Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Reston Community Players Laughing Stock

By • May 12th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
Laughing Stock
Reston Community Players
Reston Community Center, Reston, VA
$18/$15 for Students/Seniors
Playing through May 16th
Reviewed May 10th, 2009

Laughing Stock is a comedy by Charles Morey. “The Playhouse” is a summer stock barn theater in New England. Follow the adventures as the motley group prepares for the summer productions of Dracul, Prince of the Undead, Charley’s Aunt, and King Lear.

Director Karen Schlumpf has assembled a cast of actors, designers, and crew members who were able to successfully communicate to the audience the sense of family and belonging that occurs when working hard on theater. Laughing Stock pays homage to the joy of live theater. If you’ve ever been involved with any production, you’ll recognize these characters and experiences, and will fondly recall your own time spent at the theater. If you have not been involved with theater, many of the references within the show won’t be understood.

As The Playhouse’s president, director, and actor, Gordon Page (Joe Richardson) juggled the headaches of keeping the beleaguered troupe afloat. Richardson made Page’s ambition to finally perform a serious lofty role very real. His performance of the King Lear monologue was sincere, giving the audience hope that the little troupe could have a successful run. Unfortunately, some of the problems that were striking the Dracul play were insurmountable, leading to hilarious performances by Jack Morris (Stephen Smith), Vernon Volker (Roscoe Lindsey) and Richfield Hawksley (Jim Bumgardner).

The technical elements blended together effectively. The scenes from Dracul and King Lear used several different lighting, sound, and set pieces to radically change the stage from barn to Transylvania to the backstage area. Transitions were performed quickly, although the crew was visible during a few scene changes which was distracting.

Laughing Stock was a funny show, aimed at theatre lovers. The show ran two hours and thirty minutes with a fifteen minute intermission. It is playing through May 16, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM at the Reston Community Center in Reston, Virginia.

Once you’ve seen Laughing Stock, please share your thoughts about it. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater happenings in the DC region.

And now on with the show.

Director’s Note

Family: a group of people not necessarily blood relations, who share common attitudes, interests or goals.

Theatre people form a unique family…actors, stage managers, directors, producers, costume designers, prop managers, set designers, choreographers. Just like any other family, we have our share of joyous celebrations, tearful losses and lots of laughs.

Many years ago, I happened to stumble into this theater family by chance. My little brother saw an ad for an audition, and the next thing I knew, I was playing Mr. Beaver from the land of Narnia.

Countless shows have passed now – their curtains and lights are distant memories. Whether I’ve sung the lead, directed the cast, called the show or struck the set, one thing remains constant. It’s that wonderful feeling you have of enjoyment as you work together and share a story.

You can’t beat it! … and if there are a few laughs along the way, even better!! As out still-idealistic Gordon Page exclaims, “Who could not want to be a part of that?”


And will he not come again What is that?
And will he not come again
What is that?
Auld Lang Sign
Auld Lang Sign


  • Gordon Page: Joe Richardson
  • Jack Morris: Stephen Smith
  • Susannah Huntsmen: Carolyn Sagatov
  • Mary Pierre: Arianne Warner
  • Tyler Taylor: Kevin Walker
  • Vernon Volker: Roscoe Lindsey
  • Richfield Hawksley: Jim Bumgardner
  • Daisy Coates: Mary Suib
  • Craig Conlin: Jerry Morse
  • Sarah McKay: Adrienne Showker
  • Henry Mills: Stuart Fischer
  • Karma Schneider: Natasha Parnian
  • Braun Oakes: Gine Tassara
  • Ianna Milliken: Katie Bull


  • Producer: Bruce Lipin
  • Director: Karen Schlumpf
  • Assistant Director: Brian Farrell
  • Stage Manager: Amy Frank
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Katie Bull
  • Set Design: Bea Morse
  • Set Construction Chief: Sara Birkhead
  • Set Construction Crew: Hannah R. Rohlfs, Skip Larson, Klaus Schulz, Scott Birkhead
  • Set Painting Chief: Bea Morse
  • Set Painting Crew: Jim McNeal, Jerry Morse, Amy Frank, Lisa Parker, Joe Richardson
  • Set Dressing: Bea and Jerry Morse
  • Lighting Design: Adam Konowe
  • Light Board Operators: Gerry McFaul, Adam Konowe
  • Master Electrician: Sara Birkhead
  • Sound Design: Bill Chrapcynski
  • Sound Board Operators: Jason Willett, Bill Chrapcynski
  • Costume Design Chief: Patricia Tinder
  • Costume Designers: Melissa Jo York-Tilley, Sue Pinkman
  • Properties Acquisition: Mary Jo Ford
  • Properties Mistresses: Lisa Parker, Eileen Mullee
  • Make-Up and Hair: Sue Pinkman
  • Running Crew Chief: Laura Baughman
  • Running Crew: Sarah Paukstis, Chris Fouts, Klaus Schulz, Jeff Bumgardner, Jason Willett, Mike Foose
  • Fight Choreography: Brian Farrell, Karen Schlumpf
  • Fly Man: Rick Schneider
  • Pre-Show Presentation: Jerry and Bea Morse
  • Showbill: Jerry and Bea Morse, Jody Al-Saigh
  • Publicity: Kay Vakerics
  • House Management: Judy Cook
  • Photography: Joe Douglas
  • Show Shirts: Sew Cool Embroidery
  • Sign Interpreters: Jan Nishimura, Nicole Reynolds
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3 Responses »

  1. They didn’t do King Lear, they did Hamlet instead. The lady who writes the check didn’t like Lear because it’s depressing so they changed it to Hamlet.

  2. Doh! You’re right, we messed that up. Not to give anything away, but the bits with the skull were kinda important to the plot in the second act of Laughing Stock. We apologize for our mistake. Mike, thanks for pointing that out.

  3. I liked the Vernon Volker character – that Roscoe Lindsey is a hoot!