WHAT THE BUTLER SAW
by Joe Orton
NOTE: This play contains adult subject matter and may not be suitable for early teens and younger audiences.
This hilarious farce by the insatiably funny Orton is a classic comic masterpiece with slapstick action, mistaken identities, slamming doors, surprise plotlines and, above all, Orton's subversive wit and breakneck dialogue. WHAT THE BUTLER SAW takes place in the exclusive, private mental health clinic of Dr. Prentice who is attempting to seduce his attractive prospective secretary when his wife comes home, interrupting his sordid intentions and kicking off a maniacal tour de force for the doctor and some unexpected guests that day.
WHAT THE BUTLER SAW Study Guide
Information about the concepts and themes explored by the author Joe Orton as prepared by Dramaturge Susan Myer Silton and Assistant Dramaturge Kathryn Wahlberg.
Dramaturgy Information. Click to see a narrative with background of the play and the author.
Glossary Of Terms. Click to see a glossary of words and terms used in the play.
This production is funded, in part, by grants from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County; Arts Council Santa Cruz County; and Monterey Peninsula Foundation, host of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Art Manke (director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz's Bach at Leipzig and Three Musketeers) is a five-time winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and is nationally recognized for his productions of a wide range of classics, musicals and new work. His productions of The Three Musketeers, Bach at Leipzig and A Year With Frog and Toad have been seen locally at Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He frequently directs for the Denver Center Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, and the Pasadena Playhouse where his critically lauded production of Noel Coward's A Song at Twilight just closed. Mr. Manke is a co-founder and former artistic director (1991-2001) of A Noise Within, L.A.'s acclaimed classical theatre company, where he directed the work of Shakespeare, Moliere, Wilde and Sophocles. Other credits include work with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Magic Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, American Players Theatre and Connecticut Repertory Theatre, among others. He directs for television, holds an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater and has recently co-authored a stage adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love.
MIKE RYAN* (Dr. Prentice) is honored to be making his fifth appearance with the Jewel Theatre Company. At JTC: One for the Road, The Lover, Doubt, Of Mice and Men, Hello and Goodbye. Santa Cruz audiences will know him primarily from his work with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, where he performed in over 35 productions, most recently: Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, A Year With Frog and Toad. Beyond Santa Cruz: Napoli! (American Conservatory Theater); Game On, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Legacy of Light (San Jose Repertory Theatre); Anatol (Aurora); The Three Musketeers (Denver Center); Fallen Angels (Pasadena Playhouse/Laguna Playhouse); Boy, The Green Bird (La Jolla Playhouse); The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Christmas Carol (Geva Theatre); and various productions at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, The Shakespeare Festival of Dallas and The Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Ryan is the Co-Artistic Director of Santa Cruz Shakespeare. He received his BFA from Southern Methodist University and his MFA from the University of California at San Diego.
AUDREY RUMSBY (Geraldine Barclay) is excited to return to Jewel Theatre where she recently served as assistant director to Susan Myer Silton in Jewel's production of Arcadia. Ms. Rumsby is a recent graduate of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), where she played the title role in Richard II, Harriet in The Man of Mode, Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, and May in Fool for Love. Her London credits include Scaramouche, a Commedia dell' Arte show directed by Paola Cavallin of Teatro Boso, and Lost Theatre Company's production of Medea. As a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, Audrey performed as a harpist and acrobat for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Team Welcome Ceremonies. Audrey is one of the founding members of San Jose Youth Shakespeare, a non-profit theatre company dedicated to educating young people in classical acting skills through the production of full-length Shakespeare plays. For Youth Shakespeare she played numerous roles, including Rosalind in As You Like It, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. She also directed two productions of Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
JULIE JAMES* (Mrs. Prentice) is the founder and Artistic Director of Jewel Theatre Company where she has acted in several shows including Pump Boys and Dinettes, Arcadia, One for the Road, Mary Stuart, Hello and Goodbye, The House of Blue Leaves, Sylvia, Women on Fire, and Raised in Captivity. She has also performed with several other theatres, including Marin Theatre Company, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, California Conservatory Theatre, Center Repertory Theatre, The Willows Theatre, and VITA Shakespeare Festival. Julie holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University.
JOSH SALEH (Nicholas Beckett) is a graduate from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Theater Arts. He is thrilled to work with Jewel Theatre and to return to this beautiful city which still has a hold on his heart. Notable credits include: Adam in Dark Play (Whitmore-Lindley Theater), Ligurio in The Mandrake (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), Valentine/Sebastian in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare To Go), and Buddy "Keno" Walsh in The Full Monty (Cabrillo Stage). He currently resides in Los Angeles where he continues to work onstage and on camera. For more information check out www.Joshsaleh.com.
DANNY SCHEIE* (Dr. Rance) is the former Artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz where he acted and directed for thirteen seasons. Since then he has acted at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Folger, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Actors Theater of Louisville, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Intersection for the Arts, and eleven seasons with California Shakespeare Theater where he is an Associate Artist and most recently appeared as the Duchess of Berwick. Other recent appearances include Next Fall at San Jose Repertory Theatre (Critics Circle nomination) and Peer Gynt at UCSC. He has received Bay Area Critics Circle awards for his work at Aurora Theatre, Magic Theatre, Theater Rhinoceros, and as Nero in Amy Freed's You Nero.
ROBERT SICULAR* (Sergeant Match) is delighted to be making his Jewel Theatre debut. A Bay Area native, and a performer since the tender age of three, Robert has appeared in theaters all across the country. Locally, he has performed with the American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Center REP, and the San Francisco and California Shakespeare Festivals. Other theaters include the Denver Center Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, A Noise Within, Sacramento Theatre Company, the Colorado, Lake Tahoe, and Santa Fe Shakespeare Festivals, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC; and for eight years, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Screen credits include recurring roles on General Hospital and The Young and the Restless, a starring role in the Sci-Fi comedy thriller Never Die Twice, a featured part in the Bollywood potboiler Dil Pardesi Ho Gayaa, and the role of "Dad" in Josh Kornbluth's upcoming Love and Taxes. He also stars in the podcast series Dr. Dark Presents (drdarkpresents.com). Mr. Sicular attended the University of California at Berkeley and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
*Member, Actors' Equity Association.