The play’s director, Mel Sussman, adjusts his leads, Eve (Katherine Galanova) and Adam (Scott Woodbury), during a Sept. 12 rehearsal.
Imagine being a Dallas Cowboys fan and a cute girl wearing a Cowboys jersey pops out of your closet.
Yeah, it sounds intriguing, but Adam Moss isn’t sure if it’s a prank being pulled by his buddy or if Eve’s a stalker or a psycho out to get him. Eve claims to be his soul mate and has to learn how to become human after telling Adam she was sent to him by God to change the world.
Adam’s psychiatrist tries hard to help Adam survive – even understand — his predicament. All told, there are nine characters in the play.
So, it turns out, Eve is there to get him, but you’ll need to see “Adam’s Eve,” staged by the Rio Rancho Community Players theater group to find out how. It’s nearly a perfect script for community theater.
Opening Night is Friday, Sept. 29, at 7, for “Adam’s Eve,” the latest production of the Rio Rancho Community Players.
Auditions began in mid-July for “Adam’s Eve,” a boy-meets-girl play written by Matthew Carlin, who also wrote “Little Piece of Heaven,” which the Players staged in May 2022.
Like the group’s previous performance, “Airport Encounters,” all nine performances take place at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 2903 Cabezon, Blvd., at the northwest intersection of Cabezon and Golf Course Road.
There are also 7 p.m. shows Sept. 30, plus Oct. 6, 7, 13 and 14, with 2 p.m. matinees on three Sundays in October (1, 8 and 15).
M’Tucci’s Moderno Italian Restaurant provides appetizers, dessert and “mocktails” at intermission, with a giant raffle and the opportunity to mingle with cast members at the play’s conclusion on Opening Night. (Tickets to the eight other performances include a dessert and a beverage.)
The play’s the thing
Regular attendees will surely see some familiar faces, including that of Russian-born Katherine Galanova, in six of the performances as Eve.
“I’ve done ‘Our Town, ‘A Little Piece of Heaven,’ Almost Maine’ and this one,” Galanova. “Not the lead, just small parts, mostly.”
How much studying goes into a lead role?
“A lot,” Galanova said. “I think it’s a little different for everybody. I think if you have some experience you learn what works for you.
“I usually like to verbalize my lines to lean them, and that helps,” she said. Recently, “UI started typing them out, and usually I don’t. Reading them, of course, and then reading them with someone else.”
Scott Woodbury, a lawyer, did some plays while growing up in Massachusetts, but this is his debut with the Rio Rancho Players.
“Maybe about a year ago, I started finding my way into various productions, some television productions in New Mexico, in any capacity I could, to learn as much as possible,” he said. “And when everything started shutting down because of the (writers’ strike), I just wanted to keep something going, to keep the momentum there.
“So, I reached out to Mel about doing something with the Rio Rancho Players, whatever they were doing. One thing led to another and here I am.”
To learn his lines, he said, “Retyping and retyping and retyping. Some is handwriting them as I say them. And when I think I have a decent grasp, I have recordings of each of the scenes that has every line – except for mine – and then I’ll fill them in.”
And, here too, is director Mel Sussman.
He said he double-cast the lead roles. In addition to Woodbury and Galanova, Players’ veteran Devin DuBose (Adam) and Kristin Mackey (Eve) basically rotate on various nights.
This Matthew Carlin play, Sussman said, is considered his best.
“I found this one by mistake,” he said. “Late at night, I was just at the laptop and all of a sudden, Matthew Carlin? I didn’t know he wrote a second play. Then it came up; I read it and fell in love with it.”
Staging Players productions has gotten easier in some ways, Sussman said, as more and more people in the Metro area have become aware of the group and its productions.
“Our lighting and our sound are going to be at a whole different level than we ever had it before,” he said. “We’re growing as we go along.
“It’s fun. I’ve been doing this for a lot of years,” he said. “(But) it’s difficult. I’m not going to say that it’s easy.
“People working in community theater never know what the heck is going to happen. Who’s gonna stay with you? Who’s going to be leaving for professional or family reasons?”
Sussman says this promises to be the best of the Players’ five productions to date.
“I think this it eh first play that we’ve done that really is focused on comedy,” he said. “There is a lot of slapstick in here. … It gets pretty hilarious as we get into that point, as people try to disavow that the fact that she is Eve, and some of the things that she brings up proves that she really is.
“At the end, it’s what I really like – it’s happy ever after.”
“I think people will find (‘Adam’s Eve’) enjoyable. It’s a novel idea,” said Woodbury.
“I actually love it,” Galanova added. “It’s very, like, it doesn’t happen in real life but there are elements of humanity in it. It’s magical.”
Tickets cost $40 for Opening Night, which includes dessert (and more).
For other performances, adult tickets cost $25, $20 for students, educators, senior citizens and military members. A group rate of $18 per attendee is for 16 or more.
For more information on the Rio Rancho Community Players, whose next production will be the beloved “Arsenic and Old Lace,” visit rr-cc.org. Or check out “Rio Rancho Players” on Facebook.