On Stage

A Delicate Balance

The Pulitzer Prize winning play by Edward Albee

Agnes and Tobias seem to live a quiet enough life, even with Agnes' ever-present, alcoholic sister Claire making an occasional scene. Then, when on one night their best friends Harry and Edna arrive unannounced and lock themselves upstairs with no intention of leaving, and their daughter Julia comes home from the failure of her fourth marriage, the delicate balance of their family begins to unravel.

Albee's remarkable, ageless play gives no easy answers, but within the bite, wit and unexpected twists and turns of this family in crisis we are treated to a masterpiece of modern drama. Themes of loss, love, family and failure are nothing new to Albee, but in A Delicate Balance they converge in a frightening roller-coaster ride that dissembles the promise of the American dream.

Directed by Shotgun company member, and Custom Made actress, Katja Rivera, and featuring company members Leah S. Abrams (The Heidi Chronicles) and AJ Davenport (Slavs!), returning actress Shelley Lynn Johnson (Assassins, Finding the Sun), and introducing new Custom Made players Jean Forseman, Stuart Hall and Dennis McIntyre, A Delicate Balance is a theatrical experience you will not soon forget.

Production Photos

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Dennis McIntyre, Shelley Lynn Johnson, Jean Forsman
SlavsJean Forsman, Dennis McIntyre
SlavsLeah Abrams, Stuart Hall, AJ Davenport, Jean Forsman
SlavsStuart Hall, AJ Davenport
SlavsDennis McIntyre, Stuart Hall, Jean Forsman, Shelley Johnson, Leah Abrams, AJ Davenport
SlavsDennis McIntrye, Shelley Lynn Johnson, Leah Abrams

Cast and Crew

Leah S. Abrams (Julia) is the co-founder and executive director for Custom Made where she has produced over 30 plays in San Francisco.  Favorite previous acting credits with Custom Made include A New Brain, The Old Neighborhood, The Heidi Chronicles, Temptation, Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories of Harry Chapin, and Pandemonium.  Having worked annually directing the master Beckett, Leah is giddy at the opportunity to perform the master Albee.

AJ Davenport (Edna) is happy to be returning to the world of Edward Albee, her last performance of his work was as Gertrude in CMTC’s production of Finding The Sun.  Other favorite roles as a member of CMTC are Ellen in Two Rooms, The Director in Temptation, Cathy in Shove, and various roles in Beckett in Winter 2 & 3.  She has also worked with such divergent companies as Crowded Fire, Thunderbird, Killing My Lobster, Multi Ethnic .

Jean Forsman (Agnes) has done a legion of plays and is pleased to make her Custom Made debut in A Delicate Balance with this fine ensemble.  Love to Catz, Dooley and everyone in the 94133.  Facere non possimus, quin potestas est—150%.

Stuart Elwyn Hall (Harry) is a veteran of over 25 years on the Bay Area theatre scene.  He has enjoyed performing in such pithy fare as Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Richard III and Romeo & Juliet; Kevin Heelan's acclaimed Distant Fires; Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun and The Great White Fog; and the myriad madcap mountings of San Francisco's Omnicircus.  When not performing onstage, Stuart is a (determined) budding author of mysteries and the occult.

Shelley Lynn Johnson (Claire) is thrilled to be performing in this wonderful play with Custom Made. Last summer she appeared for one crazy weekend as mom Mimi Schwinn in A New Brain - and was seen on the Custom Made stage as Sara  Jane Moore in Assasins and Edmee in Finding the Sun.  Shelley  is familiar  to audiences all over the Bay Area, playing leading roles in musicals.  Favorites include: A Little Night Music, Secret Garden, Man of No Importance, She Loves Me, Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, and a previous production of A New Brain.  Non-musical stage work includes leading roles in   Winter’s Tale, Cripple of Inishmaan, Sylvia, Power Plays and Lettice  & Lovage. Shelley is also a voiceover actor, director, and an acting coach specializing in work with singers:  www.actingforsingers.com

Dennis McIntrye (Tobias) Dennis has been performing around the Bay for the last 25 years or so. Recent roles include those of Uncle Ben, in Hapgood Theatre's Death of a Salesman, Karl Marx, in Shotgun Players treatment of  Stoppard's Cost of Utopisa, and Cardinal Richelieu, in Shotgun's  Three Musketeers. Among his theatrical influences, he is ever happy to list the great Sarah Allgood, the late Strother Martin, and Santa Claus...who taught him everything anyone really needs to know about Suspension of Disbelief."

Katja Rivera (Director)  is a director and actor,  hails from Los Angeles and studied theater at the venerable Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley.  She is a proud member of Shotgun Players, Actor’s Equity, and SF Playground, a program for developing Bay Area Playwrights. Favorite roles include M’Lynne in Steel Magnolias (California Consevatory Theater), the Fool in King Lear (Shotgun Players), and Nyssia in Candaules, Commissioner (Custom Made Theatre).

Elizabeth Creely (Stage Management) is a Bay Area stage manager, dramaturge and playwright.  For Custom Made  she has worked on Slavs! and many other productions.  Love to Jay, her favorite company member.

Lewis Campbell (Set Designer and Builder) is retired from teaching but not from theater. He is Artistic Director of Multi Ethnic Theater, in its twelfth year at The Next Stage, where he continues the concept of color creative casting, an approach he initiated at Mission High School. Before retirement he was Director of Actor Training at School of the Arts in San Francisco. Former students include Sam Rockwell, Margaret Cho and Tony Award winner Harry Groener. Lewis is happy to be working on his fourthshow at Custom Made. He studies classical and jazz guitar and believes strongly in the power of theater to do good in the world.

Marci Ring (Lighting Design) is the Technical Director of The Custom Made Theatre Company. Marci likes juggling design work with stage management and, though she has tried to take a production off’, she’s designed or SM’ed every show the last two seasons.

Brian Katz (Artistic Director) has directed over thirty professional productions, including the noted Bye-Bye, bin Laden! (top ten shows— SFBG), Assassins (SFBG, Talkin’ Broadway best-of) and A New Brian (Talkin’ Broadway). Other favorite projects include Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Temptation  and Albee’s Finding the Sun. Brian is the co-founder of Custom Made and will direct April’s Bay Area Premiere of The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer.