Coming off sold-out performances of “Same Time, Next Year,” the Bethany Area Repertory Theatre (BART) is back at the Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville this month with a new Bob Davis original, titled “Noah’s Arc.”
Despite the play’s title, the story’s plot has more to do with the extramarital affair of a struggling playwright than it does animals marching two by two.
“It’s far from a biblical story — it’s an adult comedy,” explained Davis, who not only wrote but who will also direct the production, along with assistant director and BART veteran Rusty Hesse.
“The story actually was told to me by someone — it’s actually is based on a true story.”
Davis went on to say that the semi-true story is a nice juxtaposition to BART’s previous production of “Same Time, Next Year.” That story focused on what happens inside an extramarital affair, whereas “Noah’s Arc” allows the audience to catch a glimpse of what goes on outside the affair, instead putting the focus on the repercussions affecting the family while the wife is away.
The story’s premise may make it seem more biblically indicative than it actual is, but Davis assures that, while the show is certainly not suitable for children, it is very much a comedy and intended as such.
“There’s a lot of comedy conflict going because of the way he is living,” Davis said of the story’s protagonist, Ted Noah, played by BART veteran Mike Mall (“Complicity,” “An Affair to Forget”), and of Noah’s own affair.
“There’s a great conflict here between him sort of living in sin, and his daughter and her boyfriend going on this missionary trip.”
Mall headlines a BART cast made up of a mix of familiar faces and newcomers.
Tanner Waite and Aisha Tharp from “An Affair to Forget” are back to portray the contrasting couple, as Zebidiah Morris and Summer Fellows.
Paul Tuttle is coming off a performance of “A Tiny Little Secret” to play Noah’s confidant, Morry Litzig, with Jackie Slonin (a veteran of “A Tiny Little Secret” as well) set to play sultry real estate agent and Noah’s new love interest, Fiona Scott.
Newcomers to BART include Logan Scanlan as Sam Fellows and Vicki Cook as Midge Fellows.
“It’s nice to have the mix to help bring them along and expand the number of actors for BART productions,” said Davis of the cast and crew. “Rehearsal has been really fun because of the complexity of the characters — these are some of my favorite characters.”
While the situation may have been structured mostly with comedy in mind, Davis said that it may also serve as a reflection of modern-day American culture.
“I think structure of American families today, with really no commitment, can lead to these sorts of things. They don’t all turn out with happy endings,” he explained. “It reflects the complexity of what can happen in a family when there isn’t a commitment — when that thing falls apart, what really happens.”
With tickets expected to sell out, Davis recommended that theatergoers get theirs early.
Opening night is set for Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville. Other dates include, Friday, Oct. 28; Saturday Oct. 29; Thursday, Nov. 3; Friday, Nov. 4; and Saturday, Nov. 5.
For tickets or more information, visit www.dptmagic.com or call Dickens Parlour Theatre at (302) 829-1071.