Our Mission
We produce theatre and theatre education in Tucson that entertains, educates, and enlightens children, adults, and families.

Live Theatre Workshop
3322 E Fort Lowell Rd
Tucson, AZ 85716
Reservations: (520) 327-4242

February 17 - March 20, 2011

The Dinner Party

THE DINNER PARTY at Live Theatre Workshop

By Neil Simon

Directed by Sabian Trout


Neil Simon's THE DINNER PARTY concerns three formerly married couples who meet for a très sophistiqué evening at a Paris restaurant: Claude and Mariette, whose shared passion for literature outweighed their passion for each other; Andre and Gabrielle, whose sexual rapport wasn't enough to keep Andre faithful; and Albert and Yvonne, whose obsessive devotion to one another eventually resulted in them getting divorced - twice. Though seemingly invited by the gentlemen's attorney, the first guests to arrive quickly discover that their host is nowhere on the premises - a phone call to the lawyer reveals that he has no idea who gathered them together, nor why they've gathered together. In this humorous yet profound examination of marriage, the group speculates wildly about their conspicuously absent host, the apparent secrecy regarding the invitation, and the party’s true purpose.

“A blizzard of one liners.... The audience can bank on some good laughs.” - The New York Daily News

“Frequently hilarious...An invitation you'll be glad you accepted.” - The New York Post


Enjoy a Post Show Opening Reception Saturday, January 8 and meet the cast!
Tickets range from $18 - $15.
There will be two preview performances, Thursday, January 6 & Friday, January 7 at 7:30pm - only $12.
Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm.
Call 327-4242 for reservations TODAY!


ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTSusan Kovitz, Eric Anson, Maxine Gillespie, Rick Shipman, Shanna Brock and Cliff Madison in a scene from THE DINNER PARTY

Neil Simon was born in the Bronx on the Fourth of July in 1927. After a brief military service at the end of World War II, he began writing for radio and television. His first play was COME BLOW YOUR HORN (1961), followed by the book of the musical LITTLE ME (1962). Other plays include: BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1963); THE ODD COUPLE (1965); THE STAR-SPANGLED GIRL (1966); PLAZA SUITE (1968); LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS (1969); THE GINGERBREAD LADY (1970); THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE (1971); THE SUNSHINE BOYS (1972); THE GOOD DOCTOR (1973); GOD'S FAVORITE (1974); CALIFORNIA SUITE (1976); CHAPTER TWO (1977); I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES (1980); FOOLS (1981); BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (1983); BILOXI BLUES (1985); BROADWAY BOUND (1986); RUMORS (1988); LOST IN YONKERS (1991); JAKE'S WOMEN (1992); LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR (1993) and LONDON SUITE (1994). He has written the books for the musicals SWEET CHARITY; PROMISES, PROMISES; THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG and THE GOODBYE GIRL. Besides adapting several of his plays for the movies, he has written the screenplays for THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS; THE HEARTBREAK KID; MURDER BY DEATH; THE CHEAP DETECTIVE; SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES; ONLY WHEN I LAUGH; MAX DUGAN RETURNS; THE SLUGGER'S WIFE and THE MARRYING MAN. He has won Tony Awards for THE ODD COUPLE in 1965, BILOXI BLUES in 1985 and LOST IN YONKERS IN 1991, which also received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America and divides his time between New York and Los Angeles. His autobiography REWRITES: A MEMOIR was published in 1996.


ARTIST BIOGRAPHIESCliff Madison and Shanna Brock in a scene from THE DINNER PARTY

Eric Anson - Andre - is making his 21st appearance on the mainstage at Live Theatre Workshop in this production of THE DINNER PARTY. Previous appearances include DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER, WHAT THE BUTLER SAW, WIFE BEGINS AT FORTY, THE UNEXPECTED GUEST, PRIVATE LIVES, CACTUS FLOWER and CHAPTER TWO, to name a few. Eric came to Tucson from California in 1988 and has a PhD in Computer Science from The University of Arizona. He recently appeared with Etcetera in ROBOTS VS. FAKE ROBOTS and can next be seen with Winding Road Theatre Ensemble as Ken in Lanford Wilson’s FIFTH OF JULY.

Shanna Brock - Yvonne - has previously appeared on the mainstage at Live Theatre Workshop as Sandra (A THOUSAND CLOWNS) and Gertie (WIFE BEGINS AT FORTY). She also recently appeared with Etcetera, LTW’s late-night theatre as War Propaganda (ROBOTS VS. FAKE ROBOTS) and Sookie (MR. MARMALADE). Elsewhere, Shanna has performed with Pistarckle Theater, Gaslight Theatre and Arizona Repetory Theater.

Maxine Gillespie - Mariette - earned her BA in Theatre from Williams College. She studied Shakespeare at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, and at the Midsummer in Oxford Program in the UK. In New York City, Maxine trained at Circle in the Square Theatre and upstate at Vassar’s Powerhouse Theatre. She has performed in professional and community productions in Virginia, North Carolina and here in Tucson. You may have seen Maxine in LTW’s past mainstage productions of I HATE HAMLET, CACTUS FLOWER, THE CLEAN HOUSE (2010 Arizona Daily Star MAC Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy) and CLOUD 9. Look for Maxine in the campy horror flick Crustacean -- available at amazon.com.

Susan Kovitz - Gabrielle - has played leading roles in HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES, NO SEX PLEASE - WE’RE BRITISH, ANYTHING GOES, L’IL ABNER, LEND ME A TENOR, 6 RMS RVR VU, THE GINGERBREAD LADY and the 2009 Invisible Theatre production of LEAVING IOWA. A former high school drama and art teacher, she has alsoappeared in nearly 100 interactive murder mysteries where she periodically died, murdered, and condemned the innocent. A B.F.A. graduate of Rockford College, Susan also studied at Regents College in London. She last appeared on the stage at LTW in DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER.

Rick Shipman and Maxine Gillespie in a scene from THE DINNER PARTY

Kristi Loera - Production Stage Manager - is Live Theatre Workshop’s Executive Director. Kristi has been a part of theatre in Tucson for 17 years and proudly works both on stage and behind the scenes for the mainstage at LTW as well as with Etcetera (the late night series) and Family Theatre (the children’s theatre). Kristi most recently served as PSM for the mainstage productions of CLOUD 9 and MOON OVER BUFFALO and was last seen performing as Jocelyn Dunbar in David Sedaris’ SEASON’S GREETINGS! (2010 Arizona Daily Star MAC Award nomination for Best Actress in a comedy).

Cliff Madison - Albert - hails from Mesa, Arizona and grew up in Casa Grande before coming to Tucson to study theatre at Pima Community College. He was last seen on the mainstage at Live Theatre Workshop in A THOUSAND CLOWNS, THE UNEXPECTED GUEST and THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP. Cliff also recently performed in the Etcetera productions of WHITE PEOPLE and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. He can be seen later this season with Winding Road Theater Ensemble in their production of TALLEY’S FOLLY.

Eric Anson and Susan Kovitz in a scene from THE DINNER PARTYRick Shipman - Claude - has been acting for 14 years and recently moved to Tucson from Phoenix. Since coming to Tucson, Rick has appeared in many local performances, most recently in LTW’s mainstage productions of DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER and A THOUSAND CLOWNS. He has also been seen in Tucson with Arizona Repetory Theatre in RUM AND COKE and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, with The Rogue Theatre in THE GOAT and RED NOSES, as Greg in Studio Connections’ SYLVIA and as Tom in Beowulf Alley’s DINNER WITH FRIENDS.

Sabian Trout - Direction - is thoroughly enjoying her fifth season as LTW’s Artistic Director. Previous LTW directing credits include THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG, THE GIN GAME, WHAT THE BUTLER SAW, WIFE BEGINS AT FORTY, SHIRLEY VALENTINE, LOST IN YONKERS, FUNNY MONEY, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, BELL BOOK AND CANDLE, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, BROADWAY BOUND and BABY WITH THE BATHWATER. Professional credits include productions at the Stratford Festival of Canada, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, The Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, Austin’s State Theatre, LA Theatre Works and Arizona Theatre Company. Other Tucson directing credits include LOVE LETTERS, EXTREMITIES, THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE and ON THE VERGE. Some favorite directing projects include HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, SPIKE HEELS, BEIRUT and KORCZAK AND THE CHILDREN. Sabian earned her MFA in Directing from the University of Texas in 1995.