Tag Archives: The Sweetest Swing in Baseball

Meet the Artists of “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball”

Rebecca Gilman, Playwright

A native of Rebecca Gilman photoAlabama, Rebecca Gilman’s plays include The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, The Glory of Living, as well as world premieres at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre of Spinning Into Butter, Boy Gets Girl, and Blue Surge. Ms. Gilman’s plays have been produced at the Lincoln Center, Royal Court Theatre in London, the Public Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club among many others. She serves on the advisory board for Chicago Dramatists and was awarded the 2008 Harper Lee Award.

Michelle Urbane, Director

Michelle Urbane photo The Sweetest Swing in Baseball marks Michelle’s second main stage directing project for Actors’ Theatre, though her history with the theater includes many acting and directing accomplishments.  “Shelly”, as her friends know her, has also directed for GRCC Players and Circle Theatre as well as for the Actors’ Living on the Edge series.

Michelle’s acting credits for Actors’ include the 2007 production of Neil Labute’s Fat Pig and 2004’s The Rocky Horror Show, among many others. She is also the Manager of Spectrum Theater.

Jolene Frankey (Dana)

Jolene Frankey photoJolene is delighted to make her Actors’ Theatre debut. Performance credits: Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (PA), Cherry County Playhouse (MI), Pittsburgh Playhouse (PA), NBC Studios (NY), and locally with Civic Theatre, Circle Theatre, and Creative Edge Productions. Choreography credits: Gateway Playhouse (NY), CRW Productions (NY), Pittsburgh Playhouse (PA), and locally with Civic Theatre, and Youth Theatre Grand Rapids. Casting credits: Rosen & Wojcik Casting (NY), Fahey Dreher Casting (MI).

Ellie Gramer (Rhonda/Dr. Gilbert)

Ellie Gramer photoEllie was most recently seen performing in  Distracted ( Mrs Holly/ Dr.Waller/Nurse) with Actor’s Theatre, her Actor’s Theatre performances include: Mr. Marmalade (Sookie/Emily) ,A New Brain(Nancy D.), and Side Show (Violet Hilton), opposite her best friend & sister, Cici. With Circle Theatre she was most recently seen in RENT(Maureen), Annie (Lily St Regis) TOMMY (Mrs. Walker), Oliver!(Nancy) (which garnered her a Lead Actress Grand Award in 2007) and Moby Dick!(Esta). With Civic Theatre she appeared in the Producer’s (Ulla). Her ensemble credits include: Sunday In The Park With George, Nine and EVITA at Mason Street Warehouse theatre. Ellie is a member of the Opera Grand Rapids Chorus, and she also performs regularly as a cabaret artist.

Kyle Los (Brian/Michael)

Kyle Los photoKyle was last scene on stage performing as Mark in Circle Theatre’s production of Rent and is glad to be returning to the stage as Michael for Sweetest Swing. Off-stage credits include music director and tech director: The Drowsy Chaperone, Rogers High School, music director: Godspell, Holland Civic Theatre, and accompanist: Jane Eyre: the Musical, Hope College. Currently, Kyle is preparing as The Lecturer in Actors’ Theatre’s production of Reefer Madness: the Musical.

Calin Skidmore (Roy/Gary)

Calin Skidmore photoCalin is thrilled to be making his 10th mainstage appearance for Actors’ Theatre!  He appeared earlier this season in the world premier of Lines: The Lived Experience of Race, for which we was also a writer and member of the devising team.  He was also a writer/devising team and original cast member for Seven Passages as well as co-writing and appearing in its film adaptation.  Other favorite roles at Actors’ include Corpus Christi, The Rocky Horror Show, Bach At Leipzig, A New Brain, and The Little Dog Laughed.  Calin has also worked on Actors’ Living On The Edge series as a playwright, director and actor and has appeared on stage at Circle Theater, Civic Theater, API Theater (Kalamazoo), and with the.theatre.project at The BOB.  He works as Talent Development and Booking Manager for MP Talent Agency in Grand Rapids.  He has never met a redhead he did not like, and can never turn down nachos.

Lorna Torres (Erica/Dr. Stanton)

Lorna Torres photo Lorna is happy to be back on the Actor’s stage having last been seen in Lines: The Lived Experience of Race.  She was also in the 2009 production of The Clean House for Actor’s Theatre playing Matilde.

Leave a comment

Filed under Plays and Productions

Special Offer for Opening Night of “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball!”

On Monday, March 14th, the box office opened for general ticket sales to the Actors’ Theatre West Michigan premiere of The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, by Rebecca Gilman.

Ms. Gilman, whose work Boy Gets Girl was last seen on Actors’ stages in 2004, has written a play the Denver Post says “throws a curveball so baffling it would leave Barry Bonds in the dust.”    Her work has been produced at Lincoln Center, Royal Court Theatre in London, the Public Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club among many others.

The Sweetest Swing in Baseball follows the story of artist Dana Fielding.   Dana finds herself in a career slump and can’t seem to break out of it.  Her boyfriend has lost patience, her latest gallery opening is a flop and her anxiety for it all turns her into a recluse. When Dana attempts suicide she lands in a mental ward, but finds she enjoys it so much she wants to stay…

With insurance coverage running out, she arrives at an inventive solution:  become former baseball player Darryl Strawberry.  The problem:  she knows next to nothing about baseball!   An hilarious look at the agonies and ecstasies of making art, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball is sure to amuse and entertain audiences of all interests and backgrounds!

Tickets are $24 for adults/$20 for students and seniors.  Student RUSH seating ($10) is available beginning 45 minutes prior to curtain with valid student ID. As an early bird special we are offering 3 for the price of 2 (limit: 9) seating to the opening night performance!   Purchase online or call the box office to take advantage of this special offer*. This offer expires at 5PM on Friday, March 18th so bring a friend and don’t delay!   Tickets may be purchased at the Spectrum Theater Box Office by calling (616) 234-3946 or online by clicking the button below:

*Discounts automatically apply when conditions are met. Not valid in conjunction with other discounts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Plays and Productions

Thomas Allen creates “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball” Artwork

Michigan artist Thomas Allen‘s work “Batter’s Box” is being used on posters and promotional materials for the upcoming Actors’ production of The Sweetest Swing In Baseball by Rebecca Gilman.  Check out more of his fantastic work at his website, thomasallenonline.com or on his presentation entitled “Papercuts.”  (Note, video is best viewed in full screen.)

Public Presentation Intro from Thomas Allen on Vimeo:

Leave a comment

Filed under Plays and Productions

The Sweetest Swing in Baseball – Cast Announced!

The cast for The Sweetest Swing in Baseball has been announced:

Dana – Jolene Frankey
Roy/Gary – Calin Skidmore
Rhonda/Dr. Gilbert – Ellie Gramer
Brian/Michael – Kyle Los
Erica/Dr. Stanton – Lorna Torres

Congratulations to all!  The Sweetest Swing in Baseball opens March 24th at Actors’ Theatre.


Rebecca Gilman, Playwright

Rebecca Gilman native of Alabama, Rebecca Gilman’s plays include The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, The Glory of Living, as well as world premieres at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre of Spinning Into Butter, Boy Gets Girl, and Blue Surge. Ms. Gilman’s plays have been produced at the Lincoln Center, Royal Court Theatre in London, the Public Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club among many others. She serves on the advisory board for Chicago Dramatists and was awarded the 2008 Harper Lee Award.

Michelle Urbane, Director

The Sweetest Swing in Baseball marks Michelle’s second mainstage directing project for Actors’ Theatre, though her history with the theater includes many acting and directing accomplishments. “Shelly”, as her friends know her, has also directed for GRCC Players and Circle Theatre as well as for the Actors’ Living on the Edge series.

Michelle’s acting credits for Actors’ include the 2007 production of Neil Labute’s Fat Pig and 2004’s The Rocky Horror Show, among many others. She is also the Manager of Spectrum Theater.

Leave a comment

Filed under Plays and Productions