by Bekah Brunstetter
Directed by Courtney O’Connor
Featuring: Chelsea Diehl*, Karen MacDonald*, Kris Sidberry*, Fred Sullivan, Jr.*
Conflict collides with confection when Della, a traditional Southern baker, reunites with her deceased best friend’s daughter, Jen, in preparation for Jen’s wedding. Della is forced to question her strongly-held beliefs when she is asked to bake Jen’s dream wedding cake for her and her future wife. Questions of morals, judgment, and family swirl around them all in this heartfelt and deliciously funny new play.
The Cake contains strong language and scenes with partial nudity. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Scenic Design by Matt Whiton
Costume Design by Charles Schoonmaker**
Intimacy Director: Ted Hewlett
Original Music and Sound Design by Arshan Gailus**
Lighting Design by Aja Jackson
Assistant Director: Aliza Kenney
Dialect Coach: Rebecca Schneebaum
Props Artisan and Cake Design: Lauren Corcuera
Production Stage Manager: Diane McLean
Assistant Stage Manager: Athena-Gwendolyn Baptiste
Season sponsored by Lee & Diana Humphrey, Joe Richard & Rene Morrissette in Memory of Rose Rocco and Yves Morrissette, and our corporate sponsor:
Production sponsored by Richard & Carol Daynard
Director Courtney O’Connor sponsored by Joe Richard
Costume Designer Charles Schoonmaker sponsored by Jo-An Heileman
Cast & Crew
Karen MacDonald* – Della
Karen MacDonald (Della) returns to the Lyric Stage having appeared as Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot. Recent credits include Escaped Alone (Gamm Theatre), Universe Rushing Apart (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Calendar Girls (Greater Boston Stage Company). Regionally, she has also appeared at the Huntington Theatre, Trinity Rep, SpeakEasy Stage, New Rep, Gloucester Stage, Merrimack Rep, Portland Stage, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Boston Theatre Company, Sleeping Weazel, The Vineyard Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Shakespeare and Co., and Berkshire Playwrights Lab. A Founding Company Member of the American Repertory Theatre, she appeared in 74 productions, including The Sea Gull, Mother Courage and her Children, No Exit. On Broadway, she understudied and performed the role of Amanda Wingfield in John Tiffany’s revival of The Glass Menagerie. Nationally, she has performed at Hartford Stage, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, The Alley Theatre and Berkeley Rep, among others. She is the recipient of several IRNE Awards and Elliot Norton Awards for her performances. She received The Robert Brustein Award for Sustained Achievement in The Theater and the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. She teaches at the Harvard Extension School and is a faculty member at Theater, Dance, and Media at Harvard.
Kris Sidberry* – Macy
Kris Sidberry* (Macy) is very happy to be back on the Lyric Stage! Last Seen in Intimate Apparel, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Boston Area Credits Include: School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls, Significant Other Play (SpeakEasy Stage), The Good Negro, Grimm (Company One), Theater Espresso and The Freedom Trail. New York credits: All American Girls (off-Broadway, National African American Theater Festival). Now based in NYC, Kris is a founding member of the all-female experimental movement company, LAS. She has also worked on various film, TV, voiceover, and commercial projects, including Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, Lifetime’s Web Of Lies, and HULU’s Castle Rock. Training: B.F.A. in Theater Performance from the University of Evansville, Maggie Flanigan Studio Meisner Conservatory. She would like to thank her friends and family for their continued support. www.krissidberry.com
Chelsea Diehl* – Jen
Chelsea Diehl* (Jen) is making her Lyric Stage debut. Some past favorite credits include: A Future Perfect (Speakeasy Stage), Where I Come From (Kentucky Repertory Theatre), Be A Good Little Widow (Davis Square Theatre), Portrait and a Dream (La Mama ETC), A Christmas Carol (The Hartford Stage), Dog Sees God, As You Like It, Essential Self Defense (Gurnet Theatre Project), Barefoot In The Park (Bad Habit Productions). Chelsea is a graduate from Emerson College and is the founder of My College Audition: www.mycollegeaudition.com
Fred Sullivan, Jr.* – Tim
Fred Sullivan, Jr. (Tim) is making his Lyric Stage debut. He is a resident artist for 14 seasons at the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. For CSC, Fred recently directed Cymbeline and has played Jacques (Norton award), Malvolio (Norton nomination), Capulet, Parolles, Bottom, Buckingham, and Gloucester. He is also a resident artist at the Gamm Theatre where he has directed 30 plays since 1996 and acted as Rothko in Red, Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, Donny in American Buffalo and Potter/Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life. Fred was an acting company member at Trinity Rep in Providence for 35 seasons and acted in 178 productions there. Highlights included Falstaff, Harold Hill, James Tyrone, Jr., Oscar Madison, Scrooge, Joe Pitt, Captain Hook, Nick Bottom, Alfred Dolittle, Peer Gynt, Creon, Daddy Warbucks and Charles in Blithe Spirit (Norton award) and Walter Burns (His Girl Friday (IRNE award). Fred has acted regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Rep, Dallas Theatre Center, NJ Shakespeare and played Max Prince in Laughter on the 23rd Floor for Ocean State Theatre Company. He’s been on film in Vault, Spy Dog, Saving Christmas, Almost Mercy and on TV in Against the Law. Fred teaches acting at RISD and Gamm.
Bekah Brunstetter – Playwright
Courtney O’Connor*** – Director
Matt Whiton – Scenic Design
Charles Schoonmaker** – Costume Design
Ted Hewlett*** – Intimacy Director
Arshan Gailus** – Original Music and Sound Design
Aja Jackson – Lighting Design
Diane McLean* – Production Stage Manager
Athena-Gwendolwn Baptiste – Assistant Stage Manager
Aliza Kenney – Assistant Director
* denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Local 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
Press & Reviews
When it comes to the things we believe, how much should we be willing to sacrifice to abide by the dogmas we’ve been handed and asked to swallow whole? When it comes to the people we love, how much do we dare surrender of the things that shape and clarify our personal identities? And how, how in God’s name can people expect to make a decent cake without the proper amount of butter? “The Cake” explores these themes, and more, with deft humor and emotionally devastating precision.
Digging Into ‘The Cake’ with Kris Sidberry | EDGE Media Network
Expert Direction by Courtney O’Connor. Well done…hysterically memorable moments. As Della ultimately proclaims, “you need cake!”
Lyric’s “Cake”: More than a Mere Trifle? | South Shore Critic
The versatile and reliably excellent MacDonald demonstrates again that she has few peers in Boston theater when it comes to traversing the territory from comedy to drama and back again — whether from play to play or, as in this case, within the same production.
Humor and humanity are the icing on ‘The Cake’ | The Boston Globe
“Call this a layered cake,” says Jared. “Rather than abide by the frequent black or white perception of people’s belief systems, ‘The Cake’ finds the nuance in complex human nature — making ‘The Cake’ absorbing, not to mention comedically delicious.”
Arts This Week | WGBH
With two powerhouse performances at its core, The Cake is elevated to something exceedingly special and totally unmissable. Chelsea Diehl brilliantly—and seemingly effortlessly—communicates Jen’s deep-seated pain. It’s a performance of a thousand quiet moments that add up to one of the most affecting I’ve seen all year.
Where There is Cake, There is Hope: The Cake at the Lyric Stage | DigBoston
Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission
Box Office: 617-585-5678