Curtains Rise for The Sunset Players

SSP_Pumpboys Dining at the Double Cupp

Dining at the Double Cupp. Allen Lindsey, Clare Hingsbergen, Virginia Pollack & Dan Wolking. Photo by Geri Wesseling.

A Viral Revival of PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES and a Full 2021-22 Season

CINCINNATI, OH – August 12, 2021 — The Sunset Players, a West Side community theater group, is raising its curtain Friday, August 20th with a special two-weekend revival of PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES. This viral revival completes the run of this multiple award winning (24 Association of Community Theatre (ACT) awards to be exact) production, and sets the stage for a full season of productions for 2021-22, the groups 41st season.

“The Sunset Players are thrilled to resume live theater from our home at the Arts Center at Dunham,” said John Wesseling, president and long-time member of Sunset Players. “We’re bringing the band back together for a third, and final, time in August with a special run of PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES. We thought that this was difficult after 20 years between the 2001 and 2020 productions. Then the pandemic hit, cast members moved many states away, and our facility has been shuttered for the better part of the past year. I was amazed at the willingness and the sacrifices of the cast members to pull this back together for a final 6 performance run.”

PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann and produced by special arrangements from Samuel French, is a high-octane trip down Highway 57 in Grand Ole Opry country with the Pump Boys at the garage and the Dinettes at the Double Cupp diner next door. Directed by Don Frimming, this fun, toe-tapping musical offers an array of country and western songs on guitars, piano, bass and kitchen utensils. This production promises a brief, yet overdue, vacation from the challenges encountered since it’s premature pandemic related closing in March 2020. Performances are August 20, 21, 22, 26, 27 and 28. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8pm; Sunday Matinee at 3pm and Thursday performance at 7:30pm.

The 2021-2022 season opens with:

LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR by Neil Simon. Directed by John Wesseling and produced by special arrangements from Samuel French, this play focuses on the star and writing staff of a weekly comedy-variety show circa 1953 and the writing, fighting and wacky antics that ensue in the writers’ room. Based upon Mr. Simon’s days writing for Sid Caesar along with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and Woody Allen, performances are October 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29 and 30.

The kids and those young at heart can watch ALICE IN WONDERLAND come to life as a group of performers seeks out Alice to provide “her turn” in Wonderland. As her adventure unfolds, Alice encounters many unforgettable characters. Based on the Lewis Carroll classic, this piece was dramatized by William Glennon, and is produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois. Performances are December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12. Friday performances are at 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.

The winter season will warm up with DRINKING HABITS, a farce by Tom Smith. Directed by Dan Hawkins and produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc., two nuns at the Sisters of Perpetual Sewing are secretly making wine to keep the convent’s doors open. When two reporters and former fiancées go undercover to investigate, accusations, mistaken identities, and romances ensue in this laugh-out-loud farce. Performances are February 18, 19, 25, 26, 27 and March 3, 4 and 5.

The season wraps with the audience lining up to see the musical TWO BY TWO with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Peter Stone. Based on the play The Flowering Peach by Clifford Odets and produced by special arrangement with Concord Theatricals, Dennis Murphy will direct this inspirational and hilarious retelling of the Biblical story of Noah. It seems that the building of the ark was only the first of Noah’s many challenges. Being chosen by God isn’t always smooth sailing. Performances are May 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20 and 21.

Cincinnati State’s Interpreter Training Program will provide sign language interpreting for the deaf community on the second Saturday performance for the regular season.

Tickets for PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES and the 2021-2022 season series are on sale now and can be purchased online at the Sunset Players website (www.sunsetplayers.org) or at the door, as permitted by pandemic restrictions for indoor performances. For more information about our 41th season, visit our website at www.sunsetplayers.org or like us on Facebook.

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About the Arts Center at Dunham
We’ve been busy improving the audience experience in our facility while shuttered. Courtesy of a grant from the Hamilton County CARES Relief Program for assistance to arts and cultural organizations, the Arts Center has installed viral mitigation equipment within our HVAC systems and obtained an emist electrostatic disinfection system to clean the theater before/after each performance. The theater will also follow all local, state and federal requirements related to COVID for the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers and actors.

Sound systems have been enhanced, and an assistive listening system added to enhance the experience of our hearing impaired guests, courtesy of a generous Small Arts Organizations Award from Summerfair. Finally, The Sunset Players are a recipient of an ArtsWave Catalyzing Impact Grant which will be used to fund the 2021-22 Arts Center at Dunham FREE Family Fun Series. This is a matching grant, so attendance and support of The Sunset Players and the Arts Center at Dunham will help fully fund this opportunity for all to experience the incredible creative and performing arts that Cincinnati has to offer.

About The Sunset Players
The Sunset Players, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1979 as a community theatre group with the mission of bringing a quality, affordable theatre experience to the Greater Cincinnati region. The group performs at the Arts Center at Dunham and has produced more than 148 shows since founded. Winner of hundreds of awards from the Association of Community Theatre (ACT) of Cincinnati, its mission was significantly expanded in 2012 with the lease of the historic Dunham Arts Building via the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, to save it from probable demolition. Located in the heart of the Tri-State area, the historic West Side of Cincinnati, the mission of the Arts Center at Dunham, established as a dba of The Sunset Players in 2012 for management of the facility, is to make community adventures in the arts available and affordable for the entire Greater Cincinnati Region. Via low-cost studio rental for local artists, and quality family friendly programming, often free, we believe the arts have the power to bring communities together.

Any individuals or businesses interested in learning more about our organization including auditioning or volunteering for productions, restoration of our historic facility, or renting studio or event space, please contact us at sunsetplayerscincy@gmail.com or 513-588-4988.

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