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Show 3

click for larger view
                    poster adapted by: slemenille

click for larger view
                    poster adapted by: slemenille

A comedy

by Nell Benjamin

Directed by Steve Lemenille
Produced by Bill Seesselberg
Stage Managed by Taylor Lyons

The Explorers Club

London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible. True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Grab your safety goggles for some very mad science involving deadly cobras, irate Irishmen and the occasional airship.

May 7, 14, 20, 21, 2022 @ 8PM
May 15, 2022 @ 2PM - Matinee
Tickets: $25.00


Cast and Production Members

The Cast The Production/Crew 
Joe Zedeny as Lucius Fretway     Steve Lemenille     Director  
June Ravert as Phyllida Spotte-Hume     Bill Seesselberg     Producer
Timothy McGovern as Harry Percy     Taylor Lyons     Stage Manager/Ass't Director
Russell Ortiz as Luigi     Jean Lioy    Properties
Edward Bontempo as Professor Cope     Steve Lemenille / Linda Correll    Set Design
Jeffrey Milstein as Professor Sloane     Jean Lioy    Set Decor
Allen Roberts as Professor Walling     Jean Lioy / Lois Stevens    Backstage Staff
David Williams as Sir Bernard Humphries    Steve Lemenille / Don Schlachter    Lighting Design
Paul Arfanis as Beebe     Don Schlachter / Jake Malhosky    Lighting Operator
    Steve Lemenille / Don Schlachter    Sound Design
    Jake Malhosky    Sound Operator
    Steve Lemenille    Publicity
    Karen DiFabio / Grace Sweeney    Playbill/Marketing
    Steve Lemenille    Webmaster
    Alexandra Byrne    Box Office Director
    Ed Bontempo    Costumer/Hair/Make-Up
    DOn Mokrauer / TBA/ TBA    House Managers
    Marilyn Gettinger / TBA / TBA    Ushers
    Steve Lemenille    Photographer
    Stu Schnitzer    Videography
    Linda Correll    Set Construction
    Marty Silverman    Set Construction
    Samantha Scutieri    Set Construction
    TBA    Set Construction

The Cast
(Lucious Fretway) This is Joe's second production at WCP. He last performed here 20 years ago when he portrayed the role of Michael Starkwedder in The Unexpected Guest. He has recently performed as Bob Phillips in How the Other Half Loves and as Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol. His other accolades include Dr, Boyle in Prelude to a Kiss, Cleatus in Bad Medicine, Frankie in Dealers Choice, Fr. Pete Barry in On the Waterfront, the Reverend Crisparkle in the Mystery of Edwin Drood, Tito Merelli in Lend Me a Tenor, Tony Wendice in Dial M for Murder, Aldolfo in The Drowsy Chaperone, Bill Austin in Mamma Mia and Tony Delveccio in Disaster: the Musical. Other favorites include Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. He also had the opportunity to play a key role as a police officer in a short film by Melody and Davinci Productions. He would like to thank Steve Lemenille for this opportunity and best wishes to the cast and crew, especially to his significant other June, both onstage and off. Break a Leg!

(Phyllida Spotte-Hume) In her day job June is a high school teacher, teaching both English/Theater. She has been directing the drama club and musicals for 10 years. She has been seen as Margot in Dial M for Murder, Ann in A Zoo Story, Dr. Livingston in a virtual reading of Agnes of God, Dr. Julia in Bad Medicine, and Cecilia in Men are Dogs by Joe Simonelli. June has also experienced outdoor theater playing Marian in Prelude to a Kiss and most recently as Fiona in How the Other Half Loves. She has had the opportunity to act in a commercial for the company 'healtheo360', as well as, play Mrs. Smith in a short film through Melody and Davinci Productions. She is thrilled to make her stage debut here at Westfield Community Players. June wishes the cast and crew 'Break-a-Leg'. To Steve, thank you for the wonderful opportunity. To Joe, thank you for being my partner in crime on the stage.

(Harry Percy)Timothy is very happy to continue to be part of the reopening of Westfield Community Players. He was in the opening play of this year, Play On!, where he was the actor Saul Watson playing the scoundrel Stanley Grimes who was pretending to be Dr. Forbes. Most confusing! In the last season before COVID, he was Davenport in The Late Christopher Bean, and the season before that, he set a personal record by appearing in three straight shows at Westfield: Capt. Hastings in Black Coffee, Stefanowski in Mister Roberts, and Dick in Play It Again, Sam. Timothy also played Elyot in Private Lives here and filled a long desire by playing Charles in another Noël Coward play, Blithe Spirit in Cranford. Typically, Timothy acts in comedies here in WCP such as The Fox on the Fairway (Dickie Bell), Don’t Dress for Dinner (Robert), Caught in the Net (John Smith), Run for Your Wife (Sgt. Porterhouse), It Runs in the Family (Dr. Bonney) and Squabbles (Jerry Sloan). A special memory was acting in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, because that’s where he first met his wife, Diane. Timothy is dedicating this performance to her and his sons Jack and Brian.

(Luigi)Russ Ortiz currently serves as WCP Board Secretary. Russ has also performed here at WCP in many productions, namely The Man Who Came to Dinner, Tribute, A Thousand Clowns. Almost, Maine, Barefoot in the Park, Rehearsal For Murder, Squabbles and Mister Roberts. During the past five years Russ appeared in 45 productions in New Jersey and N.Y. In 2014 Russ appeared in Twelve Angry Men, A Man Of No Importance, Sex Relationships and Sometimes…Love [off-Broadway], Time Stands Still, The Laramie Project, To Kill A Mockingbird, And Then There Were None, Christmas Carol, Inherit the Wind and most recently, Cocktail Hour Confessions. Russ received a 2011 NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Tom Rogers in And Then There Were None at Main Street Theatre Company.

(Professor Cope) is pleased to once again tred the boards here at WCP. He directed Follies for WCP back in 2019. This show is one of Ed’s favorites. “I began my love affair with Follies back in the early 1980’s, I can remember listening to the album and just loving this music, hoping to someday do a production with my signature flair.” A graduate from Union County College, Ed studied costume design at Fashion Institute of Technology, FIT. in Manhattan. Some of his other credits include: Chicago, Minnie’s Boys, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd, Mr. Roberts, where he won the NJACT award for outstanding costume design, and most recently Black Coffee and The Foreigner here at WCP. Ed was nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for Featured Actor in WCP's production of Mister Roberts and received a Perry Award for Costumer of Mister Roberts.

Ed also is a member of the Board of Directors here at WCP.

(Professor Sloane) Jeff has been tripping the light fantastic for the past six (6) years and it has been fun. He has written books, acted, directed and produced plays that have been performed in New York and New Jersey. Recent acting credits have been To Kill A Mockingbird, Inherit the Wind, The Odd Couple and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In addition to working as an accountant, Jeff has performed in many student films from accredited theatre schools such as NYU, NYFA, City College, etc. He is currently working on another play that he has written called So You Think You’re Godd which will be performed in December at Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor, New Jersey. Check out my website at: www.jemproductions13.net. As always, Jeff is thankful to his wife, Elyse, for putting up with his hectic schedule and he dedicates all his performances to his mom.

(Professor Walling) Allen is delighted to be back at WCP, last appearing in its 2018 production of Mister Roberts. Since, he has appeared in Lord Stirling’ Theatre’s productions of Dracula and Treasure Island, as Van Helsing and Billy Bones/Jemmy Rathbone, respectively, and as Chef in Studio Players’ Don’t Drink the Water, as well as performing in Trilogy Theatre children’s shows. Allen previously appeared on Broadway (i.e., 39 Broadway in both Hackensack and Paterson) with the Hackensack Theatre Company and Genesis Repertory Theater, respectively as well as with Teaneck New Theatre, Other stage credits include Caldwell B. Cladwell (Urinetown), Sidney Redlitch (Bell, Book and Candle), Scanlon (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Kurt’s dad, Veronica’s dad and Principal Gowan (Heathers), and roles in The Ritz and Scapino. Allen was also a member of Comcast Cablevision’s now legendary “Downtown Altoona Players” (available on YouTube), notably appearing as Melvin Skupoyden, deranged binoculars salesman in episodes 9 and 10, and Michael Anthony of “The Millionaire” fame in episode 11. Deepest thanks to my wife for putting up with me, and a shout out to the cast and crew, with thanks to Steve (Lemenille) for bringing me aboard.

(Sir Bernard Humphries) David made his WCP debut in last year's production of The Runner Stumbles. David's other acting credits include Grand Hotel as Hermann Preysing; Sticks & Bones as Ozzie; It's a Wonderful Life as Freddie Filmore and others; Educating Rita as Frank Bryant); Dearly Departed as Reverend Hooker; Whose Life is it Anyway? as Ken Harrison); Betrayal as Robert; The Best Man (Joe Cantwell); The Shadow Box (Brian); The Journey of the 5th Horse (Chulkaturin); and The Country Girl as Bernie Dodd. David would like to thank Steve and Taylor for their guidance, Elaine for her unwavering support, and this great cast for being such a pleasure to work with..

(Beebe)is a Westfield resident who has performed for WCP in A Thousand Clowns as Arnold Burns, as General McKenzie in And Then There Were None, and in the Shakespeare In The Park performance of The Merchant of Venice in which he played Tubal. He has a dental practice of 30 years in the community and has desired to perform on stage since his appearances in the Washington School show launched him in this direction. As a college undergraduate he had his own radio show and also broadcast ice hockey games for the school team. He would like to thank Steve for giving him this opportunity, the cast for being so patient, and his wife for her ever encouraging support.


Production Staff
(Director) Steve has directed WCP's productions of Dial 'M' for Murder, A View from the Bridge, the comedy Squabbles,   {p r o o f}, Barefoot in the Park, A Thousand Clowns, And Then There Were None, Mister Roberts. And last season, The Runner Stumbles. In 2013 Steve was nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for OUSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY for {proof}. He also has appeared in six consecutive productions here at WCP.

Steve has been involved in theatre since his college days at Jersey City State. He is a retired Social Studies teacher and Drama Director of 29 years with the Hackensack Public Schools. Steve was also a MFA candidate at Montclair State. He has acted with Tower Players and the Opera Workshop of Jersey City, StageCrafters (Fairlawn), and Bergen County Players. He has also acted in dinner theatre for Regal Productions.

Some of the roles he portrayed were: Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (Tower Players), the Grandfather in The Long Christmas Dinner (Tower Players), Ulysses in Tiger At The Gates (Tower Players), Paul Verrall in Born Yesterday (Bergen County Players), Paul in Barefoot in the Park (Fairlawn), and Michael in Second Time Around and the Inspector Paul Sevigne in A Shot In The Dark (Regal Productions) and the Grandfather in Kurt Wiell's Down in the Valley (Opera Workshop). Steve portrayed Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stanley in Death of a Salesman, The Magistrate in Fools, and Gen. Oscar Fairfax in Little Mary Sunshine and Kilroy in Don't Drink the Water, and most recently as Daniel in Almost, Maine…all for WCP. Steve was nominated for a 2009 NJACT Perry Award for OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE MEMBER for his role as the Magistrate in Fools.

His directorial credits include: You Can't Take It with You, Harvey, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Gramercy Ghost, George Washington Slept Here, L'il Abner, The King & I, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, The Diary of Anne Frank, Our Town, South Pacific, The Music Man, Rehearsal for Death (all for HMS), Dial 'M' for Murder (Stagecrafters/WCP).

Steve was nominated for two (2) 2012 NJACT Perry Awards for OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY (As Producer for Rehearsal for Murder) and as OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY (Rehearsal for Murder). Steve was also nominated for two (2) NJACT 2011 Perry Awards: OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR in a Play for his role as Justice Lawrence Wargrave in Main Street Theatre's production of And Then There Were None, and OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR in a Play for his role as Isaac Cohen in Westfield Community Players production of Abie's Irish Rose.

Steve is the immediate Past-President of WCP, as well as, the webmaster here at WCP. Steve wishes to thank his wife, JoAnne, for getting him back involved with theatre. "Without her support and love, I can accomplish little. Thank you dear!!" Steve also thanks Sherrie Ahlin and Drude Roessler for making his WCP experiences very special. A special note of thanks to Katie, Mike, JoAnne, Glenn, Bill, Ed Whitman and Ed Bontempo for their contributions at WCP. And of course special thanks to this Cast/Crew for their hard work and love of theatre.

Steve has also performed at the Grove Street Theater in Montclair performing in Apricot Productions' 1-act series. Also, he has appeared in a series of monologues entitled Sex, Relationships and Sometimes… Love at The Old Library Theater, Main Street Theater Company; and at the Producer's Club and the Jerry Orbach Theater, both off-Broadway, NYC. Steve also directed Harper Lee's classic To Kill A Mockingbird and Sharr White's The Other Place at the Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC) on the Hamilton Stage, in Rahway, NJ for Fearless Productions.

Most recently, Steve was inducted into NJACT's Hall of Fame for Directing.

(Producer) Bill is a recent addition to the Westfield Community Players, joining the Board of Directors as treasurer. He comes with a wealth of experience as a producer and director, being involved in shows at many venues including Playhouse 22, Cranford Dramatic Club, and Edison Valley Playhouse, where he was also instrumental in the renovation and renewal of the playhouse. Bill also took part in "Overheard", a series of original audio plays presented by the Woodhouse Players of London during the pandemic. A television director and editor, Bill looks forward to continuing working in community theater and supporting others who join our troupe on stage or in the wings.

(Stage Manager) Taylor is absolutely thrilled to be the stage manager for WCP’s production of The Runner Stumbles and to be making her WCP debut! A theatre kid at heart, Taylor has been involved in theatre since she impulsively decided to audition for her high school’s fall play her freshman year. In college, she was an assistant stage manager for TCNJ Musical Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening, as well as, one of the lighting designers for Little Shop of Horrors and Into the Woods. Additionally, she spent the summer of 2018 interning at George Street Playhouse’s Summer Theatre Academy, an educational arts program for youth aged 5-18. Taylor graduated from The College of New Jersey in the Spring of 2019. This past summer, she lived in Washington D.C., working in pre-school readiness programming. Currently, Taylor works as the Arts and Recreation Coordinator for Visions and Pathways, a residential and outreach program for temporarily displaced youth. Being very new to WCP, Taylor is thankful to Joanne and Steve Lemenille for giving her the opportunity to work in theatre once again. She would also like to thank her cast for their endless patience and dedication to this production.

(Director of Performances / Properties) Jean is a retired professor of microbiology at Union County College and also Rutgers/UMDNJ. She also has been a consultant with the NJ Office Of Homeland Security in the area of bioterrorism and emergency preparedness.

Being new to WCP, she is very thankful for the opportunity to learn about the backstage world of the theater.

Jean currently serves on the Board of Directors as Director of Performance. Most recently Jean has been nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Properties in a Play for On Borrowed Time.

(Set Decor) To Be Developed

(Lighting Designer/Operator)To Be Developed

(Playbill/Marketing) Karen made her acting debut as Nurse Flinn in WCP's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and then appeared in The Man Who Came to Dinner. She also assisted her time to assist Ed Bontempo with costumes. Karen currently serves on the Board of Directors as Director of Playbill and Marketing. .

(Sound Design) TBD

(Sound Operator) To Be Developed

(Webmaster / Publicity) see above
(Box Office) Alexandra is our newest Board of Directors member. She is serving as our Box Office Director.

(Costumes) Aside from portraying the role of Beverly Carlton in the production of The Man Who Came to Dinner, Ed has taken on the responsibility of being the costumer, including hair and make-up for this production.

Ed Bontempo in 2018 received two NJACT Perry Award Nominations: Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Mister Roberts and Outstanding Costume Design of a Play Mister Roberts. He was the recipient of Outstanding Costume Design.

As of our 2018-2019 season, Mr. Bontempo was nominated for a NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Costuming of a Musical for Follies

(Stage Crew) This is Lois' third production for which she has participated. Lois has also served as House Manager. She is one of our newest volunteer members.

(Set Construction Chairperson) Linda has worn many hats in theater for over 40 years and is delighted to have designed and built the set for this talented cast and crew. She has appeared on Westfield’s stage in Play On!, Follies, Rumors, Jakes Women, Run For Your Wife and Caught in the Net. Some other favorite roles include: Carlotta in Phantom, Irene in Crazy for You, Billy Dawn in Born Yesterday, Helsa Wenzel in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Marta in Thumbs! (The world premier). Linda has also directed numerous times including such shows as The Foreigner, The Lion in Winter, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, It Runs In the Family and Starting Here, Starting Now for Westfield. As well as acting, and directing Linda designs, builds sets and dabbles in stage pyrotechnics. Her favorite role is John Correll’s “other half”--AML, AML. Love to my family who regularly show me how insanity is supposed to be done. Let the fun begin!!!

(Set Construction)Te Be Devloped.

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All Dates subject to change
Photos by: Tchr

The Explorers Club is produced under special arrangement with Dramatists Play Serivce, Inc.  

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs  

The Explorers Club is sponsored in part by JoAnne & Steve Lemenille.  

WCP is a member of New Jersey Association of Community Theaters (NJACT). The New Jersey Association of Community Theaters (NJACT) is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting local theater around the state. The group's core mission is to celebrate outstanding achievements by artists of all disciplines involved in the performance and production of New Jersey Community Theater.  

WCP is a member of The American Association of Community Theatre (AACT). AACT is the national community theatre organization, whose chief goal is to enable community theatres across the country to become the cornerstones of the creative life of their communities -- to provide quality entertainment, intellectual stimulation, challenge and opportunity, to be worthy contributors to an improved quality of life for the communities which they serve.  

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Last updated Sept. 23, 2019 11:56 PM