The Wise Owl Players Archive, 2017-

2022 – Performances and Classes

January- March 2022

Streamed on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27, 2022

Taffy Hoffman as Hattie; Ellen Wallace, Mary Bernstein, and Graceann Johnson as the Chorus; Jane Stefani as Madeline; Bob Johnson as Bill; Katherine Chappelear as Olive; and Sanford Davis as George.
Directed by Enid Davis

The Women of Lockerbie was originally produced in New York City by the New Group and Women’s Project & Productions with the assistance of the Fund for New American Plays, a project of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with the support of Countrywide Home Loans and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation in cooperation with the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

May – June 2022

THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE
by Deborah Brevoort

       
Directed by Enid Davis

Produced by Tracy Chesna McCloud
Cubberley Community Center, Room H-1, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alt
o

“Hatred will not have the last word in Lockerbie.”

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Come and watch Avenidas’ senior troupe perform a dramatic reading, using their collective voices — filled with wisdom and experience — to tell a story about loss and redemption.

From left to right: Bob Johnson as BILL and Jane Stefani as MADELINE, the New Jersey parents of a college junior, come to Scotland in 1995 to confront the loss of their son, killed along with hundreds of others seven years before in a attack on a Pan Am plane over Lockerbie. Graceann Johnson, Taffy Hoffman, Gloria Burke, and Katherine Chappelear as the Women of Lockerbie who are determined to bring comfort to themselves and to this grieving couple. And Sanford Davis as GEORGE, a stubborn U.S. diplomat, who is dead set on not allowing the “emotions” of the town’s women to create an international incident that might threaten his career.

This fictionalized account of a real historic event is written in the lyrical language of a Greek tragedy. Brevoort has created a masterpiece that includes universal honesty, a touch of humor, and — above all — hope for all who see it.

Saturday, June 4, 7:30pm; Monday, June 6, 2pm, followed by a Q & A with the cast; Wednesday, June 8 2pm,

Tickets: $18. Recommended for ages 14-adult.
Masks are required for patrons. This airy venue holds 80 comfortable chairs on tiers. Every seat is good.

The quote: “Hatred will not have the last word [in Lockerbie]” is a quote from this play.The Women of Lockerbie was originally produced in New York City by the New Group and Women’s Project & Productions with the assistance of the Fund for New American Plays, a project of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with the support of Countrywide Home Loans and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation in cooperation with the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

2021 – Performances and Classes

Wise Owl Players’ Drama Instruction Zoom Class: Go Ahead, Make a Scene! (February and March 2021)

Instructor: Enid Davis, founder and director of Avenidas Wise Owl Players

We will read three fabulous contemporary plays and talk about each play’s development and themes. Students will study and read aloud scenes from these works and discuss how the dialogue of the scene moves the play forward and how the actors’ interpretation of the scene moves the play forward, thus gaining insight both into the plays’ meaning and character development. It’s make-believe with a thoughtful touch.

Imp by Caryl Churchill; Intimate Attire by Lynn Nottage; and Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire.

(Gari Gene Otto and Marc Vincenti reading the parts of Esther and George in Intimate Attire)

5 Tuesdays, 2:00-3:30; February 27 through March 24.

Materials included.

$100/$110 fee

Avenidas Wise Owl Players: Engineers and Acting – Go from Einstein to Brando (on Zoom) (April 2021)

Instructor – Enid Davis

Men, does your partner long for a more emotive, dramatic type? Would you like to find your inner Robert De Niro?

Join the founder and director of Avenidas Wise Owl Players for an interactive discussion on Zoom of how your involvement in one of our staged readings or drama classes can hone your skills with sharing your feelings and turning on your right brain.

Guest Speaker: Sanford Davis (N.A.S.A. scientist for 45 years and Wise Owl Player for 3)

Wednesday, April 7, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM. (One session) Fee: FREE – Ages 50+

Avenidas Wise Owl Players: Great Comic Films Based on Plays: A Watch & Read Aloud Zoom Class (April and May 2021)

(11 0f the 13 students with instructor Enid Davis)

Participants will watch the three films listed below outside of class and discuss them in class. We will also select the funniest scenes from each film to read aloud. Focusing on the actor’s use of comic material, we will study the variety of ways to present humor from an actor’s viewpoint. The films are available on Amazon to rent. The scripts will be sent to you as PDFs.

Barefoot in the Park, original play by Neil Simon. Film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Released in 1967.

Deathtrap, original play by Ira Levin. Film starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve. Released in 1982.

The Importance of Being Earnest, original play by Oscar Wilde. Film starring Michael Redgrave. Released in1952. I prefer this version over the one produced in 2002.

(Rhea Feldman reading the part of Lady Bracknell)

SUMMER STUDY CLASS – July, August 2021

AN AVENIDAS ZOOM CLASS – 8 WEEKS: Tuesdays from 2-4 PM, July 6 through August 24.

Registration for Avenidas Members, June 7; For Non-Members, June 17. Call Avenidas and leave a message at (650) 289-5400 or register online at http://www.avenidas.org

A Wise Owl Drama Class: A Madcap Romp through Paris

Spend the summer at the Café Chez Francis in the upscale neighborhood of Chaillot as we explore the writing of the highly regarded Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) and his poetic and zany hit play, The Madwoman of Chaillot (1947). This civic fantasy which pits an eccentric older woman against a multitude of greedy Frenchmen will come alive on our Zoom screens as we put together our own costumes and virtual scenery and study the lines for a read aloud that won’t culminate in a performance but in a joyful celebration for those in the class.

Participants must have a computer and be willing to expand their basic knowledge of Zoom, if necessary – the instructor will teach you.

See the movie with Katherine Hepburn on Amazon if you wish.

8 Weeks: Tuesday, July 6, 2 PM – 4 PM, through August 24

$140/$150

2020 – Performances and Classes

Covid-19 Virus Closes Avenidas Site in March

Let’s Put on Short Plays: A Wise Owl Drama & Performance Class (Slated for January – March 2020)

Enid Davis, Instructor. Learn how to put on a dramatic reading. Eight weeks of instruction and a performance at Avenidas on March 24. Using 6-7 ten-minute humorous plays, you will learn enough acting and reading techniques to entertain our sophisticated community. There are no auditions, but students must attend class regularly to be in the live production. (Ages 50+)

Tuesdays (5) from January 28 through March 24 at 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

We got so close to performance dates. Costumes and props were waiting for our well-rehearsed cast. So much fun was had preparing these plays for our audience. The cast included: Mary Bernstein, Katherine Chappelear, Sanford Davis, Virginia Elliott, Taffy Hoffman, Ellin Klor, Bob Johnson, , Graceann Johnson, MaryJo Lomax, Jane Stefani, and Marc Vincenti.

Arthur Miller’s “Incident at Vichy” – A Play for 1942 & 2020! A Study/Read-Aloud Zoom Class (May 2020)

A Zoom study/read aloud class Enid Davis, the director/instructor of the Avenidas Wise Owl Players, is offering a Zoom study/read aloud class of Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy. Depicting a group of diverse people who are detained by Nazi officials and French police at Vichy, France, in 1942, it is an historic play that packs a powerful wallop. Miller is one of the greatest playwrights of all times. A limited number of copies of the play are available for loan. Please contact Enid at eahdavis@yahoo.com.
Zoom log on information will be emailed to registered students. Tuesdays, May 5 to June 2, 2 to 2:40pm, $110, #7400

The Senior Story Book: A Zoom Performance (August and September 2020)

(Ellen Klor tells a Russian folktale)

You know many fairytales about princesses, but have you ever heard any world-wide folktales on the wisdom of elders? In this class, each participant will receive one story to practice reading-aloud; find a head and neck costume online; create a background for; and perform on zoom under the umbrella of the Avenidas Wise Owl Players.

Instructor Enid Davis will teach best reading aloud techniques and will brainstorm with you ideas for a costume and a background. You’ll rehearse during class and practice at home.

(Sanford Davis tells a Japanese folktale)

Ms. Davis is discounting the tuition so that new students will feel easier about taking a chance learning new skills and having fun with our more experienced students. All classes and the performance will happen in the safety of your home. We will dedicate the show to Avenidas for their love for seniors.

Summer Session -Tuesdays, July 14 – August, 25 (7 weeks)

2 PM – 3:15 PM $85 Limit: 10 Students

(Taffy Hoffman. relates an African folktale)

Ten-Minute Plays and 100 Laughs: A Zoom Performance (October 2020)

(Bob Johnson is a Wise Owl Player in our October comic production)

Tickets Now on Sale for Our October 16th and 18th 3 PM Live Streaming Virtual Play. Tickets just $4 each.

To purchase tickets at ShowTix4u, click on: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/40007

The Wise Owl Players (composed of mature adults) presents a dramatic reading of 5 humorous 10-minute plays with eleven actors in costumes and with virtual scenery. The authors are Craig Pospisil (licensed through DPS), Ron Burch, David Fleisher, Larry Hamm, and Vanessa David. Enid Davis directs the drama program and Kat King handles tech at Avenidas, a senior community center in Palo Alto. Tracy McCloud is the center director. Rated for ages 16+. Sorry, but no exchanges or refunds on tickets.

Program

Director, Enid Davis

Technology, Kat King

Producer, Tracy McCloud, Avenidas Center Director

My thanks to Sandy Davis, MaryJo Lomax, Ellin Klor, and Mary Bernstein for their help.

Dedicated in fond memory of Dudley Kenworthy, a Wise Owl Player in 2017-2019.

Polly by Ron Burch, starring Ellin Klor (MAUREEN), MaryJo Lomax (POLLY), and Marc Vincenti (JOHN). Streamed with the author’s permission.

Maid Service by David Fleisher, starring Katherine Chappelear (ELAINE), Sandy Davis (A.J BARCLAY), Bob Johnson (HADLEY), and Taffy Hoffman (LAVERNE). Streamed with the author’s permission. (This play was inspired by an original work by Shelley Berman, entitled “Little Soaps,” which is included in his book, A Hotel Is a Funny Place, published by Price, Stern, & Sloan in 1972 and 1985.)

Infant Morality by Craig Pospisil, presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., starring Mary Bernstein (WARDEN), Ellin Klor (TRISH), Jane Stefani (CYNTHIA), and Marc Vincenti (PHILIP).

Do-Overs by Larry Hamm, starring Taffy Hoffman (YOUNG SOUL), Bob Johnson (MAN), and Graceann Johnson (WOMAN). Streamed with the author’s permission.

The Answer by Vanessa David, starring Mary Bernstein (DENISE), Sandy Davis (MIKE), and Virginia Elliott (BECKY). Streamed with the author’s permission.

The Oldest Profession by Paula Vogel: A Zoom Performance (December 2020)

(Mary-Jo Lomax as Edna in The Oldest Profession)

Our production of Ms. Vogel’s play is a live-streamed, dramatic staged-reading with costumes, scenery, and live music. It is a humorous, bittersweet, and poignant tale of five senior women – working prostitutes – struggling in NYC in the early 1980s that will zoom its way into your heart. Ages 18+

The Wise Owl Players, a drama program for people 50 and older – under the direction of Enid Davis – is sponsored by the Avenidas community center for mature adults in Palo Alto, CA.

Select your tickets carefully as returns and exchanges are not permitted. The Oldest Profession is presented by special arrangements with Dramatic Play Services, Inc., New York.

Tickets Now on Sale for Our December 19th and 20th, 2 PM Live Streaming Virtual Play. Tickets just $8 each.To purchase tickets at ShowTix4u, click on: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/42510

Our production of Ms. Vogel’s play is a live-streamed, dramatic staged-reading with costumes, scenery, and live music. It is a humorous, bittersweet, and poignant tale of five senior women – working prostitutes – struggling in NYC in the early 1980s that will zoom its way into your heart. Ages 18+

The Wise Owl Players, a drama program for people 50 and older – under the direction of Enid Davis – is sponsored by the Avenidas community center for mature adults in Palo Alto, CA.

Select your tickets carefully as returns and exchanges are not permitted. The Oldest Profession is presented by special arrangements with Dramatic Play Services, Inc., New York.

PROGRAM

CAST OF CHARACTERS

MAE, the Madame (age 82) played by Taffy Hoffman, a retired pediatric nurse

URSULA (age 79) played by Ellen Wallace, a retired bio-chemist

LILLIAN (age 75) played by Jane Stefani, a retired family therapist

EDNA (age 74) played by MaryJo Lomax, a retired college health educator

VERA (age 73) played by Ellin Klor, a semi-retired children’s librarian

STAGE DIRECTIONS BY Katherine Chappelear, a retired city clerk

PROFESSOR HENRY, a brothel pianist, played by Jeremy Erman, a working musician

BEHIND THE SCREENS

DIRECTOR, Enid Davis, a retired library director and storyteller

TECHNOLOGY MANAGER, Kat King, Avenidas Assistant and Zoom Coordinator

PRODUCER, Tracy Chesna McCloud, Avenidas Center Director

PHOTOGRAPHER, Sean McEneaney, Manhattan Attorney

Copyrighted Songs:

“I’m No Angel,” Written by Harvey Brooks, Gladys Dubois and Ben Ellison. Used by Permission of Reservoir Media Music on behalf of Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc.

“On the Sunny Side of the Street,” Written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh. Used by Permission of Reservoir Media Music on behalf of Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc.

“On the Sunnyside of the Street,” also used by permission by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, 424 Church Street, Suite 1200, Nashville, TN

2019 PERFORMANCES AND CLASSES

A Wise Owl Players Drama Class: Having Fun with Monologues (February and March 2019)

Mondays (5) from February 25 through March 25, 2 Pm – 4 Description: Using monologues as our text, students learn how to fashion a dramatic character. Create back stories, use your imagination, do author research, and confer with the teacher/director to make your monologues effective and satisfying. Even if you never step on stage, you will enhance communication skills and the appreciation of theatrical works.  

Tuition: $100/$125 – Cubberley Community Center, Bldg. I-2, Palo Alto. Call (650) 289-5400 to register. Register today!

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(Members of the monologue class)

A Wise Owl Players Drama Class: Boot Camp (April and May 2019)

Tuesdays (4) from April 16 through May 7, 2PM – 4 PM

Description:

In preparation for our 2019 production of Deleted. by Enid Davis, to be performed in September at the MVCPA, we invite you to try your hand at dramatic reading. Read from a variety of monologues and scenes, poetry and prose. Bring the words of great writers to life. No previous acting experience necessary. Take a peek into the uplifting “Wise Owl Players” program by attending this fun-filled 4-week course.

Tuition: $80/$90 – 450 Bryant Street, Palo Alto. Call (650) 289-5400 to register. Registration starts on March 4, 2019.

(Boot Camp, a Drama Class for Beginners. Our text: Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker)

Deleted by Enid Davis – Mountain View Center of the Performing Arts (September 2019)

For a video of selected scenes, click here.

Description:

The Wise Owl Players will give its 2019 performances of Deleted. at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts (Second Stage) on September 14th and 15th. Rehearsals will begin on Tuesday, 7/23 and continue until the performance. This comic play is a full-length (2 hour) dramatic reading (no memorizing) literary romp and mystery about a group of fictional characters who form a support group after their authors delete them from their manuscripts.

(Granny Mouse, portrayed by Taffy Hoffman, is deleted from her picture book series)

(Scheherazade, played by Mary-Jo Lomax, created the organization that aids fictional characters – both published and not)

(Michelle Issac, Linda Kirk, and Katherine Chappelaire rehearse Deleted in the newly remodeled Avenidas center in Palo Alto)

A Wise Owl Players Drama Class: Reading Aloud from Cutting Edge Playwrights and Their Fabulous Works (November and December 2019)

Description:

Taste and share the scenes of 21st-Century Playwrights, such as Annie Baker, Tracy Letts, Naomi Wallace, Sarah Ruhl, Katori Hall, Amy Herzog, Lynn Nottage, Stephen Karam, and more.

Tuesdays (5) from November 12th through December 17th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. No class on 11/26.

Tuition: $120/$130 – 450 Bryant Street, Palo Alto. Call (650) 289-5400 to register. Registration will open in September, 2019.

2018 Performance

Deleted by Enid Davis – Avenidas, Cubberley Community Center (November 2018)

(The original cast of Deleted: Gari Gene, Renee Quinn, Sandra O’Neil, Dudley Kenworthy, Marc Vincenti, Enid Davis, Graceann Johnson, Sanford Davis, Erica Veneer, Mary-Jo Lomax, Jane Stefani, Ellin Klor, and Larry Cuban)

2017 – Performance

Animal Farm by Ian Wooldridge. Based on the novel by George Orwell (December 2017)                       

This class will be held and performances given at Avenidas temporary location at Cubberley Community Center, Suite #I-2, 4000 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto.

Let’s put on a staged reading of a timely play! This new six-week course will culminate in two performances of a dramatic adaptation of George Orwell’s iconic fable Animal Farm adapted for the stage by Ian Wooldridge.

A stage reading is a form of theatre without sets or full costumes.  Actors read aloud into a microphone from a script. Previous acting experience is not required here.  Fun will be had!

Enid Davis, who has directed plays and staged readings for twenty years, will help you master the art of reading aloud and expressing characterization with voice and body language. During the class, you’ll explore the meaning of Orwell’s novel with Sharon Adams, who taught this work for ten years at a local middle school.  Participants will  relax and gain confidence under the stage management of Gari Gene.


Avenidas senior center students must 50 years old and be able to attend six classes and two performances in order to participate.

Class dates: Six Mondays, October 30 through December 11, from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM. No class on November 27th.

Instructor: Enid Davis Stage Manager: Gari Gene

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We hope you enjoyed our archives. As The Wise Owl Players say. “Break a wing!” (Bob Johnson as Danny in Deleted by Enid Davis)