The Dining Room

The Dining Room

A heart-warmer by A.R.Gurney
September 5 – October 4, 2008

Eavesdrop on the comings and goings in one room over the span of fifty years. The dining room where birthday parties, celebrations, dinners and holidays occur is the perfect setting for such discovery. Come watch eight actors play 50 roles in 18 scenes – whew! This Pulitzer Prize nominee is a whirlwind of a play. At times humorous, meaningful, witty and touching, it is always an engaging story of the American family.


Sherri Allen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre (Acting) from SDSU, studied at Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, and has performed in some of the finest theatres in San Diego and beyond. She landed a recurring role on the TV series, Saints & Sinners, and has worked in countless commercials and industrials. Offstage, Sherri teaches acting and fine arts courses through MiraCosta College as well as at many arts organizations throughout San Diego. She is thrilled to be working with director and old pal Eric Bishop again, whom she met while actors at Summer Repertory Theatre 15 years ago!

Wyatt Ellison was last seen as Levi in Moonlight Amphitheatres musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Wyatt graduated from San Diego State University in May with a Masters in Integrated Performing Arts (music, theatre and dance.) He continues to search for his niche in the performing arts field, whether that be in musical theatre, theatre, television, film, direction, education, dance or some creative blend of all the above. Wyatt is currently seeking a (sustainable) performing career in San Diego and Los Angeles. This is his first appearance in a theatrical play.

Dagmar Fields is thrilled to be performing for the first time at SRT. She was last seen as Esty in Morning’s at Seven at North Coast Rep and before that as Paula in Magic Fire, Judith Bliss in Hay Fever and Hazel Hunt in Radio Gala at Moonlight/Avo in Vista. She was the wicked stepmother (typecasting?) in the Lamb’s Players’ production of Into The Woods. Before that, she played a 76, (then 84, then 92) year-old woman in Amy’s View at the North Coast Rep. She has also appeared at The Fritz, Octad One, The Old Globe and theaters in New Orleans, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Dagmar also teaches English at Southwestern College. Love to Marv, Khara, Matt, Eric and granddaughters Taylor, Ava and Ayden.

Greg Hall, an active North County actor for many years, is excited to be in his first production at Scripps Ranch Theatre and his sixth production under Eric Bishop’s direction. His favorite roles include Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Joe Keller in All My Sons, Moon Over Buffalo, Lend Me a Tenor, The Foreigner, Ah Wilderness, The Boys Next Door, Sylvia, Prisoner of Second Avenue, Fuente Ovejuna, and especially his lifelong role as “Julie’s Husband.”

Allison MacDonald was last seen at SRT in Scapino and is happy to return to take on the challenge of diverse, multiple roles — an actor’s dream! Other credits include: Dracula (Martha Westenra), The Foreigner (Catherine) (ACT Award, Best Ensemble), and Dangerous Corner (Miss Mockridge). Other theatre credits include the Fritz Blitz and The Soprano’s Last Supper. Thanks to Christian for his love and support!

Max Macke is happy to be returning to Scripps Ranch Theater after his performance of “Bogey” in Play It Again, Sam, which opened SRT’s 2007-8 season. He was most recently seen in Leading Ladies at The Broadway Theater in Vista, and is currently in production for the local film, “Red Moon Rising.” Max would like to thank Mom, Dad and his girlfriend Amanda for their love and support!

Kate Nelson is excited to be making her debut with SRT! Kate studied theatre at the University of Illinois, and some of her favorite credits include: Clytemnestra in Electra, The Detective in Six Degrees of Separation, Cecily Pigeon in The Odd Couple and Rodeo in Talking With. When she is not acting she can be found where every other struggling actor is, waiting tables. Kate would like to thank her family for not flipping out when several years ago she announced, “Mom. Dad. I want to be an actor.”

Production Staff

Eric Bishop (Director) is the Chair of the Performing Arts Department at MiraCosta College in Oceanside and is making his directorial debut at Scripps Ranch Theatre. He was recognized with a Patte’ Award for “Outstanding Direction” last year for the MiraCosta production of Electra. He also has directed at Moonlight Stage Productions, Carlsbad Playreaders, La Jolla Stage Company, Southwest Shakespeare Conservatory, Utah State University, and was a Resident Artist for two years at PCPA Theaterfest in Santa Maria. Eric also serves on the Executive Boards of Carlsbad Playreaders and the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. He thanks Jill Drexler and Allan Salkin for this wonderful opportunity, his fantastic cast and crew, Caroline for her enduring support, and his MiraCosta colleagues and theatre students who are a constant source of inspiration.

Ruth Carlson (Co-Producer) Having moved to San Diego from St Paul, Minn. about a year ago, Ruth made her San Diego theatre debut by stage managing SRT’s production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Now she’s back and thrilled to be co-producing The Dining Room. Also an avid actor, some of Ruth’s favorite performances were in Working, The Seagull, Baghdad Burning, and Richard III. She thanks her family, friends, Adam and God for helping her make it this far.

Meghan Kaheny (Co-Producer) is making her debut in such capacity at SRT, and is delighted to work with such a fine team of actors, artists, and designers on this Pultizer prize-winning play that is both timeless and elegant in theme and character. She was last seen acting at SRT in the production of The O’Conner Girls as Aunt Margie and as Nancy Felix in Woody Allen’s Play it Again, Sam. She would like to thank Allan and Jill for the opportunity to dive into the producing role, and also thanks her family and close friends for their constant support, faith, and celebratory cheer, come rain or shine.

Elise Meehan (Stage Manager / Asst Director ) is very excited to have been asked to stage manage for Scripps Ranch Theatre. This will be her third opportunity to stage manage, having done Electra and The Dining Room at MiraCosta College. Elise has her A.A. degree in theatre and a Certificate in Technical Theatre. She worked this summer at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista and is enrolled at UCSD as a theatre major. She would like to thank Eric Bishop for this opportunity and her family and friends for always supporting her theatrical dreams.

Production Photos



“The stage of Scripps Ranch Theatre is filled with seven actors of excellence, able to move smoothly from character to character. These many dining rooms express much about society through the last 100 years. Be alert, listen and watch carefully, and enjoy a marvelous theatre experience.” –Review by (read more)

“Scripps Ranch Theatre’s production constitutes a step up in class for the company. The play’s demands could create gridlock, but director Eric Bishop gives it an admirable fluidity as scenes and eras flow gracefully. His six-person cast (sometimes changing Sydney Williams’s multi-period costumes backstage in seconds) handle myriad assignments with few glitches… Maureen Dolan, the props manager, deserves special mention. When the script calls for Waterford crystal or the distinctive clink of hand-blown Steuben glass, Dolan delivers. Even when Gurney requires a butter knife with a pistol-handle, one emerges from the velvet silverware case. Now that’s attention to detail!” –Review by SD Weekly Reader (read more)

“MCC acting/fine arts instructor, Sherri Allen, is pleased to be working again with Eric Bishop in SRT’s production of The Dining Room…” –Article in The MiraCostan (read more)