Featured NEWS

From setbacks to setting the stage

DeNae Steele and Charlie Riendeau star in the Scripps Ranch Theatre production of “Heisenberg.” (photo by Rich Soublet) 

From setbacks to setting the stage

By Ashley Shah

Scripps Ranch Theatre (SRT) has rescheduled the opening for its production of “Heisenberg” to this Friday, Jan. 28, with two more performances on Saturday and Sunday.

SRT was set to present “Heisenberg,” a full, in-person play performance for the first time in almost two years – on Jan. 14. However, due to flooding at the theater just a couple of days before opening night, the production was postponed.

Anyone who already has tickets for the regularly scheduled Jan. 28, 29 and 30 performances may still attend at the previously scheduled times this weekend. Anyone with tickets to the earlier performances in January that were postponed may reschedule by calling (858) 395-0573.

This longtime Scripps Ranch institution survived the COVID shutdown and was set to resume performances of a new season when the flood occurred this month in its performance space at 9783 Avenue of Nations on the campus of Alliant University. The public is encouraged to check the SRT website for performance updates and attend performances when the schedule is updated. 

“Heisenberg” was cast in early November. 

“We casted a little earlier than usual. We started rehearsing in December,” director Charles Peters said.

The cast of “Heisenberg” only consists of two actors: the female character Georgie Burns, played by DeNae Steele; and the male character Alex Priest, played by Charlie Riendeau.

“We had already pre-casted DeNae because I knew she would be perfect for the role. Both DeNae and Charlie have worked with each other in the past and work really well together, which is especially important for this show,” Peters said.

This production differs from past productions in many ways.

“I was very attracted to this play because of the simplicity of it. The playwright asks you to strip everything away, no lighting changes, minimal props, etc.,” Peters said.

The play centers around two people who meet at a London train station and fall in love despite the difference in their ages.

“Throughout the play, we listen in on their conversations through six scenes. Everything is kept really minimal so that the audience can focus on what the main characters are saying and how they connect with each other,” Peters explained.

Not only has the theatre had to face challenges with the flooding incident, but due to the recent surge in COVID cases, the theatre board previously had to discuss whether it should move forward with the production.

“We had a long discussion about whether we should open. However, based on the fact that we only have two actors for this play, and both are vaccinated, we felt more comfortable about opening up. There are people who want to go out,” Peters said.

The theatre is following all COVID-19 precautions.

“We spent $4,000 to have our theatre cleaned, and to have a special air filter that is in accordance with the COVID policies. Everyone should feel safe. We are trying very hard to keep the environment in the theatre controlled,” Peters said.

Proof of vaccination is required at the theatre. Members of the audience are required to wear a mask at all times indoors.

SRT has been in Scripps Ranch for more than 40 years and is a well-known aspect of the community.

“The best way the community can support the return of live theatre at SRT is by coming to see the show and/or making a donation to the theatre if possible,” SRT spokesperson Susan Clausen said.

Tickets can be ordered by calling the box office at (858) 395-0573, or through the website: scrippsranchtheatre.org.

Donations for the theatre may be made through this page: scrippsranchtheatre.org/donor-page.