By Julie Marie Myatt
Date: October 2019
Orange County California, 1975. For Walter, it’s the happiest place on earth. He has a beautiful wife. Two great kids. A house with a pool. Contentment. Until fate strikes a devastating blow, leaving Walter with no reason to put the pieces of his life back together. He resists attempts of help, especially the unexpected and unwanted offer from a Vietnamese refugee who bears his own sadness. An uplifting, and surprising funny play by a rising star in American Theater.
By A.R. Gurney
'Sylvia' is a comedy about the role a stray rescue dog named Sylvia plays in igniting meaning and intimacy in the lives of Greg and Kate, a middle-aged couple pondering the opportunities left by their recently empty-nested home. Greg, a middle-aged day trader played by Fred Ireland, begins to question his career and discovers the unconditional love of man’s best friend in the park one day when playing hooky from work. Greg’s wife Kate, a Jr. High English Teacher in the inner-city schools— acted by Megan Whyte— rejects Greg’s notion to invite a dog into their NY apartment just as she is poised to take flight in her career. Sylvia, the stray dog performed by Alexis Forni, recognizes her opportunity for a forever home with Greg and Kate, but does little to endear herself to the skeptical lady of the house.
Completing the cast was Jack Stuart, in the misogynous role of Tom the dog park guy who offers all kinds of comedic help to our hopeful new dog owner. Elizabeth Stokkebye played Phyllis, the flamboyant socialite and friend of Kate, who is not amused by Sylvia; and Deborah Todd, played Leslie, Greg and Kate’s psychiatrist who counsels the couple with questionable advice.
Upstage Napa Valley partnered with Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, Wine Country Animal Lovers (WCAL) and We Care Animal Rescue who will be sharing pictures of their adoptable pets. Guests were encouraged to bring a photo of their dog to 'Sylvia' to post on our “We Love Dogs” bulletin board.
Sylvia was sponsored by Bergin Screen Printing and Etching.