Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter" and Susan Glaspell's Trifles

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 4010 Randolph Rd Silver Spring MD 20902  See map


The Washington, D.C.-area professional theater company that earned raves for last season’s area premiere of “Candy and Dorothy”—launches its third season this July with two suspenseful one-act plays presented in one entertaining evening. In this two-hour show, audiences will experience Harold Pinter’s edge-of-your-seat drama The Dumb Waiter paired with Susan Glaspell’s seminal murder mystery Trifles. 

Preview performances will take place on July 20 at 7:30 pm and July 21 at 2:00 pm, with opening night on July 21 at 7:30 pm and performances through August 12. Shows will take place at the 200-seat Randolph Road Theatre in Silver Spring, Md., the one-time Round House Theatre space and an exciting new performance venue for the fast-growing Unexpected Stage Company. Tickets ($8-$25) are available at the door, subject to availability, and in advance at www.unexpectedstage.org.  Senior, student, and group rates are available. Please note: some show themes may not be appropriate for young audiences. For show information, call (301) 337-8290. 

Unexpected Stage Company is run by husband-and-wife team and theater veterans Chris Goodrich and Rachel Stroud-Goodrich. Chris has directed several Off-Broadway shows and will direct both plays this season. Explains Rachel, “Unexpected Stage Company aims to explore the intimacies and intricacies of the human experience. The Dumb Waiter and Trifles really capture the darker side of that experience, in the vein of popular mysteries ranging from Sherlock Holmes to CSI.” 

Harold Pinter’s darkly comic short play The Dumb Waiter centers on Gus and Ben, two hit men waiting in an abandoned basement for their next victim. As the building’s dumbwaiter starts to move and the tension between the two men builds, it becomes clear that things are not as they seem. 

The late Harold Pinter is a celebrated playwright who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. First staged in 1960, The Dumb Waiter is one of Pinter’s earliest plays and cemented his status as a major theatrical figure in his native England and around the world. He went on to write 29 plays including The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, and Betrayal (made into an Oscar-nominated film with Ben Kingsley and Jeremy Irons) as well as 21 screenplays including The Handmaid’s Tale (with Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall) and The French Lieutenant’s Woman (with Meryl Streep).

First performed in 1916, Susan Glaspell’s Trifles has become one of the best-known American one-act plays thanks to its compelling exploration of power between the sexes. Based on a real-life homicide that Glaspell had covered as a reporter, Trifles begins after a farmer, John Wright, is found murdered and his wife, Minnie, is taken into custody as a suspect. The story focuses on the prosecutor, George Henderson, who has been called in to investigate the murder; Henry Peters, the local sheriff; Lewis Hale, a neighboring farmer who discovered Wright’s body; and Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale, the wives of the two men. While the men dismiss the female “trifles” around the house, the women uncover clues that add up to a startling discovery.

Chris Goodrich’s directing credits include Unexpected Stage Company’s successful productions of Candy and Dorothy at VisArts in Rockville, Md., and A Phoenix Too Frequent in Seneca Creek State Park. He also directed the American premiere of Canadian playwright Norm Foster’s Wrong for Each Other (Manhattan Theatre Source); the world premiere of National Book Award-winner Gerald Stern’s Father Guzman (Poet’s Theatre); and the world premiere of Kenneth Koch’s Edward and Christine (Columbia University). He won an Audience Favorite Award for the 2007 New York International Fringe Festival offering Danny Boy, which he directed. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he received a coveted Stella Adler drama award. 


Starring as Ben: Christopher Dwyer of Takoma Park, MD, a recent graduate from Catholic University’s MFA program

Starring as Gus: Matt Boliek of Silver Spring, MD


Starring as the Sheriff: Doug Krehbel of Washington, DC

Starring as Mrs. Hale: Mary Sarah Agliotta of Schuylkill Haven, PA

Starring as Mrs. Peters: Heather Davis of Columbia, MD

Starring as Mr. Hale: Baakari Wilder of Glenn Dale, MD

Starring as the County Attorney: Matt Boliek of Silver Spring, MD

Scenic Design for The Dumb Waiter/Trifles: Christopher Townsend

Lighting Design for The Dumb Waiter/Trifles: Peter Dowty

Director of The Dumb Waiter and Trifles: Christopher Goodrich of Montgomery Village, MD


Launching its third season in 2012, Unexpected Stage Company is a professional regional theater company founded by the husband-and-wife team of award-winning actor/director and co-artistic director Christopher Goodrich and actress/singer and co-artistic director Rachel Stroud-Goodrich. The company dedicates itself to honoring the intricacies and intimacies of the complete human experience and, to that end, seeks to unite people, place and storytelling in order to explore interconnection.

“Unexpected Stage Company, led by Chris Goodrich and Rachel Stroud-Goodrich, is a welcome addition to Montgomery County’s arts scene.” – The Gazette

For tickets and further information, please visit www.unexpectedstage.org

THE DUMB WAITER is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.


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