Local theater lovers who may be staying in nights because they’d rather not drive to Georgetown, Rehoboth or Milford to catch a local play, can now make plans to get gussied up, because the Bethany Area Repertory Theater (BART) is hitting the local theater scene.
On Nov. 7, BART will hold its first dinner-theater production at Dickens Parlour Theatre, showcasing the adult romantic comedy “Flowers in the Square,” written by local playwright Bob Davis.
“It’s a play about values. It’s a play about people that are searching for themselves. This particular character, Trevor Quinlin, in the play is sort of a lost soul and he’s a little wrapped up in his own ego, until he meets up with a retired circus clown.
“He takes away the sort of self-centered lifestyle of Trevor and shows him that there’s more in life when you take care of others than when you only take care of yourself,” said Davis, adding that there are plenty of laughs, as well. “I think anybody that likes comedy and likes the theater will enjoy it.”
Davis said he was inspired by seeing a generation of people who seem more interested in serving themselves than helping others.
“I wrote this story because I think there are a lot of people who have gotten into this me-first generation that we’re in today. Of course, there are a lot of people who help others too, and do a lot for other people.
“I think this me-first generation should look around and see what’s going on — life’s got value when you serve and not necessarily when you are served. There is value in taking care of other people, and not just yourself.”
The evening will cost $35 per person and includes dinner and dessert, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The play will also be performed on Nov. 14 and 28 and Dec. 5 — all Wednesday nights.
“We’re hoping to establish ‘Wednesday night out,’ that people will say, ‘Hey, Wednesday night is a good dinner night. Let’s go up to Dickens and see what’s going on,’” said Davis.
“Going out and having dinner and a show — we’d like that to be a routine. We’re going to be running this through all of November and part of December and, hopefully, if this one goes well, we’ll do another one a little later on in the winter. It may not just be theater, either.”
Davis said the seven cast members are all part of the newly established BART group, which currently has about 25 members.
“During the auditions, we had people with lots of experience to some people with little to no experience that just wanted to help out. We have some real talent.”
During the performances, the actors will be using a teleprompter system — an adaptation that Davis said has helped speed up the rehearsal process.
“This is a unique approach, using a teleprompter to learn the lines more quickly and get the productions up faster. That’s been really helpful, and the cast really likes it, too. It accelerates everything.”
Davis added that all of the other members of the theater group who aren’t performing in the play are still actively involved in the group’s first production.
“They’re still helping out. We have people who are helping with costumes. They’re helping with backstage work. They’re helping with some publicity. There’s something for everybody. We’ll always find something for people to do.”
Davis added that he hopes theater lovers in the community will come out and support the repertory theater’s first play and show support of keeping local theater going.
“This is our experiment into repertory theater. If this works, we’ll do the next one and go on and do another play later in the year. We’re excited about it. We think it’s a great opportunity for the Bethany area here, that doesn’t have anything like this.”
For more information, or to reserve tickets, call (302) 829-1071 or visit or visit dptmagic.com. Dickens Parlour Theatre is located at 35715 Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) in Millville. Anyone who is interested in getting involved with BART can email a letter of interest to Bob Davis, at RDavis6018@aol.com.