NEPA Scene Staff

Actors Circle presents comedy ‘The Clean House’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton March 21-31

Actors Circle presents comedy ‘The Clean House’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton March 21-31
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From a press release:

Community theatre group Actors Circle will present award-winning playwright, poet, and essayist Sarah Ruhl’s comedy “The Clean House” at the Providence Playhouse in Scranton on Thursday, March 21 through Sunday, March 31.

Directed by Eric Lutz, well-known for his many and varied performances in local theater groups, this romantic comedy is about loss, love, change, and redemption. “The Clean House” is both whimsical and touching.

A serious career-oriented doctor, Lane, has hired a quirky Brazilian maid. The only problem is that the maid, Matilde, hates to clean. Instead, she longs to be a comedienne. Lane is deserted by her husband, Charles, who leaves her for his mistress, Ana, a passionate, older Brazilian woman upon whom he recently performed a mastectomy. Ruhl’s enchanting play reminds us that there is humor and beauty to be find in life’s most unlikely messes.

Lutz and most of the cast are from Scranton. The show features Marcie Herman Riebe as Matilde, Susan Parrick as Lane, Mark Zdancewicz as Charles, Kelly Kapacs as Virginia, and Lorrie Loughney as Ana. David Alejandro Smith from Peckville serves as the stage manager.

A finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play had its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre in Connecticut in 2004 and was produced off-Broadway in 2006. It received positive reviews, and Entertainment Weekly named the New York production one of the Top 10 theatrical attractions of 2006. “The Clean House” also won the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, awarded annually to the best English-language play written by a woman.

Sarah Ruhl has been the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” award, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a Tony nominee. Translated into over 12 languages and are produced across the country and internationally, her plays include “The Clean House,” “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play),” and “Eurydice,” which was named one of the most significant plays of the last 25 years by the New York Times. Her collection of essays, “100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write,” was named a Times Notable book. Her most recent play, “For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday,” premiered off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.

Living in Brooklyn with her family, Ruhl currently teaches at the Yale School of Drama, and her latest book, “Letters from Max: A Book of Friendship,” co-authored by Max Ritvo, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2018.

From left to right, Susan Parrick, Marcie Herman Riebe (foreground),
Lorrie Loughney, and Kelly Kapacs star in ‘The Clean House.’

“The Clean House” runs at the Providence Playhouse (1256 Providence Rd., Scranton) on Thursdays though Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. on March 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, and 31. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students, with the exception of Thursday, March 21, when tickets are $8 for general admission and seniors and $6 for students.

For reservations, call 570-342-9707 or e-mail All reservations are held 10 minutes until showtime.

Actors Circle was formed in 1982. A group of actors was sitting in a circle on the floor of the University of Scranton auditorium and decided on the name for their organization before performing their first production, “The Crucible.” Originally, the group was known as the Jefferson Hall Players, but the University asked them to change the name because there was already a small theater group at the University with that same name.

Over the years, Actors Circle has also performed at other venues, such as the Scranton Cultural Center, the Century Club, the Jewish Community Center, Nay Aug Park, the Everhart Museum, the Lackawanna Children’s Library, the Lackawanna County Courthouse, and the Tripp House.

In 1984, Providence Playhouse became home to Actors Circle. In this small intimate theater, productions such as comedies, dramas, classics, musicals, plays from well-known authors, and obscure, but important playwrights have been performed. Actors Circle has also commissioned original works, such as the adaptation of “Frankenstein” by Scranton native Ted LoRusso and an original play by John McInerney. Other theatrical organizations have also been welcomed to perform in the home of Actors Circle, such as DGM Productions, Inc.

The founders’ mission was to keep live theatre accessible to the general public, as well as to educate and enlighten not only audiences, but actors, directors, technical crew, and stage managers as well. Actors Circle continues to strive to fulfill this goal by providing the community with laughter and thought-provoking performances.