Coming end of June-Mid July
Helper by Patrick Tovatt
To donate to the Go Fund Me to support this production, click here
ABOUT THE PLAY
Set in a coffee shop in Helper, Utah, a chance encounter turns deadly as festering cultural resentments, racism and the stresses of single parenthood collide and erupt in sudden, inexplicable gun violence. Three lives and an entire community are left in its wake as past meets present and an uncertain future awaits in this great new play by Patrick Tovatt.
1NE-OFF Productions is a company of theatre professionals who collectively have over 210 years of professional experience in theatre, film, and television. The mission of the company is to present works with social relevance that have the potential to impact society and bring issues of social justice front and center.
A 2021 study by the Pew Research Center found that gun violence, immigration, racism, and economic inequality are among the top ten issues Americans view as problematic. HELPER covers all these themes.
HELPER is a play by award-winning playwright, director, and Emmy-nominated actor Patrick Tovatt, 1NE-OFF seeks contributors to cover production costs to mount this production and help shed light on what Americans see as some of the most significant problems we face as a society.
1NE-Off Productions sprang from the desire of four retired theatre professionals ( Juergen Tossmann, Patrick Tovatt, Steve Woodring & Matt Orme) to produce and present a production of Patrick Tovatt's challenging play HELPER. In 2020 a reading of the play was presented by Bunbury Theatre Company over the Zoom platform during the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The cast included Patrick Tovatt, Matt Orme, and Laura Obenauff. The director was Steve Woodring, with Juergen Tossmann as Artistic Director.
Before the pandemic, a full HELPER production was planned with a set design by Emmy Award-winning Production Designer and Art Director David Weller. As the pandemic raged and resources dwindled, plans for the production were scrapped and it appeared that the play would not be produced.
In the spring of 2022, Juergen Tossmann retired from Bunbury after 31 years and it appeared the play would never be produced.
Call it serendipitous, call it divine, but when Juergen received an email from Emmy-nominated actor Marci Miller, exploration of producing HELPER began. Could four retired theatre professionals come together for a one-off production and feed their theatrical passions again?
The answer? YES!
A NOTE FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT
Old theatre folk don’t really retire, they just stop going to work every day but the fire still burns. Hence 1NE-Off Productions. Today we face a multitude of serious challenges. You don’t need a list. Whatever your persuasion, nobody is untouched. It is my contention that each of us has power and acting on our best intentions from our collective energies will come solutions. Failure will only come from doing nothing. My tool, my power is making theatre. So I mined my history, as playwrights will, and wrote HELPER. Juergen and Steve and Matt and Marci and others believe in the piece enough to give it life. I hope to see you at the Henry Clay Theatre in June/July of 2023
Matt Orme (Emmett)
Matt spent decades as a member of Actors Equity Association, performing across the country in Regional Theatre and Cabarets. He was Bunbury Repertory Theatre Company's Artistic Associate for over ten years and directed and performed in over thirty productions, including AGES OF THE MOON opposite Patrick Tovatt, directed by Steve Woodring, and in Edward Albee’s SEASCAPE with Marci Miller. In addition, Matt's career includes roles in several independent films, most notably in Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, directed by Josephine Decker.
Marci Miller (Clarice)
Nominated three times for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Marci recently stepped away from the role of Abby Deveraux on Days of Our Lives to pursue other professional interests. After a decade in Los Angeles, where she also appeared in numerous independent films, Marci joins the cast of HELPER because she believes in the project, the professionals in the company, and the message.
Juergen Tossmann (Serge)
Juergen retired from Bunbury Repertory Theatre Company in June of 2022 after leading the company for over 30 years as Producing Artistic Director. His career began as an apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville. It included directing, acting, playwriting, and management credits in Regional Theatres and in Louisville with Stage-One, Derby Dinner Playhouse, and The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. In 2020 Juergen was given a Life Time Achievement Award from Louisville Visual Art, recognizing his many accomplishments throughout his career in Louisville.
Patrick Tovatt (Playwright)
Patrick's career spans decades and includes work on Broadway, Regional theatre, Film, and Television, where he appeared in numerous primetime shows such as Law & Order and Designing Women. He enjoyed years in daytime dramas and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his work on As the World Turns. His plays are published by Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service and have been produced Off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, and on television.
Steve Woodring (The Director)
Steve came to directing after 30 years as Director of Production and Consulting at The Kentucky Center for the Arts. His professional theatre credits include stints at Hartford Stage Company, Trinity Rep, Long Wharf, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre West Virginia, The Public Theatre, and Manhattan Theatre Club. At Bunbury Theatre he directed productions of SEASCAPE, AGES OF THE MOON, BURIED CHILD, CRIMES OF THE HEART and more.
David Weller (Set Designer)
Three time Emmy Award winning designer, David Weller designs for theater, live events, television, feature films, and interior design. A former apprentice at the Actors Theater of Louisville was mentored set design by the resident designer, Paul Owen. He previously designed the romantic comedy, Boatwright for the Bunbury Theater by Patrick Tovatt and directed by Juergen Tossmann. David recently designed sets for HBO The Gilded Age, Law and Order Organized Crime at NBC, and the soon-to-be-released comedic feature film, ”Jules,” starring Ben Kingsley.
Dates | Times | Tickets
June 30-July 2, 6-9 & 13-16 2023
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Sundays at 2:00 PM
Doors open approximately 30 minutes before curtain time.
22.00 General Admission
20.00 Senior Citizens
12.00 Students with VALID ID