29
Sep

Meet Jennifer Lyman, Director of BUG

Jennifer Lyman (Director) has been active in community theater in Northern Virginia for nearly 20 years and has done a little of everything. She started out working on light and sound crews and soon moved up to Master Electrician and Lighting Designer before adding Stage Manager, Producer, and Director to her resume. If you are an avid theater patron you might have caught her on stage in The Will Rogers’ Follies at DS, War of the Worlds/The Shadow at PCP or Footloose at LTA. Jennifer has produced 14 productions including Plaza Suite, Dog Sees God, Intimate Apparel and Hot L Baltimore for LTA, and the WATCH and Ruby Griffith Award winning Betrayal for PCP. She directed A Time for Grace and A Christmas Carol for LTA and The Drawer Boy for PCP. Jennifer is a past board member and president of PCP, and served on LTA’s board for 6 years. She has a Bachelor Degree in Media and Theatre Arts and currently serves as a WATCH judge.

jennifer lyman 168x300 Meet Jennifer Lyman, Director of BUG

Jennifer Lyman, director of BUG



Come see Jennifer’s work with the cast & crew in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!

What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

BUG is one of the most interesting, unexpected, and layered plays I have come across in a long time. Before I even finished reading it the first time, I knew that I wanted to direct this show. The characters and plot really grabbed me and the complexity of all the elements comprising the show made it a challenge I couldn’t refuse.

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

In college, I studied film and television production, music, and writing. I did dabble a bit in theater but it didn’t really grab my attention. After I graduated, I spent my free time working in television production and singing with local chorus groups. Some friends convinced me that I should give community theater a try and they dragged me to the Little Theater of Alexandria to work on the lighting crew. I loved it so much that I dived head first into exploring lots of aspects of theater production and have been expanding my skills ever since.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? or, What’s something you’ve done in this show that you’ve never done before in any other show?

This is the darkest and most intense show I have ever been a part of. I thought I would jump right into the deep end with BUG and see how well I, and everyone else, can swim.

What creeps you out the most?

Snakes and sharks are seriously creepy and scary. Self mutilation is also creepy.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

I hope the audience leaves the theater and ends up discussing the play, the issues portrayed in it, and how it all makes them feel on their way home. I hope that our production makes them think about the broken people in our society and what they can do to help their struggling friends, co-workers, or the strangers they meet.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

I would suggest that anyone who has an interest in working in community theater stop thinking about it and just do it. No matter what your skills or talents, there is something you can offer a community theater. Walk up to someone who is already involved, call or email the company and say “Hi, I would like to get involved. How can I help.” Be persistent, as sometimes we theater people get too tunnel visioned on our productions and don’t spend enough time mentoring and including new people in the process.

27
Sep

Meet Larry Grey and Amy Solo, Stage Manager & Assistant Stage Manager for BUG

Larry Grey (Stage Manager) is thankful to the producers and director for the opportunity to venture once more into life offstage, enjoying learning all aspects of theater. “Everything it takes to make the finished product come alive for theatergoers is an adventure to me. As an actor I learn a new appreciation for all the people behind the scenes, and everything that goes into the making of a quality production. So Thanks, to all the people helping along the way.” Larry was most recently seen onstage in Life with Father (ACCT) as Dr. Lloyd; Ragtime as JP Morgan, the Judge, and a variety of other characters, Funny Money as Detective Sargent Davenport, Hairspray in the role of Wilbur Turnblad, 1776, as Andrew McNair, multiple productions of A Christmas Carol as Bob Cratchit, Mr. Fezziwig, and the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Love, Sex, and the IRS (LTA); Parade as Hugh Dorsey, and Bye Bye Birdie as Harry MacAfee (SMP); Godspell (ZVP); Assassins (CHP). Larry was nominated for a WATCH award in Prop design for his work on Visit to a Small Planet (LTA); Co Stage Manager for Drawer Boy and ASM for Next Fall (PCP).

larry grey 300x300 Meet Larry Grey and Amy Solo, Stage Manager & Assistant Stage Manager for BUG

Larry Grey, Stage Manager in BUG


Come see Larry’s work with the cast and crew in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!

What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

I chose BUG because of it’s incredible depth as it delves into the minds of these broken people, but makes you wonder are we so different. Do we not all have the same need for connection and purpose as these poor misguided individuals?

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

I have been involved in theater for over 40 years now, and while my first love is musical theater, I have loved comedy and drama. This year I challenged myself to being more involved in the creative backstage process of bringing a show to the stage. As an actor it gives me a whole new respect for everything that goes on to make us, as actors, look good out there. The sounds, the lights, the sets, the cues, the directors vision..all of which we, as actors, are so dependent on. And understanding the process only in the long run makes be a better actor.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

I want them to experience giving us their money, and I want them to walk away with the knowledge that they have given us their money!!!!




Amy Solo, your Assistant Stage Manager

amy solo 300x258 Meet Larry Grey and Amy Solo, Stage Manager & Assistant Stage Manager for BUG

Amy Solo, Assistant Stage Manager for BUG




Come see Amy’s work with the cast and crew in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

More than any time since the Vietnam War, our country is populated with the “walking wounded” – AND that old adage about “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you” rings pretty true too…we all need to be a little bit gentler to each other – if only to take some pressure off the slow – antelope-vessel people like Agnes…

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

My advice to others who are interested in working in theatre is…do it. You are never too old, too inexperienced – or too suburban. And this ol’gal should know! I am grateful to have been taken in from the rather large bulrushes basket on the Byers/Moretti/Parker doorstep!

25
Sep

Meet Gary Cramer, Dr. Sweet in BUG

Gary Cramer (Dr. Sweet) is clinically proven as a local community theater veteran, having appeared in nearly 20 productions since 2005, including such recent shows as A Christmas Carol and Twentieth Century (LTA); November (DS); And Then There Were None, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelve Angry Men (ACCT). He also has a recurring role in Shotgun Mythos, an independently produced dark fantasy web series airing on YouTube, blip.tv, and townspot.tv.

Gary Cramer 1 240x300 Meet Gary Cramer, Dr. Sweet in BUG

Gary Cramer, Dr. Sweet in BUG

Come see Gary and the rest of the cast in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!


What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

For years now, most of my stage roles have been in outright comedies or as the comic relief character in older dramas, family-friendly fare, traditional mysteries, etc., so I do appreciate the variety of bringing a more serious character to life in a deeper, darker, modern show now and then. After all, my own preferences in entertainment tend toward serious science fiction, horror, murder mystery, and psychological thriller material that doesn’t end up on stage very much on this side of the Potomac.

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

The beginning of it dates back to my high school years, when a speech teacher insisted I try out for a show he was directing, and I ended up being in a handful of school plays through my senior year. However, I did not find opportunities for acting in college or return to the stage until I was in my mid-30s, when some thespian friends of mine cajoled me into auditioning for the summer season of a barn theater near State College, Pa., where I was living at the time. Since getting my first “adult” role there, hardly a year has gone by in which I haven’t been in at least one play, and sometimes several.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? or, What’s something you’ve done in this show that you’ve never done before in any other show?

This is the most serious and surreal modern show I’ve been involved in that is not based on a true story (as far as I know…). The unique thing for my role in it is that while I have played characters who only appear in one scene in other shows, I think this may be the most “meaty” part of this nature I have ever had.

What creeps you out the most?

Watching (or even thinking about) scenes in which someone dislocates a shoulder, breaks their neck, or punctures something is a great way to make me queasy as heck. But I don’t mind the sight of blood and most bugs don’t bother me. Except for ticks. I have no kind things to say about ticks.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

Someone new comes into your life. He or she has some pretty wild stories about the past. How sure can you ever really be if those tales are true. How sure do you want to be?

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

Just accept that others are right when they feel there is something deeply wrong with all theater folk, and enjoy the ride with your fellow geeks.

What have you learned about yourself in doing this show?

Playing creeps can be cathartic.

When a scene calls for you to display hatred, what do you think about?

I just imagine any gym teacher I ever had in my life.

23
Sep

Meet Elizabeth Hansen, RC in BUG

Elizabeth Hansen (R.C.) is very happy to be making her Dominion Stage debut with this production of Bug. Some of her favorite past theatre experiences include Apotheosis (Devising Ensemble), Crave (C), Phaedra’s Love (Phaedra), and Trojan Women (Trojan Woman – Armenia). JJ, it’s super weird not having you in the room. Mom and Chris, all the love, as always.

Elizabeth Hansen 1 240x300 Meet Elizabeth Hansen, RC in BUG

Elizabeth Hansen as RC in BUG

Come see Elizabeth and the rest of the cast in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!



What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

The most appealing thing about BUG is its fearlessness in the grotesque. Letts unabashedly takes you where the story needs to go, whether you want to go there or not. I have a strong respect for artists that do that, and prefer to work on art which follows that standard.

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

I’ve been involved in theatre since high school. I was “persuaded” to attend a Theatre meeting by a friend, and two weeks later I found myself auditioning for my first play. When I got cast, I fell in love with the whole process of theatre – rehearsals, especially. They combine my love of research, hard work, and play in a way that I find incredibly satisfying.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? or, What’s something you’ve done in this show that you’ve never done before in any other show?

Funnily enough, BUG doesn’t tend to differ much from other plays I have done. I tend to be attracted to, and cast in, dark, emotionally intense work. I suppose the main difference this time around is that I’m playing one of the more “well-adjusted” characters. That’s a fun, different experience for me.

What creeps you out the most?

I tend to be very creeped out my sea creatures, especially fish and squid/octopi. The amount of creepiness increases if I’m in the water with them, and the depth of said water. Supermassive black holes also tend to freak me out in a wonderful way, as well as the general ridiculous size of most things in the universe. My brain just stops comprehending after a while. Also, people sleepwalking. Seriously. That is one of the creepiest things to watch.

21
Sep

Meet Jo Sullivan, Agnes in BUG

Jo Sullivan (Agnes White) is thrilled to be working with Dominion Stage for the first time. The cast, board and leadership and support from Jennifer and the production team has been such a gift and as she watched the audition notice go up and counted the days til the audition – it really was an honor to get that call offering her the part. Jo has been acting on and off her whole life in productions as varied as Viola in Twelfth Night in Westchester, NY all the way to Jenny Malone in Chapter Two (CP). Her first love is always the dark and twisty so Agnes fits that perfectly. Having explored Tracy Letts before as Barbara in August: Osage County she thought she knew what she was in for – but Agnes is the most perfectly broken character Letts has created to date. In her daily life, Jo is a fundraising and nonprofit professional but is taking an unplanned mid-life crisis to explore other fields and currently studying to become an Addiction Counselor. HUGE thanks to Dan – the best line drill man who has never been on stage.

Jo Sullivan 1 240x300 Meet Jo Sullivan, Agnes in BUG

Jo Sullivan as Agnes White in BUG




Come see Jo and the rest of the cast in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!

What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

I became a Lett’s fan after doing August: Osage County. There is something sad, vulnerable and tragic in his characters. He spins stories of mental illness, addiction and dysfunction in a way that’s believable and recognizable today’s society. For BUG – I was drawn to Agnes because I saw parts of me in her – the good and the bad – and exploring her as a character was also an exploration in some dark and twisty stuff in me. Each of the characters brings a set of demons into the hotel room and how the story unfolds is intense and tragic – but more importantly – real because of the depth of characters the play and Jennifer Lyman allows us to build.

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

I am too old to actually count years!! But, I can say my Mother used to tell me when I was 3 or 4 I used to tell her I wanted to be Dr. Doolittle or Carol Burnett. So, most of my life I have been in or around theater. There were periods I just didn’t have the time to commit because life did what life does – but never more than 18 months or so before I’d find a way back to my first love!

What creeps you out the most?

Spiders. I am HORRIBLY afraid of spiders, And have a visceral reaction to them….I tend to want to go all Peter and tape up the house with plastic and bug bomb the crap out of everything. Sad but true….I’ve made myself physically ill tracking a spider all over the house and spraying a mushroom cloud of raid. Whole can…….mostly fuming around my face…..had a headache for days.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

If you want to transition to something professional…patience, commitment, build a network and be ready to hear “no” a lot!

What have you learned about yourself in doing this show?

Like all shows that force me to go somewhere dark and twisty – I like the journey. I relish the opportunity to go into worlds like this as a voyeur and it also touches some real life experiences of mine – so it is a cheap form of therapy. Or more expensive depending on how I look at it!

When a scene calls for you to display hatred, what do you think about?

I had a director once tell me that anger and hatred were boring. That every character had SOMETHING redeeming in the character you feel the emotion toward OR how you react if you’re on the “hate” side. I’m not sure I’ll ever be that good. But – I do try. I try to think of Goss – and maybe the time he picked up diapers and brought flowers or whatever….and hope a tender spot emerges before he’s an a** again and the hate and anger take over





Switch to our mobile site