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CCRI Players to present 'The Receptionist'

Oct. 12, 2012

The Community College of Rhode Island Players will present Adam Bock’s dark comedy “The Receptionist” as the first show in its 2012-13 season at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln from Oct. 18 to 21.

Come spend a day or two with ever-efficient receptionist Beverly Wilkins. She will offer you coffee, gossip with you about the unsuitable man you are seeing and break from her own stream of telephone calls to courteously drop one person after another into voice mail. For the period of time you must occupy one of her reception-area chairs, she will be your counselor and best friend – unless you take one of the good pens from her desk and forget to return it. When a mysterious gentleman arrives from the Central Office inquiring about an operational mishap with a client and wants answers from the regional boss, Mr. Raymond, the flirting games begin. And, as it is with most games, it’s all fun and games until ...

A deceptively complex work that intends to reinvent the concept of the office comedy, “The Receptionist” plays with the idea of who knows how much and how good a thing that ultimately is. As one critic observed, “‘The Receptionist’ is not the play you expect it to be, just as the names on the office letterhead rarely reveal who’s really in charge. That you only discover once you step inside and spend some time in reception.”

The cast includes Providence resident Erin Archer, 2011 National Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship finalist, as Beverly Wilkins; Brittany Boudreau of Woonsocket as Lorraine Taylor; and Cranston natives Alexander Rotella as Martin Dart and Nick Viau as Mr. Raymond. Understudies Kerri Schiff of Providence and Ryan Burniston of Warwick complete the cast. Assistant Professor Luke Sutherland of the Performing Arts Department is the production’s director.

For the first time in CCRI Theatre program history, three of four major design elements will be created by student designers in the Associate of Fine Arts technical track under the mentorship of Sutherland. Scenic design will be provided by Branigan Duguay of Warwick, lighting design by Laura Ducharm of Woonsocket and sound design by Kaisey Caputo of Smithfield. Makeup is by Krystal Terilli of West Warwick. Professor Jeffery Butterworth is designing costumes.

Bock recently visited CCRI, where he met with the cast and the production staff of “The Receptionist,” conducted a playwriting workshop for students and spoke at an evening public forum titled “The Playwright’s Voice.” His visit was made possible by the Charles Sullivan Fund for the Arts and Humanities at the college.

Born in Montreal, Canada, and now living in the United States, Bock studied in the Brown University graduate Playwriting program under Paula Vogel. He won a 2006 Obie award for his play “The Thugs.” During the 2007-08 New York theatrical season, two of Bock’s plays were produced Off Broadway: “The Receptionist” at Manhattan Theatre Club and “The Drunken City” at Playwrights Horizons. Both were nominated for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play. His play “A Small Fire” received acclaim when produced in 2011 at Playwrights Horizons. In 2012, he won a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his work.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Oct. 18 to 20 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21. General admission costs $10 or $8 for students, seniors, and CCRI faculty and staff. Call 401-825-2219 for reservations.

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Last Updated: 8/25/16