A writer’s love lost and found

Neil Simon’s ‘Rose’s Dilemma’ fills in for ‘The Good Doctor’

Rose (Sharon DelaBarre) and Walsh (Tom Darter) reminisce about the night they met in “Rose’s Dilemma.

Rose (Sharon DelaBarre) and Walsh (Tom Darter) reminisce about the night they met in “Rose’s Dilemma.

‘Rose’s Dilemma’

By Neil Simon, directed by Karen Hogan

Dates: Sept. 5-21

Locaton: Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave.

Times: 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays

Tickets: $16 adults, $14 OTA members/ active military, $10 children 16 and under

$10 preview Sept. 4; pay what you will Sept. 11

More info: Call 683-7326 or visit olympictheatrearts.org.



A slight dilemma quickly evolved into “Rose’s Dilemma” at Olympic Theatre Arts.

After facing a casting deficit for “The Good Doctor” in the late summer, director Karen Hogan said they’ve turned to Neil Simon’s “Rose” with the existing cast and a smooth transition.

“Sometimes things happen because they are meant to happen,” Hogan said.

“Rose’s Dilemma” runs three weeks Sept. 5-21 with a $10 preview night at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4, and a pay what you will show Thursday, Sept. 11.

Centered on Rose, loosely based on playwright Lillian Hellman, played by Sharon DelaBarre, Simon’s female lead finds herself at a crossroads five years after the death of her lover Walsh, loosely based on Dashiell Hammett, played by Tom Darter.

Facing financial and emotional woes, DelaBarre said through willpower, Rose brings Walsh back for help.

“His death sort of left her floating out here even though she hasn’t written anything since then,” DelaBarre said. “He’s been there sort of to continue the connection.”

Darter said the script alludes to Rose and Walsh having a contentious relationship, but it the most important relationship in their lives.

“The impression I have is that Walsh keeps her grounded, keeps her from falling into some kind of depression. He’s there to keep her going,” he said.

Hogan said Hellman was a tough woman and had plays produced on Broadway when women didn’t have plays produced on Broadway.

“She had to be (tough) to be accepted as a writer and to defend herself as a writer,” Hogan said.

Hammett and Hellman had a tumultuous relationship like their fictional counterparts, Hogan said, but they were drawn to one another as writers.

“She was a (mean person) to get through to people,” she said. “She pushed people away with her sharp barbs but she had to be that way to get where she was at the time.”

DelaBarre said she’s gone slightly full circle playing Rose/Hellman, who wrote “The Little Foxes,” because she played its main character Regina in OTA’s Feb. 2004 production.

As the plays goes on, DelaBarre said the audience discovers Rose had hard choices in her life that impacted her persona.

“She’s a romantic and a softie but because of the things that have happened to her she’s built a wall, an armor,” she said. “She comes across a lot harder than she is really.”

With Walsh’s advice, Rose recruits Clancy, a one-time-author played by Dalton Williamson, to help ghost write a book for her, leading Rose’s assistant and daughter Arlene, played by Jennifer Sies, to develop a relationship with Clancy.

Sies, in her first play for OTA, said she returns to the stage after six years and finds “Rose’s Dilemma” has “incredible depth” while touching on universal themes like regret, death and feeling lost.

Both Hogan and Darter say the play is a departure for Simon.

“It goes places that a lot of Neil Simon’s plays don’t go,” Darter said. “It’s a different kind of depth here without the standard kind of surprises. It’s more of a lighthearted, frothy Neil Simon comedy.”

Hogan said the play is about human connections.

“I think it’s going to please Neil Simon fans,” she said. “It’s about stuff we’ve all gone through and that love endures and it’s never too late.”

For “Rose’s Dilemma,” DelaBarre also led set design while Darter provides more incidental music from his own recordings. Connie Jenkins serves as production manager, Elaine Lorentzen on props, Steve Schultz on lighting design, Phillip Mortensen on sound, Pam Ray as stage manager and Barbara Tabor costumes.

For more information on Olympic Theatre Arts, call 683-7326 or visit olympictheatrearts.org.


More in Life

Port Angeles Community Players set to stage ‘Miss Bennett’

The Port Angeles Community Players will present “Miss Bennet — Christmas at… Continue reading

Peninsula College’s ‘Jazz in the PUB’ concert set for Nov. 30

The 12-piece Peninsula College Jazz Ensemble will present their first indoor concert… Continue reading

Milestone: Master Gardener quartet earn golden trowel honors

Audreen Williams, Laurel Moulton, Jan Danford and Teresa Bibler were awarded 2021… Continue reading

Community Calendar — Nov. 24, 2021

Editor’s note: Is your group meeting once more and wanting to get… Continue reading

Parenting In Focus: New level of success for your growing child

By the time your little one has reached 18 to 24 months,… Continue reading

Milestone: Sequim Soroptimists pick Girls of the Month

Soroptimist International of Sequim recently named their Girls of the Month for… Continue reading

Renne Emiko Brock offers hand-dyed superhero capes and scarves during the Art Beat Small Business Saturday event on Nov. 27. Submitted photo
Flurry of Art Beat events, activites set for Saturday

Celebrate creativity and collaboration by supporting local artists and arts organizations with… Continue reading

A&E briefs — Nov. 24, 2021

Strummers set concerts Olympic Peninsula Ukulele Strummers (OPUS) will perform holiday concerts… Continue reading

Right: Pieces of Civil War veteran Moore Waldron’s headstone can be seen in the right-hand corner of this photograph. Historical preservationist Mick Hersey, left, and the Taylor family of Gig Harbor returned the pieces to the Pioneer Memorial Park of Sequim for their friends the Englands (Moore’s descendants). The Englands read in the Sequim Gazette about the Sequim Garden Club’s preservation efforts at the park and decided to return these pieces for restoration. Moore now will have two markers in the park, as the Veteran’s Administration commissioned a new stone for Waldron in 2017 — an article about which can also be found on the Sequim Gazettte’s website. Moore moved to Sequim with his family in 1905 and died in 1908. Moore had five children and has descendants in Sequim and Pierce County as well as other places. Moore’s great-grandson is the founder of the Waldron Endoscopy Center in Tacoma, according to Cheryl England. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen
Historic headstone returns to Sequim

Right: Pieces of Civil War veteran Moore Waldron’s headstone can be seen… Continue reading

Most Read