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Scripps Ranch Theatre Brings ‘Chapatti’ to the stage 

Robert May plays Dan, and Grace Delaney portrays Betty in the Scripps Ranch Theatre production of “Chapatti.” (courtesy of Scripps Ranch Theatre)

Scripps Ranch Theatre Brings ‘Chapatti’ to the stage


By Jill Alexander

Scripps Ranch Theatre (SRT) offers an opportunity to break the winter blues with its production of “Chapatti,” running Feb. 2 to 25.

The play is being directed by Cristopher Williams, and stars Robert May as Dan, and Grace Delaney as Betty. 

This is how Scripps Ranch Theatre describes the plot: “Romance is a distant memory for two lonely animal lovers living in Dublin. When forlorn Dan and his dog Chapatti cross paths with the amiable Betty and her 19 cats, an unexpected spark begins a warm and gentle story about two people re-discovering the importance of human companionship.”

Director Williams, 48, is an actor, producer, fight director and stage manager himself. He believes audience members will relate to the theme of loneliness as portrayed on the stage.

“It’s a universal story … Most people will recognize themselves or someone close to them that has felt the same as Dan and Betty,” he said.

Williams said that coming out of the pandemic, many now understand the need for companionship in a deeper sense.

“To be isolated for so long changed us. The characters in the play aren’t dealing with a pandemic like we were/are, but the human response to loneliness is the same,” he said.

“While the play does deal with difficult issues, Christian O’Reilly (playwright) whisks it with a sense of hope and humor which leads to a good deal of laughter and warmth. It’s a story built on serendipity, the kindness of strangers and the resilience of spirit,” Williams said.

Williams worked with Delaney almost 20 years ago when she was a student of the Actor’s Academy at MiraCosta College, and he directed May as Gov. Ned Newly in “The Outsider” last season.

Williams grew up in Connecticut “playing and obsessing over soccer and visual art.”

“I thought that was going to be my life until I moved to Phoenix with my family and discovered theatre: Shakespeare in particular. The stage has been my main focus since my sophomore year of high school,” he said. “While working professionally, I’ve had the opportunity to teach various theatre courses in colleges and conservatories, which fills a great part of my soul. I also spent 10 years working in film as a producer, actor and key visual artist.”

Williams said there’s nothing like doing what one loves.

“Theatre is my job. Whether acting, directing, producing, managing, designing, etc., I make my living there,” he said.

The production of “Chapatti” will be held on the campus of Alliant International University with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There will be a preview performance on Friday, Feb. 2. Patrons can purchase tickets online at scrippsranchtheatre.org/tickets/ or contact SRT Patron Services at (858) 395-0573.