“The later in life you come out, the weirder it’s gonna be.”
Playwright: WILLIAM FOWKES
Director: WENDY PEACE
SUNSHINE QUEST is a comedy about a social club for retired gay men in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Set in the year 2000, the play examines the difficulty of establishing meaningful relationships, whatever your age or sexual orientation. It features a cast of five primarily older actors along with music and dance highlights.
SUNSHINE QUEST presents the stories of several of the club’s members and employees, in the process addressing issues of sexual identity, oppression, the journey to authenticity, and the limits of human relationships. Al Getz, a local real estate broker—and former closeted movie star, Todd Hammond—deals with his attraction to the club’s young but homophobic assistant manager, Brad Hall. Brad, meanwhile, is struggling with the lingering effects of his religious upbringing in North Carolina and the growing realization that he, too, is gay. When Brad turns to Al for help, they embark on a rocky inter-generational relationship. Retired company man, John Strathmore—an openly gay man who retreated from the gay scene during the AIDS crisis—gingerly re-enters the social scene after the recent death of his wife. Retired agent, Robby Smirnoff, juggles his need for companionship and love with his inability to control his sharp tongue. Ballroom dance instructor, Mary King, seeks love but keeps settling for the comfort of friendship with gay men. Most members think Sunshine QUEST is heaven on earth until their lives are thrown off track when the club’s survival is threatened.
TONY NEIL* (Al Getz). Tony’s recent NY work includes P.C. by Bara Swain (Artistic New Directions), CAMP LOGAN (Shades of Truth Theatre), PROGENY (Extant Arts at the Riverside Theatre), and several recent Benefit Challenge Series and new play readings with the Abingdon Theatre Company. Other local credits include TABLE MANNERS IN MEXICO CITY (American Globe Theatre) and TABLE MANNERS IN SANTA MONICA (Artistic New Directions) by William Fowkes, SNIPER, THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BILLY THE KID, PLATINUM TRAVEL CLUB, and THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE. Regional work includes CARTHAGINIANS, BILOXI BLUES, AH, WILDERNESS!, MAJOR BARBARA, KING LEAR, and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. Film/TV: All My Children and the film Wicked Desire. Trained at LAMDA. www.tonyneil.com.
JAMES MENESES (Brad Hall). James is very grateful to work alongside William Fowkes again. He has trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and HB Studio. Recent work includes Antigone, The Letter, A Doll’s House (Love Creek Productions), and Macbeth (The Gallery Players).
STEVE SHOUP* (John Strathmore). A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Steve has been acting in NY since 1973. Plays include PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM, ALTITUDE SICKNESS, SNOWBOUND and work with the August Strindberg Repertory Theater and the Pan-Asian Repertory Theater. As actor & producer he presented the one-man show BROADWAY AFTER DARK in NY & Connecticut. He also staged his play, THE KEY IN DANIEL 7. Film (as performer): RAGTIME, PATERNITY, HOW TO PICK UP GIRLS, ECHOES, and many short films, including the lead role in THE GATE (winner, Best Picture, 2011 NYC Filmmakers Festival). He has also worked on the production staff and crew of many films. Steve is also a mystery writer and former Administrative Producer for Marblevision Media Ministries. AEA, SAG-AFTRA.
CAMILLE MAZUREK* (Mary King). Camille has worked in the theatre as an actress, producer and vocal coach. She has toured nationally with Poetry Alive! Inc. and TheatreworksUSA. Acting credits include the lead in LADIES IN RETIREMENT; Titania in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DEAM, the nurse in ROMEO AND JULIET; Miss Prism in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST; and the title roles in LYSISTRATA, BECKY’S NEW CAR, THE TOTALLY TRUE COMPLETELY FICTIONAL STORY OF THE MOTHER OF JESSE JAMES, and JULIUS CAESAR. Film/TV/Web: Ghost Stories on UPN, Latin Boys Go to Hell, Reflex, Jane Street and two appearances on The Onion News Network.
GEORGE BORAS (Robby Smirnoff). George has been working in the theater on and off for many years. He has done Shaw and Shakespeare and last appeared in a wheelchair as Madame Descartes in Jean Anouilh’s RING AROUND THE MOON. He studied acting with Michael Howard and Shakespeare with Paul Eiseman. He is or has been a member of all the unions, including AEA, SAG, and ATPAM.
WILLIAM FOWKES (Playwright/Director). William is an author and playwright based in Manhattan. His plays include ALL IN THE FACULTY (Dramatists Play Service), COUPLE OF THE CENTURY (Yes Plays), A FIELD GUIDE TO TABLE MANNERS (2013 Reva Shiner Comedy Award Finalist), THE BEST PLACE WE’VE EVER LIVED (Love Creek Productions, New York, 2013), THE BRAZILIAN DILEMMA (produced & published by The Collective: NY; First Prize, McLean Drama Company, 2013), THE NEXT MOVE (Winner, One-Act Play Competition, Brevard Little Theatre, 2010), THE DAKOTA (Best Short Play Award, Downtown Urban Theater Festival, 2005), and others. His short fiction has been published in many literary journals. www.williamfowkes.com.
WENDY PEACE (Assistant Director). Wendy has directed several plays by William Fowkes—most recently TABLE MANNERS IN SANTA MONICA (Artistic New Directions’ Eclectic Evening of Shorts, 2011). She co-directed and starred in Fowkes’s COUPLE OF THE CENTURY (Cherry Lane Theatre, 2008). She also directed ROMEO AND JULIET for Piper Productions and numerous staged readings. As an actor, she most recently starred in the solo show, LISTEN! THE RIVER! (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in London, and in New York City) and performed in HAPPY (New Jersey Rep) and THE HOUSEWIVES OF MANNHEIM (59E59, NJ Rep, Phoenix/ Indianapolis, and Ensemble Theatre Co./Santa Barbara). She is currently in pre-production for the movie, CLAY.
HEIDI MILLER (Choreographer/Movement Director). Heidi is an artist and arts educator. Her dance training includes extensive study in the studios of her native New York. She holds a BFA in Dance (Boston Conservatory), did graduate study at NYU, and has a MFA in Dance (University of Hawaii, Manoa). At UH she had the opportunity to study with leading experts in non-Western dance forms and to collaborate with directors of Asian theater. Heidi has taught extensively and held several faculty positions. The focus of her most recent work on staff at Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education was the training and professional development of teaching artists and educators, both locally and internationally.
SONDRA HUNT (Stage Manager). Sondra is a graduate of the Acting Studio, Inc. Meisner Conservatory Program. She continues her studies in British and Classic technique under the coaching of Dr. Ruth Kulerman in NYC. This is her 3rd time working with playwright William Fowkes. She performed as the female lead in his one-act play “Not Here Yet” and also as the female lead in his full length play “The Best Place We’ve Ever Lived”. She is excited to be working with William once again in
their first collaboration behind the stage together.
* Appearing by courtesy of Actors Equity Association.