Category Archive for: ‘Gaetana Caldwell-Smith’

The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident, directed by James Nelson


l-r: Nora Doane as Amy; Adrian Deane, Jones;  Becky Hirschfeld, May; Daniel Chung, Ripp; and Paul Rodrigues, Tugg.


Who scarfed down the much-anticipated ice cream sandwich dessert for the entire crew?  Playwright Barry Eital’s clever, fast-paced comedy, The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident,  focuses on this issue at the top.  Captain Tugg (an excellent Paul Rodrigues) is the prime suspect. Is Eital’s play  a spoof, a satire?   We all know that government or private sponsors have established mock space stations in various locations around the world, where scientists of all persuasions are holed up for weeks if not months, conducting experiments related to their field to get ideas on their effectiveness in space and on distant planets.  They may eventually end up in outer space for real, or possibly in space colonies.  Scenic designer Carlos Aceves’s wonderful, electronically enhanced multi-level set resembles the interior of a space station in which Tugg and his crew are constrained to live for a year.  His crew of three consists of Daniel Chung as naive, sweet, vulnerable Ripp; Jones, the “babe” of the crew is  played by a spunky Adrian Deane, and Becky Hirschfeld is May.  May tries to keep everyone together and mediates between Tugg and his crew.


One of their tasks is testing the shiny, silver claustrophobic space suits and helmets and where we first meet Ripp who’s obviously very uncomfortable in his.  They can interact with the outside world only through blogs and videos.  Each month they are evaluated on all levels, e. g. psychologically, physically, etc. by Amy (Nora Doane), their no-nonsense corporate administrator.  She also arranges for the delivery of food and supplies.  As they struggle to  co-exist as a “family” with the stolen dessert not the only issue, Amy announces that their funding may be cut and the experiment discontinued unless  May can come up with a plan to ensure the compatibility of the crew.  And, wow, she does (As shown).  As Director James Nelson noted in the program: “The question isn’t whether they can survive deep space-it’s whether they can survive each other.”

May’s plan to solidify the crew.  Rodrigues, Hirschfeld, Chung, and Deane