CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Washington College Department of Drama breathes new life into a provocative romantic comedy from the 1940s with its staging of The Voice of the Turtle, John Van Druten’s long-running Broadway hit. Directed by drama professor Jason Rubin, the play will unfold on Decker Theatre April 12, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets, at $5 general admission and $3 for students and seniors, are available at the door.
The play’s heroine, a New York actress named Sally, is not really that experienced with men and sex. But she still worries that she may be promiscuous because she has had two affairs. Sally has sworn off sex for the time being. At the top of the play, she is memorizing Juliet’s lines from Romeo and Juliet—perhaps in an attempt to romanticize her sexual urges, or maybe just to have a monologue under her belt in case she gets an audition. Then she meets Bill Page and is torn about whether or not to sleep with him. Meanwhile, her best friend, Olive, is trying to juggle two affairs at once.
Although war-time Manhattan was filled with real-life love stories like Sally’s, The Voice of the Turtle adds another element: the theme of rebirth that we associate with spring, says director Rubin, who also designed the set. “Sally and Bill’s lives are reborn like the flowers that fill her apartment.”
The title of the play comes from the erotic Song of Solomon poetry in the Old Testament’s Song of Songs: “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” “What could be more enticing than a romance inspired by the Bible?” adds Rubin about the play, which was written in 1943.
Three talented seniors are making their farewell appearances on the Decker stage in this production: Samantha Simpson as Sally, Mike Zurawski as Bill, and Alyssa Velazquez as Olive. Sophomore Amanda Boyer is assistant set designer, sophomore Lauren Tucker designed the lighting, and junior Aileen Gray is stage manager.
Decker Theatre is located in the Gibson Center for the Arts on the Washington College campus, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown. For more information: http://drama.washcoll.edu/.
Photo, by Brigid Lally: Seniors Mike Zurawski and Samantha Simpson play the lead characters in Washington College's production of The Voice of the Turtle.