<bt>Sarah Daniels was new to the Metropolitan area when she saw a Washington Post ad announcing tryouts for the Sterling Playmakers’ production, “Our Town.”
With an expansive list of off-Broadway, regional and community productions under her belt, she wanted to add that play to her resume. She didn’t realize, however, Sterling was so far from her Silver Spring, Md., home. “I didn’t know where I was going,” she said, in a telephone interview from her car. “But it’s still a wonderful group.”
DANIELS, WHO relocated from Long Island to study theater at the University of Maryland, landed the lead. She will play the part of Emily, whom she describes as “incredibly complicated.”
“She has such ambitions. I think I love her confidence in herself … and what she observes around her,” Daniels said. “There is something very strong and appealing about her.”
Daniels, saying a good actress never tells her age, described her favorite role before joining the Playmakers. Just before she left New York, she performed the part of Laura in “Brief Encounter.”
“It was one of the most complex characters I’ve worked on,” she said. “Emily is right up there. Emily is pulling me in all kinds of directions.”
She has been working part time as a personal trainer while attending school. “I’m thinking about continuing school somewhere else,” she said. Meanwhile, she is starting a full-time job selling cabinets, floors, countertops and more in Springfield. That will cut down on the commute to Sterling.
The Playmakers will be presenting Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, at Sterling Middle School. Tickets are $10.
DEB BARTRAM of Ashburn is the producer. “A lot of people … may think of it as a play about a small town in the past with no relevance anymore,” she said. “What would surprise people is ... it is very relative to today. The play is really about life, how people establish relationships and move on with their life.”
She joined Sterling Playmakers during the summer of 2001. “I’ve been a musician, an actress and several other things. This is my first time as producer.”
Bartram said she wants to learn all aspects of the theater world. “Little by little, I’m working through the jobs.”
The responsibilities of a producer are similar to those of her day-time job as a project manager in an environmental engineering company, she said. “It’s handling budgets, scheduling people, making sure all the pieces are there.”
Bartram’s favorite role so far has been the Playmakers’ music director for “Guys and Dolls.”
“That was a real fulfilling show. It was a great cast,” she said. “I loved every aspect of it.”
KEVIN SUMMERS of Leesburg chose “Our Town” as his favorite play. He has the part of George, who he said is “very sweet and genuine … from his bantering relationship with his sister, Rebecca, to his true love, Emily.”
Summers played the same part a year and a half ago in Vienna. “I felt like I had to do it with this group. I met my wife in this group.”
Because of all the time he has devoted to practice, Summers said he doesn’t have a lot of time for his wife and 8-month-old daughter. “I feel bad,” he said. “I do only one play every couple of years, because it takes time away from everything else.”
He is a graphic designer during the day, but he has put his writing on hold. Summers is author of two “Star Trek” short stories that have appeared in the books, “Strange New World IV” and “Prophecy and Change.” A third will be coming out in “Strange New World XIII,” in July.