Monthly Archives: December 2009

‘Mr. Marmalade’ In the The Revue

Check out this article about our next upcoming show…

Sickly Sweet
Written by S.A. Diaz
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 22:30

If people are to take away anything from Noah Haidle’s Mr. Marmalade, it should be noted how much the exchange from artist to audience is worth.

Cast of 'Mr. Marmalade' at Rehearsal: Taylor John Piedmonte, Krystina Schripsema, Ellie Gramer and Dylan Harris. Photo credit: S.A. Diaz, The Revue

Haidle, East Grand Rapids’ native son, is a successful playwright based in New York who has built a career writing the unconventional. The thoughts and ideas behind a show like Mr. Marmalade are not for everyone. Ironically, that includes the characters themselves.

The events center on the imagination of Lucy, a neglected child of divorce. Played by Krystina Schripsema, she describes Lucy as, “a very mature four year-old, especially with the way she speaks and most of the situations she deals with in the play.”

Those situations are indeed very mature, ranging from her mother’s many late night trysts, to her friendship with a suicidal five year-old, to her adoption of a complete mess of an imaginary friend. Jon Clausen, the actor who plays Mr. Marmalade is very solemn when discussing of the show’s language, “That frankly, should never be a part of a conversation between preschoolers.”

Click here to read the rest of the article from The Revue.

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Grand Rapids Press Review of ‘Frozen’

Be sure and check out the review of Frozen on mlive.

‘Frozen’ tells the story of a pedophile and victim with dramatic monologues

Actors' Theatre production of "Frozen". Kitty Carpenter mourns the loss of her daughter. Photo by T.J. Hamilton of The Grand Rapids Press

By Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press
December 04, 2009, 11:07AM

Like the winter storm that blanketed West Michigan Thursday night, Actors’ Theatre’s latest production, “Frozen,” delivers a chilling tale that is hard to ignore.

British playwright Bryony Lavery uses a series of dramatic monologues to weave her story about a pedophile and one of his victims. Like icebergs floating in a sea of story telling, the monologues only give the audience a peek at what’s above the surface, while what’s hidden below really snags their interest.

Using minimal props and set, director Stephanie Sandberg relies on the dramatic intensity of her three actors to carry these challenging solo scenes, and the cast does not disappoint.

Read the rest of the article from the Grand Rapids Press on

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Can you forgive a serial killer? Actors’ Theatre production asks that question

By Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press
November 29, 2009, 4:22AM

Actors Theatre of Grand Rapids presents Frozen

Kitty Carrico Carpenter portrays mom Nancy, and Ralph Lister is her son, serial killer Ralph, in the Actors’ Theatre production of “Frozen” in Spectrum Theater. Photo by Octavian Cantilli of The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Serial killers are popular subjects for dramas, whether the stories are about real-life murderers such as Ted Bundy or the fictional Hannibal Lector of “Silence of the Lambs.”

“People are fascinated by that kind of criminal probably because they are so hard to understand,” said local director Stephanie Sandberg. “We want to get inside their heads.”

“Frozen,” the play Sandberg is directing for Actors’ Theatre, pushes the audience a step further by asking whether it is possible to forgive a serial killer.

“There’s a lot of research about the effects of forgiveness on the brain and the power forgiveness has on society,” Sandberg said. “Even in the worst-case scenario, we do have the capacity to forgive.”

Written by British playwright Bryony Lavery, the three-character drama received four Tony Award nominations when it was presented in New York in 2005. It also created a bit of a controversy because the play lifted some passages without permission from a 1997 article in New Yorker Magazine.

But, fitting to the topic, the author of the article, Malcolm Gladwell, and Dorothy Lewis, the psychiatrist he featured in the article, chose to forgive rather than sue.

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Actors’ Theatre “Frozen” in the News – On The Town

By Katerie Prior | On-the-Town
November 30, 2009, 2:00PM

Actors’ Theatre explores forgiveness in Bryony Lavery’s powerful and controversial play, “Frozen.”

Actors' Theatre Grand Rapids cast of Frozen

Breaking the Ice: Kitty Carrico Carpenter, Ralph Lister, and Rebecca Monterusso in Frozen. Photo by Tom Firme.

Oscar Wilde once said, “Always forgive your enemies—nothing annoys them so much.” While his comment is amusing, his general advice is true. Forgiveness may give the offender peace of mind; it does nothing for the other person—its real benefit is for the person who does the forgiving.

That said, forgiveness sounds easy enough with small things, like forgiving someone for being late or breaking something, but how do you forgive bad things? Oppression, for instance, or a violent murder? It’s one reason why Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” This month, Actors’ Theatre explores the idea of forgiveness  in Frozen.

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Join Us for an Evening with Playwright Noah Haidle

We are pleased to announce a special event on December 28, 2009 with the playwright of Mr. Marmalade, Noah Haidle! You probably know that Mr. Marmalade opens at Actors’ Theatre in January, but you may not have known that Noah is a native of East Grand Rapids. Join Noah along with the director, cast and members of the production staff of Mr. Marmalade for drinks and discussion.
Actors' Theatre Mr. Marmalade


Sazerac Lounge
1418 Plainfield Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 451-0010

5:30 PM – Join us at Sazerac
6:00 PM – Discussion with Noah and the director and cast of Mr. Marmalade
7:00 PM – Social Time

  • All drinks are $1 off!
  • $4 10″ pizzas after 7 PM
  • Free parking behind Sazeracs

We look forward to seeing you at Sazerac Lounge on Monday, December 28th for good times and good conversation!

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