Out of Sterno

June 25–July 18

By Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Paula Plum

A hilarious exploration of self-discovery and the contradictory pressures women face just trying to make it across town.

“A play that is almost impossible not to like, combining qualities of a fairy tale and tall tale with those of a wacky comic strip adventure.”
The Oklahoman

About the Play
Dotty’s life in Sterno with her husband Hamel is absolutely perfect! It’s a fairy tale, it really is. True, in their seven years of marriage Hamel has forbidden her to leave their tiny apartment or speak to anyone, but Dotty is so very happy to spend her days in the same dizzy cycle of watching video re-enactments of the day they first met, doing Hamel’s laundry, and making him his special happy-face hamburger. When a phone call from a mysterious woman threatens to tear her marriage apart, Dotty must venture out into the vast city of Sterno and try to discover what it is to be a “real” woman. Wickedly funny, Out of Sterno explores the triumph and heartbreak of growing up and the contradictory societal pressures women face just trying to make it across town.  Some strong language. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Why It’s for You
You may not live in the same town as Dotty—and we can bet you don’t spend your days in a cartoon-like apartment making kindergarten-inspired art projects—but you’ve asked yourself the same questions raised by Out of Sterno. What does it mean to be a woman or a man in today’s world? Who says so? Does it matter what other people think? This show examines all of these questions and more as it takes a hilariously clever look at the influences that shape our own self-images.

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AmandaCollins8x10_webcropAmanda Collins* (Dotty) GSC: This Is Our Youth, 9 Circles, The Woman In Black. Regional theatre: Taste of Sunrise (Wheelock Family Theatre); The Seagull (Harbor Stage Company); A Behanding in Spokane, The Bald Soprano, Speech and Debate, Shortstack, Colorado, and What Then (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater); When The World Was Green, An Ideal Husband (American Stage in Florida); 9 Circles (Publick Theatre Boston); The Island of Slaves (Orfeo Group); No Exit (Payomet Performing Arts Center); Brecht’s The Life of Galileo (Underground Railway Theater); Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life (Fort Point Theatre Channel); and Jester’s Dead (The Outfit in New York City). Television: Olive Kitteridge (HBO), Boston’s Finest (ABC Pilot). Film: Sea of Trees. Amanda is a member of Theatre Espresso, performing interactive, historical dramas at schools and courthouses across New England. She received her BA in History and Theatre from Regis College and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG-AFTRA.


Jennifer Ellis Headshot high res_webcrop Jennifer Ellis* (Zena) Jennifer returns to Gloucester Stage having previously been seen in Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and The Most Happy Fella. She was most recently seen as Cathy Whitaker in the regional premiere of Far from Heaven at SpeakEasy Stage Company and as Gabby/Bobbi in City of Angels at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. She has worked with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, New Repertory Theatre, Central Square Theater, MetroStage, Boston Lyric Opera, Peterborough Players, Stoneham Theatre, and with Sibiline Shakespeare and Project Rushmore in New York City. She can often be found in the long-running Shear Madness at the Charles Playhouse. She received an IRNE award for her portrayal of Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella and an IRNE award nomination for Far from Heaven. Jen works frequently as a spokesperson and voiceover artist. She studied at Bridgewater State University and Circle in the Square Theatre School. Thanks and love to my family and Ben. JenEllis.net

Richard Snee headshot_webcropRichard Snee* (Dan) Gloucester Stage: Auld Lang Syne, Table Manners, Living Together, Round and Round the Garden. Regional: Othello (American Repertory Theatre); Present Laughter, Sisters Rosensweig (Huntington Theatre Company); Uncle Vanya, Boy Gets Girl, Something in the Air, A Christmas Carol (Merrimack Repertory Theatre). Richard has been a member of the Boston company of Shear Madness since 1987 and is a founding member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and has appeared in several of their productions including Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Cherry Orchard, Richard III, and Comedy of Errors. He has also performed at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Nora Theatre Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, the Wilbur Theater, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, and a lot of other places over the last thirty years. His film credits include Gone, Baby, Gone; The Company Men; My Best Friend’s Girl; Never Met Picasso; Treading Water; Mr. North; and Teacakes or Cannoli. Richard’s television credits include voicing characters for several animated series including Science Court; Dr. Katz; Home Movies; and Hey, Monie! Richard and his wife, Paula Plum, helped create and starred in the FX network’s animated series, The Dick and Paula Celebrity Special. She was “Paula.” He was “The Dick.”

Noah Tuleja headshot_webcropNoah Tuleja* (Hamel) is thrilled to be performing at Gloucester Stage for the first time. He has worked at numerous theatres, both here and in England, including the Theatre Royal Plymouth, White Bear Theatre, Bread and Puppet Theater, and The Candidatos. Regional theatre credits include productions with Trinity Repertory Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and New Century Theatre. Some of his favorite roles include Sicinius in Coriolanus, Slim in Cowboy Mouth, and Marlin in Pushcarts. He is currently a Guest Artist in the Mount Holyoke College Theatre Arts department, as well as Co-Founder and Artistic Director at Trembling Stage.

Paula Plum* (Director) Paula Plum is the recipient of five IRNE Awards, the 1995 and 2007 Elliot Norton Award for Best Actress, the 2004 Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, and the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. In 2009 she was one of five actors nationwide to receive the Fox Actor Fellowship in association with SpeakEasy Stage Company. Ms. Plum is an actress, director, writer, and teacher and has created seven one-person shows for the Unadilla Theatre of Vermont, most notably, Plum Pudding. As a founding member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, she has directed Macbeth and will be directing School for Scandal next season. For 12 years she has been the Artistic Director of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn for WGBH, a concert of traditional Celtic music, dance, and poetry that tours New England in December. Original work includes “Wigged Out!”, a comedy about her mother’s death, and “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed” a dramatic biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Other directing credits include: Jake’s Women (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), I’m Not Rappaport (GSC), Baltimore Waltz (Lyric Stage Company of Boston), and Steel Magnolias (Stoneham Theatre). She is married to actor Richard Snee.

Elisabetta Polito† (Costume Design) Recent work includes City of Angels, Into the Woods, Water by the Spoonful, Stones in His Pockets, Time Stands Still (Lyric Stage Company of Boston); Big Fish, A Future Perfect, Necessary Monsters, The Color Purple, Kurt Vonnegut’s Make Up Your Mind, In the Heights, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Pajama Game (Boston Conservatory); In the Heights (Boston Arts Academy); Marie Antoinette: Color of Flesh (Providence College); White Christmas (The Company Theatre); The Bartered Bride, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Boston Midsummer Opera); Addams Family: The Musical, Unbleached American, Bernarda Alba, These Shining Lives, The Nutcracker, The Rimers of Eldritch (Stoneham Theatre); The Love of the Nightingale (Emerson College); The Importance of Being Earnest, The Cherry Orchard, Hairspray, Metamorphoses, Imaginary Invalid (Concord Academy); Calvin’s Monster (Boston Children’s Theatre); Medea (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Dr. Faustus (Suffolk University); 1001 (Company One); Funnyhouse of a Negro, Three Sisters (Brandeis Theatre Company), Hamlet (GAN-e-meed Theatre Project); and Cyrano (Apollinaire Theatre Company). She also assisted costume designer Charles Schoonmaker on Don Pasquale (Boston Midsummer Opera) and Nine (SpeakEasy Stage Company). She holds an M.F.A. from Brandeis University. elisabettapolito.com

Jon Savage† (Set Design) Recent credits include The Disappearing Number (Underground Railway Theater); Imagining Madoff (New Repertory Theatre); The Farm (Boston Playwrights Theatre); All’s Well That Ends Well (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Elliot Norton Award, Best Production, Large Company); Comedy of Errors (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Elliot Norton Award, Best Design, Large Company); Ryan Landry’s “M” (Huntington Theatre Company). Regional credits include A Grand Night for Singing (Bucks County Playhouse); State Fair (Walnut Street Theatre); Is He Dead? (Olney Theatre); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Bay Street Theatre). Jon was the Associate Set Designer for the Broadway production of Hot Feet and has worked in television and film for productions on the History Channel and the HBO miniseries John Adams and served as a curator for the U.S. National Student Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial, 2007. Jon is currently on faculty at Boston University and is a member of United Scenic Artists.

Russ Swift† (Lighting Design) GSC: Resident Lighting Designer for the past 10 years. Productions include: Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; Fences; Spring Awakening; North Shore Fish; Carnival; “Master Harold” . . . and the Boys; The Most Happy Fella; Fighting Over Beverley; Table Manners; Trying; The Breath of Life; Sins of the Mother; Billy Bishop Goes to War; Going to St. Ives; Dear Liar; The Belle of Amherst; Ponies; The Widow’s Blind Date; The Secret of Mme. Bonnard’s Bath; The Price; The Heidi Chronicles, Long Day’s Journey Into Night; My Old Lady; Spinning into Butter. Boston-area (select): The Hobbit (Wheelock Family Theatre); The Scarlet Letter (Worcester Foothills); It’s All True (Lyric Stage Company of Boston); Rags (The Boston Conservatory); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, 2010 and 1012 Gala (Boston Arts Academy). Other: Mr. Swift has designed for Tri-Cities Opera, the Jewish Theatre of New England, the Publick Theatre, Chamber Theatre Productions, Boston Lyric Opera, the Worcester Forum Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the Theatre of Newburyport, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre, American Ensemble Theatre, Stephan Petronio Dance Company, the Caldwell Theatre, KewPee Corporation, and the Trinidad Theatre Workshop. Mr. Swift has been on the faculty or staff at Northeastern University, Emerson College, Endicott College, Westfield State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Salem State University, Community College of Rhode Island, and Groton School. He is currently the production manager for the Theatre Department at Boston College. Russ resides in Wilbraham with his wife, Mayre, and daughter, Michaela.

David Wilson† (Sound Designer) David Wilson has designed lighting or sound for over 350 productions of opera, theater, concert, and dance. He has served on the faculty of Brandeis University, heading the graduate program in sound design, and has designed and taught at Boston College, Boston Conservatory of Music, Bowdoin College, Emerson College, New England Conservatory, Tufts, Suffolk University, and UMass-Lowell. He is the resident lighting designer at Reagle Music Theater, and his designs for theater at other companies include Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Central City Opera, Company One, Dibble Dance, Harwich Junior Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Moonbox, New Repertory Theatre, the Nora Theatre Company, North Shore Music Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. Recent designs include sound and music for The Comedy of Errors at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (Elliot Norton Award, lighting and sound design for Windowmen at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (IRNE nomination, best design), lighting design for Pinocchio at Wheelock Family Theatre, sound design for That Hopey Changey Thing at Stoneham Theatre, and City of Angels at Lyric Stage Company of Boston. dw-design.com

One Woman’s Bumpy Journey to Self Dsicovery in ‘Out of Sterno’

The Boston Globe, by Don Aucoin


Hilarity Rules at Gloucester Stage with ‘Out of Sterno’

Wicked Local Beverly, by Sally Applegate


“Out of Sterno”- Absurd to the Point of Distraction

The ArtsFuse, by Robert Israel


“Out of Sterno” Warms Gloucester Stage

By Mark Sardella

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* Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE

June 25–July 18

7:30PM Wed thru Sat

2PM Sat and Sun

In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)


FILM June 22

June 28, July 5, July 12

EXPLORE “OUT OF STERNO” Interviews, Insights, History, and More…