Ah, Wilderness! Opens September 6 in Run at Actors Co-op

Aug 19, 2013
Ah Wilderness

 Actors Co-op begins its 22nd Anniversary Season on September 6 with Eugene O'Neill's idyllic comedy, AH WILDERNESS! Directed by Thom Babbes, the production is dedicated to the memory of Henry Polic II, an Actors Co-op guest director and actor, who passed away August 11, 2013 after a long battle with cancer.

In this unabashedly romantic and sweetly funny comedy, master playwright Eugene O'Neill returns us to an idyllic age of America focusing on a young man, young love and his coming-of-age. Mr. O'Neill's only well-known comedy, AH WILDERNESS! is said to be a wistful re-imagining of his youth as he wished it had been (in stark contrast to his autobiographical LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT). The play premiered on Broadway in 1933. During his career, Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) received four Pulitzer Prizes for his plays - more than any other playwright. He was also awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, the first American dramatist to be so honored.

Actors Co-op dedicates this production of AH, WILDERNESS! to the memory of Henry Polic II. During the many years Mr. Polic was associated with Actors Co-op, he was a passionate director, a tireless champion, an extraordinary performer and a treasured friend. He directed a number productions for Actors Co-op including THE FOREIGNER (2000), BULLSHOT CRUMMOND (2002) and THE NERD (2006). But bringing new life to the 2002 production of FOOLS by Neil Simon was one of Mr. Polic's greatest successes as a director. The playwright himself attended the production and offered this glowing observation: "The production values, the direction and acting were exemplary. Actors Co-op's production of Fools was the best I've ever seen." - Neil Simon. The production was revived at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California. Mr. Polic enjoyed a wonderful career in front of the cameras as well. He could be seen in dozens of guest-starring parts and was a frequent celebrity contestant on game shows including THE $25,000 PYRAMID and THE $100,000 PYRAMID. He was a series regular on the Mel Brooks show WHEN THINGS WERE ROTTEN (in the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham) and the ABC comedy hit WEBSTER. Mr. Polic was also a gifted teacher and coach, and as a celebrity auctioneer and event host he helped to raise more than $2 million over the years for charitable causes.

AH, WILDERNESS! is directed by THOM BABBES. Last season Mr. Babbes directed the critically-acclaimed production of THE MIRACLE WORKER at Actors Co-op. Other Co-op shows include WAIT UNTIL DARK, as well as developing new works including DIETRICH by John Martins III, THE REAL REAL THING and WASHINGTON IRVING'S SKETCHBOOK, both by Frank Higgins. He also directed a staged reading of SUN CITY by Jim Geoghan at the Stella Adler Theater. A writer as well, his film credits include DEADLY DREAMS and BODY CHEMISTRY both produced by Roger Corman. He co-wrote the short film THE AUDITION which won Best Screenplay and Best Comedy at the 168 Hour Film Festival and he and his writing partner wrote the short film, X-TREME WEEKEND, which has screened at film festivals in the U.S. and Canada and is now a nine-episode web series.

The creative team for AH, WILDERNESS! includes Set Designers Mark Henderson and Tim Farmer (SETS TO GO), Costume Designer Shon LeBlanc, Lighting Designer Bill E. Kickbush, Sound Designer Cameron Combe, Property Designer Nicholas Acciani, Hair/Wig Design by Krys Fehervari and Stage Manager Rita Cofield.

Selah Victor produces for Actors Co-op. Ms. Victor produced the Co-op Too! Production of MISS VULCAN 1939 and last year's main stage production of THE MIRACLE WORKER. In addition, she has produced two web series and a pilot presentation. Selah is a a graduate of Second City Conservatory and UC Irvine.


Schedule Opening night of AH, WILDERNESS! is Friday, September 6, 2013. Regular performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm. Additional Saturday matinees are scheduled for September 14 and October 12 at 2:30 pm. AH, WILDERNESS! closes Sunday, October 13, 2013.

Tickets Regular admission $30, Seniors $25, Students $20. Group rates available (minimum of 6 people). For reservations call (323) 462-8460 ext. 300 or reserve online at www.ActorsCo-op.org