Reno Stage Scene: ‘Out of Sterno’ at Restless Artists Theatre Company

Slightly surreal with a hint of romance, Out of Sterno is a treat with a dysfunctional edge

~Review and Photos by Dana Nöllsch~

Out of Sterno, The Story

Dotty and Hamel are newlyweds who have moved from their small town to the big city of Sterno. Hamel has found a job and is doing his best to take care of them both. Unfortunately, he expects Dotty to stay in the apartment. Dotty is not too unhappy staying in the apartment; she has her art to work on and is fairly content.

But as fate would have it, Hamel has other ideas. To achieve his desires, he employs a tad bit of gaslighting to keep Dotty in the apartment.

As luck would have it, through a series of opportune happenstance, Dotty finds out that Hamel is not quite as honest as he could be, but she is in love and believes things will be OK.

But again, fate comes into play, and Dotty meets Zena. Zena is a woman who has been around and has achieved everything she has set her mind to. When Dotty meets Zena, there is a bit of confusion, but eventually, the two come to an agreement.

This is where I hold back on a few details of the story, not wanting to give away too much of it.

This is indeed a coming-of-age story, but more than that, Out of Sterno is a story of triumph over circumstances. The lessons are taught with humor and a lighthearted delivery. And the writing is indeed top-notch.

This is my second time seeing Restless Artists Theatre produce Out of Sterno. The first time was in 2017, and Elizabeth Schipper played Dotty then as well. Unfortunately, the first time, the play only ran for one weekend.

I am thrilled that Restless Artists Theatre is giving its audience a second chance to see Out of Sterno.

Check out some photos from Restless Artists Theatre’s production of Out of Sterno

How About the Performances

The cast is very entertaining to watch. Elizabeth Schipper reprises her role as Dotty and plays the naïve young woman splendidly. This is the second time I have seen Schipper in the role of Dotty, and with a few years in between, her growth as a performer and maturity as an actor is terrific to see.

Raymond Gallardo plays Hamel superbly. Hamel misbehaves but does not quite know the damage he is doing to others. Gallardo portrays Hamel as immature, making the character less of a villain but not much less.

Zena is played by Tesia Jankowski, the woman who has been made wise by her years of manipulating those around her. Jankowski plays her role as Zena, showcasing the manipulative nature of someone who has always gotten what she desires.

Caulder Tempel plays, well, everyone else. With a multitude of costume changes and personality changes, Tempel shows his range on stage. Tempel is kept very busy with nine different roles during Out of Sterno.

The Bottom Line

Out of Sterno lends itself to the intimate setting of Restless Artists Theatre. This fun play delivers a message without being too preachy and offers many laughs.

Out of Sterno is perfect for a date night and will leave you entertained and happy.

For those of you who are interested, here is the link to my review of Out of Sterno from 2017:

Out of Sterno

By Deborah Zoe Laufer

Directed by Doug Mishler


Dotty: Elizabeth Schipper

Hamel: Raymond Gallardo

Zena: Tesia Jankowski

Dan, Delivery Man, Taxi Driver, Waiter, Mrs. Cuthbert, Mrs. Peabody, Barb, Sallie Mae, Man on the Bus: Caulder Tempel

Performance Dates

July 5th – 19th

Restless Artists Theatre Company

295 20th Street, Sparks

​775 525-3074


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