Dinner with Friends

JULY 27 – AUGUST 26, 2018

This Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the complexities of marriage and friendship, focusing on the relationship between two married couples: food writers Gabe and Karen, whose apparent domestic bliss is demonstrated as they prepare gourmet meals; and artist Beth and hotshot lawyer Tom whose marriage is breaking up due to Tom’s infidelity.

Meet the Cast

Carl Hoffman (Gabe)
Carl (Gabe) is a resident of Eatontown NJ. He has been acting in community theaters in and around Monmouth County since 1997. He was last seen at New Jersey Repertory Company as Bartender Carl in Wild Horses. He would like to thank director Leslie Hochman, his committed cast members and everyone behind the scenes who made this show come to life.

Ruth S. Joyner (Karen)
Ruth (Karen) is making her theatrical debut as Karen, in Dinner with Friends. Encouraged by her late husband to “reach for the stars”. Ruth is fulfilling a lifetime dream by acting on stage, and is thankful for the opportunity to join the cast. Ruth’s interest in theater peaked during her teens, when she secured several lead roles in school and college plays. After 37 years working as an Administrative Director, Ruth retired in 2015 after working under five New York City Mayors. Her earlier career as a teacher focused on teaching children life lessons through drama. A graduate of The City University of New York and Richmond College, Ruth earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Baccalaureate in Psychology/Education.

Michele Kallman (Beth)
Michele (Beth) graduated from Rowan University, Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in Speech, Arts & Dramatics as well as certifications in English and Theatre Education. She currently teaches English and Theater at Manalapan High School; she has directed 9 productions there, including Makin’ It, Kiss Me Kate, Little Shop of Horrors, The Good Doctor, Rumors, Bye Bye Birdie, Barefoot in the Park, Grease & Voices From The High School. Previously, she has performed here at Center Players as Dr. Cecelia Monahan in Men are Dogs, Anne Miller in 6 Rms Riv Vu, and Lily Garland in Twentieth Century. At Kelsey Theater, she has played Muriel Tate in Plaza Suite, Elvira in Blithe Spirit, Brenda, Cathy, & Mickey in Lovers and Other Strangers, and Karen in Jakes Women. She is happy to be back with Center Players as Beth in Dinner With Friends. She would like to thank Leslie Hochman for this opportunity, Ben for his diligence and efficiency, and the cast and crew for their time, dedication, and genuineness. To my Friends at Dinner, it has been a delectable treat to work with you! Some lemon-almond polenta? …and of course, more wine, please?

Thom Carroll (Tom)
Thom (Tom) is making his first appearance with Center Players. He is coming back from a short hiatus from acting, to have a career and raise two beautiful daughters. Prior to attending to those minor duties, he was a fixture in Boston Theater appearing in numerous plays, commercials and a 2 year stint as a lead performer in ImprovBoston. He returned to the stage this past Spring as John in the Somerset Valley Players’ production of Calendar Girls. He will be appearing later this fall in Circle Players’ production of The Nance. Thom is thrilled to be a part of this great production and hopes to work again with this outstanding group.

Leslie Hochman – Director
Leslie is extremely pleased to be back working for Center Players. “Dinner With Friends” is a play that shows many interesting dimensions of the human experience. As a director, she loves working on a project like this. Her cast and crew are pure professionals. They have been a pure joy to work with. She has been involved in community theatre for nearly 30 years. Other favorite projects she has directed has been “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and many other dramas, comedies and children productions. She wants to thank Her producers Bernice Garfield-Szita and Bob Szita, her stage manager Ben Alexander and all others that helped to make this excellent production possible. As always she sends her love to her family and thank them for their never ending support.