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Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got The Will? (Comedy)
Sponsored by Marilyn and William Wunderlin

By Del Shores
Directed by Robert Scrimm

June 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, 2015


French Bread with Butter
Homestead Salad
Beef Brisket with Gravy
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Garden Blend Vegetables
Texas Sheet Cake


Set in a small Texas town in anytime, U.S.A., Daddy's Dyin' concerns the reunion of a family gathered to await the imminent death of their patriarch, who has recently suffered a physically as well as mentally disabling stroke. In essence, however, it is not the story of the impending demise of the father or of the drafting of his will, but of a rebirth of the spirit of the family unit. Without becoming ponderous, losing a sense of humor or pandering to timeworn cliches about Texans or Texas drawls, the story shares many elements of a good summer novel: it's a fast, delicious, easy read with funny moments, tense moments, touching moments, and characters you care about.-The Hollywood Reporter

"A masterful comedy."-Variety

"A well written piece of mainstream theatre that's consistently funny and occasionally touching."-The Los Angeles Times

"A knockout."-L.A. Weekly

Produced through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc


Robert Scrimm (Director) – Robert is excited to return a sixth time to the director's chair for Daddy's Dyin'. He has appeared in countless shows at many local theatres and has also directed for Arena on many occasions, including last season's Romantic Comedy and also the 2008 production of James Dean: The Boy From Fairmount, written by local theatre  legend, Harvey Cocks. Some of his favorite performances include Berger in Hair and Ali Hakim in Oklahoma, both for IPFW, and also Dr. Frankenfurter in The Rockey Horror Show: Live and Paul Sheldon in Steven King’s Misery at Civic Theatre, as well as Mr. Roat in Wait Until Dark here at Arena. Robert works as a mild mannered janitor by day and a freelance graphic artist / theatre rat in his spare time. In addition, he is a self-taught musician with a solo album (Vulnavia: The Black Album) and he has written original score for several shows at both Arena and Civic. Robert would like to thank his parents, Denny and Suzan, as well as his girlfriend, Rebecca, for their continued support. He also wishes to thank his astoundingly talented cast and dedicated crew for their hard work, and also the Arena board members, volunteers and patrons. "On a final note, I'd like to welcome back to the Arena stage my dear friend, Natalie Jones, and thank you... not just for lending your amazing talent to this show but even more so for fighting through to beat the odds set before you and returning to the stage that we both love so dearly. After many years of friendship and many shows, we made our last appearance together in Daddy's Dyin' on this very stage in 2004... let's call it a smidgen past a decade, with you as Marlene and me as the dirty hippie. Though we hoped to do at least one more show together before you left for New York, it didn't pan out that way and I always regretted that a little bit until now. You were in the very first show I directed here in '95 and it seems we have come around full circle. How fitting that our first show together after a lengthy hiatus and your amazing recovery would happen to be this show... on this stage... our home. It's good to have you back home."




Actor Bios

Anna Mossburg (Sara Lee) - Arena welcomes back Anna to it's stage once again after over a decade when she was last seen in Once Upon A Mattress.  Anna is a 1998 graduate of IPFW's theatre  program, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree
Theatre and Performance.  Her favorite performances include Hair, Marat Sade, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Funny Girl, Damn Yankees, World Goes Round, Uncle Vayna, Durang Durang and Chorus Line.  She has also performed with the Philharmonic in West Side Story, played Grazella and Gershwin Gala.  In most of the musical shows she would also assist in choreography with the late theatre  legend Larry Life. "I have worked in the medical field for 24 years and am now an Occupational Therapy Assistant along with having a theatre background, which allowed me to develop into the strong and empathetic woman I am today. I want to thank my mother and father for giving me the support and courage to get nack on the acting horse and to my 'Mini-Me's', Zoe and Sophia for sacrificing their evenings for me.  I would also like to thank my theater friends and family - the comeback was hard but they helped smooth the road.  I love you guys!"

Lisa Thompson (Lurlene) - Lisa is thrilled to be on stage after 25 years.  Originally from Iowa, she brings experience from her work at theatre Cedar Rapids.  Her performances include Joanne in "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean", Venticelli I in "Amadeus" and Jill in "Equus", for which she received the 1990 Ovations Award for Best Actress in a non-musical.  "Thank you, Rob, for allowing me to bring Lurlene to life.  Thank you, Max, for making your own dinner tfor the last month.  And thank you to Darren, 'my biggest fan' for encouraging me every step of the way."  

Jeanne Hanford (Mama Wheelis) - Back on the Arena stage, Jeanne appeared as played Jeri Neal in the production of The Dixie Swim Club. She was also member of the ensemble in the Fort Wayne Civic's production of 9 to 5, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and was the puppeteer for the tail of the Dragon in Shrek. After a 25 year hiatus to focus on her family, she has really enjoyed being back on the stage. She would like to thank Robert Scrimm for the challenge of playing someone of such advanced maturity.  

Morgan Spencer (Evalita) - Morgan is "so stoked to be making her debut at Arena Dinner Theatre!" Her most recent performances have been Merchant of Venice at FPT, Catch Me If You Can at USF, and Spamalot at Civic. She would like to thank her loving family for being so weird and supportive.  

Duke Roth (Orville) - Duke is a native of Ft. Wayne... " well, the mean streets of Leo". He graduated from Leo high school in 1994. He then went to Vincennes University to study broadcasting. Duke has been active in Ft. Wayne theatre for the past few years, last seen on stage in FPT production of Merchant of Venice. This is Duke's first production at Arena and has really enjoyed the cast, crew and director. "Enjoy the show!"  

Natalie Y. Jones (Marlene) - Natalie is so happy to be back on the Arena stage or as she likes to call it, home. Natalie left Ft. Wayne in 2008 for New York City to pursue her life long dream of theatre life in the big apple. While in New York, she performed in and directed several shows. In 2013, a serious illness brought Natalie back to Fort Wayne where she got a new lease on life. You may remember her in Arena shows such as See How They Run, No Sex Please We're British and Death By Chocolate. Natalie has performed in over 100 Ft. Wayne community theatre shows. "I would like to dedicate this performance to my doctors: Dr. Christopher Baltes, Dr. Eustace Fernandez and Dr. Scott Mattson of the Lutheran Health Network, and Dr. Gustavo Heresi and Dr. Nicholas Smedira of the Cleveland Clinic. Without their dedication and care I would not have been able to make a return to the stage."  

Fred Krauskopf (Buford) - Fred has been involved in the local theater scene for over 30 years and he enjoys all aspects of it.  He has acted in approximately 40 shows; has been the stage manager in another 20+ shows and has worked backstage in several others.  He has worked on sets for over 30 years. He has won 2 acting awards, the Civic Theatre's "Volunteer of the Year Award and Arena's "Lifetime Achievement Award" as well as several director's awards. Fred is currently Arena's Board of Directors' longest serving member and Vice President.  He would like to thank his long-suffering wife, Jayne, for putting up with his other love - the theater.  

 Joel Grillo (Harmony) - This is Joel's 2nd show here at Arena Dinner Theatre.  He was last seen on the Arena stage as Tyler in Laughing Stock.  Joel has also been a part of Civic productions, as well as Wunderkammer Art Studio and First Presbityrian Church.  Joel would like to thank Emily for her support throughout this show. Joel dedicates this one to his uncle, Tim Mossberg, who recently passed away from cancer.

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