Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Tantallon Community Players Bus Stop

By • Oct 4th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Tantallon Community Players’ production of Bus Stop [MP3 6:05 2.8MB].

Laura: This is the review of Bus Stop performed by Tantallon Community Players in Fort Washington, Maryland. Mike and I saw the performance on Saturday, September 29th, 2007.

Mike: I enjoyed this show. It started out with the premise of a bus being trapped by the snow and all the passengers having to wait together in a small little diner. I think that’s a fear that all of us can identify with of either traveling or getting stuck in snow or something that gets us stuck. Even if we’re not on a bus or a train or at the airport; or even in our cars and getting stuck. I like the premise of getting all these different people who don’t know each other all together.

Laura: I felt that this show didn’t quite know how to end. In thinking about it I realized that that is kind of how life is: it goes on. What we saw on Saturday evening was kind of a little slice of life. Everybody being trapped in one room all night long. The tension that goes along with that. Love born and then dying. All the little nuances.

Mike: Bus Stop is a play written in three acts by William Inge in 1956. The play takes place entirely in Grace’s Diner. A bus stop in Missouri that ends up being the end of the line when a blizzard closes the road and the passengers on the bus need to stay in the diner for several hours while the road is being plowed. We meet a motley assortment of characters. They all have different stories to share and to tell us.

Laura: The town sheriff, Will Masters, was played by Bailey R. Center. He did a good job. He was very easy going, but very caring. He wasn’t going to stir up trouble, but when people got out of hand he was there to keep them in line. Some really good physical action went into the scene between him and the cowboy.

Mike: He kind of had the grandfatherly wisdom that he shared with the people at the diner. He was also kind of the teacher. He had a lot of different roles he was playing as sheriff. It seemed pretty believable.

Grace, the owner of the diner was played by Jo Rake. She was pretty believable. I had a whole host of questions for her after the show that I would love to know more about her character. She had a couple different interpretations for her that I could think about how she treated some of her guests at the diner that day. I also liked the relationship that she had with Elma, a waitress played by Jung Weil.

Laura: I also thought the diner owner Grace did a good job. She had a southern accent that she kind of kept throughout the whole performance. This can be hard to do, but she did that really well.

Cherie, the lounge singer who was trying to run a way from a marriage that she didn’t know she had gotten herself into, was played by Laura Quenzel. She did a good job. She had some of the best expressions when she was trying to run away from the cowboy by hiding behind the counter. The look of fear and then later exasperation when she was trying to put him down not so nicely and trying to tell him she had no intention of getting married. That was just a really funny scene.

Mike: The waitress, Elma, tried to set up a talent show to keep everybody occupied during the middle of the night when there is nothing happening. Cherie sang a song that she used to sing at the night club. It just wasn’t really that good. It was ok, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. It did make me rethink her whole character and some of the other things that she had told us about her singing career. I thought that was a nice application of that role.

Bo Decker was the cowboy that had fallen in love with Cherie and had decided to marry her. Since he decided it, that must be the way it is. He was played by Jackson Dismukes. At the start of the show he had an air of perfection, a real attitude about himself. His cowhand Virgil Blessing, played by Art Greene, tried to teach him something about women. You could see that Jackson wasn’t going to be able to absorb the lesson because it meant he would have to be humble and he just couldn’t see how that had anything at all to do with getting a woman. As the characters kept getting more and more tired as the early morning snowstorm continued. It was interesting watching them grow and kind of getting used to each other and letting their guards drop just a bit.

Laura: The set for Bus Stop was very good. The Set Designer was Charla Rowe, who was also the show’s director. It was very detailed. One thing I liked was the sink actually worked. Water came out of it for them to fill up the water pitchers. I thought it was very 1950’s. I noticed that some of the prices for coffee up on the wall were definitely not what they are today. I thought that was a nice touch.

Mike: There were also the nice touches about being more than simply a diner. The row of books and magazines along the one edge so that people who were waiting for a bus would have something to do. I liked how they thought that through.

Laura: The show is approximately two and a half hours with one intermission and one pause. It is playing through Sunday, October the 14th. Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm at the Harmony Hall Regional Center in Fort Washington Maryland.

Mike: After you’ve seen this how, we’d like to hear your comments. please do that as a comment on this posting at We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed as to the happenings in community theater in the DC area.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Elma Duckworth: Jung Weil
  • Grace Hoyland: Jo Rake
  • Will Masters: Bailey R. Center
  • Cherie: Laura Quenzel
  • Dr. Gerald Lyman: John Askew, Sr.
  • Carl: Chris Robichaux
  • Virgil Blessing: Art Greene
  • Bo Decker: Jackson Dismukes


  • Director: Charla Rowe
  • Producer: Jo Rake
  • Stage Manager: Lauren Syzmanski
  • Assistant to the Director: Valerie Holt
  • Costume Design: Sandy Jensen, Ginny Bird, Jo Rake & Charla Rowe
  • Makeup Design: Cast
  • Hair: Cast
  • Properties: Janet Crews, assisted by Mary Downs
  • Combat Choreography: Alex Zavistovich
  • Set Design: Charla Rowe
  • Master Carpenter: George Roff & Mark Holt
  • Set Construction/Load-in Crew: Larry Carbaugh, Jo Rake, Rick Pica, Chris Robichaux
  • Set Painting: Marilyn Weaver, Larry Carbaugh
  • Set Dressing: Marilyn Weaver
  • Lighting Design/Engineer: Sheryl Fry
  • Sound Design: Ron Rowe
  • Light & Sound operators: Harmony Hall Staff
  • Publicity/Cover Design: Chris Robichaux, Jung Weil
  • Program: Jo Rake
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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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