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Visiting Mr. GreenVisiting Mr. Green
By Jeff Baron
February 18 - March 12, 2005

Directed by Sara Phoenix

Traffic accidents happen every day, but in VISITING MR. GREEN, a traffic accident causes two worlds to collide.

Chance, not choice, brings together a young corporate executive and an elderly Jewish widower in Jeff Baronís touching comedy, which plays February 18-March 12 in Stage Centerís arena theater, located at 400 W. Sheridan in downtown Oklahoma City.

The play opens on a cluttered New York apartment where old newspapers, piles of unopened mail and dead flowers are the main dťcor. Itís the home of Mr. Green, an 86-year-old retired dry cleaner and a devout Orthodox Jew, but his life is in as much disarray as his walk-up apartment. His wife has passed away, and heís recovering from a fall when he wandered into traffic and was almost hit by a car. Now, Mr. Green is as closed off as a hermit.

Enter Ross Gardiner, a harried American Express executive and the driver of the car who has been cited for reckless driving. Ross has been sentenced to six months of community service and assigned to help Mr. Green once a week. Ross doesnít want to be there, and cantankerous Mr. Green certainly doesnít want his help, but when the judge will not budge about the sentence, the two men must try to deal with each other. Itís a rocky road full of comic bumps and pathos, and itís unclear if both men will reach the end of the road together.

Visiting Mr. GreenDuring the weekly visits, the audience learns that under his stylish surface, Ross' life is also in disarray. Like Mr. Green, he has become a kind of hermit, gradually shutting down his social life over the past four years. Each man harbors a secret, and when they open up to each other, their relationship explodes. Ultimately, VISITING MR. GREEN is about the pain of discrimination and the power of trust and tolerance.

In playwright Jeff Baron's own words: "They end up playing out a lot of unfinished business each has with his familyÖ.Theyíve both been keeping a lot inside, and in the course of the visits, it all explodes."

The first idea for the story came from one of Baronís friends who volunteered to look after an elderly man, but Baron set the idea aside for awhile. In the meantime, his grandmother needed more help living on her own, and he made regular visits to help her out. After her death, Baron sat down to write his first play and the character of Mr. Green is based on his grandmother who helped raise him. The character of Ross was fashioned after himself, as Baron is a Harvard graduate who was once an American Express up-and-comer. Turning away from the corporate world, Baron wrote for television and film for several years, and in the mid-1990s turned to playwriting. His first play, VISITING MR. GREEN, has brought him national and international recognition, as it has been performed in 27 counties and 21 languages. It was nominated as Best Play by the Drama League, and has since received Best Play awards in Israel, Greece, Germany and Turkey.
 

 THE CAST    


Visiting Mr. Green

 

Mr. Green   Charlie Dickerson
Ross Gardiner   Lane Fields
     

THE CREW

   
Director   Sara Phoenix
Set & Costume Design   Corey Martin
Light/Sound Design   Steven Gillmore
Stage Manager/
Sound Technician
  Emily Etherton
Asst. Stage Manager   Anthony Bullock
Light Board Control   Christi Newbury
Set Construction   Corey Martin
Josh Stephens
Scenic Painting   Corey Martin
Rhonda Clark
Properties   Rhonda Clark
Running Crew   Martin Mireles
Poster Design   Phil Carlton
Web Photos   Rhonda Clark
CST Webmasters   Don Lusk
Phil Carlton
  .  

 SPECIAL THANKS TO

Suzanne Charney, Kay & Tim Phoenix, Joan Wegener, Temple B'nai Israel, Linda Clark, Tim Townsend, Vikki Simer, The Lunch Box, Marsha Greiner, Scott Weaver


Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
   

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