A Coffin in Egypt / St Nicholas

Quotidian Theatre Company opened its celebratory 20th anniversary season with two shows in repertory: Horton Foote’s A Coffin in Egypt, and Conor McPherson’s St Nicholas. Jack Sbarbori, QTC Artistic Director, and Foote and McPherson expert directed both shows.

A Coffin in Egypt

by Horton Foote

Jane Squier Bruns as the widow Myrtle Bledsoe in A Coffin in Egypt.

QTC Archives: 2017-2018 Season

November 15 – December 17, 2017

Per DC Theatre Scene critic Tim Treanor, “Quotidian takes a back seat to no theater in Washington as an interpreter of Foote.” Continuing that leading role, QTC presents A Coffin in Egypt, a rare play by Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Horton Foote. The one-woman show is a meditation on one 90-year-old widow’s dramatic life in the small Texas town of Egypt. Jane Squier Bruns, who excelled as Carrie Watts in Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful and as Josie Weems in last season’s Night Seasons, returns to take on this challenging role. A Coffin in Egypt was directed by QTC Artistic Director and Foote expert Jack Sbarbori.

Bruns is radiant.

Debbie Minter Jackson, DC Theatre Scene – Read the Review

Beautifully captures (Myrtle’s) drifting through a life she never wanted…

Mary Ann Johnson, MD Theatre Guide Read the Review

Bruns commands the stage for 90 minutes with a brew of bitchery and bile, alternating between girlish vanity and a sense of entitlement as bewildering as it is monstrous… The play is rarely performed because there are so few actors who can do this sort of thing anymore. Bruns delivers an incandescent performance as the spoiled Myrtle Bledsoe, the self-centered woman who has outlived all her relatives in a town in Texas called Egypt…

Ravelle Brickman, DC Metro Theater Arts- Read the Review

St Nicholas

by Conor McPherson

Steve Beall as the sole actor in St Nicholas.

QTC Archives: 2017-2018 Season

November 15 – December 17, 2017

In the other slot of the repertory is Conor McPherson’s gothic tale, St Nicholas. One of Ireland’s most brilliant contemporary playwrights, McPherson helped establish his reputation with this early play. He asks the audience to question whether a Dublin theatre critic (Steve Beall) really did run into vampires while chasing a young actress in London! Who better to stage this piece than QTC, which DC Theatre Scene declared “has become the best stage to experience McPherson’s plays in the Washington, D.C. area… a tremendous credit to the local theater scene.” And who better to tackle the role than Beall who is consistently praised as one of the best interpreters of McPherson’s complicated characters.

Virtuoso performance.

Mary Ann Johnson, MD Theatre Guide – Read the Review

In a production with a single actor…, a director might be tempted to throw in visual bells and whistles or stylistic flourishes, but not here. Thankfully, Director Jack Sbarbori lets Beall run with the story, telling the tale with fluid grace, emotional intensity, and the dark edges any vampire story requires.

Molly Murchie, DC Metro Theater Arts Read the Review

Steve Beall’s astounding performance in St. Nicholas . . . Beall’s Dublin accent seems spot-on; his pacing–both of his words and his literal pacing around the stage–are almost clinically designed to raise tension. McPherson loads the text with fairly complex and abstract philosophical observations, but Beall manages to make them important.  It is the best work I have ever seen him do.

Tim Treanor, DC Theatre Scene – Read the Review


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