The Edmond Sun

June 21, 2013

Carpenter Square Theatre heats up with ‘Sterno’

Special to The Sun

OKLA. CITY — Carpenter Square Theatre heats up its season with the zany comedy, “Out of Sterno.” Deborah Zoe Laufer’s coming-of-age story with an “Alice in Wonderland” twist will play June 28-July 20 at 800 W. Main in Oklahoma City.

Dotty lives with her husband of seven years, Hamel, in the city of Sterno. Having married at the age of 16 and not having ventured out of their tiny apartment for those seven years, it’s as though Dotty is trapped in a young girl’s mentality. She contents herself with craft projects (her specialty is miniature papier mache toilets and other household objects), and watching over and over again a video of the first time she met Hamel.  Meanwhile, Hamel is a playboy about town. As soon as he changes from his gas station uniform, he’s out the door flashing gaudy clothes and even gaudier jewelry for the ladies, and always admonishes his wife with, “Don’t leave the apartment. Got it? Never leave the apartment.”

Hamel is definitely in control, but Dotty adores him and their daily routine, until one day she receives a phone call from a mysterious lady, and her curiosity forces her to venture out into the wide world. Along the way, she meets some hilarious people on the bus who give her a fresh perspective. The person who influences her the most is Zena, beauty stylist extraodinaire, who just happens to be Hamel’s “secret” girlfriend. When Zena hires her to do nails in her salon, Dotty begins to transform. She steps out of her sweet pink attire and into animal prints and gaudy jewelry, just like her boss. The biggest transformation involves Dotty’s outlook. When she is no longer content to follow orders from her husband, and stay closeted away, she must learn how to handle her newfound independence.

Terry Veal directs Laufer’s hilarious feminist tale with a cast headed by A’Mari Jo Rocheleau as Dotty. Christine Lanning appears as the tough-as-nails Zena, with Dalton Thomas as the philandering Hamel. C.W. Bardsher plays eight different male and female characters that Dotty meets on her adventure. Sunny Marler serves as stage manager, assisted by Rodonna Carter and William Garret. James Polk Wilson is the production’s set and lighting designer, with Rhonda Clark as the costume designer.

Specific show times spanning four weekends are: 8 p.m. June 28-29 and July 5-6; 7:30 p.m. July 11, 8 p.m. July 12-13, and 2 p.m. July 14; 7:30 p.m. July 18 and 8 p.m. July 19-20.

“Out of Sterno” is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Allied Arts, and the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. Show sponsors include Mel and Cindy Ables and Ms. Karen Dickerson.

Regular adult tickets are $20 with $15 tickets offered for seniors, military, and groups of ten or more.  Student rush tickets are $5. “Out of Sterno” is rated PG-13.

For more information and reservations, call the Carpenter Square Theatre box office at 232-6500 or visit