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Light-hearted prison comedy kicks off new year at Curtain Call

By Curtain Call

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Curtain Call's cast of The DelVal Divas, set in The Delaware Valley Federal Correctional Facility are seen here in an early rehearsal. Seated, left to right, Kate Telfer and Miran Robarts; standing, left to right: Amy Wade. Ann Alford, Rachel Schulte and Brent McKinley. (contributed photo)
Stella Wild, MBA, Rosemary Adams, JD/MBA, Linda Robertson, M.D.,Ph.D., and Beth Ziegler, MBA, have some things in common. Besides being educated, successful, professional women, they also share the same address: - they reside at the Delaware Valley (DelVal) Federal Correctional Facility, a low-level security prison for white and "pink" collar criminals. Their story - The DelVal Divas - will play in The Dressing Room Theatre January 12 through 29 at Sterling Farms in Stamford.

"I found this script while researching shows with great roles for women," said Curtain Call executive director, Lou Ursone. "Also, I usually look for something light for after the holidays, so this seemed to fit perfectly, he added." (Last January, the company produced another comedy leaning on the distaff side; Calendar Girls.) "These 'divas' have the Warden in one pocket and their cell block guard in another and continue to indulge their lavish and luxurious lifestyles until one of them is prematurely released and a murderess moves in to her place," he added, telling a bit more of the story.

Starring in this comedy about six capable and intelligent women who just happen to be in prison are: from STAMFORD: Brent McKinley and Rachel Schulte; from DARIEN: Amy Wade; from GREENWICH: Kate Telfer; from NORWALK: Ann Alford; and from MAMARONECK, NY: Miran Robarts. Directing is long time Curtain Call artist - Gail Yudain of STAMFORD. Production design is by Peter Barbieri, Jr (FAIRFIELD) with costumes by Terry Hanson (WHITE PLAINS, NY).

“I began to write Delval Divas in 2000 and, thinking back, it’s almost like I had a crystal ball into the future,” said playwright Barbara Pease Weber. “Since I was, at the time, an actor in my 40s, I decided that I wanted to try to write a comedy involving strong, educated and bright middle aged women. I considered an office setting then decided it would be boring. Thought about a gym setting. Nah, boring! Then I asked myself, where would a group of well educated, successful and intelligent women find themselves together? A-ha! In the slammer for their various and sundry corporate misdeeds. Hence, Delval Divas was born in my head.”

Relations between guards and inmates are usually fairly cordial at The Delaware Valley Federal Correctional Facility, but sometimes, as seen here in this rehearsal for Curtain Call's production of The DelVal Divas, they can get a little tense. Seen here, left to right foreground: Miran Robarts and Brent McKinley / background, Amy Wade and Ann Alford. (contributed photo)
Yudain has been working with this cast since early November while she herself was appearing on stage in Glengarry Glen Ross and rehearsing for her December performances in A Merry Mulberry Street Musical. "I knew she was going to be extra busy, but her work with the women of Calendar Girls last winter was so terrific, I had to ask her to take on this show," Ursone said.

The DelVal Divas will play in The Dressing Room Theatre from January 12 through 29, Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:00pm. Call the Box Office for tickets at 203-461-6358 x36, or go online to www.curtaincallinc.com. Prices for all performances are $32 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and $16 for students and children. Group rates are also available upon request. Discounted passes offer great flexibility and significant savings.Thursday evenings: all seats $25.

More information is available at www.curtaincallinc.com or by calling 203-461-6358. Curtain Call is the non-profit community-based theatre company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue in Stamford. Year-round productions and workshops are presented by and for area residents in The Kweskin Theatre and The Dressing Room Theatre. Curtain Call was voted Fairfield County's BEST LOCAL THEATRE GROUP ten years running in the Annual Readers' Poll of The Fairfield County Weekly and has received similar BEST OF awards from Stamford Magazine and StamfordPlus magazine for 2008 through 2016. Curtain Call received The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2011 and the 2016 ACE Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.

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