by Charles Busch
a wildly hilarious comic homage to all nun films!
An outrageous comic homage to all nun films, THE DIVINE SISTER is a gleefully twisted tale about a resolute Mother Superior. While trying to build a new school for her convent, she must cope with a young postulant who experiences “visions,” a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun from Berlin, and a former suitor intent on luring her from her vows.
“Cue the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus!” – The New York Times
“…campy good fun.” - Theatremania
MEET THE CAST
|ASHBY BLAKELY (Mother Superior) is very excited to be making his Actor’s Theatre debut in THE DIVINE SISTER! Ashby has been performing in Charlotte almost nonstop since 2003, so you may have seen him playing anything around Charlotte from a ghost on the streets of uptown to a bunny rabbit on the stage at Imaginon. Ashby was also recently a part of the inaugural production of Festival Stage of Winston-Salem. Other favorite rolls include: Cinnamon Rolls, Yeast Rolls, Poppy Seed Rolls, and of course Sister Schubert’s Rolls. A special thanks to his family and friends for their love and support.|
|CAROLINE BOWER (Agnes) received her BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University Caroline and has performed in NYC, on national tours and in her home base of Charlotte, NC. Local audiences have seen her work with CPCC Summer Theatre (THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE), Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (THE WIZARD OF OZ, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PETER PAN) and The Machine (THE BALD SOPRANO, MUM’S THE WORD). Caroline is thrilled to be back on stage at ATC, where she last appeared as Linda in EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL. Love to the fam and MBC.|
|NICIA CARLA (Mrs. Levinson/Timothy) is pleased to be in her first production with Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte. She was eager for a chance to play here after being an actor in the nuVoices Festival last summer. Most recently she was the Whore in LA RONDE and Miss Havasnort in PENNY PENNIWORTH with PaperHouse Theatre Company, a company she began with fellow actors. A former Tarradiddle Player and Core Artist with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, she has played everything from the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL, to holocaust survivor (Eva) in AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME. As an original company member of Chickspeare, she has had the pleasure of being both Malvolio and Prince Hal, in TWELFTH NIGHT and HENRY IV respectively. Other favorite roles include Babette in SIC with Off Tryon Theatre and Ensemble in LIFEGAME with Barebones Theatre Group.|
|ROBERT LEE SIMMONS ((Jeremy/Brother Venerius) wants to thank Chip, Dan and Matt for the opportunity to play with the Actor’s Theatre family again. Previously at ATC: CLYBOURNE PARK, LT. OF INISHMORE and THE PILLOWMAN. Favorite shows include: KILLER JOE, BEHANDING IN SPOKANE, OMNIUM GATHERUM, OUR LADY OF 121 STREET, DARK PLAY, DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, ITALIAN AMERICAN RECONCILIATION, BETTYS SUMMER VACATION, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and MR. MARMALADE. Robert attended the Pre-Professional Drama Program at University North Carolina School of the Arts and the Actors Apprentice Program at Actors Theatre of Louisville, home of the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Finally, Robert would like to thank the talented cast, crew and ATC staff. A special Thank You goes out to his family and friends for supporting his dream.|
|CATHERINE SMITH (Sister Walburga) left rural Montgomery, NY, in the 80’s to study at UNC Charlotte. In 2005, she moved from Charlotte to Waxhaw where she now lives with her two dogs and two-and-a-half cats. She loves everything about small town life in her “little piece of paradise,” so reminiscent of the place where she was raised. Working from home, she gets to enjoy it a lot! Catherine is grateful that her free-lance career as an actor and voice talent enables her to record commercials, narrations, and phone messages by day and do theatre at night. Her voice can be heard across the country on TV and radio stations and in more unusual places like convenience stores or inside your favorite pet supply establishment. She is deeply appreciative of working once again with the outstanding staff of Actor’s Theatre and grateful for the joy and outrageousness of her director, Matt Cosper, and castmates.|
|BARBI VANSCHAICK (Sister Acacius) wanted to be a Solid Gold Dancer but abandoned that dream to pursue a more practical degree in Theatre from the University of NC at Charlotte. She then had a successful run as a professional hairdresser but in 2006 succumbed to her passionate desire to walk the boards again and studied Classical Acting Technique in the English theatrical canon at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Ms. VanSchaick is currently head stitcher, cutter, draper and animal wrangler at Varnadore Costumes. Former credits include: THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, TARTUFFE, KING LEAR (Charlotte Shakespeare), THOM THOM, THE BALD SOPRANO (The Machine), SAVAGE IN LIMBO (C.A.S.T.), THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Actor’s Theatre), LIFEGAME (Bare Bones), ANGELS IN AMERICA, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, COMMUNICATING DOORS (Charlotte Repertory Theatre).|
MEET THE CREATIVE TEAM
|CHARLES BUSCH (Playwright) is the author and star of such plays as THE DIVINE SISTER, THE LADY IN QUESTION, RED SCARE ON SUNSET and VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM, which ran five years and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. His play THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE ran for 777 performances on Broadway and won Mr. Busch the Outer Circle Critics John Gassner Award and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays, “Psycho Beach Party” and “Die Mommie Die!”, the latter of which won him the Best Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, Mr. Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright. Mr. Busch made his directorial debut with the film “A Very Serious Person”, which premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won an honorable mention. He is also the subject of the documentary film “The Lady in Question is Charles Busch”.|
|MATT COSPER’s (Director) local credits include work with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (MACBETH, THE NEW KID), Starving Artist Productions (THE DUMB WAITER, DON’T CRY FOR ME, MARGARET MITCHELL), BBTG (COYOTE UGLY),Theatre Charlotte (THE CRUCIBLE), CAST (SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME), Charlotte Shakespeare (THE TEMPEST, OPUS) The Farm (THE LESSON, WORLD WITHOUT END), and ATC’s nuVoices Festival. In addition to his work in Charlotte Matt has developed new plays in NYC (THE COLLAPISBLE HOLE, THE ONTOLOGICAL-Hysteric Theatre), Eastern Europe (Urban Theatre/National Theatre of Kosovo) and the Pacific Northwest (Oregon Children’s Theatre). Matt is the Founding Director of Machine, a local ensemble creating original performances. These works include THOMTHOM (IF THAT BIRD WON’T SING), MUM’S THE WORD, and BOHEMIAN GROVE. Matt currently writes theatre criticism for Charlotte Viewpoint Magazine and is working with Machine on a new work, A GUIDE FOR THE NEWLY DEAD, to premiere in spring of 2014.|
|HALLIE GRAY (Lighting Design) has been designing lights with Actor’s Theatre since 1999′s production of Molly Sweeney. She was raised in the theatre by her legendary theatrical parents, George and Sandra Gray. She has been a consistent presence in the local theatre community, having designed lights for most theatre companies in town, and winning numerous nominations and awards for outstanding lighting design. In 2010 was honored to be Creative Loafing’s first recipient of the Tech of the Year award. Because trying to make a living on nothing but lighting design would give her hives, she also enjoys working with Opera Carolina as their Assistant Master Electrician, and working as a stagehand with the Charlotte stagehands union, IATSE Local #322. You know, those Broadway shows are ok, but Hallie contends that the best theatre takes place in smaller venues. Thanks for patronizing your local theatre!|
|CHIP DECKER (Scenic Designer) was born and raised in the Green Mountains of Vermont and has lived in Texas, North Dakota and North Carolina. Chip joined Actor’s Theatre in 1996 and became Artistic Director in 2002. In addition to acting in our productions of DARK RAPTURE, STUMPS, ZARA SPOOK & OTHER LURES, BUG, THE REDUCED SHAKESPEARE’S “ABRIDGED” plays and RABBIT HOLE, Chip received MTA’s Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of Michael in ATC’s multi-award winning drama, THE PILLOWMAN. Also, he received Creative Loafing’s Best Director (Comedy) Award for our production of WONDER OF THE WORLD, as well as sharing Theatre Person of the Year honors. He also directed THE WHIPPING MAN, RED, CUTTIN’ UP, BLUE DOOR, THE 39 STEPS, END DAYS, MY FIRST TIME, SOUTHERN RAPTURE, THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE, POLISH JOKE that opened our 2005-2006 season, THE OLDEST PROFESSION, and THE SANTALAND DIARIES. Chip would like to thank his favorite scene partner of 20 years, his wife, Taffy.|
SNEAK PREVIEWS: Friday & Saturday, May 31-June 1 at 8:00pm
Save money and see the full show! Previews are our way to “test” the show in front of a live audience, before opening it up to critical review. After previews, the director and designers may choose to make minor changes to the show (line delivery, lighting or sound changes, etc.). Be a part of the creative process, and take advantage of a discounted ticket!
Cost: $17 per ticket
OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday, June 5th at 7:30pm, reception immediately following the performance
Join us for the Opening Night of THE DIVINE SISTER and enjoy an evening of fabulous theatre and complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine.
Cost: FREE, with purchase of ticket
TALKBACK THURSDAYS: Thursdays during the run of the show immediately following the performance
Have a burning question after seeing the show and want an answer from the creative team? Then stick around after the show on Thursdays for a facilitated talkback with the cast and director Matt Cosper.
Cost: FREE, with purchase of ticket
PAY WHAT YOU CAN NIGHT: Wednesday, June 12th at 7:30pm
Looking for a jolly good time but don’t have a wad of cash lying around? ‘Pay What You Can’ is the ticket for you because we will accept any amount you give us for a ticket, whether it’s $1 or $20 (a $10 donation is recommended per ticket). No advanced reservations accepted. Tickets sold beginning at 6:30p the date of performance and are sold until we sell out. Cash, check and major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX) accepted. Maximum of four tickets per person. Line begins forming between 5:30 – 6:00p. Performances typically sell out.