CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, March 30, 2023 – South Camden Theatre Company is excited to announce the continuation of our 2023 18th theatre season with the classic comedy by Peter Shaffer, “Lettice & Lovage.” The cast is set, and rehearsals are underway under the direction of Hedgerow Theatre’s Penelope Reed.
The show also stars South Camden Theatre Company’s artistic director, Dawn Varava, appearing courtesy of a Special Appearance contract from the Actors’ Equity Association, along with Stacy Skinner, who has appeared in several of our shows over the years. Both actors appeared together on our stage in “The Savannah Sipping Society” in 2013. They are joined by actors Anthony Wilcox and Emily-Grace Murray, along with a group of “tourists.”
Penelope Reed spoke about her experience. “What a delight to join the South Camden Theatre Company in mounting Peter Shaffer’s award-winning “Lettice & Lovage,” a comedy that celebrates the triumph of the extraordinary over the ordinary. Theatre-goers will especially find joy in the words of Shaffer’s imaginative, profound, and always entertaining theatre. Treating big ideas in innovative ways is his signature.”
“Lettice & Lovage” was nominated for a “Best Play” Tony Award in 1990. Peter Shaffer is also known for his drama’s “Equus,” “Amadeus,” and “Royal Hunt of the Sun.” “Lettice & Lovage” is a comical and satirical play centered on a flamboyant tour guide who loves to embellish the history behind an English country house and who butts heads with a fact-conscious official from The Preservation Trust during one of her tours.
Lettice Douffet (Stacy Skinner) is our Tour Guide in one of London’s least stately homes. She lifts the spirits of her tourist guests with her vibrant, imaginative storytelling. She is at odds with practical Lotte Shoen (Dawn Varava), from The Preservation Trust, who uses her power against Lettice. As with all of Shaffer’s plays, excitement reigns as audiences witness opposing Titans. While in Shaffer’s tragic Amadeus, Mozart’s genius loses against the less-gifted Salieri, In the award-winning “Lettice & Lovage,” we witness sparkling comedy as these two women of a certain age become female gladiators as they grow because of the struggle.
Director Penelope Reed last directed “The Breath Of Life” here in 2019 during our two-character play series. Penelope states, “Having played the role of “Lettice” at Hedgerow theatre, I had an opportunity to really dig into the play. Now, as a director, I have a new take on the piece. This show is indeed about relationships. Lettice, with her (and I think Shaffer’s) watchwords of Enlarging, Enlivening, and Enlightening, visibly inspires and enlarges each person she touches. Lotte… holds fast to the past. I think it’s a story about relationships, about the fast and intense culture we live in, and the possibility for these two very different women and their relationship.”
Artistic Director Dawn Varava found this comically genius play while chatting with Penelope and Stacy during her search for the 2023 season. Dawn noted, “Our planned season was about living one’s truth, and this play represents these two women “of a certain age” who are unafraid to live their truth. The friendship which these two develop changes both of them for the better.”
Dawn also spoke about being cast in the play. “I was excited to tackle the role of Lotte Schoen, because she goes through a major metamorphosis throughout the arc of the play which gives me an opportunity to stretch my acting chops in new and exciting ways.” “Plus,” she continued,
“I am honored to be working with director Reed, who has garnered many theatre awards throughout her career. She has guided both Stacy and me in our character development.”
Lettice & Lovage opens on April 14 and runs through April 30. Plan now to see this show. You will love it. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and on Sundays at 2:00 PM.
We’ve Added a New Show This June for Gay Pride
We are also excited to announce our collaboration with The Strides Collective for a Gay Pride production of the drama “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son this June. This show represents our first collaboration with another theatre company. We couldn’t be more excited. The Strides Collective was developed by Jonathan Edmondson to foster and produce queer plays by queer artists. Their vision perfectly matches our theatre vision as well as the play we are producing together. Jonathan will be directing this production,the and we are excited to present it in celebration of love and equality during Pride month.
If you haven’t visited South Camden Theatre Company, you’ll want to mark your calendar and plan to attend these two upcoming shows. The Waterfront South Theatre is a true gem in the Waterfront South arts district of Camden. It is the first free-standing theatre built in Camden in more than 100 years and is an intimate theatre space with room for 96 guests per performance. South Camden Theatre and its Waterfront South Theatre is just down Ferry Avenue past the intersection at Broadway on Jasper Street/Michael Doyle Lane.
Learn more about each show on our website at https://www.southcamdentheatre.org/our-2023- season. Be sure to sign up for our email notifications and receive information on special pricing, new events, and more. Tickets are available now. General admission is $20. There is a Camden Resident ticket available for $5 thanks to a grant from Holman Enterprises.
###### About The Theatre Company
South Camden Theatre Company is proud to call Camden home. When the company was founded in 2005, performances were held in the basement theatre of the Sacred Heart Church. We’re now the proud owners of The Waterfront South Theatre, the first, free-standing theatre built for live theatre in Camden in more than 100 years. Learn more here: www.southcamdentheatre.org.
###### About The Waterfront South Neighborhood
The Waterfront South neighborhood is home to a growing arts community. Our arts neighbors now include Camden FireWorks, artist studio spaces, and gallery, The Nick Virgilio Writer’s House, Mighty Writers, Bee Still Studios, The Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum, Camden Boat Works, and the Center For Environmental Transformation, along with The Heart of Camden, and The Sacred Heart Church. Visit: www.waterfrontsouthcamden.com to learn more about this growing arts community.
######## About our sponsors
South Camden Theatre Company was selected by PNC Bank to participate in PNC Arts Alive again for this season. This is a very prestigious grant award. Just over 40 organizations in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region were selected for bold thinking around increasing arts access and engagement. “We’ve long recognized just how vital the arts and cultural sector is to our community. The PNC team is once again excited to support the arts and cultural organizations visual and performing arts in the Delaware Valley,” said Joe Meterchick, PNC regional president for Philadelphia, Delaware and Southern New Jersey. “Arts and culture strengthen the local economy and have the power to bring people together. As we look forward to resuming everyday activities, we invite our neighbors to join us and be a part of art.” Read more here: https://bit.ly/pncartsaliveconnect Our shows are also sponsored in part by Holman Enterprise Group, Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Camden County College, and Subaru.
######## Contact Information
Our Theatre Company’s Office: (856) 409-0365
Robert Bingaman, Communications/Board President: