In 2009, playwright Bert Anderson brought us his powerful play, Bone, Dying into Life, based on events in the life of well-known Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, with a strong cast that featured Dee Maaske and Julie Oda.
His new play, Mr. Brightside and the Bonfire Nights, again based on real events, is playing May 9 and 11, with proceeds benefitting Mediation Works. Justin Pollard, an Eagle Scout, church-going, high school honor student, now 19, is expelled from his university in his first year and sent home. Justin’s deviant behavior escalates until he and his friend are arrested for horrific crimes. The question addressed in Mr. Brightside is what turns Justin from a model young man into a dangerous felon?
The production is very fortunate to have Jon Cypher in the cast. His credits include 12 Broadway shows including The Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon in The Night of the Iguana, Dr. Carrasco in Man of La Mancha plus nine others. In Los Angeles, he starred as Julian Marsh in 42nd St., and played Juan Peron in Evita at the Shubert Theatre. Jon has been featured in five soap operas, including As the World Turns and General Hospital. He has starred in 20 features and has been in over 200 films. You have most likely seen Jon as Maj. Gen. Marcus Craig on the hit CBS series Major Dad, or for seven seasons as Chief Daniels on Hill Street Blues.
Janet Rodkey will be directing Mr. Brightside and the Bonfire Nights. Janet is well-known in local theater circles having served as president of The Ashland New Plays Festival and initiated the 24/7 Project. She has been active as a teacher and director for over 30 years.
Bert Anderson holds a Masters Degree in Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. Since coming to Ashland, he has been writing both short and full length plays. In 2010, Bert started the Playwright Actor Atelier, bringing actors and writers together once a month to give birth to new local works.
Due to the subject matter of the play a portion of the ticket price of Mr. Brightside and the Bonfire Nights will go to Mediation Works, a community dispute resolution center. Mediation Works teaches conflict resolution in schools, in the work place and throughout the community.
Cast: Jon Cypher, Rochelle Savitt, Tim Kelly, Richard Heller, Cat Gould, Shayne Lancaster, Jimmy Dix, Jessie Scales and David Rowley. Dennis Nicomede, narrates.
Performance Dates: Monday May 9th and Wednesday May 11th at 8:00 p.m. at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 4th Street, Ashland.
Tickets: $15.00, students with ID $5.00; available at Paddington Station in Ashland or the Grocery Outlet in Medford.
Event Location: Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth Street, Ashland, OR 97520
Event Contact Information: Hugh Redmond, 541-708-0420, http://playwrightsatelier.org