Monday, May 25, 2009

A Foursome coming to B Street


The B Street Theatre is pleased to kick off its 2009-2010 Mainstage Season
with the Norm Foster comedy THE FOURSOME. Canada’s most produced
playwright, Norm Foster, has been a regular at B Street Theatre where five of
his plays have been produced: THE AFFECTIONS OF MAY (1998); THE
ALONE (2001), and MENDING FENCES (2009).

THE FOURSOME follows four former college buddies over 18 holes of
golf. Aided by alcohol and wit, Donnie, Rick, Ted and Cameron swing
away at each other playfully until they confront the most treacherous of
traps: the past.

The Playwright
Norm Foster was born in Newmarket, Ontario on St. Valentine's Day.
Raised in Toronto, he attended West Hill Collegiate Institute and then went
on to study Radio & Television Arts at Centennial College in Toronto and
then Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Upon completion of his studies,
he began a radio career that would span 25 years and which would take him
from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg to Kingston and finally to Fredericton, New
Brunswick. It was in Fredericton in 1980 that Norm was introduced to the
world of theatre.

"A friend of mine was going to audition for a community theatre production
of HARVEY and he asked me to go along. I went, just for a lark, and I
wound up getting the part of Elwood P. Dowd. The funny thing is, I had
never even seen a play in my life before this."

Foster fell in love with the theatre right then and there, and two years later
he penned his first professionally produced play, SINNERS. It was produced by Theatre New Brunswick and directed by Malcolm Black, who would also
direct Foster's next effort, the highly successful THE MELVILLE BOYS.

THE MELVILLE BOYS would go on to be produced across Canada and in
the United States, including a well-received run off-Broadway in New York.
It would become Foster's signature play, and the one which would bring his
name to the forefront of Canadian theatre.

Since then, Norm Foster has produced an astonishing output of work. Nearly forty plays in all, including THE AFFECTIONS OF MAY, the most produced play in Canada in 1991. He has also written a musical with composer Leslie Arden (THE LAST RESORT)
and four musicals (JASPER STATION, RACE DAY, SITTING PRETTY & ONE MOMENT.) with composer Steve Thomas.

Says Foster, "I write for about three or four hours each day. I mean, if you
can turn out even one page per day, it doesn't take long before you've got a
ninety page script. Another important thing is, you have to know when to
stop writing. Know when your play is finished. One of the curses of being a
playwright is that you're never ever completely satisfied with your finished
product. There is always that one line which you think you could improve.
And when you improve that line, you find another. You must know when to

Foster's plays are known mainly for their comedic qualities, but they are not
without their serious moments as well. "I find it far more satisfying if I can
make an audience laugh and feel a little heartache within the same story. The
farces (SINNERS, SELF-HELP) are a lot of fun to write but it's the stories
that touch an audience's heart as well as it's funnybone that are the most

Foster has had several plays published by Playwright's Union Press. They

He has also had his work published in various compilation volumes such as
LOOKING and THE LOVE LIST are published by Samuel French.

Norm Foster does not limit his efforts to writing, though. Lately, he has
returned to what brought him to the theatre in the first place: acting.
"Acting is great fun, but writing is my first love. A lot of people out there
like the 'idea' of being a writer. The romance of it. The notion that we all sit
around in cafes and talk about our writing with other writers. Personally, I
would rather do it than talk about it. The actual process of writing is what
excites me. Creating a world from the ground up and populating it with
characters I've pulled out of my head. This is why I rarely set my plays in
real cities with place names we recognize. I want the audience to imagine
these locations right along with me."

When asked to try and pin down a common theme that runs through his
plays, Foster says he's not sure. "I think for the most part, they're about
ordinary people just trying to get by in life. I never set out with a
monumental purpose in mind. I'm not trying to teach an audience a lesson or
pass along some profound message, because I don't think I'm qualified.
What I am trying to do is make them feel a little better about this world, and
that's not easy these days."

The Cast
THE FOURSOME features a cast of actors familiar to B Street audiences. Company members David Pierini, John Lamb and Greg Alexander will be joined by Bay Area B Street veteran Allan McKelvey (BEAUTY QUEEN OF LENANE; THE LONESOME WEST).

Elisabeth Nunziato directs.

The Schedule/Tickets
Previews: Saturday June 13 at 5:00 p.m.; Sunday June 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday June 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Runs: Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday at 8:00 p.m.;
Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday Matinees
at 2:00 p.m.

THE FOURSOME closes Sunday July 26 at 2:00 p.m.
Ticket Prices are $18.00-$30.00.

THE FOURSOME will be performed on the B Street Theatre Mainstage: 2727 B Street behind Stanford Park Baseball Field at 27th and C Streets in Midtown Sacramento.

B Street Box Office: (916)443-5300.

No comments: