Dear Abe Archive Page
Dedicated to new, exciting, and innovative theatrical works of the highest quality, we provide a space where writers, performers, and an audience can come together in a spirit of community and collaboration to expand our understanding of what is possible in the theatre. We also offer educational programs and support for artist development for Southwestern Virginia. By working in concert with other arts organizations, we will strive to make Roanoke a nationally recognized ignition point for new play development.
Box Office     Our People     Community     Support Our Mission     Press     The Callboard
Donate Get Tickets Event Calendar Lounges Lunchbox Readings Classroom Casting Calls Volunteer Mailing List Submissions Photo + Video Art Gallery


30 Campbell Avenue, SW

Roanoke VA 24011

(Click on the poster for a high res version)

Dear Abe
Written by Adam Hahn
Directed by Joe Banno

Performed March 23 - 28, 2010.



MARIAN MANN: Caitlin Ann Morgan

ABE MANN: Drew Dowdy

Voices: Bootie Bell Chewning, Stephanie "Stevie" Holcomb, Sarah "Ripley" McClune, Kris Laguzza, Amy Alls, Christina Smith, Michelle Bennett, Dan Smith, Mark Thompson, and Charlie Boswell

Producer: Todd Ristau
Technical Director: Jason "Blue" Herbert
Costume Design: Todd Ristau
Scenic Design: Todd Ristauand Jason "Blue" Herbert
Scenic Construction and Painting: Jason "Blue" Herbert, Amy Alls, and Jessica McGrath
Lighting and Sound Design: Jason "Blue" Herbert
Stage Manager: Steven Glassbrenner
Box Office/House Manager: Shay Mullins
Front of House Volunteers: Kris Laguzza, Rachel Linkous, Patrick Lyster, Nancy Maurelli, Adrien Monti, JD Ruelle

Special Thanks to our Corporate Sponsors: Playwright's Lab at Hollins University, Roanoke Times/, City Magazine, 101.5 The Music Place, and New City Media

Special Thanks to those who loaned us props, costumes, or other material support: John Forsman, Hollins University Theatre Department, JD Ruelle, Washington & Lee Theatre Department

About the Play
Abe Mann, author of a widely syndicated advice column, has died. His two sons have inherited their fatherís resort hotel on a tropical island and are forced by circumstance to come to terms with life, loss, and the meaning of humanity.

About the Playwright
(also performing the role of Danny Mann)

Adam Hahn is writer and performer based in Los Angeles and currently an MFA candidate in the Playwright's Lab at Hollins University. Adam's ten-minute and one-act scripts have been produced by Prairie Fire Theatre in Iowa City, City Circle Acting Company in Coralville, IA, Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke, VA, and Deep Dish Theater Company in Chapel Hill, NC.

Adam's play, Feedback Loop was read as part of Studio Roanoke's festival of new works in July of 2009, and Studio Roanoke is looking forward to producing one of his newest plays, Frogger, as part of our 2010-2011 season.

Adam studies long-form improv at IOWest (formerly Improv Olympic), where he performs with the student troupe Truffula Seeds. He has performed as part of the Los Angeles troupes A Counter-Clockwork Orange, Pulled Pork, Super Clock and Poised. He has also performed with the Iowa City troupes Fisheye and This Machine.

Since 1999, Adam has been active in No Shame Theatre, a grassroots theatre network that provides a venue for short and experimental works. He has performed on No Shame stages in five states, including the "National Best of No Shame" showcases in the Piccolo Spoleto fringe theatre festival. As a member of the No Shame Iowa City executive board, he produced the twentieth anniversary "Best Of the Best Of No Shame" and a weeklong festival of special performances in Iowa City in October, 2006. He was also a producer of No Shame Los Angeles.

As an actor, Adam has appeared in productions of the University of Iowa, in the Iowa Fringe Festival, and in the Piccolo Spoleto fringe theatre festival.

About the Director
Joe Banno, over a 25 year directing career, has staged more than 75 theatrical productions, including contemporary American and British plays at Washington, DCís Source Theatre Company (where he was artistic director from 1997 through 2006), Theatre J (DC), Mutineer Theatre (LA), Blue Heron Theatre (NYC), Renaissance Theatreworks (Milwaukee), and other companies around the US. His acclaimed, updated stagings of Shakespeare have been seen at the Folger Theatre, Washington Shakespeare Company and Shenandoah Shakespeare, among other theatres. Equally at home in the world of opera and musical theatre, Banno has directed over 30 productions with a dozen companies, most recently Opera Delaware, Wolf Trap Opera and the Alba Music Festival (in Northern Italy). Having recently started working in film, Banno directed his first independent feature, Sleeping and Waking, in 2008, and has a Shakespeare-based feature film currently in development for production in 2010. He is a recipient of the Helen Hayes Award, the Mary Goldwater Award and the Bud Yorkin Award. Complementing his directing work with a second career as a music journalist, Banno has served as a classical music reviewer for The Washington Post since 1993, as opera critic for Washington City Paper (1989 to 2008), and as a contributing freelance writer for other publications.

Earlier this season, Joe directed Elvis Blossom, by Sunny daSilva. We're delighted to have him back with us.

Cast and Crew
Drew Dowdy (Abe Mann)
Drew is an actor, singer, writer, and director currently based in his hometown of Roanoke, VA. This is Drew's second production with Studio Roanoke. He first seen on our stage as part of the cast of Elvis Blossom, and he has appeared at many regional venues with companies such as the Roanoke Childrenís Theatre; Mill Mountain Theatre; Opera Roanoke; as a guest artist at Hollins University; Opera on the James; the Theatre Workshop in Science, Technology, and Society (where he also served as Coordinator of Performance Development); and in numerous roles at Virginia Tech, where he studied Theatre and Music. Favorite credits include Jacques Brel (Opera Roanoke, Northstar Opera), Side by Side by Sondheim (Duluth Festival Opera), Honk! (Roanoke Childrenís Theatre), Billy Flynn in Chicago (Hollins), and Claudius in Hamlet (VT). He is a co-author with Ann Kilkelly and Megan Carney of Prozac Blues, an exploration of psychotropic medicines in contemporary society. He co-authored and directed The Nuclear Power Play at Virginia Tech. Other original or devised works include Losing It, and the marriage equality rights performance ALTARed STATE, for which he and his co-author were recognized by Equality Virginia. Drew has experience using theatre as a community-building resource, and has conducted several community-based performance workshops. He also enjoys teaching young performers.

Caitlin Ann Morgan (Marian Mann)
Caitlin last appeared on our stage in Donnie and the Monsters. She is a recent graduate of Emory & Henry, where she received her BA in Musical Theatre. Favorite E&H credits include Madame Arcati (Blithe Spirit), Princess Leonide (Triumph of Love), and Claudio (Much Ado About Nothing). She also spent many years at Mill Mountain Theatre onstage and off. Favorite MMT credits include The Jungle Book and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Last summer she was honored to be a Casting/Artistic Intern at New York Theatre Workshop where getting coffee everyday taught her so much about the business and real life.

Click here
to see the program as a PDF

Click here
to watch an interview with the playwright

(click on the image to enlarge)

All content © Studio Roanoke, 2009