February 20, 2014

Sonora’s Stage 3 opens new season with new comedy and new artistic director

Sonora’s Stage 3 Theatre Company opens its new season with a new artistic director and new comedy.

Sonora’s Stage 3 Theatre Company opens its new year with a new season, new artistic director and new comedy.

The company, founded in 1993, parted ways with longtime artistic director Don Bilotti in late December and named actor and director Van Gordon to fill his spot. Gordon will open the theater company’s 2014 season with the comedic play “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard” starting Friday.

The announcement for Gordon’s new position said: “With new eyes and new ideas, the board is looking forward to a dynamic upcoming season.”

Gordon has performed in more than 50 plays for competing Foothills company Sierra Repertory Theatre and has directed productions for Stage 3, including “Over the River and Through the Woods,” “Greetings” and “Over the Tavern.”

He has also taught acting at the London School of Drama at Berkeley and at Summerville High School/Connections Academy.

Bilotti, who was with Stage 3 for 12 years, remains an instructor of the drama department at Columbia College.

Under Gordon, the new season will feature five productions, three comedies and two dramas. After “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard,” the slate will be “Becky’s New Car” in May, “On Golden Pond” in July, “Good People” in September and “Greetings” in November.

“Park Your Car in Harvard Yard,” by Israel Horovitz, follows a crotchety former high school teacher who hires a housekeeper to help him in his retirement. The housekeeper used to be one of his students.

The one-set, two-actor play premiered on Broadway in 1991 with Jason Robards and Judith Ivey.

The Stage 3 show features Stephen Daly as former teacher Jacob Brackish and Susannah Holland as housekeeper Kathleen Hogan.

Daly has appeared in past Stage 3 productions of “Turkey Guy,” “Hamlet” and “August: Osage County,” among others. Holland most recently appeared in “The Autism Chronicles” in Angels Camp.

Gordon said he picked the play to kick off the year because it showcases “human frailties in such a touching, warm, yet hysterical manner.”

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