Communicating Doors

By Alan Ayckbourn

October 15 - November 6, 1999
Directed by Nick Backes

Although Mr. Ayckbourn's work is not yet widely known by American audiences, he is one of Britain's most prolific and celebrated playwrights who is often tagged England's Neil Simon. Time Magazine selected "Communicating Doors" for its list of "The Ten Best Plays of 1994." In this the 49th of his over 50 plays, he blithely combines three genres: the drawing room comedy, the thriller, and the time-tripping fantasy.

The cast of Communicating Doors (clockwise from upper left):
Erin Cunningham-Sloane, Rhonda Clark, Lysandra Dial-Meek,
Paul Smith, Ron Roberts, and Eric Jensen

The "communicating doors" of the title are connecting doors between two London hotel suites and also portals to travel through time. The play opens in the year 2019 when London is torn by civil war. Poopay (Lysandra Dial-Meek), a dominatrix with a soul of sunshine, has been summoned to the hotel suite, supposedly to provide the old, dying Reece (Ron Roberts) with one last thrill.



Poopay Dayseer   Lysandra Dial-Meek
Reese   Ron Roberts
Julian   Eric Jensen
Ruella   Rhonda Clark
Jessica   Erin Cunningham-Sloan
Harold   Paul Smith
Director   Nick Backes
Stage Manager   JoLynn Lair
Set Construction   Tom Harrington
Melody Harrington
Steve Gilmore
Costumes   Robbin Davis
Lighting Design   Kevin Lesley
Running Crew   Bob Bates
Lyn Bates
Kimberly Moore
Emily Downham
Sound Recording   Joe Daleo

However, Reece really wants a witness to his signed confession. In it, he explains how he planned (and his sinister business partner Julian carried out) the murders of Reece's first two wives

When the murderous Julian (played by CST newcomer Eric Jensen) discovers the confession and the witness, Poopay is on a run for her life. When she attempts an escape through the connecting door, she winds up traveling back in time twenty years to the same London hotel suite in 1999. There she discovers Reece's second wife, Ruella (Rhonda Clark), on the eve of her murder.


When Ruella uses the connecting door later, she travels back to 1979 to the honeymoon night of her husband and his first wife Jessica (Erin Cunningham-Sloan). Soon the struggle is on to change history.


Alan Ayckbourn is known for playing brain-teasing games with time and space in his plays, but in "Communicating Doors" he takes it a step further. He toys with man's common fantasy about rewriting his past- the "If I only knew then what I know now..." wish. He has said, "It's the question that all of us ask: What would have happened if I had taken a different course? I once called the play a 'Back to the Future' for the stage... but it was important to me to create a very human story. Ultimately, it's about turning points in lives - people you meet who can change your life." Of course, history is not silly putty and easy to reshape, so in "Communicating Doors," Ayckbourn treats the audience to a puzzle, complete with laughter and an aftershock.

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Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

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