The Actors Community Theatre (ACT) of Davie opened their production of Sylvia, a Broadway comedy, on Nov. 11. The play is written by A.R. Gurney and features the story of a marriage, a man and his dog. It runs for two weekends, Nov. 11-20. There will be eight performances, with each lasting two hours with a 15-minute intermission. Tickets are $10 online at ACTofDavie.org, or $12 at the door. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays are at 8 p.m. There are matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.
The play has a cast of four actors who play six roles, including the title role of Sylvia, a dog who creates conflict in a marriage.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” director Carla Zackson Heller said. “There’s actually a musical number, there’s tragedy, there’s comedy. It’s very interesting because it crosses genres, in a sense the lead Sylvia doesn’t know if she’s an animal or human. And there’s a character who doesn’t know if he’s a male or a female or both. It’s crossing boundaries left and right.”
This is Heller’s third time directing Sylvia.
“This play for me was simply because I adopt and rescue animals,” said Heller “I really do. And there aren’t that many plays about that. In this story, Sylvia is a stray orphan street dog mutt from a shelter. I mean, she was on the streets, she got put in a shelter. And I have one just like that.”
Producer and ACT’s board president, Dana Fredebaugh worked with props and costuming.
“We generally pull from our own closets and houses,” Fredebaugh said. “If we can’t find it in our own collections we wind up going to thrift stores. We keep the costs as minimal as possible.”
The role of Greg, who finds Sylvia in the park, is played by Ron Torres, previously seen in Cactus Flower, ArsenicandOld Lace, Evelyn in Purgatory and Crossing Delancey. He has been in many ACT productions. Nancy Andrade, who is new to ACT and a musical actor and director/choreographer in Miami, is playing the title role of Sylvia. The role of Greg’s wife, Kate, is played by Leslie Kandel, who in 2019 starred in the title role of Evelyn in Purgatory at ACT of Davie. Larry Chidsey is playing the roles of Tom, Phyllis and Leslie.
In addition to Heller and Fredebaugh, Sylvia is stage managed by Devon Waring, a Davie attorney. Christopher Harrington, the Artistic Director of ACT, designs and builds sets while also serving on the board.
Group discounts (for 10 or more) are available. Contact the center if you are interested. Tickets are available at www.actofdavie.org. Masking is suggested but not required. There is
free parking, and the building is accessible. Refreshments will be available in the lobby at intermission.
Fredebaugh looks forward to the show’s run.
“We’ve enjoyed coming together and putting together something that we can share with an audience and […] the audience’s reaction […] makes it all worthwhile,” Fredebaugh said.
Mary Rasura is a junior multimedia journalism student from Florida Atlantic University minoring in computer science. She is excited to review theater shows and write feature stories for South Florida Theater magazine, as she believes art is what makes life worth living.