THE ACTORS WORKSHOP OF
Michael Sullivan, Artistic Director
THE INVISIBLE MAN
Mystery! Mayhem! Mirth! 5 Totally Rude Girls!
Full Frontal Comedy!!! Baffling Special Effects!!!
An Outrageous Thriller
Directed by Bonnie McFerren
Special Effects by Chase Staggs
July 18 - August 19, 1997
With this highly visible cast:
Otis Hardy Maclay
and Walt Zipprian as the Invisible Man
THE ACTORS WORKSHOP
1009 Chartres (Behind the George R. Brown Convention Center)
The management of The Actors Workshop, 1009 Chartres, has what it believes is the perfect antidote for the high temperatures of summertime Houston - a comedy chiller. Titled The Invisible Man: An Outrageous Thriller, the play will run from July 18 through August 9, staged by award-winning director Bonnie McFerren.
The play tells the story of five college co-eds (Hotel Management Majors), who take over the operation of an old, deserted inn in the Colorado Rockies. Before long, they are snowbound and their phone goes out. An odd assortment of characters staggers into the inn, including an invisible man. Is he a killer or a kindness freak, the terrified girls ask each other.
"There's murder, mayhem and mirth before the evening is over," said director McFerren, "also baffling special effects created by Chase Staggs."
Artistic director Michael Sullivan pointed out that the play is "loosely based on the H.G. Wells novel and movie, although Eddie Cope's version is updated with considerably more comedy."
AT WORK AT THE ACTORS WORKSHOP
by Theresa Hyde
"It's just light summer fare, a mystery, comedy, just to pass the summer, maybe give you cool thoughts since the characters are set in the wintertime in Colorado", is how Michael Sullivan describes The Invisible Man now showing at The Actors Workshop.
"Eddie Cope's a Houston playwright, who writes for the most part, melodramas and light mysteries."
Being at the end of their 15th Season, The Actors Workshop has done seven regular plays, plus the summer productions and the extra shows. This season, they opened with another original play by a Houston playwright called The Little Death by Rosemary Pool. They showed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, and another play called Next Time for Real. The Woman's Family Picnic was done during the month of May, and they also did a Hispanic play called Latina. The last play which closed the end of June was Marvin's Room. All the shows this year ran for four weeks.
The founder and the former Artistic Director was Karen Douglas, who was there for 13 years and then retired. Michael Sullivan took over about 2 years ago, for the 14th and 15th season. They start the 16th season in September. They have shows on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Every run is about 14 shows and they are dark for about 1 to 2 weeks.
Michael Sullivan has been a native Houstonian for 20 years. He has attended schools all over the country and graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Theater. "The Invisible Man is about a group of college girls who go to an old abandoned hotel in the Colorado Mountains to run it for a weekend as a project for their school. They keep finding mysterious things going on, different things happening."
The Invisible Man, a hilarious mixture of mayhem and mirth, is currently visible at The Actors Workshop. It will keep your heart pounding every weekend through August 9th. For information, call The Actors Workshop at 713-236-1844.
Interview with Yankie Grant
for The Invisible Man at The Actor's Workshop
by Theresa Hyde
Yankie Grant started out with an Improv Group out of Parker Studios in Houston, and her career blossomed from there. She is represented by Quaid Talent Agency, "I have an agent, which is Hannah Quaid and she's very good to me."
"I've known Eddie (Cope) for a long time. He's the writer and this is my 3rd project that I've worked on with him. He's a really good guy, as well as a really good and funny writer. I got the lead in this one, I guess.....I'm onstage the full time."
The name of the character that she plays is Linda Scott. "I'm a professor that teaches Hotel Management. And I learned everything I know from Leona Helmsley." I asked if that is the kind of character that she plays. "Yeah, but nicer. That's why she went to jail and I didn't (laughs). It's a real fun character."
THYDE: How do you like working here at The Actor's Workshop?
YGRANT: I was with Bonnie McFerrin at Skyline before it closed down. This is my first time at The Actor's Workshop, so far it's been great.
THYDE: Have you lived in Houston most of your life?
YGRANT: I'm from Dallas, and I have lived in about every state that there is. I have an agent in Dallas, also, so I do a lot of work here in Houston, and in Dallas. I'm a licensed real estate agent. I call myself a real estate agent to the stars.
THYDE: How is your family?
YGRANT: I have a really great husband, he supports me with everything that I want to do to pursue this career. I've been married for 15 years. I have greyhounds, and he has a ranch. I raised my 2 children, and then I decided to go back into acting after they left home and not having anything else to do. (Laughs).
THYDE: Have you worked at Stages?
YGRANT: Yes, I was in Stages when we did No Contest and that was televised.
THYDE: How do you like Acting?
YGRANT: I love it. You know, it's hard work. It's not easy. We try to make it look easy for everyone. And to work with so many different people, you have to be able to bring out all their personalities, as well as yours together, to mesh it, to make it work.
THYDE: What are your plans for the future?
YGRANT: I'm going to be in a movie, at the end of July called The Hand of Mercy by Old Hat Productions. It's a trailer for a movie. It's regarding cancer, doctors and illegal pills. It's real serious subject.
THYDE: Who is your favorite actress?
YGRANT: I've been in about 6 movies. And worked with Cicely Tyson and Sally Fields. I just love Bette Midler. I'm reading an article about Goldie Hawn. I think I have a lot in common with her. I like being with people, and at times, I like being in solitude. But I really like Goldie Hawn.
THYDE: What would you like your audience to know about you?
YGRANT: I guess, my motto has always been, Be True To Yourself. And if you can't make yourself happy, you can't make anybody else happy. So, just go for it.
THE ACTORS WORKSHOP
THE INVISIBLE MAN
Interview with Eddie Cope
Playwright for The Invisible man at The Actor's Workshop
by Theresa Hyde
Eddie Cope has written 21 plays in the last 23 years. "Well, this goes back many years, you know"). He writes mostly comedies, mysteries, or a combination of both. They have been staged all over the country and a few have been staged in Canada, Panama, West Germany and a few other places.
Here in Houston, his plays have been staged at the Dean Goss Community Theater, Stages, Main Street, Theater Suburbia, Theater Southwest, The University of St. Thomas, Pasadena Little Theater, and currently at The Actor's Workhsop. Born and grew up in El Paso, Texas, he went to the University of Texas and studied journalism and playwriting. He went to the American Theater Wing in New York for a one-year course and studied Playwriting and Theater Administration.
He went back to Houston to write for "the late, lamented Houston Post", the Houston Chronicle, and some San Antonio papers. He then, went to work for TV Guide magazine for 17 years and did some local writing for them. "Part of my job was contacting TV Stations, you know, and so on. It was very nice."
THYDE: Who influenced you as an artist?
ECOPE: I used to see as many plays as I could. I remember when we were kids in El Paso. My father would load up the car, and take us to a play, you know, and they had several theaters in those days that ran every night. And that was fun. I like plays. I see and read about 125 plays a year. In fact, I was just at the Alley Theater and saw an Agatha Christie.
THYDE: How old is this play, The Invisible Man?
ECOPE: I wrote it in the early eighties. In 1984, it premiered at Theater Suburbia. It was a very popular play. And ever since then, it's been done all over the country. It's been staged out on the West Coast. The L. A. Times gave it a good write-up, I remember. It was done in El Paso, and San Antonio.
THYDE: Why did you write it?
ECOPE: To make money! (Laughs)
THYDE: Is it based on real characters? real people?
ECOPE: It's loosely based on the H.G. Wells novel. There was a movie in 1933, I think, called The Invisible Man with Claude Reems. And it was a very popular show. Very loosely based on that.
THYDE: After the play has made its full run, do you plan to run it again?
ECOPE: Well, if somebody wants to produce it, fine.
THYDE: What do you want the audience to gain from watching this play?
ECOPE: I just want them to be entertained, and have fun and enjoy, and marvel at all the baffling special effects. In the summer time, you know, you like light entertainment, the chilling, the thrilling. Maybe that'll add to the enjoyment of the audience.