Updated: Aug 4, 2021
The Cumberland Theatre continues its 33rd Season of live entertainment this weekend with the comedy Moonlight and Magnolias. The play is based on the Hollywood legend of the making of the classic film Gone With the Wind, in which the producer, David O. Selznick, quarantines the screenwriter, Ben Hecht, and director, Victor Fleming, in his office to write the entire screen play in only five days on a diet of bananas and peanuts.
Set in 1939, the script includes many pop culture references of the time including Judy Garland’s infamous slap in The Wizard of Oz, Vivian Leigh’s relationship with Lawrence Olivier and Clark Gable’s extracurricular activities off-set. The show runs under two hours and includes a 15 minute intermission.
The show is being directed by CT Co-Artistic Director, Kimberli Rowley and features the acting talents of Sam Little (David O. Selznick), Bill Dennison (Ben Hecht), and Seth Thompson (Victor Fleming). Rowley also makes a cameo appearance as Selznick’s frazzled secretary, Miss Poppengahl.
Sam Little last appeared with the Cumberland Theatre as Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for which he also served as director. He also directed the 2019 CT production of Dracula. He spent most of his performance career in Orlando, Fl. where he was seen regularly at venues such as Universal Studios, Pirates Dinner Adventure, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. Currently, he resides in Hagerstown where he serves as the Artistic Director of Maryland Entertainment Group.
Bill Dennison was last seen on the CT stage in 2016 in Every Christmas Story Ever Told and has also appeared in Little Shop of Horrors, The 39 Steps and and Beau Jest. A Cumberland native, Dennison currently resides in Baltimore where he has taught Acting, Shakespeare, Physical Comedy, and Stage Combat to schools in Baltimore and Annapolis. He is a former company member of The Annapolis Shakespeare Company, and is a current member of The Theatrical Response Team and D.C. Actors' Workshop.
Seth Thompson is returning for his third CT production having appeared in American Son, The House of Yes and A Midsummer Night’s Dream this past year. He began his acting career in Hagerstown, MD with Authentic Community Theatre. Since then, he has worked at the Washington County Playhouse and The Totem Pole Playhouse. He also served as Production Manager for Maryland Entertainment Group where he worked in various capacities for 4 years.
The creative staff for Moonlight and Magnolias also includes CT Co-Artistic Director, Rhett Wolford (set and sound design), Jennifer Clark (costume design), Matthew Georgeson (lighting design), Little (fight director), Bekah Brown (stage manager) and Hayden Kline (assistant stage manager).
The show runs August 5th – 15th with performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets are available at www.cumberlandtheatre.com or by calling 301.759.4990. Group rates are available for parties of 20 or more.