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Not For Profit: Epiphany Theater Co.

June 26, 2006 – When the stage lights go down on Epiphany Theater Co.'s late August fund-raising performances of "It's Better Than Nothing," managing director Paul Devine hopes that he'll see some new faces helping out backstage.
He said that while the group isn't looking for actors for this performance, helping out backstage and with other chores will give people a foot in the stage door.
Currently Epiphany Theater has a core group of about 20 people in addition to the six-person executive board that's responsible for picking plays and getting things organized. Devine would like to expand that base.
"There's an enormous amount of creative people on St. John, but it's hard to get people to commit to the long run," he said.
The group's treasurer, Michael Beason, said some new people would spread the work around and provide some fresh faces for the group's productions.
Devine said he joined up to give him something to do rather than hang out at bars.
"I had never done any acting at all," Devine, an electrician, said.
Epiphany Theater will put on "It's Better Than Nothing," a collection of seven one-act skits, at the Bellevue Community Center.
The one-act skits include the monologue "Instructions to the Audience;" the superhero tale, "The Further Adventures of Wasp Woman;" a skit about people with bad names called "Paul Newman Never Played a Guy Named Murray;" a skit about Adam and Even meeting at the Garden of Eden Bar called "In the Beginning;" and a play about rude people hailing a taxi, called "Taxi."
Additionally, the lineup includes "The DMV One" in which the tables are turned at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and "Cindy and Julie," a tale about two fairy tale people whose husbands turned out to be bad in bed or gay.
"They do not live happily ever after," Devine said, laughing.
Over the years, Epiphany Theater has put on such plays as "Bus Stop," "The Tender Trap," "Kennedy's Children," "Utter Nonsense," "Shadow Box," and Devine's favorite, "The Fantastiks."
Devine said this is the first year the group will put on only one play. Other years, Epiphany Theater did as many as three.
Devine said the group has settled in at Bellevue Community Center until a theater is built on nearby land.
He said that finding a home has been one of the biggest challenges for the community theater group. Devine said that for two years, Epiphany Theater found a home at the Marketplace Shopping Center, but when that space went for offices, the group was left homeless.
"We wandered in the wilderness, at bars and restaurants," he said.
The group got its start back in 2000, when Beason had an "epiphany" that led to the theater company.
"I ordered 10 copies of 'Bus Stop' and just started talking to people," Beason recalled.
Beason hooked up with professional director Frank Bartolucci, who is based on St. John, and the rest was history.
A theater major in college, Beason got his St. John community theater feet wet with the short-lived production company, Keep Left Theater.
"It was the inspiration," he said.
"It's Better Than Nothing" will run Aug. 25-27.

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