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By David Mamet

Directed by Todd Frymier

Show Dates:

January 19, 20, 26, 27

February 2, 3, 2018



The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-The-Plow, takes us into the lives of two actors: John, young and rising into the first flush of his success; the other Robert, older, anxious, and beginning to wane. In a series of short, spare, and increasingly raw exchanges, we see the estrangement of youth from age and the wider, inevitable and endless cycle of life, in and out of the theatre. 

Produced through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

This production is recommended for mature audiences due to language content.


Antipasto Salad

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Key West Blend Vegetable

Hot Garlic Bread

Italian Creme Cake

Vegetarian Option: Spaghetti with Marinara

Gluten-Free Option: Substitute Gluten-Free Noodles, Fruit Ambrosia without coconut

Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Requests Must Be Made At Time Of Ticket Purchase

A Note From the Director:

Have you ever wondered what goes on backstage before, after, and during a theatrical performance?  David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre is a rare and unrelenting glimpse into the world of actors.


When this play first opened, The New Yorker declared, “Mr. Mamet has written a love letter to the theatre.” Before he became one of the great American playwrights of the twentieth century, David Mamet had a short-lived and unsuccessful career as an actor in a repertory company not unlike the one in which these characters are working. As a result he has great respect and admiration for actors.


A Life in the Theatre shows us two actors who work together in a repertory theatre, at different stages in their careers and of their lives, but sharing the same love for the theatre. Robert is the ultimate old pro, forever harping on tradition but acutely aware of his mortality, while John is his ambitious younger colleague, an eager to learn actor yearning for a life in the theatre.  We follow the actors’ backstage lives, taking breaks to watch them perform in plays. The two perform another sort of play: the power play that occurs in every business.  Except here, it's happening backstage and at the actors' makeup tables.

Anyone spending time in the theatre, professionally or at the community level, knows that relationships forged in the theatre are like those of siblings, parents, and lovers. Actors live in each other’s pockets and often see more of each other than their own families. Lives on and off the stage can be blurry. Then the show, the season, the career is over and they say goodbye. But what is left when one has given one’s life to the theatre?

TODD FRYMIER (Director) is back in the director’s chair here at Arena. His last outing as a director here was The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)[revised] a few seasons back. When Todd directs he likes to surround himself with very talented people so his job will be easy and they make him look good; this show is no exception. Lastly, much love goes out to Becky and Emily who give him unconditional love and support, even when he makes it hard for them to do so. Cheers!

Who's Who in the Company:

SOPHIA D’VIRGILIO (Stage Manager) Sophia is so happy to once again be joining Arena Dinner Theatre! She has most recently been in Assassins at Arena Dinner Theatre as Housewife and Ensemble, The Wizard of Oz at University of Saint Francis as Dorothy, and Crazy for You as Tess at Homestead High School. She has also won awards for her acting such as Best Featured Actress in a play for Nina in Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike, as well as Best Supporting Actress in a musical for Tess in Crazy for You. She would love to thank her family and friends for always being supportive of her and her fellow actors, Christopher J. Murphy and Quentin C. Jenkins, for being an absolute joy to act alongside and work with on stage. 

QUENTIN C. JENKINS (John) Half of tonight's performance is brought to you by The Quentin C. Jenkins: "The Quentin C. Jenkins. If there was more than one, you would wish there weren’t." You might recognize Quentin from past Arena shows like Bat Boy: The Musical, Frost/Nixon, and just earlier this season, Blood Brothers. He's also a regular in shows at the University of Saint Francis. Offstage, Quentin works for Media 401 as a Key Grip, Sweetwater Sound as an Inventory Control Analysist, and occasionally for USF as a Stage Technician. Q also wishes a special thanks to his family, who have not seen or heard from him in several weeks, his costar, Christopher J. Murphy, and his incredibly tolerant girlfriend, whose name's spelling he'd rather not butcher.

CHRISTOPHER J. MURPHY (Robert) returns to the Arena stage for the first time since The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] two seasons ago.  Murphy most recently directed the Fort Wayne premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas at Youtheatre.  Other favorite directorial credits include Escanaba in da Moonlight, Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike, Company, Assassins and numerous productions for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.  On-stage, audiences may remember him from The Man Who Came to Dinner, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Memphis, among others.   He is thankful to Todd for his faith, patience and guidance.  In June, Murphy will be directing another Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, A Little Night Music, to close out the Arena season!

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