Friendship, connection and secrets fuel Dayton Theatre Guild’s ‘The Roommate’



Jen Silverman’s dark comedy “The Roommate” will have a virtual presentation Thursday, June 24 through Sunday, June 27 courtesy of the Dayton Theatre Guild.

The two-hander concerns Sharon, recently divorced, who needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, determined to start over, needs a place to hide. Ultimately, Sharon uncovers Robyn’s secrets, which cause her to question her own desires. In the end, the tale explores “what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.”

The Guild production will star Linda Donald as Sharon and Melissa Kerr Ertsgaard as Robyn.

“The script is a wonderful dark comedy with a lovely development of a relationship between two disparate characters,” said director K.L. Storer, who is making his directorial debut. “In its own way, it’s a love story of sorts. Sharon is lonely, a disenchanted women who has lived a conventional, somewhat bland life. Robyn, a more worldly woman, is in many ways an exotic animal to Sharon, one with a past she is fleeing. Robyn intrigues Sharon. As the story develops, as Sharon uncovers more about Robyn’s checkered past, the more alive Sharon feels as she reaches for Robyn’s influence.”

Storer became a fan of the play when he saw Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production in July 2018 directed by Phylicia Rashad. He particularly found the script compelling and interesting. As he crafts his take on the material, he’s confident Donald and Ertsgaard are fulfilling the playwright’s wishes, a piece of directorial advice he once received from one of Dayton’s most prolific artists.

“I am especially pleased to have two wonderful, strong (female) actors to bring the characters to life,” said Storer. “Linda and Melissa are immense talents with great acting instincts. The wonderful, late Marsha Hanna (of the Human Race Theatre Company) told me in an acting class that a director’s real job is to help the actors find the characters the playwright has written. (From the moment) I dove into this endeavor, I have kept that wisdom in the forefront of my mind.”

“The Roommate” streams at the following times: Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 and 8 p.m. Streaming passes are $12.50 and can be purchased at The play contains adult language and situations.

“‘The Roommate’ is a wonderful character study about two women yearning to distance themselves from their past lives,” added Storer. “Linda and Melissa beautifully fill out the characters and bring them to life.”

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Dayton Theatre Guild announces 2021-2022 lineup

The Dayton Theatre Guild’s 2021-2022 season consists of: “Morning’s at Seven” (Aug. 20-Sept. 5, directed by Rick Flynn); “Women in Jeopardy!” (Oct. 8-24, directed by Margie Strader); “The Road to Mecca” (Dec. 3-19, directed by Scott Madden); “The Norwegians” (Feb. 4-20, directed by David Shough); “The Price” (March 25-April 10, directed by Debra Kent); and “The Old Man and the Old Moon” (May 27-June 12, directed by Jeff Sams).

MVSO presents ‘Symphony on The Hill’

The Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform on the Dayton Masonic Center front lawn for a free outdoor concert entitled “Symphony on The Hill” Sunday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.

The concert will include pops and patriotic hits, including a salute to the men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Dayton Masonic Center is located at 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton.

Dayton Live summer camp

Dayton Live’s Broadway Preview Summer Camp is sold out but spaces are still available for the organization’s Pie in the Face Comedy Camp.

The camp is open to kids in grades 6-12 and will be held July 12-16 at the PNC Arts Annex.

Campers will work with theater professionals in master classes filled with comedy, circus skills, acting, singing and more. The work will culminate with a performance for family and friends on the final day of the camp. Campers also get a camp shirt, lunch each day, and get to participate in the Pie-In-The-Face-Day. Campers do not need to be experienced performers to participate.

Camp is $249 per student. Scholarship assistance is available to families who qualify.

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