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April 18 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: New director sets the scene at Bay Area Stage

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Between the rigor of back-to-back programming, new shows, casts and changing audiences, nothing ever happens the same way twice in community theater.

Embracing that theme of change, Vallejo’s Bay Area Stage is welcoming a brand new director to head their upcoming production of “The Foreigner.”

“We’re getting a little burned out,” said Stacey Loew, citing the 54 productions she and her business partner, Jeff Lowe, have produced since 2009. “Since we’re a small mom and pop operation, we’ve been doing the lion’s share of everything ourselves.”

When Solano College alumni Trey Reeves expressed his interest in directing, Lowe and Loew jumped at the chance to bring him on.

Reeves’ entry onto the Bay Area Stage scene encapsulates community theater at its best. He is one of many with performing arts aspirations who are allowed to pursue and hone their talent at the grassroots level.

Reeves brings the passion and energy of not only a young person, but also a relative newcomer with a lot of ideas, said Lowe.

“We decided we were gonna give this young person a crack at directing, because how else are you going to learn a craft without somebody giving you a chance?” said Lowe.

While Loew and Lowe were familiar with the play previously, adding it to their own programming based on Reeves’ interest was a moment of trust for them. Somewhat ironically, “The Foreigner” itself is a comedy concerned with newcomers and identity.

Set in the deep south, the play follows “Froggy” LeSueur as he returns to his highly frequented fishing lodge in rural Georgia. But during this visit, “Froggy” has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers.

Before departing, “Froggy” tells those assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and doesn’t speak English. Chaos ensues as Charlie is left to overhear more than he should, such as the evil plans of a menacing minister and his associate and the fact that the minister’s pretty fiancée is pregnant.

The hilarity of the script was not only appealing to Reeves, but it proved enticing to other young professionals as well. Lowe remarked that the majority of the cast are young individuals, eager to bring the script to life over the coming weeks.

IF YOU GO:

  • WHAT: The Foreigner
  • WHEN: Friday— 4/19, 4/26, 5/3 at 8 p.m.; Saturday — 4/20, 4/27, 5/4 at 8 p.m.; Sunday — 4/21, 4/28, 5/5 at 3 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Bay Area Stage Theatre, 515 Broadway St., Vallejo.
  • TICKETS: General Tickets are $22, Senior/Student Tickets are $20
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