from the Footlights

June 2005                                               


June 20: The Royal Hunt of the Sun

Footlights’ next dinner-discussion will take place on Monday, June 20 at Alfio’s. Our play will be The Royal Hunt of the Sun by Peter Shaffer, which will be performed at the Washington Shakespeare Company (WSC) this summer, beginning July 21.

Sir Peter Shaffer (Equus, Amadeus) is a recipient of the William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre as well as many awards for both plays and films. In The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Shaffer has written an intriguing play depicting the clash of two cultures (Spain and Peru) and vividly portrays the human consequences of religious misunderstanding and cultural distrust.

The Spanish conquistadors, led by the fanatical, disillusioned commander Francisco Pizarro, set out to conquer the majestic Inca empire in the name of God while on a quest for gold. Based on historical events in 16th-century South America, this riveting epic directed by Steven Scott Mazzola details the defeat of a glorious and peaceful empire by a small band of mercenaries set on spreading Christianity while acquiring vast wealth for their king.

Our guests include H. Lee Gable, WSC Resident Assistant Director. A veteran of the DC theater community, he has worked in one capacity or another at many local theaters. Also on our panel of speakers for the evening are Matt Soule, Set Designer and recent Mary Goldwater award winner for his set designs, and Peter Pereyra, Actor, who will appear in WSC’s production of The Royal Hunt of the Sun. Among his local acting credits are appearances with Teatro de la Luna and WSC. Footlighter Jerry Stilkind will moderate our discussion.

Our dinner-discussion is at 6:30 p.m. at Alfio’s in the Willoughby Apartments, 4515 Willard Ave, Chevy Chase, MD (301-657-9133), two blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro. Street parking is limited; Alfio’s offers complimentary valet parking. Arrive at 6:30 for dinner; our meeting begins at 7:30 and goes no later than 9:30. We have arranged a fixed price meal at Alfio’s. For only $12 (tax and service charge included) you will have salad, entree, ice cream and coffee or tea. Cash is preferred, but you may use checks or credit cards. An additional $5 donation to Footlights is encouraged.

You may come for the discussion only at 7:30 p.m. We’ll set up a few seats at the back of the room, or you may use any unoccupied seats at the tables.

Reservations are required. Call or e-mail Mark Gruenberg anytime for reservations, 202-898-4825 or [email protected]. If you must cancel be sure to notify Mark so that someone else can attend.

Read the play. Royal Hunt is currently available at Backstage Books (202-544-5744), 545 8th St. SE, Washington, DC (Eastern Market metro stop). Your best bet is to call and have them mail you a copy. If you are going to Backstage Books to pick up a copy of the play, call first.

See Royal Hunt on Sunday, July 31

Footlights will see The Royal Hunt of the Sun at the Washington Shakespeare Company on Sunday, July 31, 2 p.m. with cast post-show discussion included in our ticket price of $15. WSC productions are at the Clark Street Playhouse, 601 South Clark Street, Crystal City (Arlington), Virginia. For directions see on the web or call the theater, 703-418-4808. For reservations to join us, send your check for $15 to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852. If you are interested in carpooling to WSC, either as a driver or passenger, contact Robin at 240-669-6300 or [email protected]).

About Footlights

To get Footlights updates on-line, send any message — even blank—to [email protected]. Subscribers can post to our on-line list by sending brief messages to [email protected]. Visit our website at for updates. Address inquiries to Mark Gruenberg at 202-898-4825 or [email protected].

Please support Footlights, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Send your tax-deductible contributions to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852.

Planning for 2005-2006 Theater Season

The Footlights Board invites your suggestions of plays for discussion next season. We prefer plays that will be performed locally, though this is not required. Modern drama only, and available script at reasonable cost. We want to vary our selections among venues, including new and smaller theaters.

Two board members are now coordinating plans—Beatrice Rouse and Jerry Stilkind. Please contact them with your ideas either at meetings or by e-mail to Jerry at [email protected].

Meeting Locations

Do you know of a good restaurant suitable for our Footlights monthly meetings? Near Metro. Reasonably priced. Private space for our meeting. Room for about 50. Can do a simple menu or buffet.

Contact Phyllis Bodin, our site coordinator, at 301-986-1768 or [email protected] if you can recommend a new location for us.


Monday, June 20, 6:30 p.m., dinner-panel discussion of The Royal Hunt of the Sun at Alfio’s


Sunday, July 31, 2 p.m., see The Royal Hunt of the Sun at WSC (Clark St. Playhouse); $15 ticket includes post-show discussion


Meeting reservations:           Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 or [email protected]


Theater tickets:                    Robin Larkin, 240-669-6300 or [email protected]