By Jon Putzke, Artistic Director
See How They Run, an English comedy in three acts by Phillip King opened at the Vero Beach Theatre Guild on March 18th, and performances will run through April 3rd. Directed by Pam Harbaugh, the classic farce is set in an idyllic village in England during the 1940s. It's World War II, and the village inhabitants are preparing themselves for the imminent threat of Nazi invasion. Meanwhile, resident spinster, Miss Skillon, becomes convinced that her beloved vicar's actress wife is having an affair and attempts to expose her. Add an escaped German prisoner of war, a handsome actor, the visiting Bishop of Lax, a rotund locum priest, and some meddling neighbors, and hilarious confusion and mayhem result.
Wikipedia defines farce as a comedy that seeks to entertain an audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, ridiculous, absurd, and improbable. Farce is also characterized by heavy use of physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, satire, parody, and mockery of real-life situations, people, events, and interactions; unlikely and humorous instances of miscommunication; ludicrous, improbably, exaggerated characters; broadly stylized performances. Our award-winning director, Pam Harbaugh, has assembled a cast that has managed to carry all these elements off with marvelous skill.
Having been associated with the Vero Beach Theatre Guild for 36 years, I have repeatedly been made aware that “our audiences” love farces, and goodness knows, we've done enough of them! This performance of won't disappoint those who have joined us over the years and to see and enjoy dozens of them on our stage. My first encounter with this play was a production in summer stock in 1966 at the Red Barn Theatre in Saugatuck, Michigan. I then had the good fortune to play Clive in a dinner theatre production in the early seventies. To this day, I still think See How They Run is one of the best, and most timeless farces, ever written.
Eight extremely talented actors that are among the best in the Guild's acting pool are joined by an experienced newcomer who recently moved to Vero from Canada. I believe he too will be among those actors in that elite group that our audiences enjoy seeing time and again. These energetic nine have exhausted themselves dashing about the typical set for a farce consisting of four slamming doors and a two-story stairwell designed by Jeff Hall and executed so beautifully by his volunteer crew consisting of Gerry Quimbly, Bob Stevenson, Joe Jones, and Russ Sabac.
After the last two years we've all been through, the silliness and laughable antics of this great ensemble of performers is just what any doctor would order! Come join us for a fun night out where you'll forget your troubles and be entertained by a devoted company of people that will amuse and entertain you.
The Vero Beach Theatre Guild is located at 2020 San Juan Avenue in Vero Beach. For tickets, call the box office at 772-562-8300 or visit the website.
Photo: Nikki Marie Przedwiecki as Penelope Toop and Alex Martinez as Clive in See How They Run, playing now at the Vero Beach Theatre Guild.