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Glengarry Glen Ross worth seeing if you have a sales department

Numerica PAC features Glengarry Glen Ross
The cast

Why would a business journal have an article about a play? When that play involves the day-to-day human frailties inherent in your sales division, then it fits the bill and affects your bottom line. Numerica Performing Arts Center is featuring the play later this month on its stage, performed by the Mission Creek Players (MCP).
Mission Creek's director, Kathy Z. Smithson, answered a few questions for the WBJ: Why Glengarry Glen Ross?
Smithson: I chose the play because I decided if I'm going to invest all the time a director gives to the making of a good play I want one that's new and different and challenging. I want to see more effective theatre myself so I might as well do it! I love good literature that gives people something to experience. Having not participated in acting and directing much in the last few years and spending more time attending professional theaters in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and London I've built up an appetite for effective playwrights and specifically their pulitzer prize winning plays. The last play I directed for Mission Creek Players I chose Sam Shepard and his play "True West" and so enjoyed working with this gritty, but excellent material and realized Wenatchee Valley audiences are more than ready for heavier drama. So I decided this time I would research playwright David Mamet and chose his scalding gritty play "Glengarry Glen Ross" knowing  the local actors would probably love having such a play to perform in. We have such excellent talent in this valley. Its been liberating over the years being able to participate with the Mission Creek Players and their open environment to explore freely and take chances with theater literature. I know our valley's audiences are ready to have the gritty drama on the big stage. I also knew we have the talent and the actors who can perform this kind of material professionally. How exciting for Wenatchee Valley Theaterites!
WBJ: Numerica charges MCP to stage this play, but do you think your theater group might still make money out of the four shows?
Smithson: Most theater groups find it difficult to perform in the large theater because it's rather expensive. Not that we really want it to be, but there are numerous debts involved keeping the lights on and still supporting your local theatre group. Mission Creek Players does not have a partnership with the Numerica Performing Arts Center like The Apple Blossom Musical's and the Hot August Night's yearly productions. So the risk is ours, no doubt about it. We do invite donations, contributions and any kind of sponsorships that are given. We're just trying to satisfy our big dreams hoping we can break even while producing pulitzer material on the big stage! The PAC does have a non-profit discount which is most helpful and we are most grateful.
WBJ: Why did you choose the Numerica PAC as a venue?
Smithson: Doing a play on the big stage, in the beautiful Performing Arts Center in the center of your town  is so very exciting when you have the right play and the right actors. There's just nothing like it that can match! We'll still find ourselves over the years doing smaller venues here and there, but we really believe in our group of 30 years and can't wait for our audience's to enjoy this venue with this kind of play. We challenged ourselves a year ago in Sept. of 2016 when we produced the pulitzer prize winning play "August Osage County" at the Numerica PAC and received great applause and excitement from more than we expected much to our delight, so we decided to go for Sept. of 2017 and give it a go again.
WBJ: Is Wenatchee ready for more plays with "adult" language and commentary? How do you respond to those who say this is not a family-oriented show and should not be performed?
Smithson: When people who know this play ask me 'How do you think Wenatchee audience's are going to react to this profane language Mamet is so well known for?' I just simply say, I know what people are watching on their TV's, what movies they are going to, and that I've run into many of our local theater-goers in Seattle as well as Ashland, Oregon where they are seeing these same plays Mission Creek Players are producing. I just trust the Valley's theater-goers are truly ready to not only have an appetite for 'family friendly productions' and are ready to see these seven very talented actors doing this scalding comic drama in Wenatchee!
WBJ: Any future events for MCP?
Smithson: The only future events for Mission Creek Players at this time are two fundraising events: Since we couldn't find a facility to do our Haunted Theatre we are going to be doing a Haunted Party the end of October and another fundraiser that will be bringing the Lip Sync Performers from the 80's and 90's back on the convention center stage, which will be great fun! By the way if anyone would like to donate to the Players our address is below.

About the play
The Mission Creek Players upcoming production of Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet is no play for children, said producer Terry Sloan. It was chosen by long time Mission Creek Players Co-founder and Director Kathy Z. Smithson because it is a gritty pulitzer prize winning play that is a masterpiece of American Drama, she feels Wenatchee is ready for.
"This window into one aspect of human nature will keep you interested and wondering what will happen next," she said.
Mamet is well known for his mastery of language and the language in this play reflects the rough crassness and emotionalism of his characters. Because these characters, all terrific male roles, are frustrated, they resort to outbursts of obscenity and profanity. Smithson adds that Mamet makes no apologies for this speech because it's an important means of depicted character, exposing emotional response and creating tension.
When the unseen company directors have introduced a system that puts the salesmen, played by Steve Zimmerman, Matt Cadman, Henry Hettick and David James at war with each other, under the direction of their office manager, Williamson, played by Pete Mathews. Their device is a sales competition in which the winner will get a Cadillac, the runner-up a set of steak knives and the losers will be fired.
Realizing their livelihoods are threatened, the atmosphere begins to heat up. Levene, a former hotshot salesman, played by Hettick, is forced to beg and then bribe Williamson for some good "leads" while the wily Richard Roma, played by David James, turns a friendly conversation into a carefully orchestrated sales pitch to an unsuspecting prey, James Lingk, played by Zane Palmer.
There is deception and illusion at work on every level. Although David Mamet also wrote the screenplay for the award winning film, the stage play is somewhat different. Also in the play is Benjamin Walker, playing Detective Baylen, who enters Act Two.
Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online at Numerica Performing Arts Center or by calling 663-ARTS. There are only four performances. Thursday, Sept. 21, Friday, Sept. 22 and a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m., Sept. 23 and a final performance at 7 p.m.
Anyone wishing to donate to the MCP can send a check to:
Mission Creek Players
PO Box 5252
Wenatchee,  Wa. 98807-5252
For more information on the Mission Creek Players and sponsorship potential email: ksmithson@frontier.com.

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