Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meet the Cast: David DeHart as “Dr. Frederick Chasuble”

The Importance of Being Earnest

Meet the Cast: David DeHart as “Dr. Frederick Chasuble”

David returns to the stage with Wilsonville Theater Company as the lovable yet tiresome Dr. Chasuble. In his public life, David is the company’s set design and construction ombudsman, cranking out acting space with an ease that would even leave Tennessee Williams amazed. David is currently retired and, in his working life, had run an insurance business as well as serving in the United States Army for 20-plus years doing super-secret stuff.

As Dr. Chasuble, David uses his mastery of boring subjects to really “get into” the role. David’s previous work with the Wilsonville Theater Company includes “The Bird Watchers,” which he wrote and played the leading role, and "The Canterville Ghost.” David also worked behind the scenes on last year’s “Miracle on South Division Street.”

An accomplished novelist, David has five novels to his name including the Dan Dailey and Bull spy series. Check him out at

Performances of "The Importance of Being Earnest" are in there final week and continue tonight (October 23rd) as well as the 24th and 25th. All performances are at 7:00PM at the Frog Pond Grange Hall on Stafford Road in Wilsonville. On Saturday, October 25, there will be a matinee at 2:00PM. Tickets are available online or you can buy them at the door.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

Crew Background:  Matthew Laney – Technical Director Lights/Sound
Matt Laney, AKA: "Mike Dunsel," AKA: "P.D. Kew," is the epitome of the renaissance man. He's a poet, novelist, former US  Air Force spook,  humorist, photographer, loving husband, doting father, everyone's friend,  and most importantly, always ready to pitch in when needed to support the Wilsonville Theater Company. On several occasions, Matt has stepped up to take on the role of Technical Director when that important element of a stage production needed to be filled, often at the last minute.

As "Lady Bracknell" in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest said, "Ah yes, a life crowded with incidents." Matt was raised in a family that traveled often and far afield. His father was a geologist for the government, taking Matt and his siblings from one end of the country to the other searching for minerals. Some of that wanderlust must have rubbed off on Matt. As a member of the US Air Force, he served in a secret technical capacity, doing secret things, in countries whose names  shall be secret. This was his introduction into the  fascinating world of high technology.

It's no secret that he and Kate (the director of this production) live in Wilsonville with their two children, a daughter now in high school, and a son in college. He heads up a technical writing group for a large, worldwide technology company.

In 2012, Matt and a writing partner, Rick Mallery,  wrote a sci-fi thriller under the pen name: "P.D. Kew."   The Time Walker Chronicles-Filling the Void,  is available on Amazon (

It is a fun, intriguing read, that relates the adventures of "Mitch" a time traveler as he desperately strives to reach a specific "jump off point" to forestall a cataclysmic event. The irony in this is that "Mitch" consistently states, "I'm not tech."  But its creators, Matt and Rick are 150% totally tech!
Enough of the free plugs for now. Let's talk about the challenges in setting lights and sound to The Importance of Being Earnest. The Frog Pond Grange Hall, on SW Stafford Road in Wilsonville, is one of the oldest granges west of the Mississippi River. The ceilings in the hall are low, with hanging lights and fans, all of which create a blockade for light reaching the stage without casting shadows everywhere. Add to that a raised stage with even less headroom, limited depth, and  you have a truly problematic situation for stage lighting. Matt, mustering all that "tech" knowledge, has managed to minimize this difficulty to a great degree. For this production, where a garden scene is important, we have created two sets, the on-stage set for the manor house scenes, and a lower, floor-level garden scene. Adjusting lights for the garden was a challenge;  however, Matt not only overcame the obstacles, but added a projected cloud-filled sky image to the ceiling.

So, click on "Tickets" at the upper right of this page, and buy your tickets to see "The Importance of Being Earnest" this coming Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 pm. Remaining performances are on Oct 24 and 25, with a matinee at 2:00 PM and an evening show at 7:00 PM on Saturday the 25th. Tickets may also be purchased at the door with cash or credit card. I hope to see you there.

P.S. At intermission, step to the rear of the hall and meet Matt Laney. He's the Teddy bear looking dude hovering over the light and sound controls.
Dave DeHart
Wilsonville Theater Company






Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

Crew Introductions: Sylvia Drill and Margie Shinn (Costume Designers)

Wilsonville Theater Company's production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, now on stage at the Frog Pond Grange in Wilsonville, required a costume designer and seamstress with the ability to make period pieces for this 19th century play. This entailed multiple changes for some of the actors, designed to ensure that the 1890's costumes not only fit the era, but the actors as well! Sylvia and Margie's attention to detail was exquisite. Hats, dresses, trousers, coats , vests, shoes, wigs and accessories were magically plucked from thrift shops, trunks, and closets, or made from scratch. The vast array of choices to determine the correct assemble for each actor was, to employ an overused cliché', amazing!
So who are this magicians, the queens of fabric, buttons, snaps, safety pins and of course, Velcro? Sylvia Drill was recommended to WTC by a friend, Linda Thatcher, and turned out to be the catalyst for bringing it all together. Margie Shinn, an accomplished seamstress, assisted in sewing, hemming, snipping and creating ascots and cummerbunds for the men, and carefully insuring that the women's dresses were perfection.

Sylvia Drill was raised in and around San Diego. Her introduction to theater occurred as a crew member for "Music Man" and "Walter Mitty" at Poway High School. (Go Titans!) In college, she focused on costuming, and creating all of the attire for "Rashomon" and "The Old Lady Shows Her Medals," as well as other plays. Some of her other contributions included costumes for "Blythe Spirit", "Dial M For Murder" for the Escondido Players, as well as for the principals in "Once Upon a Mattress" for the Escondido Civic Light Opera. 

Sylvia's friend and associate in WTC's production, Margie Shinn, although not a trained costume designer with a litany of theater work in her bio, brought her love of sewing to this play. She was solely responsible for making sure that 'Canon Chasuble' s (my role) cummerbund did not burst its Velcro and leave me on stage with a long black satin tail.  Thank you Margie for your 'loss control' expertise.  A grandmother of two, she enjoys serving on the Wilsonville High School Booster Club Board, as well as working with New Life Threads, a non-profit organization supporting Rwandan tailors by importing and selling handmade items.

WTC cannot thank these women enough. Without their talent, our production of The Importance of Being Earnest would not have been able to fulfill Oscar Wilde's vision of this charming, hilariously funny 'Trivial comedy for serious minds,' as Wilde described it.

The play continues with performances on October 18 (today), 23rd, 24, and 25th at 7:00 PM at the Frog Pond Grange Hall on Stafford Road in Wilsonville, with a 2:00PM matinee on the 25th. I am told that tickets are still available by clicking on "Tickets" above right on this page. They may also be purchased at the door, cash or credit card.

So, gather up a carload of family and friends, drive over to the Frog Pond Grange and enjoy a delightful evening with Jack, Algernon, Gwendolen, Cecily, Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism, and Lane/Merryman the butler. Oh yeah, and The Reverend Canon Chasuble, of course.

Dave DeHart
Wilsonville Theater Company

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

Cast Introduction:  Clyde List   "Lane" and "Merryman".

Clyde List, a Sherwood, Oregon native and life-long resident, is the proverbial renaissance man. He is an artist, musician, writer, actor, and if that's not enough, he was the former Mayor of Sherwood from 1980 to 1982. His sense of humor came as a surprise to this writer, since Clyde is an unusually quiet man. My first impression was that he is the iconic gentle giant. When asked about his rather short political career, Clyde smiled and said, "In 1980, I won the election in landslide; then in 1982 lost in a landslide!"
An avid historical reenactment actor, Clyde was most recently seen at the 2014 Wilsonville Festival of Arts as "Alphonso Boone", where the cast of the Boones Ferry Players regaled the festival goers with insights into Wilsonville and the building of the Boones Ferry Road.  A video of Clyde's interviews of that event can be found at: He has also performed various roles in connection with Sherwood's historical celebrations.
Clyde's first major role was in "A Ferry Tale" written by June Reynolds, performed in Wilsonville in 2009.

His roles in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest,"  although short on dialogue, are demanding. He plays "Lane," Algernon Moncrieff's pessimistic London townhouse butler in Act One, then in Acts Two and Three he becomes "Merryman" the butler in Jack Worthing's country manor.
At auditions, he told director Kate Laney that he was particularly interested in the dual role since it gave him the opportunity to perform different characters.

As an aside, after opening night, last night (October 16), I overheard two audience members discussing the play. One said, "I just loved the butler. He's my favorite." I have to agree with their assessment, Clyde List was perfect in the role(s).
Performances of "The Importance of Being Earnest" continue, tonight (October 17) as well as the 18th, 23rd, 24th, and 25th. All performances are at 7:00PM at the Frog Pond Grange Hall on Stafford Road in Wilsonville. On Saturday, October 25, there will be a matinee at 2:00PM. Tickets are still available online at: or you can buy them at the door, cash or credit card.

I hope to see you there. Psst! By the way, I perform the role of "Canon Chasuble" and perhaps I can upstage Clyde's being "the favorite!"

Dave DeHart

Wilsonville Theater Company