The Shadow Box

The Shadow Box

A drama by Michael Cristofer

Directed by Jim Caputo
Produced by Barbara Barber

January 16 – February 8, 2009

In this Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play, three families face the impending loss of a loved one in a manner that spans the human condition: touching, tearful, courageous, hopeful and at times surprisingly hilarious. The Shadow Box is not about dying but about embracing life, its finality and the meaning of close friends and family.
Rated PG-13 (Mature Concept)

“A beautifully realized drama; often as funny as it is moving.” (Washington Post)


James Darvas (Mark) is making his debut performance in California, although he has appeared in numerous shows back home in Cleveland, Ohio. James is very happy to have made the connections with these amazing people. Have fun and enjoy the show.

Michelle DeFrancesco (Agnes) is from Canada and has been in San Diego for about seven years. Her first show in San Diego was I Ought To Be In Pictures at SRT and she’s been hooked ever since. Past shows at SRT include, Wrong Turn At Lungfish, Fatal Attraction and Two For the Seesaw. She has also worked at La Jolla Playhouse, Lamplighters Community Theatre, Diversionary Theatre and the AASD Fest in 2005 and 2007. She studied theatre at York University of Toronto as well as several years with Second City in Toronto.

Pamela Fadden (The Interviewer) was most recently seen on stage in Lamplighters’ 2008 Summerfest and 2007 One-Act Play Festivals, and as Jenny in the PowPAC production of Company. Other roles include Jackie in Lamplighters’ Hay Fever, Jill Tanner in Butterflies Are Free, and Wendy in The Uninvited. She is happy to have found her way back to the stage after an extended break and is excited to be working at Scripps Ranch Theatre with such a wonderfully talented cast.

Jacob Gardenswartz (Steve) is in the 7th grade at Francis Parker School. He was most recently seen in NY, NJ and DC, touring with San Diego Repertory Theatre’s The Blessing of A Broken Heart. He is excited about this first performance with SRT, though he has been on several stages around San Diego over the last five years. Some of his favorite roles include:- The Artful Dodger in Such N’ Such Productions’ Oliver, Aladdin in Young Actor’s Theatre’s Aladdin, Gavroche in Young Actors’ Theatre’s Les Miserables, and Colin in The Secret Garden. Jacob would like to thank his parents for always being there for him and taking him everywhere he needs to go.

Allison MacDonald (Beverly) is happy to be back at SRT where she was recently seen in The Dining Room and three seasons ago in Scapino. Other favorite roles include Isaac I Am at The Fritz Blitz, Dracula at Coronado Playhouse, and On Golden Pond and The Foreigner at Onstage Playhouse. Special thanks to Jim Caputo for the (second) shot at Beverly.

Kaly McKenna (Maggie) is very pleased to be back at SRT. She was last seen here in 2006 as MJ in Inspecting Carol. In between SRT roles she has had the honor of playing Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate and Becca in Rabbit Hole. Kaly wants to acknowledge what a tremendous and fun cast this is to work with, and sends a huge thank you to Jim for casting her in such a profound piece. Here’s to hope, peace and prosperity for everyone in 2009.

Marty Salkin (Felicity) is delighted to be working at SRT in this marvelous play and with such talented actors and director. Twenty-plus years ago she played the role of Agnes in a production of The Shadow Box on the east coast, and now…well, being cast now as Felicity speaks for itself. Marty’s theatrical experience includes major roles in many plays and musicals, but she currently spends much of her off-stage time as a volunteer with San Diego Hospice. She is the mother of two sons, grandmother of four, and wife of Allan, who provides perfect support for an actress.

Joe Solazzo (Joe) was last seen at SRT playing the Italian bum in Scapino and is excited to be working with SRT and Jim Caputo again. He hopes the audience will find this play thought-provoking. Joe was last seen at the Lyceum in the Actors Festival in Breakfast for Dinner, written and directed by Tim West. Other recent performances include The Courier, a Young Playwrights project script directed by Playwright Stephen Metcalfe at the Old Globe. During his off time Joe enjoys riding his horse ‘Baci’ through the hills of Ramona.

Eddie Yaroch (Brian) is proud to make his SRT debut in a play he did 22 years ago at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the role of Mark. The ensuing years saw him acting in DC, NYC and Europe in shows ranging from King Lear to Godspell. In 2007, he moved to San Diego and acted in the Fritz Blitz alongside Allison MacDonald in Issac, I Am. Last spring, he appeared as Wilson in Inukshuk Productions’ Terra Nova at 6th@Penn and as Roxy Gottleib in Golden Boy at New Village Arts in Carlsbad. Love and thanks go to my mother, who gave birth to ten actors.

Production Staff

Jim Caputo (Director) is a playwright, director and actor. He has won numerous playwriting awards including the prestigious Ashland New Play Festival. This year Jim won first place and The Thomas Award at The Theatre Oxford Competition. His play, Maternal Spirits, opened our 2004 season. His plays have been produced from coast to coast. At SRT, Jim directed Greetings in 2004 and Scapino in 2005. He played Marley in Inspecting Carol and designed several of our sets including The Lion in Winter. For the past three years he has served as SRT’s Executive Director. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and the Actors Alliance of San Diego.

Barbara Barber (Producer) is thrilled to be producing again and working with such a talented cast and crew. This is Barbara’s fifth production at SRT, having produced The O’Conner Girls last year. Prior to that she produced Inspecting Carol, Sylvia and Scapino. Barbara has always enjoyed attending the theater and has found volunteering for SRT a very rewarding experience.

Jennifer Tyrer (Assistant Director/Stage Manager/Lighting Operator) is pleased to be returning to SRT for her second show, having just completed The Last Night of Ballyhoo. She was the Coordinating and Touring Stage Manager for Triple Espresso for six years, and returning to her roots in San Diego with theaters such as SRT has been a real treat. She has worked at The Fritz Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre and The Old Globe. “Moriarty has made fools of all of us. But together, you and I, tonight… we’ll bring him down.” Thanks, Charles.

Debbie Blue (Costume Designer/Props Master) is excited to be doing costumes and props for SRT. She previously designed costumes for last year’s production of As Bees in Honey Drown and props for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Debbie has spent countless hours going through the many thrift shops and discount stores in San Diego searching for costumes and props at bargain prices.

Production Photos

From left to right: Jacob Gardenswartz (Steve), Joe Solazzo (Joe), Kaly McKenna (Maggie), Marty Salkin (Felicity) (in wheelchair), Michelle DeFrancesco (Agnes), Pamela Fadden (Interviewer), Allison MacDonald (Beverly) (seated), James Darvas (Mark), Eddie Yaroch (Brian)


“I loved The Shadow Box. It is truly the best piece of theatre I have seen in a long time. Every single actor was brilliant. Congratulations. I hope everyone I know sees it. They won’t be sorry. I really can’t stress how enjoyable the entire evening was. Just brilliant.”
S. Colburn, Patron

“I just wanted to write and let you know that we saw your show last night, and it was STUNNING. Perfectly cast, beautifully staged-and the set is wonderful. I had to wait until now to write to you because I still get choked up thinking about it! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a play that grabbed me from the first minute and held me captivated all the way through. I truly hope you guys are getting the audiences you deserve. I know that I’ll continue to recommend it to anyone who will listen. Congratulations to you and all of the cast/crew.
It’s an amazing production.” – D., Patron

“We saw The Shadow Box last night. We were absolutely absorbed in the tale but most of all, with how the actors mastered their parts. I wish I had a camera to capture their expressions; even a panoramic view to catch all three sets at once. One more observation: as the audience walked back to the parking, you can see all the couples, young & old, holding on to each other in a pensive state. We were one of them. Kudos to all!!”
Drs. M & A Swaisgood, Patrons

“The Shadow Box illustrates the complexity and varied emotions that accompany both the dying and the living… This is a play not to be missed for many reasons. It is uplifting. It is superbly directed (by Jim Caputo) and extremely well acted.” by Hitch, San Diego Theatre Scene (read more)