The HOT L BALTIMORE logoThe Hot l Baltimore
by Lanford Wilson

September 8-23, 1989
Directed by Rhonda Clark

Once there was a railroad and the neighborhood of the railroad terminals bloomed with gracious hotels. The Hotel Baltimore, built in the late nineteenth century and remodeled infrequently, was intended to be an elegant haven. Now it is scheduled for demolition.

As the action unfolds, the residents, ranging from young to old, from the defiant to the resigned, meet in the lobby and talk and interact with each other during the course of one day. The drama is of passing events in their lives, of everyday encounters and of the human comedy, with conversations often overlapping into a contrapuntal musical flow. In the resulting mosaic each character emerges clearly and perceptively defined, and the sum total of what they are - or wish they were - becomes a poignant, powerful call to America to recover lost values and to restore itself in its own and the world’s eyes.

Steve Vann, Nacy West, Blair Chandle-Greenwood, and Laurel Van Horn in THE HOT L BALTIMOREFROM THE DIRECTOR:
For years I have wanted to direct or act in a play by Lanford Wilson, and now I've had the wonderful privilege! Lanford Wilson is an expert at creating vivid characters, and the cast of THE HOT L BALTIMORE and I have had a ball ferreting out the nuances of this compassionate, intelligent play.

THE HOT L BALTIMORE was a huge Off-Broadway success, winner of the Obie Award, NY Drama Critics Circle Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award in 1973. Filled with humor and pathos, it has been called "a touching study of lost souls trapped by society's inexorable decay." Sadly, what spoke to audiences in the early seventies is just as pertinent today.

When looking at the milieu in which Mr. Wilson was writing, I remember a country still involved in the Vietnam "Conflict" which threatened to tear our nation apart. A presidential administration on the brink of collapse and American cities in the throes of urban renewal.



Bearing this in mind, I see that Mr. Wilson has created a microcosm of seemingly rootless America with fifteen characters in a decaying Baltimore hotel; senior citizens struggling to protect their dignity; a young man trying to rebuild his life after drugs and jail; a brother and sister with dreams, but no means to achieve them; prostitutes who are merely surviving; management which turns a deaf ear to the individual's problems; and all characters in desperate need of "family".

Into this world, the playwright shines a ray of optimism, "The Girl", a young lady who recognizes that "nobody's got the conviction to act on their passons". Ironically, this child-like, but wise creature is without her own identity, as she is always testing out her new names! So where is the hope? Ultimately, in the strength of the "survivors" and the young - and Mr. Wilson peoples THE HOT L with both - he succeeds in making us laugh along with them.

What is disturbing to me is that the conflicted worlds that the HOT L reflects is so apparent in 1989, and compounded. The decay, when I dare to look, is closer to the core of the apple. However, I am optimistic, and I wish for all of us the conviction to act on our passions!

- Rhonda Clark, Director
September 1989

Bill Lewis

  Steve Vann
Girl   Blaire Chandler-Greenwood
Millie   Laurel Van Horn
Mrs. Bellotti   Sally Unger
April Green   Nacy West
Mr. Morse   Norman Fogel
Jackie   Kelly Morris
Jamie   Jimmy Driskill
Mr. Katz   Bob Cross
Suzy   Ruth Charnay
Suzy's John   Darryl Smith
Paul Granger III   Kevin L. Rushing
Mrs. Oxenham   Joane Moran Fogel
Cab Driver   Jim Osterlund
Delivery Boy   Spud Dutton
April's John   Chris Crane


Director   Rhonda Clark
Set Design   Jim Osterlund
Lighting Design   Michael Cregan
Stage Manager   Helen F. Dutton
Asst. Stage Mgr. & Props   Linda Lagin
Costumes   Doobie Potter
Asst. Tech Dir.   Earl Hengel
Assistant to Director   Mary Sine
Control Booth   Stephanie Telleen
Set Painting   Rhonda Clark
Jef Fontana
Rachel Fowler
Amanda Roester


Herbert Bagwell, Inner-City Violin Studios - ABC Enterprises, Inc - Office Furniture Center - Jeff Kline - A1 Specialties, Inc. - Veyda Sarkey Burbridge - Albert Bostick - Switchboard courtesy of Gary and Beverly Broyles - Connie Thompson - Hair Dezigns

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.


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