington Area Theatre Community Honors competition. His first directing job for CP was The Apple Tree in 1971. Other directing credits here include I Never Sang for My Father, winner of the 1973 Ruby Griffith Award for best play presented by the British Embassy Players of Washington. Edd has appeared on stage in 12 plays at Colonial Players and has been set designer for many shows, including Coyote on a Fence and recent productions of Annie and In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play. He also has acted in and directed plays at other community theaters in Maryland and Florida.
Edd thinks of Colonial Players as a second home. He thanks CP for the friendships of a lifetime, but most of all for bringing his late wife, Dolores, into his life. Edd is a retired interior designer and buyer for a large furniture company. He keeps busy as a standardized patient working with teaching hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington area.
What is an ARC show? An opportunity!
An opportunity for you, the audience, to gain perspective and insight on a life situation not familiar to you. An opportunity to be moved or stimulated or provoked on a subject of significance. An opportunity to share a heightened awareness or a mind--expanding experience.
Theater is an art, and art, as defined in the Random House Dictionary, is: "The quality, production, or expression according to aesthetic principles of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” Colonial Players has always worked to entertain, amuse, intrigue, mystify, and even transport an audience to a fantasy world. With the addition of the ARC shows (two per season since 2009), we have had the opportunity to pay greater attention to the plays "of more than ordinary significance.”
Coyote on a Fence is an ARC show, the fourth one I have had the privilege to direct. I love delving into the backgrounds of the strong characters who inhabit these plays. I feel it is my job, my challenge, to ferret out everything I can, along with each actor, to create the human being that will grip the attention of an audience. To make the characters live as real people is a joy. You may not necessarily like them, but if we succeed, you will want to know about them. With any luck, you will talk about these people on the way home or even over dinner the next night. Their language may be different from what we deem acceptable, but it is how they express themselves. These are people outside our comfort zone. To be able to look into what makes them who or what they are is what holds our interest.
The ARC shows should start conversations or debates. Historically, art has often been the impetus of movements or protests or even revolution. I just hope that we can start a small controversy. I won't say enjoy the show, but please try to appreciate the characters and listen to what they have to say. We have been living with them for a few months, and although difficult and draining, they deserve to be heard.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Kecia A. Campbell (Shawna DuChamps) -- Coyote on a Fence is Kecia’s debut with The Colonial Players. She is pleased and honored to be a part of the talented cast and crew of this production. Kecia’s acting credits include Mrs. Mi Tzu in The Good Woman of Setzuan (Theatre Lab); Nurse O’Neil in The Sunshine Boys (Keegan Theater); Mrs. Botticelli in J.B., and Technician in Visit to a Small Planet (American Century Theater); Theater J/Theatre Lab Staged Reading Series: The Visit (School Master), The Balcony (Carmen), Six Characters In Search of an Author (Madame Pace, Young Actress), The Motor Show (Salesman); Queen Factor in Princess Problem It's Time to Wed (Studio Theatre/DC Black Theatre Festival); Elizabeth in The Old Settler (African Continuum Theatre); Mickey in The Odd Couple - The Female Version (PGLT); Michael in Daddy’s Girl (BCT); and Chorus in Lysistrata (Run of the Mill). Kecia has trained at Theatre Lab, Everyman Theater, and Shakespeare Theatre Company. She has an MBA from Johns Hopkins University and is the Director, Grants Administration for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. A special Thank You to Edd for the opportunity as well as to Lieutenant Humphries and Yolonda Evans at the Prince George’s County Detention Center for their guidance.
Eddie Hall (Bobbie Reyburn) -- Eddie is thrilled to return to Colonial Players in Coyote on a Fence. He made his CP debut as Ferris Layman in the 2011 production of The Diviners. When not on stage, Eddie enjoys directing and writing. His favorite directing gigs include Guys and Dolls, 13!, The Wedding Singer, The Wizard of Oz, Noises Off, and Steel Magnolias. In 2011, Eddie directed a version of Clue, which he adapted for the stage. Currently he serves as the drama director at Southern High School, where he will be directing 9 to 5 in the Spring. He is also Drama Director at Studio 180 Dance in Annapolis. “Bravo to Edd Miller for being a fantastic teacher and director.” Eddie would like to thank the hundreds of drama students he has been lucky enough to work with over the years who continue to inspire him to stay on stage, and the loving and supportive friends and family he loves dearly! Special shout outs to JM, ES, and SS. “Your contributions to the theater world continue to keep me in awe.” Enjoy the show!
Thom Sinn (John Brennan) -- Thom is a Baltimore-area actor who is making his debut with Colonial Players in Coyote on a Fence. Previous stage appearances include the role of Robert in Proof at Tidewater Players in Havre de Grace, a townsperson and a drunk in An Enemy of the People at Centerstage, Juror #7 in Twelve Angry Men and Harold in The Full Monty at Dundalk Community Theatre, The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland at Pumpkin Theatre, and Sam Byck in Assassins at Spotlighters Theatre in Baltimore. Oh, there are many more, but you get the idea. Thom also finds enjoyment in popping up on crime reenactment shows such as Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? and on supernatural investigation programs such as When Ghosts Attack. Most importantly, Thom enjoys the role of father and of husband. If you look closely, Thom’s daughter Naomi makes a cameo “appearance” in this production of Coyote on a Fence. Many thanks to Edd Miller for his quiet yet inspired direction, to Tom Wyatt and to Ms. Annie for their encouragement and insight, to Mom for teaching me the difference between right and wrong, and to my wife, Robin, for her patience, persistence, commitment…..and full-time employment!
Jeff Sprague (Sam Fried) -- Jeff is, as always, happy to be back at CP. Most recently, he appeared here as John Adams in 1776. He has done many other musicals and plays for the theater and won a 2007 Washington Area Theatre Community Honors award for his role in Kindertransport. Jeff has additionally appeared in several productions with Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, Dignity Players of Annapolis, and Second Star Productions of Bowie. Some favorite all-time roles include the aforementioned John Adams, Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, Bruce in Blue/Orange, and various parts in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. By day, Jeff is an attorney for the federal government. He sends his thanks to the cast, crew, and production staff, and sends his love to his beautiful bride, Kathleen. "The profound moral question is not, 'Do they deserve to die?' but 'Do we deserve to kill them?' "--Sister Helen Prejean.
The Production Staff
Carl Andreasen (Sound Designer) -- Carl returns to Colonial Players after composing and performing music for CP’s award-winning production of Going to St. Ives in 2012. For Coyote on a Fence, he created a background sound track of noises and voices that underscores the scenes in the prison. Carl is a Chicago native who moved to Maryland in 1969 to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His involvement with community theater began at Belair (now Bowie) Community Theatre. He also worked with Colonial Players and Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. “It’s always a pleasure working with Edd Miller and watching how he pushes limits. One of my challenges this time is to use sound in ways that hint rather than being obvious.”
Lois Banscher (Properties Designer) -- How minor I feel entering my fifth season while Colonial Players is celebrating its 65th year! Each season may deliver a classic favorite such as Annie or thought-provoking, controversial dramas such as Coyote on a Fence; regardless of the topics, I jump in when asked with a big “YES” and work to solve whatever challenges are presented. But I’m always thinking props when I enter a resale store or antique shop or eye those country barns as I travel to the Shore during the summer months, thinking there must be some goodies in there for CP. I am pleased to work with this creative team once again, as well as the other volunteers on special projects throughout the “quiet” summer recess. It was an honor this past season to be recognized by the theater for my contributions to Colonial Players. Many thank yous to everyone.
Herb Elkin (Stage Manager) -- Herb’s most recent CP stage managing credits include Trying (2013), Going to St. Ives (2012), The Diviners (2011), Dog Logic (2010), The Lion in Winter (2010), Over My Dead Body (2009), Two Rooms (2009), and Enchanted April (2008). Prior to becoming active behind the scenes he appeared on stage in several CP and other area productions. Herb serves on CP's Finance Committee and works at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Frank A. Florentine (Lighting Designer) -- Frank’s background stretches over a wide array of lighting projects from ballet to museums to special events to show caves. He has designed lights at Colonial Players for 1776, Sunlight, and Chapter Two, which was nominated for best lighting design in the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors competition. Frank retired four years ago as lighting designer of the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, where he was responsible for lighting all exhibitions in its facilities on the Mall in D.C. and near Dulles Airport. He has also designed the lighting for three show caves over the past ten years at Kartchner Caverns State Park in Arizona, Alabaster Caverns in Oklahoma, and Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park in Montana. Frank resides in the Annapolis area and has designed lighting for a sailboat in the Eastport Yacht Club's annual Christmas Parade of Lights for the last 21 years. Most recently, he designed the lighting for the 9/11 Memorial of Anne Arundel County. Frank worked in professional theater as a Production Manager, Stage Manager, and Associate Lighting Designer.
Theresa Riffle (Sound Designer) -- After serving as Musical Director for The Colonial Players production of 1776 earlier this year, Theresa is excited to design sound for Coyote on a Fence and to work with this fabulous production staff and cast. She has worked with several area theater companies in a variety of roles both on and off the stage. She was last seen on the CP stage as Annie in two performances of In the Next Room or the vibrator play. You also may have seen her as Anna Hauptmann in Hauptmann, Evelyn in Kindertransport, and Phoebe in Romantic Comedy. Theresa is Secretary on the Colonial Players Board of Directors and works as a music teacher in Bethesda. She would like to thank Edd for letting her be a part of this fantastic production and Wes for encouraging her to learn sound design and for agreeing to be her guru. As always, a big thank you goes to Jem and Josh for their boundless love and support.
Tom Stuckey (Producer) -- Tom is back as producer after filling the same role for Colonial Players’ enormously popular production of Annie that played to sold-out houses during November and December. He began his association with Colonial Players in 1969 as a member of the chorus in Carousel. After a few more appearances on stage, he realized he was more of a behind-the-scenes person. Tom has produced a number of plays at CP, including Going to St. Ives and Hauptmann, both of which won awards for best play and best direction as well as acting awards in the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors competition. He has served in several positions on the CP board, including president, and works frequently on set painting, hanging lights, and ushering. He compiles and edits programs for all plays and handles print media publicity as a member of the marketing team.
Beth Terranova (Costume Designer) -- Beth is pleased to be on her fourth costume outing with Edd Miller. Last year, as part of his team for the award-winning Going to St. Ives, Beth was received a Washington Area Theatre Community Honors nomination for costume design. She previously designed costumes for Edd’s productions of The Diviners and Moon Over Buffalo. Beth earned a second WATCH costume nomination last year for the quirky fairy tale Cinderella Waltz. Her costume designs have also been seen on the CP stage in Lettice and Lovage, The Lion in Winter, The Philadelphia Story, She Loves Me!, and Hauptmann. An award-winning director (Hauptmann), Beth most recently directed 1776 for Colonial Players. Other work behind the scenes at CP includes producer, stage manager, set designer, play consultant, and tech crew. Also an award-nominated actor (Two Rooms), Beth is Production Director on the CP Board of Directors, produces the News and Cues newsletter, and serves CP as a Costume Consultant/Wardrobe Curator, Bylaws Committee Member, and WATCH Judge.