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American Century Theater That Championship Season

By • Apr 9th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of American Century Theatre’s production of That Championship Season [MP3 5:16 1.5MB].

Laura: Last Sunday afternoon we saw American Century Theatre‘s production of That Championship Season in Arlington, Virginia.

Mike: That Championship Season was written by Jason Miller. The play spans an evening in which former basketball players come to the home of their high school coach for a 20 year reunion. Their championship was supposed to launch them all into a life of success and achievement, but as the evening unfolds it is clear that the decades have not been kind to them. One is a corrupt politician. Another is a ruthless businesman. A third is killing himself with alchohol, and a fourth is drifting from failure to failure. Presiding over it all is the former coach, a bitter and angry man consumed with prejudice and cynicism.

Laura: This show was very well acted. All of the actors did a good job. They stayed in character, kept their intensity going throughout the performance. This wasn’t a happy ending kind of show. It was pretty deep and did make you think about life and beliefs.

Mike: This was a very well performed show, but not the happiest of topics. It seemed pretty realistic. It was pretty much a roller coaster ride, but the hills weren’t too high. It seemed like they were pretty constantly fighting and not being happy with themselves and their lives and complaining. There were some tender spots. It was a pretty wide range of emotions. But most of the time it was pretty intense.

Laura: The coach was played by Elliott Moffitt. He gave a very strong performance. The coach was trying to relive the old days. Instead of it being 20 years later he seemed to think of it as the next year and tying to remember it was a year ago that they won the championship game instead of 20 years. Trying to put everything in perspective to that one championship season. I thought he did a good job.

Mike: George Sykes, the mayor of the town, was played by Morgan James Hall. The mayor was obsessed with his own importance, and still trying to live by the rules of patronage and the network of family and friends. That’s how you get a job. Probably the way politics really works, but it was really depresing. His obsession with getting more money so he could get reelected. His racial slurs against his opponent were just kind of nauseating. I think the character itself was kind of depressing. The portrayal was pretty good.

Laura: The other three actors: James Daley was played by Ron Lincoln, Tom Daley was played by Joseph A. Mills III, and Phil Romeo was played by Omar A. Bah. All three of the actors did a good job. They all had their own problems. James Daley felt he was stuck in a rut. He wanted to move on to bigger and better things, but felt like he was stuck being a high school principal. His brother Tom was quite content at being an alcoholic and not remembering much of life because he drank all the time. Phil Romeo was trying to play the political game in that he knew who he wanted to support, George, but he also had the other candidate that was trying to win him over. They had some pretty electrifying scenes in there.

Mike: This was a very active show. There was a lot of locker room humor and discussion going on. There was a lot of conflict betwen some of the characters. I’m not going to give any of that away. The surprise of what happens really moves the show along. There were a lot of adult situations and language in this show. I could see all of these characters together in a locker room in high school. The bravado that high school athletes get at times, the coach being the father figure. “I know what’s right for you. You’re my boys.” I think all the characters pulled out that sense of locker room pretty closely.

Laura: The Set Designer was Michael Switalski. It was one set with a couple different areas. I thought it was very well put together.

Mike: The set was the coaches living room. It was kind of a shrine to his coaching days. The set was very nicely done, but it did make me sad that all the coach had to look back on was his coaching days. He had no family. He talked about that during the show. By the end of the show, each of the characters began to understand that they needed to move on from what happened 20 years ago in high school.

Laura: That Championship Season is playing through April 28th. Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM and select Sundays at 2:30 PM at the Gunston Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

Cast

  • George Sikes: Morgan James Hall
  • James Daley: Ron Lincoln
  • Tom Daley: Joseph A. Mills, III
  • Phil Romeo: Omar A. Bah
  • Coach: Elliott Moffitt

Crew

  • Producers: Ellen Dempsey, Rhonda Hill
  • Director: Ed Bishop
  • Assistant Director: Ellen Dempsey
  • Stage Manger: Kelly Armstrong
  • Set Designer: Michael Switalski
  • Lighting Designer: Thomas B. kennedy
  • Sound Designer: Matt Otto
  • Costumer: Rip Claassen
  • Properties: Joyce Andrea Sampson
  • Fight Director: Stefan Sittig
  • Technical Director: Michael Switalski
  • Photographer: Jeff Bell
  • Logo design: Michael Sherman
  • Program Production: Clark W. Day Photo-Graphics

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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