The Woolgatherer

5/2006

The Woolgatherer by William Mastrosimone is a quirky and seemingly unlikely love story. Tough talking, wise cracking Cliff meets Rose, a shy daydreamer. Their lives collide in their desperate search for love. This chance encounter ignites a passion and understanding within each of them that leaves them longing for more.

Director: Karen Hamm
Featuring: Sandra Medeiros and Sean Tyson
Production Manager: Nicole Fairbairn
Stage Manager: Michelle Field

Ed Farolan, reviewvancouver.org

First produced in New Jersey in 1979, this play by American playwright William Mastrosimone (b.1947) is about a hard drinking and hard working truck driver who drifts into the life of a shy salesgirl. He has written more than a dozen plays, and from watching this play, I'd say he's good. If a script is good, most often, a production, especially with good actors like Sandra Medeiros (Rose) and Sean Tyson (Cliff) will succeed.

And that's what happened at opening night at Beaumont Playhouse, a tiny theatre sitting only around 50 people. That's all you need if you have a play with only two actors. But the opening night crowd was quite pleased with this piece. In fact, there was laughter, there were bravos, two curtain calls, and a few who stood up to show their appreciation for a production well-cast and excellently directed.

Medeiros, in her program notes, comments that she's loved this play for so many years and that it "is a dream come true." She was ideal for the part: wiry, petite, vulnerable, a bit naive about life, engrossed in her romantic dreams. Tyson, who has been in theatre for twenty years, was perfectly typecast as Cliff, the rough, beer-drinking truck driver, but with a soft spot for Rose.

Congratulations to the actors for a great performance, to director Karen Hamm (who has acted and directed professionally with different companies all over Canada) for casting the right actors for this production, and also to the production staff for a job well done.

Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight

Sandra Medeiros and Sean Tyson balance vulnerability and aggression... Medeiros has moments of emotional luminosity...Sean Tyson does a fantastic job as Cliff. He's relaxed, charming, spontaneous, and surprising.

Launa Jung

We found the theatre with no problem. It was small, and quaint. Only holds about 50 people or so. The play itself was excellent. The guy in it was really entertaining, and Sandra did an amazing job with her role. She poured so much raw emotion into her character, that at times, I was uncomfortable in my seat...kinda like when two people are arguing right next to you, and you can feel the tension and emotion in the air...she was able to get so deep into her character, that she was able to project that out into the audience. I have to think that after her performance, that she is exhausted from how much she puts into it...was really blown away by the play. This one was much different than the last play...very intense.

Cathy Goss

When is "getting to know you" easy? Rose and Cliff are attracted to each other in the usual way, physically. But they have a lot to learn about each other. They express themselves but do they listen? They volley between being tender and soulful one minute to being tough and spirited the next. Each is willing to challenge the other but not themselves. One thirsts, the other hungers. They are haunted by the souvenir of memory and are driven by hope. Together and apart they crave to create common ground. Reaching deep within they seek solace in each other's arms. Intimacy takes courage, sharing, dropping defences and openness. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the performance. I had to stop and tell myself to sit back, stop smiling and just take it in! Wow! I am grateful to finally discover some relevant, inspired theatre!

Douglas Hiles, Being and Nothingness Productions

Its really good Sandra... your performance at the end brings tears to my eyes...Sean is nothing short of incredible...you both were very precise with your positions and movements...everything flows in an amazing way...