Backstage Review: ‘The Dresser’ at Bruka Theater

In times of transition and conflict holding on to one’s identity may not be possible. Norman “The Dresser” is in just that predicament.

~Photos and Review by Dana Nollsch~

Outside the theater war rages, bombs falling all around them, but the show must go on. The setting is mid-1940’s in Britan where a troupe of stage actors travel from theater to theater entertaining the people of this war-torn country. To make things even more dramatic the lead actor and company manager has problems of his own, and those problems become a challenge for everyone around him.

Sir, the lead actor is struggling with failing health and the pressure of running a traveling theater troupe is not helping. Norman, his dresser who has been with him for 15 years does his best to keep Sir on track but this is not easy. The rest of the troupe are also quite concerned, but the show must go on. The play opens with Norman getting Sir ready for his role in Othello but this is not an easy task for Norman.

“The Dresser” was written by  Ronald Harwood based on his own experiences as the dresser to Sir Donald Wolfit. The story is indeed intense and brilliantly written with a sensitivity to the plight of those who are trying to hang on to the life they know but at the same time knowing that life is about to change forever.

The cast is more than brilliant in bringing these dynamic characters to life.

Chip Arnold brings the troubled Sir to stage with a power and sensitivity that may at times bring you to tears. For this role, Chip shaved his beard and cut his long hair only to glue on a prosthetic beard and sport a wig not that unlike the hair he once had.

Scott Dundas plays Norman, the frustrated dresser, with quiet emotion that is palatable like an out of control train. Scott’s performance may bring you to tears as you see the love he has for the man he has served for 15 years.

Holly Natwora plays Her Ladyship, Sir’s leading lady, Holly shows us that Her Ladyship has regrets for the choices she has made as the winds of change blow forever shifting the way her beloved theater will be.

My take away:

“The Dresser” is a powerful story and with a cast to do this production justice, yes go see it! Theater at its best.

For now, check out the photos for a taste of what you will see.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“The Dresser” Plays through February 9th, 2019 and for detailed dates and times check out Bruka’s website: http://www.bruka.org/

 

CAST LIST

CHIP ARNOLD as SIR

SCOTT DUNDAS as NORMAN

HOLLY NATWORA as HER LADYSHIP

HEATHER EATON as MADGE

CASSADY ANDERSON as IRENE

NICK RAMIREZ as OXENBY

JON LUTZ as GEOFFREY

MICHAEL PETERS as GLOUCESTER

CODY CANNON as KENT/ALBANY/GENTLEMAN

DIRECTOR by DAVID RICHARDS

STAGE MANAGER, JULIA BUTLER

SET DESIGN/BUILD, LEWIS ZAUMEYER

LIGHTING & SOUND DESIGN & OPERATION,  DAVID SIMPSON

COSTUME DESIGN, LYNDSEY LANGSDALE

PROPS, CODY CANON, DAVID SIMPSON & COMPANY

COMPANY PHOTOGRAPHY/LOCATION VIDEO, DANA NOLLSCH

POSTER DESIGN, DAVID RICHARDS/MARY BENNETT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: