KateShannon Maree Smith
DeeleyRett Becker
AnnaMandy Mettler
Mandy Mettler
Shannon Maree Smith
Rett Becker

Poway Performing Arts Company proudly presents Old Times by Harold Pinter. This intense, often funny, and continuously fascinating drama is directed by Michael Scahill and produced by Michele Guisti and Nan Katona.

A prosperous and urbane couple, Kate and Deeley (Shannon Maree Smith & Rett Becker), entertains the wife’s former roommate and friend, Anna (Mandy Mettler), at their fashionable and recently restored country farmhouse. Casual banter becomes a flood of intertwining memories. The action shifts back and forth in time, and as tension builds the husband and friend become locked in a duel for the wife’s very soul. Ambiguities abound hinting at much more than is said; a real mind teaser and… “a mature and astonishingly satisfying play”.

Performances will be held March 2 - 25, 2001, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. PowPAC is located at 13250 Poway Rd., Poway, upstairs in the Lively Center. There is handicapped parking and an elevator behind the shopping center. Admission is - general, - seniors and students. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (858) 679-8085.

Mandy Mettler, Shannon Maree Smith, Rett Becker

ProducersMichele Guisti, Nan KatonaHouse ManagerNan Katona
DirectorMichael ScahillProgramNan Katona
Set DesignSean BlatimovitchFlyersSal Rillo
Set ConstructionBill Fay, Michele Guisti, Nan Katona, Gery Katona, Ron KolePhotographyNischel Casteel
Lighting DesignSean BlatimovitchPrintingPoway Printing
Technical ExecutionGery KatonaHospitalityLee Donnelly, Sheila Miller, Brenda & Chris Robinson, Mary Lou Reyen, Chaike Levine, Enid Munk, Dawn Himlin, Kathy McCafferty, C'Dale Gross, and other friends of PowPAC
CostumesLeona StringfieldSpecial ThanksMark Mendes and Ron Kole

Pinter's 'Old Times' will challenge PowPAC audiences

Ruth Lepper
For the North County Times

Harold Pinter's plays have everything Michael Scahill is looking for when he selects a show to direct.

"I've always been a big Pinter fan," Scahill said. "The No. 1 reason is language. Pinter's language is just glorious. It's fun for the actors to play with someone that writes so beautifully."

"Old Times," opening Friday at Poway Performing Arts Company, is an intense drama about a married couple expecting a visit from the wife's former roommate. The action goes back and forth in time while mixing memories with reality.

"Different audience members will have different reactions," Scalhill said. "Independent perception shapes our reality.

"Essentially, you have a visitor coming back into the lives of a couple married 20 years. Questions are raised early on: Is she real? Is she a memory? You make a decision, where is the emotional part of it? You can't play a theory on the stage as an actor. The play is about memory."

Scahill spends a couple of months researching a play before it goes into rehearsals. He reads the play several times to decide on the staging of the play and what direction to take with the actors.

"The basic story opens with the couple expecting a visit by the former friend of the wife." He said. "It becomes very obvious that she has come to reclaim the friendship she had with the wife. The wife is by no means passive and ultimately comes to a decision."

Cast in "Old Times" are Rett Becker as the husband, Shannon Maree Smith as the wife and Mandy Mettler as her friend, all new to the PowPAC stage and each new to Pinter's work.

"None of them had done a Pinter before," Scahill said. "They had all heard of Pinter and were curious about it. It was a combination of that and they were looking for some acting to do."

Pinter was a repertory actor in his native London. He began writing poetry in the 1950s before turning to drama.

"When I was going to school 30 years ago, Pinter was a mainstay certainly of scene students and acting students," Scahill said. "Fairly regularly, there were productions up through the '80s of new Pinter plays that would appear every year or so."

Scahill predicts the play will be a challenge for the audience. Each person may go away with a different view of what they have seen onstage.

"It will make them think," he said. "I think they'll discover that some things aren't terribly obvious.

They'll discover that when they start talking about it with people there, each of them will have a different notion of what's going on."

A senior public information officer for the city of San Diego, Scahill was drawn to PowPAC a few years ago when he offered to help a friend build sets.

"Their new season was coming up, so I submitted a resume," he said.

His first directing job at PowPAC was the award-winning chiller "Veronica's Room."

Scahill has also performed onstage at PowPAC. He was seen there last season in "Gross Indecency" and more recently in "Keely and Du."