Carpenter Square Theatre races into its 33rd Season with “Becky’s New Car,” a comedy by Steven Dietz, September 2-24, 2016. All performances are at the theater, located at 800 W. Main in downtown Oklahoma City. In this Performing Arts Q&A, Artistic Director, Rhonda M. Clark, talks about the play, what’s unique to their version, why you should see it, and more.
What five words would you use to describe Becky’s New Car?
Unique, contemporary comedy, fast-paced, interactive.
Now, using more than five words, what’s it about?
“Becky’s New Car” centers around Becky Foster who is caught in middle age, middle management and a middling marriage with no prospects for change on the horizon. Then one night an awkward, grief-struck millionaire stumbles into the car dealership where she works. Becky is offered nothing short of a new life, and the audience is offered the chance to ride shotgun on her new life adventure. Her story becomes a devious and delightful romp down the road not taken.
What are some unique aspects for your version?
The set is not a typical “living room” or “office” set. You’ll see bright colors drawn from blue open skies and traffic signs (bright red, yellow, green). In fact, the set walls are filled with traffic signs, and a blacktop highway is part of the stage floor with the painted yellow lines down the center of the roadway and orange traffic cones!
Why have you chosen to direct this show?
“I have often seen plays and movies where a man is going through a mid-life crisis, but it’s rare to see it from a woman’s perspective.”I have often seen plays and movies where a man is going through a mid-life crisis, but it’s rare to see it from a woman’s perspective. There’s plenty for men in the audience to enjoy, but I like that a hard-working mom is at the center of the action.
What was the biggest challenge with this production?
The action requires four locations and we have a relatively small stage. However, it helped that the playwright’s original intent was to have all 4 locations visible at all times and flow into each other.
What scenes or moments stand out to you that make the play worth showing to people?
The opening scene where Becky interacts directly with the audience about her life is very surprising and fun. There is lots of connection with the audience in this show.
Steve, her co-worker at the car dealership is a very unique character, and he recounts a hilarious story about a Mom, her little boy and his puppy that try to cheer him up one morning in a coffee shop.
When a man walks into the car dealership late one night and purchases 9 top-of-the-line vehicles without blinking an eye at the cost. What a fantasy! Wouldn’t you love to have the means to surprise 9 people like that?!
Why should one see Becky’s New Car?
It’s a thoroughly fun, fast-paced comedy with lots of heart. You’ll laugh a lot, and probably sigh “aw…” a time or two when a character moves you.
Anything else you want people to know?
Carpenter Square Theatre is a very intimate venue (only 90 seats in 7 rows), so the audience gets an up close and personal experience at every show. One can see the actors’ tears and one can see them sweat! Seriously, one can truly feel a part of the action. CST specializes in contemporary plays, and most have never been produced in Oklahoma City before. CST is celebrating our 33rd Season with the opening of “Becky’s New Car.”
Specific performance dates and times over four weeks are: 8 p.m. September 2-3 and 9-10; 7:30 p.m. September 8, 8 p.m. September 9-10, and 2 p.m. Sunday, September 11; 7:30 p.m. September 22 and 8 p.m. September 23-24. The play is rated PG.
“Becky’s New Car” is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts. Season Sponsors include Ed and Janet Bucknell and Mel and Cindy Ables. Cast Sponsors are Bill and Nancy Majors, and the Ticket Sponsors are Danny and Michele Bell.
Regular adult tickets are $20 with $15 tickets available for seniors aged 62 or more, military, and groups of ten or more. Student and faculty tickets are only $5. Reservations are highly recommended for the intimate 90-seat theater. Visit www.carpentersquare.com for more information