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The Cumberland Theatre will continue its Stars of Tomorrow youth performer program this year with the musical A Year With Frog And Toad. The program was created in 2019 and is intended to feature actors ages 5 – 20 years old, giving them a chance to produce a full-length musical in a professional setting. The program was dark for 2020; however, the scheduled production of Cats (which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19) is being rescheduled for spring of 2022.


“For the safety of our young actors and audiences, as well as financial reasons, we felt that a smaller cast show was a better way to bring our Stars of Tomorrow program back,” said a theatre spokesperson. “Next year, we will be in a better position to bring a larger show like Cats to the stage. We hope to that our patrons bring their families and enjoy ‘Frog and Toad’ and look forward to putting on a good show!” The Stars of Tomorrow program was created with assistance from the Halmos Fund of the Community Trust Foundation. The theatre received a grant this spring to help continue the program in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


A Year With Frog And Toad is based on Arnold Lobel's well-loved children’s books following two great friends – the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad – through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special.


The show features the talents of Connor McCabe as Frog and Brendon McCabe as Toad. Also starring in the show is Trevor McCabe, Oliver Nau, Alice Wecker, Lexus Middleton, Emma Class and Caleb Friend. The show is under the direction of Chris McCabe with costume design by Jennifer Clark, set design by Brendon McCabe and lighting design by Xander Mulder.


Performances are June 17th, 18th, and 19th at 7:00 pm and June 19th and 20th at 2:00 pm. Tickets are available online and group pricing is available by emailing kim@cumberlandtheatre.com.


Masks are required inside the theatre and lobby area.


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CT continues 33rd Season with dark comedy


The Cumberland Theatre will continue its 33rd Season the weekend with the dark comedy The House of Yes by Wendy MacLeod. The show will have its official opening this Friday, May 14th at 8:00 pm and continue through May 23rd with Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.


The House of Yes premiered in San Francisco in 1990, and had its Off-Broadway debut in 1995; a feature film adaptation was released in 1997 starring Parker Posey, Tori Spelling and Freddie Prince Jr. Since then, it has become a favorite in regional theatres throughout the country and lauded for its quick witticisms, dark humor and ability to alternate between crass satire and dark comedy with ease.


The play follows the Pascals, a wealthy family in McLean, Virginia, and the conflict that ensues after oldest son Marty surprises the family with news that he is engaged. There is a strange connection between Marty, his twin sister Jackie-O. (was recently released from a psychiatric hospital), the Kennedy Assassination and their missing father, and the imminent hurricane on its way to their home – which just happens to be next door to the Kennedy compound.


MacLeod has stated that The House of Yes is about "people that have never been said no to," and that she wished to depict the "insularity I see in the upper classes, people who have cut themselves off from the rest of the world and are living by the rules they've invented." The play was inspired by a house MacLeod saw in a wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C., while its title came from a piece of bathroom graffiti seen by MacLeod that read "we are living in a house of yes."

The show features Kimberli Rowley and John Barker as the twins, Jackie-O and Marty. Rowley is the Co-Artistic Director of the Cumberland Theatre and recently appeared as Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby. Other recent appearances include Lucy in Dracula and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Barker’s most recent CT appearances have been as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby and as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire.


Playing their younger brother Anthony will be Seth Thompson, who made his CT debut last fall as Officer Larkin in American Son. Other regional appearances include George in Of Mice and Men and Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace. Nicole Halmos will return to play Mrs. Pascal, the matriarch of the family. Halmos was last seen in the musical Assassins as Sara Jane Moore and has also recently graced the CT stage as Mama Rose in Gypsy and Nat in Rabbit Hole.


Performing for the first time on the CT stage will be Caitlin Cremins as Lesly, Marty’s fiancée. Cremins is originally from Hagerstown but now hails from Boston, MA. Regional theatre credits include Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dawn in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.


The show is being directed by Jennifer Clark, who recently directed last month’s production of The Great Gatsby and also serves as CT’s resident costume designer. The creative team also includes Rhett Wolford (set and sound design), Matthew Georgeson (lighting design), Hayden Kline (stage manager) and Ebony Gennes (assistant stage manager).


Tickets are available at www.cumberlandtheatre.com or by calling 301.759.4990. Thursday shows are currently buy one ticket, get the second free. The VIP star box is also available for bookings which include food, beverage and balcony seats for eight people.


COVID protocols are in place which include temperature checks for patrons when they enter the theatre and mask requirements. The theatre staff reserves the right to alter seating assignments to comply with social distancing guidelines.


The House of Yes contains strong language, sexual situations and violence including live gun fire. It is not intended for younger audiences.

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The Cumberland Theatre will continue their 2021 Season with the opening of The Great Gatsby this weekend. The show, based on the classic literary work by F. Scott Fitzgerald, will run April 8th – 18th with Thursday – Saturday performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.


Last season, the COVID shutdown occurred in the middle of the rehearsal process for the show and the theatre has reassembled most of the same cast members to finally bring The Great Gatsby to the CT stage under the direction of Jennifer Clark.

Top row (left to right): Marty Jellison, Cory Asinofsky, Jen Ayer Drake, John Barker

Second Row: Ashley Snow, Sean Besecker, Kimberli Rowley, Kevin Shreve


Heading the cast as Nick Carraway, who serves as the narrator to the show, is Marty Jellison, who was last seen on the CT stage in Miracle on 34th Street. Playing the titular character, Jay Gatsby, will be Cory Asinofsky who is making his Cumberland Theatre debut. He is currently based in Brooklyn, New York where he is a member of the Less Than Rent Theatre Company.


Also making her first appearance at the theatre will be Jen Ayer Drake as Daisy Buchanan. Drake has appeared on stage throughout the tri-state area as will as in film and television. She recently won Best Supporting Actress at the Fusion Film Festival in London for her work in the psychological thriller Black Island. Returning to the Cumberland Theatre as her husband Tom Buchanan will be John Barker, who was last seen as Stanley Kolwalski in the theatre’s 2019 production of A Streetcar Named Desire.


Ashley Snow (who recently starred as Doris Walker in CT’s Miracle on 34th Street) and Sean Besecker (last seen as Sam Byck in Assassins) will return to play Jordan Baker and George Wilson. Co-Artistic Director Kimberli Rowley will appear as Myrtle Wilson and also serves as choreographer for the show. Local actor Kevin Shreve will be featured as Meyer Wolfsheim.


Playing a variety of supporting roles and dancing in the classic style of the 1920’s will be Morganne Chu, Ebony Genes, Emily Haworth, Connor McCabe, Wyatt Neff, Brielle Windle, and Hayden Kline who also serves as the Assistant Stage Manager for the production.


Other members of the production staff include Rhett Wolford (set and lighting design), Clark (costume design) and Karen Hutcheson (stage manager).


COVID precautions are in place for both patrons and staff. Masks must be worn for the duration of the performance and at all times when moving about the building. Audiences members will be temperature checked at the door and asked to observe social distancing regulations. Online ticket purchases are encouraged; however, the CT staff reserves the right to alter any reservations that do not comply with social distancing standards.


The Great Gatsby has an approximate running time of two hours with one intermission and is appropriate for audiences 12 and up. Parental discretion is encouraged. Tickets are available at www.cumberlandtheatre.com or by calling the theatre at 301-759-4990. Reservations are also being taken for the VIP Star Box which includes food, beverage and balcony seating for 8 people.




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