For the second summer in a row, we will bring the SBCC Theatre Group back to life in the cozy Interim Theatre on SBCC's West Campus. This year we will present Alan Ayckbourn's dark comedy, Time of My Life, July 7-24.
First produced in 1992, Time of My Life is the 44th play written by England's most prolific playwright. Mr. Ayckbourn confesses to being a "terrible eavesdropper" in restaurants and it is this habit that led directly to the writing of Time of My Life, a play where the audience members are the eavesdroppers, witnessing the traumas of an apparently normal family. But, as is the case with so many Ayckbourn plays, the story is told in a unique way. In this case, Ayckbourn's twist is to create a play where the past, present and future are revealed simultaneously and intertwined within the course of the evening.
The story revolves around a family dinner at their favorite restaurant organized by successful businessman Gerry Stratton to celebrate his wife Laura's 54th birthday. Their grown sons, Glyn and Adam are also present. Glyn is with his long suffering wife Stephanie; Adam has brought along his new girlfriend, Maureen, an outrageous hairdresser. They are both eager to impress. But too much wine and too many family skeletons intrude on the celebration and the evening ends disastrously.
It is after the dinner breaks up that Ayckbourn's real genius becomes apparent as the play takes off in three different directions simultaneously with all the action taking place in the same restaurant. The parents remain in present time, disclosing secrets and redefining their relationship. The oldest son's story moves forward in time over the course of two years, exposing a troubled marriage and a failing business. The youngest son's story moves backwards in time over the course of two months, revealing the beginnings of a relationship and the joy and hope that come with falling in love. By juxtaposing events from the past, present, and future, Ayckbourn lets the audience know things that the characters themselves may not know, and he encourages us to recognize those moments that make us happy as the moments occurs.
Time of My Life is a challenging play that offers many rewards. The London Times called it "A play by an inspired master craftsman and cunning psychologist working at full stretch: harsh and funny, simple and cunning, generous but unforgiving." We think you will be intrigued and entertained. Please note that the play does contain some brief adult language.
Time of My Life will be directed by Rick Mokler and feature some of Santa Barbara's most recognizable actors: Katie Thatcher, Jon Koons, Brian Harwell, Leesa Beck, Josh Jenkins, Marisa Welby-Maiani and Ed Lee.
Leesa Beck (Stephanie) is delighted to be making her SBCC Theatre Group debut. She can also be seen later this summer in The Cocktail Hour at Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre, where she has previously appeared in I Remember You, Red Herring, and I Hate Hamlet. In addition to her Santa Barbara credits, Leesa has worked in Los Angeles and New York on a variety of plays, short films, television shows, and commercials. She holds a BA in Theatre from Cornell University and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and will begin work on her PhD in Education at UCSB this fall.
Brian Harwell (Glyn) is a product of the SBCC Theatre Arts Program, where he has performed in over a dozen productions. He has also performed locally with Genesis West, Circle Bar B Theatre, Santa Barbara Theatre Company, Happy Destiny Productions, Dijo Productions, Rubicon Theatre, Ojai Art Center, Elite Theatre and Seaside Theatre. Notable roles include Leslie in Seascape, John Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet (Independent Award), Austin in True West (4 Star Theatre Award), Juror #8 (aka "the Henry Fonda character") in Twelve Angry Men, James in The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Independent Award), Bill W. in Bill W. and Dr. Bob, and Mr Webb in Our Town (Independent Award).
Josh Jenkins (Adam) is performing in his third show with the SBCC Theatre Group. Past Theatre Group performances include The World Goes 'Round, and Omnium Gatherum. He has appeared in student and community shows as well, including All InThe Timing, Greater Tuna, and The Lieutenant Of Inishmore with Genesis West. Josh's most recent credit was directing Who Made Robert DeNiro King Of America? for SBCC's Festival of One-Acts. Josh is a theatre student who has been studying at SBCC for the past three years, and he will be transferring to Azusa Pacific University in the fall in order to continue his pursuit of theatre.
Jon Koons (Gerry) has acted in many venues from L.A. to Alaska, where for nine summers he served as artistic director of the Liarsville Hippodrome Theater. He has performed at the Comedy Store and his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Jon previously appeared with SBCCTG in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Omnium Gatherum, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Enchanted April, Fortinbras, Expecting Isabel, The Lady and the Clarinet, Fuddy Meers, Wild Oats, Taking Steps, Resident Alien, The Complete History of America (abridged), The Waiting Room, and The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged).