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Awards, play run keeps director smiling

JOYCE RUDOLPH

Producing director Scott Campbell of Alliance Repertory Company in

Burbank has a lot to smile about. The company just received three

honors for last season’s “The Hostage,” and its present production,

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“Shyness Is Nice,” has been extended as a result of popular demand.

The Artistic Director Achievement Awards came from the Valley

Theatre League, which honors the best in live theater in the San

Fernando and surrounding valleys.

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Alliance received Best Production -- Revival Play -- Comedy; Best

Ensemble Cast -- Comedy; and Best Director -- Revival Play -- Comedy

-- Stephanie Shroyer.

“I think it shows we’re doing great theater in the Valley,”

Campbell said. “You don’t have to be in Hollywood to be successful.

It’s the ‘Field of Dreams’ philosophy, if you build it, they will

come.”

“The Hostage” was also nominated for four Ovation Awards this

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year.

“I’m really honored about that,” he said. “Even though we didn’t

win, we were one of the five top productions nominated for Best

Production out of 300 in the Los Angeles area. That is quite an

honor.”

What makes it really nice is the company received nominations for

acting (Best Ensemble) and technical expertise (Best Set and Best

Costume).

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This success Campbell attributed to the return of professionals

who worked with the company 10 years ago, including Shroyer.

“Stephanie is one of the prominent figures in the theater scene,”

he said. “She brings a real style to our theater that we’ve emulated

over the years.”

She and set designer Matthew C. Jacobs work with the design team

of seasoned professionals to create the theater’s environmental

staging technique. Upon entering the playhouse, the entire space is

transformed into the era of the play, and some seats are integrated

into the set.

These designers, the tops in the field, now consider the theater

their home, Campbell said.

Campbell is also elated that the present production, “Shyness Is

Nice,” has been selling well. It’s getting positive reviews and

received the LA Weekly’s Pick of the Week and was on the Los Angeles

Times recommended list. It has been extended until Feb. 1.

The play was written by Marc Spitz, a senior writer at Spin

magazine, and is directed by Suzan Fellman. It’s the story of two

very shy 30-year-old male virgins who find out who they really are

and what is truly important to them after a drug deal goes wrong.

One of the comments Campbell has heard is, “We’ve never seen

anything like it.”

“I think it has to do with the story and presentation,” he said.

“It’s a harsh subject but done with an incredible sense of humor. The

show has a lot of nudity but it’s been handled gracefully and with

great sense of humor also. And I think the audiences enjoy that as

well.”

It’s also a love story, which no one expects, he said.

While this is not a family-oriented show, Campbell said the

company hopes to run the gamut of theatrical experiences.

“Our approach at Alliance is we never underestimate our audience,”

he said. “We present the shows we have to the audience and let them

be the judge. In Burbank, we’ve attracted both audiences.”

“Shyness Is Nice” performs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7

p.m. Sundays. There are no performances Dec. 27, 28 or 29. Tickets

are $20 and can be reserved by calling (800) 595-4849. The theater is

at 3204 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank.

* JOYCE RUDOLPH’s column appears Wednesdays. For events happening

this weekend, read her 48 Hours column Saturdays. Reach her at

637-3241.


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