The Saint Sebastian Players open the company's 32nd season with an American classic, The Dining Room by A.R. Gurney. Performances are October 19–November 11, 2012 at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, Chicago.
Featuring an ensemble of 12 actors playing 57 diverse characters, the play is, according to Gurney, an "anthropological study" of upper middle class "WASPs" from a time gone by. The 18 scenes are both poignant and funny: families "meet to eat, converse, quarrel, make up and do all the other myriad activities of American family life" during the mid-20th century.
SSP founder and company member Jim Masini is directing The Dining Room; his past directing credits include SSP's productions of Arms and the Man, The Rivals, As You Like It, Crossing Delancey and Crimes of the Heart. The cast features SSP company members Ben Campana, Ed McGuire, Victoria Montalbano, Kate O'Connor, Todd Parkhurst, Nancy Pollock and Ned Ricks, along with Rita Crowley, John Ham, Christine Jacobs, Julia Rigby and Aaron Wertheim. SSP company members on the production team include Emil Zbella as set designer, Carrie Campana as costume designer, Ben Campana as set construction manager, Barbara Murphy-Sanders as sound designer, and Nancy Pollock and Jill Chukerman Test as co-producers. The team also includes Megan Turnquist as lighting designer, Mary Whalen as properties manager, Callie Edwards and Kaitlin Taylor as assistant directors, Martha Reddick as stage manager, and Amanda Cox as assistant stage manager.
SSP began producing theatre in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago's North Side. When the parish closed, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; original audience-participation mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition, as well as provided support for smaller Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members. A complete list of mainstage productions are available on SSP's website.
SSP's 32nd season continues with the world premiere of Lefties by Lee Johnson of Aurora, Illinois, running February 15–March 10, 2013, and Measure for Measure, which runs April 26–May 19, 2013.
The Dining Room runs October 19–November 11, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at Marshfield just west of Ashland, in Chicago. Free parking is available in two lots. Full-priced single tickets are $15, $10 for students with valid IDs and $7 for seniors and children younger than 12. Patrons save $5 on a full-priced ticket if they bring a non-perishable food product to a performance. Subscription packages for the three-play season are $30, $20 for seniors. Group rates also are available. All programming is subject to change. For information, call 773-404-7922 or visit saintsebastianplayers.org.