THE LOST GIRL by Germaine Shames - Winner of SCT's Playwright Contest 2018-2019 Season

April 08, 2019





By Germaine Shames

(adapted from the eponymous novel by D.H. Lawrence)


The Lost Girl, first published in 1920, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in fiction.


Alvina Houghton, the headstrong daughter of a widowed Midlands draper, comes of age just as her father’s business is failing. In a desperate attempt to regain his fortune and secure his daughter’s proper place in society, James Houghton buys a theater. Among the traveling performers he employs Ciccio, a brooding young Italian who immediately captures Alvina’s attention. When her father dies, Alvina must choose between her safe, if stifling, world and the unknown, between respectability and sexual desire.


Lawrence’s The Lost Girl is a celebration of freedom, however fleeting, and a testament to the power of the imagination to transform even the most mundane life.


Shames’ reimagining of this timeless story has been vetted by international D.H. Lawrence scholar, Catherine Brown. Jessica Levinson Young, Artistic Director of Untold Theatre, writes, “I absolutely loved this script for The Lost Girl. It has incredible pace and the dialogue simply leaps off the page!”


-Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 7 pm FREE admission



-1611 W Whispering Wind Dr. Suite 9, Phoenix, AZ 85085

An Interview With Van Rockwell by Jessica Holt

Starlight Community Theatre is thrilled to be working with Van Rockwell in his first production with us. He is directing You Can’t Take it With You, opening October 13th. Van is a local actor, director, and designer. He was most recently seen portraying Godfrey Parke in My Man Godfrey at Don Bluth Theatre and as Stan in Stray Cat Theatre’s Anything You Hear and Only Half of What You See (for which he was nominated for an AriZoni). He recently directed Blacklisters at Brelby Theatre.


Q: How would you describe You Can’t Take it With You?

A: You Can’t Take It With You is, as I’ve called it, the very first sitcom (only in theatre form). It’s hard to describe the play without adding “…and hilarity ensues,” much like a sitcom. It’s a delightfully charming, silly, and heartfelt comedy that deals with young love, family dynamics, cultural/societal differences, and old-fashioned (but harmless) patriarchy. It has the basic formulas for a sitcom on TV even now-a-days that it’s hard to not be drawn into its charm. The characters are all so unique and different that you end up being drawn into the show by them alone and not the plot itself. So to that end, there is so much room in the script for creating charming relationships and good old-fashioned goofball silliness.


Q: That sounds so fun! Van, what drew you to You Can’t Take it With You?

A: I was drawn to it by Starlight in particular because it presented two challenges - how could I direct a show of fourteen characters in a small venue like Starlight’s, and how could I direct a three-act play down to a two-hour production with intermission. The norm for most companies has been around two and half hours, which runs a little long for most audience members. There’s also the challenge of directing this play while being conscientious of the time-period in which it was written and set. It’s easy for me and actors to bring our modern day-isms to the creative table, but You Can’t Take It With You is from the 1930’s, a time foreign to most of us anymore.


Q: This is your first time working with Starlight Community Theatre. How would you describe the experience?

A: I may be brand new to Starlight, but I couldn’t ask for a better group of people. Rehearsals are going incredibly well. I don’t know a single person in the cast and I feel like I’m a guest in Starlight’s house so to speak. The cast and I have blocked (roughly) the entire show and we still have until October 13th until we open. Everyone brings a lot of creative inspiration to the stage and they’re all not afraid to make choices and explore. I’ve never felt more welcome with a new theatre company as I have with Starlight so far. It’s been wonderful.


Q: I’m personally a big fan of the show and love the message. How would you describe the message of  You Can’t Take it With You that you hope to convey to your audience?

A: You Can’t Take It With You is a situational farce that reflects its time. However, perhaps You Can’t Take It With You has been such a loved piece because we all see a little bit of ourselves in Grandpa and his family members. Or, if not, perhaps we want to be like them. I do not wish to give away the meaning of the title. There’s a fabulous scene in which not only the title is said in the show, but it explains… Oh heck, you’ll just have to come and see to find out the rest. J Mainly, I’d like people to come and see this show and learn it’s a message about “Do What You Love!” Many of us go through living up to the expectations of others, which I believe has been a huge societal norm for many years until most recently. I recall a lot of folks in college who were majoring in business or architecture because it was their parents did or it was the ‘real job’ they were encouraged to study. Grandpa Vanderhof understands the preciousness of life; he pursues his own interests, his own forms of fulfillment. And he encourages others to follow their dreams and not submit to the will of others. We are focused more on materialistic necessities; things we can’t take to the grave and beyond with us. Our happiness should be more than just… knickknacks.


Q: Such an important idea to convey. Besides the powerful and important message, why should people come see this production?

A: People should come see our production of You Can’t Take It With You because this cast is stellar. We are doing a hilarious old-time favorite show, and we’re killing it! Most theatre companies are more concerned with pacing and comedy in this show. Yes, while those ingredients are certainly important; it’s more about the relationships in my opinion. And this cast in particular is really hitting it home. Plus, Starlight Community Theatre is a company in the Northern Phoenix area. There’s plenty of theatre in the rest of the valley, but it’s a blessing that folks in the Northern Phoenix area now have a company they can call their own. If we don’t support community theatre, not only can theatre not thrive, but artists cannot be nurtured and the ancient and creative ritual of “story-telling” will die off. Then we’re just left with YouTube being our sole source of story-telling, which just seems rather dull to me.


Q: Thanks Van! I know I’ll be sure to check out this stellar production.


You Can’t Take It With You opens Friday, October 13th and runs for two weekends, closing Sunday October 22nd. Friday and Saturday nights are at 7:00 pm. We also perform matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. We hope to see you all there!

An Interview With Bob Lock:

May 30, 2017

With Jessica Holt


Though Starlight Community Theater is proud to work with talented and interesting artists all the time, we are thrilled to be once again working with Bob Lock. He is by far our actor with the longest commute as his primary residence is in Wilmington, North Carolina. Bob is currently starring in Starlight Community Theater’s original musical, The Santa Method, opening on June 2nd and running through June 11.


Q: When you aren’t here in the greater Phoenix area, performing with the Starlight Community Theater, where and what are you doing?

A: I reside in Wilmington, North Carolina where I am the site manager for a historic mansion museum known as the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts. I am single with one daughter and four grandchildren.


Q: You’ve joined us from quite a long distance, what initially brought you to Starlight Community Theater?

A: My nephew Hayden Miller and the incredibly nice folks I encountered there while viewing his performances.


Q: What was your first production with Starlight Community Theatre?

A: I was convinced to audition for An Actor’s Life by Nena Rippenkroeger and my nephew, Hayden.


Q: What can you tell us about The Santa Method?

A: Well, without trying to give anything away, the play involves a community theater in Rushville, Ohio who find themselves in a bit of a financial pinch. They turn to a former Broadway actor to help them turn that around. Things don’t end quite the way they planned though. The story is laced with plenty of twists and good ol’ holiday cheer.


Q: That sounds like a blast! What can you tell us about your character?

A: I play Edward Truitt, intellectual business man, conscientious consumer, theater board member and part time actor with the same theater.


Q: What is your favorite role you’ve ever played?

A: I believe, like any actor that truly enjoys their craft, that my favorite role is always the one I’m playing at the moment, or the last one if not currently involved with a production. This most certainly is true with both my current role, Edward Truitt, and my prior role of Lenny Sinclair. But if pressed for just one out of the many I have been in from the past, I would have to say Jerry from Edward Albee’s A Zoo Story. Not only for the intricate character but also the somewhat guerilla style of theatre that was the performance. We merely set up and performed on a park bench in an actual park.


Q: That sounds amazing!  Are there any roles out there that are absolute dreams for you?

A: To be honest, every time I set foot on the boards I am living a dream. It’s true that there are no small parts in my opinion.  I am a cancer survivor, having beaten stage 4 tumors on my tonsils. I was told I might not ever talk again, let alone sing, so I am extremely happy and proud to be able to do a bit of both. Having faced the possibility of a life shortened, I appreciate every opportunity to not only share my talents, but to absorb and take in the magnificence of others. So my dream role is any and every one that I succeed in obtaining.


Q: What a beautiful answer. Thank you for sharing that with us. Starlight Community Theatre helps people develop their own magnificent talent, and provides the opportunity to enjoy the talents of others. Why do you think it is important for people to become involved in creating, viewing or supporting community theatre?

A: Community theatre, by simple definition and name, involves both the community and theatre – both of which play an important part in the lives of a lot of people. It gives folks a chance to express their artistic side and get out and play with others who share the need as well. It creates a sense of family with every show and brings together people who wouldn’t ordinarily be brought together with a shared purpose.


Q: How can youth benefit from community theatre offerings, like those found at Starlight Community Theatre?

A: It allows the young people to explore and create – to learn from others and discover their own inner talents. Funding for the arts is rapidly decreasing and a lot of schools now find the inability to keep their drama department afloat. Community theatre is able to pick up some of that loss and offer a safe haven for their creative minds.


Q: Great answer Bob. Starlight provides opportunities for adults, teens and children to participate in shows, and youth have opportunities this summer to engage in some amazing camps. Before we get to summer though, we have your upcoming performance in The Santa Method to look forward to. What is your favorite thing about this show?

A: I can’t limit it to a thing, but rather things. I love the challenge that comes with performing in a first run musical, the very well-written script and lyrics that Tom has provided for us to work with, and the wonderful cast and production crew how have welcomed me as family.


Q: It sounds like a really special piece of theatre. Why do you think audiences should come see it?

A: Because it includes Christmas, laughter and love as well as a few surprises. Whose life couldn’t use just a bit more of all of those?


You can catch Bob in The Santa Method starting on June 2nd. If you are interested in upcoming events, auditions, camps and classes, be sure to check out our website at

Prepare to go “Under the Sea” at Starlight Community Theaters Presentation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

January 16, 2017

PHOENIX, ARIZONA (January 12, 2016) –– Starlight Community Theater (SCT) will be presenting Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. for nine (9) performances beginning Friday, January 27 and running through February 11. This production will mark the sixth show of SCT’s 2016-2017 season.

Audiences of all ages are invited to journey along with Ariel and her many friends in this adaption of Disney’s "The Little Mermaid". In this magical story, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live on the surface above.


In order to become human and leave her aquatic world, Ariel defies her Father, King Triton, and makes a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula. The only way for Ariel to reverse the deal is to convince the handsome Prince Eric that she is the girl he has been looking for.


“The Little Mermaid story is a timeless classic and we are so proud to have the opportunity to share it with our audiences” says Raquel Jarvill, President of Starlight Community Theater, “All the kids involved have dedicated so much of their time to present a show that will have audiences dancing and singing with joy.”

Based on the 2008 Broadway production and the 1989 animated feature film, this beautiful Jr. version show features the hit songs "Part of Your World," "She's in Love," and the Oscar-winning "Under the Sea.”

For more information about Little Mermaid Jr. or Starlight Community Theater, please visit


-Friday, January 27 at 7 p.m.


-Friday (1/27/17, 2/3/17, 2/10/17) & Saturday (1/28/17, 2/4/17, 2/11/16) at 7 p.m.

-Saturday (1/28/17, 2/4/17, 2/11/16) at 2 p.m.


-1611 W Whispering Wind Dr. Suite 9, Phoenix, AZ 85085



-$15 at admission.   

Neil Simon's Rumors Comes to Starlight Community Theater with Four Nights of Laugh Till You Cry Comedy

October 18, 2016

Phoenix, AZ (October 16, 2016) –– Starlight Community Theater (SCT) will be presenting Neil Simon’s Rumors for five (5) performances beginning October 20th and running through October 23rd. This production will mark the third show of SCT’s 2016-2017 season


In Neil Simon’s first farce, several affluent couples gather in a posh suburban residence to celebrate their hosts’ tenth anniversary. However, they discover there are no servants, the hostess is missing, and the host – the deputy mayor of NYC – has been shot.


Comic complications arise when given everyone’s upper class status; they decide they need to do everything possible to conceal the evening’s events from the local police. Neil Simon’s Rumors is sure to have audiences laughing till they cry.


“Neil Simon’s Rumors has been entertaining audiences for almost thirty years and we are so excited to bring this show to our North Valley theater,” said Barbara Surloff, Director of Rumors,

“The cast and crew have worked countless hours to put together a show that will have audiences dying from laughter.”


Throughout his career, Simon has received several major awards in the entertainment industry – Tonys, Oscars and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Post praised “Rumors” as “Light, frothy and fun and has nothing on its mind except making the audience laugh.”

For more information about Neil Simon’s Rumor or Starlight Community Theater, please visit


Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m.


Thursday (10/20/16), Friday (10/21/16) & Saturday (10/22/16) at 7 p.m.

Saturday (10/22/16) & Sunday (10/23/16) at 2 p.m.


1611 W Whispering Wind Dr. Suite 9, Phoenix, AZ 85085


$15 at admission.   

Group tickets of 10 or more to a single performance must contact for availability and special rates

North Valley Teens Come Together at Starlight Community Theater to Present the Courthouse Drama, Twelve Angry Jurors

October 01, 2016

Phoenix, AZ (October 1, 2016) –– Fresh off the hilarious run of Starlight's "The Drowsy Chaperone", North Valley teens have come together to present the famous courthouse drama, Twelve Angry Jurors. The first show will kick off Thursday, October 6 and plays through Sunday, October 9. 

Originally set in 1956 with the title of 12 Angry Men, this updated play now takes place in the present with a diverse cast of young men and women. Essentially, Twelve Angry Jurors follows the gripping examination of twelve jurors as they deliberate after hearing the arguments of a presumed open-and-shut case. By the time the play is over, each of their own judgments’ are tested until they discover a shocking truth. 


"These kids have put in so much time and effort to present a show that is full of drama, suspense and excitement," said Nena Rippenkroeger, Director of Twelve Angry Jurors, "their abilities to put on a show this advanced is impressive and I'm proud of all the work they have dedicated to this production."


Throughout the play, each juror will reveal his or her own character as various testimonies are re-examined when the murder is re-enacted. This leads to tempers getting short, arguments getting heated and twelve jurors getting angry. 


For more information about Twelve Angry Jurors or Starlight Community Theater, please visit


Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m.


Thursday (10/6/16), Friday (10/7/16) & Saturday (10/8/16) at 7 p.m.


Saturday (10/8/16) & Sunday (10/9/16) at 2 p.m.


1611 W Whispering Wind Dr. Suite 9, Phoenix, AZ 85085



$15 for admission.


Group tickets of 10 or more to a single performance must contact for availability and special rates.

Drowsy Chaperone Press Release

September 03, 2016



Starlight Community Theater Kicks Off Their 2016-2017 Season with the Musical Comedy, Drowsy Chaperone

Phoenix, AZ (September 4, 2016) - Starlight Community Theater will be launching its highly anticipated 2016-2017 season with the musical comedy, Drowsy Chaperone. It will be showing Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11, with encore performances on September 16, 17 and 18. Winner of five Tony Awards, the Drowsy Chaperone is a jazz age musical featuring show-stopping songs and dance numbers.      


Originally a book, the Drowsy Chaperone was written by Bob Martin and Don McKellar with the music and lyrics developed by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. The story follows a man in a chair who puts on a recording of a fictitious 1928 musical.


As the audience watches the man reflect on his music, the recording then comes to life. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight.


“We are so thrilled to kick off our new season with a musical comedy that will have audiences hanging off the edge of their seats,” says Raquel Jarvill, President of Starlight Community Theater, “Everyone involved in the production has put in countless hours of work to create a show that will put audiences through a real comedic adventure.”


Hailed by New York Magazine, as “the Perfect Broadway Musical”, the Drowsy Chaperone is a masterful meta-musical, poking fun at all the tropes that characterize the musical theater genre. For more information about Drowsy Chaperone and Starlight Community Theater, please visit 



Friday, September 9 at 7 p.m.   



Friday (9/9/16, 9/16/16), Saturday (9/10/16, 9/17/16) and Sunday (9/11/16, 9/18/16) at 7 p.m.



1611 W Whispering Wind Dr. Suite 9, Phoenix, AZ 85085



$15 for admission. Group tickets of 10 or more to a single performance must contact for availability and special rates.

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