PP_Ship Of Fools

Paradise Park

by Charles Mee

The Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5
February 12 - March 3, 2013
Directed by Tina Brock


Outdoors on a summer evening.

The sound of crickets.

Distant music.

Paradise Park - Postcard
Sean Close
Ticket Seller
Robb Hutter
Shamus Hunter McCarty
Heather Cole
Edgar, the Ventriloquist
Robb Hutter
Charlie, his Dummy
Michael Dura
Mortimer, his Dummy
Tomas Dura
Bob Schmidt
Tina Brock*
Colleen Hughes
John D’Alonzo
David Stanger
Bob, The Pizza Guy
Robb Hutter


Tina Brock

Costume Design

Erica Hoelscher

Lighting Design

Josh Schulman

Scenic Design

Anna Kiraly

Assistant Director

Stephen Hyams

Technical Director

Scott Cassidy

Video Design

Michael Long & Anna Kiraly

Sound Design

Tina Brock

Dance Choreographer

Heather Cole

Production Stage Manager

Mark Williams

Liam Brock & Mark Williams

Liam Brock & Mark Williams

Assistant Costumer

Jessica Barksdale

Assistant Lighting Designer

Robin Stamey

Fight Choreographer

James Kiesel

Production Assistant

Dan and Scott Perry

Catapult Design and Construction

Christian Prins Coen

Magic Consultant

Francis Menotti

Box Office Wizardry

Eileen O’Brien


Johanna Austin / AustinArt.org)

Produced by arrangement withInternational Creative Management


The IRC’s 2013 season is made possible in part by generous grants from: Wyncote Foundation, The Samuel S. Fels Fund, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, The Charlotte Cushman Foundation and Ernst & Young, LCC.


Playing time is approximately 85 minutes; there will be no intermission.


*Member of Actors Equity Association



Many thanks to these artists for their generosity in helping to create Paradise Park:


3 Leg Torso  –  Animals and Cannibals

Buena Vista Social Club  –  Buena Vista Social Club Presents

Maria Callas  –  The Very Best of Maria Callas

DeVotchKa  –  How It Ends

Bill Frisell  –  East West

Bill Frisell  –  Ghost Town

Bill Frisell  –  Good Dog, Happy Man

Bill Frisell  –  Nashville

Robin Holcomb  –  Rockabye

Robin Holcomb  –  Robin Holcomb

Pat Metheny Group  –  American Garage

Pat Metheny Group  –  As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

Pat Metheny Group  –  Beyond the Missouri Sky

Pat Metheny Group  –  Off Ramp

Pat Metheny Group  –  Speaking of Now

The Penguins  –  The Best of The Penguins

John Zorn  –  Filmworks VII: Cynical Hysterie Hour


Paradise Park (2013)

"Paradise Park explores our desire to escape our lives with wit, philosophical insight and a great deal of silliness... ...absurdist theater is out there for anyone willing to let go of rigid plot expectations and plunge into an adventure."
Mark Cofta, Philadelphia City Paper

"...strikes the perfect balance between the hilarious, the unnerving, and the insightful in its outrageously entertaining production... ...this is what theater of the absurd is all about..."
Debra Miller, Stage Magazine

"...I sure wasn't bored."
Tim Dunleavy, Talkin' Broadway

“… IRC’s Tilt-a-Whirl production of Charles Mee’s American theatrical collage.”
Jessica Foley, The Philadelphia Weekly

Director's Notes


February, 2013


Welcome to the Park!


2013 marks the IRC’s eighth season presenting difficult and rarely-produced absurdist gems from authors from around the globe.  For the first time in the IRC’s history, we’re celebrating the tenacious spirit of America and all things American, which must be a play about a wacky ride through a fictitious American theme park written by the incomparable Charles L. Mee.


Today we will take a journey through a Twilight Zone of sorts: a Disneyesque world where its vacationers and inhabitants are looking for meaning and respite from their disordered and anxiety riddled lives.  Edgar, Paradise Park’s resident Ventriloquist tells us: "… because the theatre is the art form that deals above all others in human relationships, then theatre is the art, par excellence, in which we discover what it is to be human and what is possible for humans to be… theatre, properly conceived, is not an escape either but a flight to reality, a rehearsal for life itself, a rehearsal of these human relationships…”  We’re happy to rehearse with you.


Chuck Mee, on his work: “…human beings are, as Aristotle said, social creatures… we are the product not just of psychology, but also of history and of culture (and) we often express our histories and cultures in ways even we are not conscious of… our lives are more rich and complex than can be reduced to a single source of human motivation.. .I like plays that are not too neat, too finished, too presentable. My plays are broken, jagged, filled with sharp edges, filled with things that take sudden turns, careen into each other, smash up, veer off in sickening turns. That feels good to me. It feels like my life. It feels like the world.”  Here, here!


Vikram, our Paradise Park tour guide tells us:

“…we need a little kindness to survive

if nothing else only that modest enough
no big deal
something more than that?
no problem
that, too would be nice
icing on the cake


For much, much more, visit Charles Mee’s website, The (Re)Making Project at www.charlesmee.org.


Thanks for helping us bring Paradise Park to life.  Let’s raise a glass to not having all the answers, and to the possibility that our relationships can serve as a mirror to understanding and growth if we dare to take a look.


Well wishes,


Tina Brock
Producing Artistic Director