Encore Michigan

Philip Dawkins’ ‘The Gentleman Caller’ at Slipstream for nine performances

Preview January 31, 2020 Encore Staff

FERNDALE—This Valentine’s Day, Slipstream Theatre Initiative dissects the complex relationship between the innate human need for both love and language with The Gentleman Caller by Philip Dawkins, running February 14 through March 1. 

Philip Dawkins’ two-act memory play brings us into the early life of Tennessee Williams; this time on the brink of his Glass Menagerie success, as he sits down for an interview with then-reporter-not-yet-playwright, William Inge. Though brief, illicit, and volatile, their relationship finds moments of truth, hope, and incomparable beauty. Despite their immediate and intense connection, their own respective limitations and the legitimate danger of their forbidden feelings in 1940s America make their relationship a particularly complicated, frenzied, and at times, violent one.

The cast features Bailey Boudreau as the vivacious, passionate Tennessee Williams (once again) and Brenton Herwat as the inspired yet repressed William Inge. The show is directed by Kaitlyn Valor Bourque, making her directorial debut at Slipstream. Mandy Logsdon stage manages. Costumes are designed by Boudreau, with technical design and execution by Maggie Gilkes and Mike Suchyta. Promotional photography by Jan Cartwright Photography with graphic design by Esbee Creative.

“It has been a true privilege watching these actors access the emotional lives of their characters with such depth, vulnerability, and honesty,” said director Kaitlyn Valor Bourque. “I’m grateful to be part of such an intimate and trusting team bringing this valuable and far-too-often untold story to life.”

On stepping back into the shoes of Williams, Boudreau had this to say: “As an actor I just couldn’t get enough of him. But as a theatre maker, I wanted to pay homage to the artists who paved the way for what we are able to do today, as well as share new voices of the American Theatre, such as the brilliant Mr. Dawkins. And with Brenton as Inge, Mandy on board, and Kaitlyn directing it, I feel we are doing just that.”

To celebrate the show and Valentine’s Day, Ferndale’s Gay Bakers will be providing Tennessee-themed drinks and desserts opening night.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at slipstreamti.com, or by emailing SlipstreamTI@SlipstreamTI.com. You can also use Venmo for your ticket purchase: include your email address, name, and date of desired performance in the comment (@Slipstream-Theatre).

Week of 9/25/2023

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