THE REGIFTERS by Robert Lynn
The Cresswind Neighborhood Theatre produced a Holiday play - "The Regifters" by Robert Lynn in December 2014 which was a hilarious look at "regifting". The play ran for four sold-out nights.
83 Cresswind residents were part of the production crew which included, scenic, costume, make-up, lighting, music and sound design, set change crew and various aspects of theatre house management including box office, publicity, fundraising, programs, ushers, greeters, etc. It was a wonderful way to apply skills or learn new ones and have fun doing it.
Andy Hampton - Loras Henshaw
Kathy Stoessel - Bridget Henshaw
Roy Gogel - Tom Mulligan
Maureen Hutchinson - Mary Mulligan
Ray Miller - Jeff Cunningham
Sandra Edwards - Laren Cunningham
Miriam Gilberg - Mrs. Cunningham
Ron Mack - Kurt Weiss
Brigitte Meisch - Karie Weiss
Sheran Connolly—Costume Design
Linda Frates—Make Up
Ron Craddick—Lighting and Special Effects
Paul Brown—Photography and Videography
Denny Moore—Program Advertising
Vito Delliponti—Set Construction
Bert Emma—Set Design
Sue Garcia—Stage Management
Mary Jane Gogal—Box Office
Helen O’Keefe—House Management
Asa Stephens—Fight Choreographer
When a couple "regifts" a not-so-great Christmas present, then finds out it's worth a fortune, they will stop at nothing to get it back. But they're not the only ones who rewrapped it… In the mad pursuit to reclaim the gift, everyone who gave it away learns about friendship, real wealth, and the value of a gift truly given.
The Regifters, authored by Robert Lynn, is a play in two acts that takes place on Christmas Eve in present time. First produced in Dubuque, Iowa in 2006, it immediately won the New America Comedy Festival Award for Lynn, who is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America. Lynn has several later plays to his credit, among them A Good Man and The Stupid Economy.
The Regifters is a comedy that deals with ordinary people living in ordinary times who have a second chance to redeem their situation. As in all good plays, however, there is a tinge of the tragic as the theme unfolds. Characters displaying playfulness, bawdiness, cynicism, and anti-heroism pepper the story-line. Mixed with those traits is an element of disparagement of each other and traditions – all with tongue firmly in cheek!
Dysfunctional couples permeate the plot. A not-so-great Christmas present is regifted several times. A level of hilarity is reached. A blend of laughter laced with pain is achieved.
Loras and Bridget Henshaw have forgotten their marriage vows to honor and love each and to show mutual respect. Although in love, they have a lonely and caustic marriage pattern.
Tom and Mary Mulligan are not able to find solace in their good fortunes, but make a game of their struggles to acquire more and more. To them, mutual bonding has only a monetary connotation.
Jeff and Lauren Cunningham, another unhappy duo, become an even more disgruntled trio when Jeff's mother comes to live with them. An hysterical hysteria pervades their household. Mrs. Cunningham, alone after her husband's passing, is left to find her solace through religious words. She, of course, distorts their true meanings and cripples her relationships with others because of it.
Finally, the author presents the last couple – Kurt and Katie Weiss - who add yet another angle to the tale of this unseemly mix of characters.
Make no mistake, this is a play of redemption flushed with wit. The work acknowledges and encompasses the human messiness that is life through its presentation of these easily identifiable, troubled (yet lovable) characters.
These characters allow us to examine the tangled web known as re-gifting. They help us find the true meaning of life generally and of the season especially. We are entertained as we follow their attempt to be redeemed and regifted to one another.
Arleen McCormack, Dramaturg