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Updated: Jun 9

The Second Sam Shepard show to be produced by the Cumberland Theatre takes the stage Thursday.

The Cumberland Theatre will continue its 34th Main Stage Season with Sam Shepard's celebrated play True West. The play - which some say is Shepard's best - is part of a trilogy, which also includes Fool For Love, which was also produced by the Cumberland Theatre in 2018.

Performed all over the world and translated into 10 different languages, this American classic explores alternatives that might spring from the

demented terrain of the California landscape. Sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when Lee, a demented petty thief, drops in. He pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee's trashy Western tale.


The brothers find themselves forced to cooperate in the creation of a story that will make or break both their lives. In the process, the conflict between the brothers creates a heated situation in which their roles as successful family man and nomadic drifter are somehow reversed.


Of the play, Shepard said, "I wanted to write a play about double nature, one that wouldn't be symbolic or metaphorical or any of that stuff. I just wanted to give a taste of what it feels like to be two-sided. It's a real thing, double nature. I think we're split in a much more devastating way than psychology can ever reveal. It's not so cute. Not some little thing we can get over. It's something we've got to live with."


True West was first performed at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, where Shepard was the resident playwright. It had its world premiere there on July 10, 1980. Since then, it has been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre with Gary Sinise (who also directed the production) and John Malkovich playing the leads, two Off-Broadway runs which starred such actors as Tommy Lee Jones, Peter Boyle, James Belushi, Gary Cole, Tim Matheson, Erik Estrada, Dennis Quaid and Randy Quaid.


More recent years have seen the show return to Broadway in both 2000 (which starred John C. Reilly and the late Phillip Seymore Hoffman) and 2018 (which featured Ethan Hawk and Paul Dano).


The CT version stars Bill Dennison and Seth Thompson as Austin and Lee under the direction of Kimberli Rowley. Dennison was last seen as David in the musical Company. Thompson last appeared as the titular role in Macbeth. Also appearing will be Tim Bambara and Luann Lancaster. Bambara was last seen on the CT stage in Miracle on 34th Street. Lancaster is making her CT debut.


Production staff includes Rhett Wolford (set design), Joshua Taylor (lighting design), Jennifer Clark (costume design), Trevor McCabe and Joel Hoover (props design), Darrell Rushton (fight director), Em Uranga (stage manager) and Ebony Gennes (assistant stage manager). Run crew includes Elizabeth Mudge, Thomas Kifer and Trevor McCabe.


True West will be performed June 9th - 19th with Thursday - Saturday shows at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. There will be a complimentary wine and cheese party following the opening night performance on Friday, June 10th.


Tickets are available at cumberlandtheatre.com or by calling the box office at 301.759.4990. Please note the show contain violence and mild language. Parental discretion is encouraged.


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The Gals are back with a new show - Just in time for PRIDE

Picture it: Cumberland- June, 2022 Sophia Petrillo has gone missing! Your favorite pals and confidants Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose must travel down the road and back again across America to find her. The hip old grannies take you on a musical journey through The Golden Girls’ favorite game shows! Put on your trivia caps because lucky audience members will become contestants, interacting directly with your bosom buddies, while competing to become the next #TokenSophia. Grab That Dough! Love Connection! Jeopardy Dream Sequences! Oh My! Toto, we’re not in Miami anymore, sugar.

“It’s like vaudeville for the new generation!” - Rachel in Asbury Park, NJ “They had me laughing so hard my cheeks hurt!” - Mary in Fort Lauderdale, FL “The best show I’ve seen here in a long time. More of this, please!” - Michael in Detroit, MI


More about GGTM: The Golden Gays (GGTM) are the premier Golden Girls Musical Troupe touring the US and beyond. The perfect drag show for the whole family! The Golden Gays burst onto the scene in 2017- first at RuPaul’s DragCon NYC, then at the famed Rue La Rue Café, where their trivia show video went viral. What began as a flash mob has now skyrocketed to sold-out engagements all across America. They have multiple hit musical shows: “Hot Flashbacks,” “The Golden Games,” “Thank YULE For Being A Friend,” Ring Ring! - It’s the Libertine Belle, Murder Musical” and “Betty & Bea Against Humanity!“

GGTM has been seen around and about New York City, Asbury Park, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlantic City, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Provincetown, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Rochester, New Hope (PA), Cumberland (MD), Peabody (MA), Rehoboth Beach, (DE), Hackensack (NJ) and the headliners of The Golden Fans at Sea Cruises!


Starring The Golden Gays founders Jason B. Schmidt (as The Dorothy) and Gerry Mastrolia (as The Rose) Christopher Eklund (as The Blanche) and more! A musical adventure, their shows consist of live singing and dancing, along with hilarious sketches from the television show's most memorable moments.


Get tickets at cumberlandtheatre.com

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Be the first to know what we've got planned for our 35th Anniversary Year!

Be the among the first to know what's coming in 2023 as we reveal our exciting line-up of shows for next year's 35th Anniversary Season!


We will be announcing the eight shows in our 2023 Main Stage Season as well our Stars of Tomorrow Youth Season....and a few more exciting developments! Also, for the first time ever, we have let you - our audience - select one of the play choices for our Main Stage Season...and we will continue letting you vote until the Launch Party officially starts! Cast your vote by clicking the image below...


...and find out what show is the first ever "CT Audience Choice"!


There will be food, open bar and entertainment provided by some of our young performers from this year's Shrek the Musical as well as from our professional cast of our current show, Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY. We will also be awarding prizes and playing some fun games as we reveal our season.


2023 will be an important and exciting year for the Cumberland Theatre as we celebrate our 35th Season of Entertainment, and we want to include our loyal patrons and sponsors as much as possible! So, please join the CT staff and board of directors for an evening filled with performance, gratitude, prizes, good food and exciting announcements about the future of Cumberland Theatre!


Tickets are only $25 and include open bar, hor d'oeuvres and entertainment. Get your ticket at cumberlandtheatre.com.


**please note, 2022 Season Pass Holders and Show Sponsors will be admitted to the event for no charge - it's our thanks to you! Please RSVP to kim@cumberlandtheatre.com

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