FBT presents


by Patrick Hamilton
A Victorian Thriller

February 13 - March 14, 1998
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm

Fort Bend Theater
P. O. Box 2101 Sugarland, TX 77487
(713) 981-1866


(Back l-r) Frank Letts, Dee Dee Silva, Amber Gibson, Jason Howard

(Front l-r) Dean Turner, Loren Lancaster, David Downing


MRS. MANNINGHAM......................................LOREN LANCASTER
MR. MANNINGHAM.........................................DAVID DOWNING
NANCY..................................................................AMBER GIBSON
ELIZABETH..........................................................DEE DEE SILVA
ROUGH...................................................................DEAN TURNER


Interview with David Downing
Mr. Jack Manningham for FBT's Production of Angel Street

by Theresa Hyde

David Downing

Mr. Downing has played Amedeus in Mozart, as well as Henry II in Becket. He is from Northampton and Berkshire, England. As a Director, he has directed The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance, 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, and The Visiting Hour by Richard Harris. He is 36 years old and he comes across as a very distinguished gentleman. He plays the deeply distubing Jack Manningham in FBT's Production of Angel Street. Just think of Vincent Price, but much better looking.

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing.
David: It's a very very sinister evil man. The frightening thing about it is that there are people like that who exist. And that is what's scary about the part. So, as I'm doing the part, everyone's conscious of it. And there are people out there who do these things to people. The play, of course, is Timeless. This is Victorian Times, there were evil men back in Medieval Times and before that. So it's something which is all around us.

Theresa: Angel Street by Patrick Hamilton is a Classic. How did you become a part of this?
David: I had a friend over from England. I've lived here a year now, and we were looking through a newspaper one day, and it said there were some auditions on here. And this is 4 o'clock on a Sunday, and we arrived here at 6 o'clock for the Auditions, and I got the part.

Theresa: Tell us about your Acting background.......
David: Yeah, I did quite a bit in England. I directed plays mainly. I prefer Directing to Acting. 84 Charing Cross Road and The Elephant Man were the last two I directed. And then I've acted in.......I've had some wonderful parts.....I've played Mozart in Amadeus, Henry II in Beckett. These are in theatres in Berkshire, England, in and around London, yes. I'm gonna audition for The Shakespeare Festival this year so.....I've never done Shakespeare as a Brit, which is really unusual. So, I'm going for it.

Theresa: Gosh, you've been here a year........
David: Moved here February of last year, yes.

Theresa: How did you decide to come to Houston?
David: Came with work. Work moved me here. Probably for about 2 1/2 years. So I just thought I'd carry on with my life, and do the Theatre while I'm here. I sort of like to think that it was the Acting that got me to the States, but.........(laughs)...........

Theresa: Are you married?
David: No, I'm single.

Theresa: So.......how does it feel to kiss a 19 year old blonde night after night?
David: Hmm - I'll pass on that one. A gentleman would never discuss such things...........

Theresa: Who are your most favorite actors?
David: Stage actors, mainly, I think. I mean, people like Olivier who are just absolutely stunning. I like going to see plays where the Actors are unknown, and they manage to grab an audience. So, it's Actors who are unknown that I prefer. The big ones, sometimes people just go for the name.

Theresa: What qualities do you look for in an Actor?
David: Oh, if I was directing a play, I look for somebody who is key, nervous. I like to see nervous energy because I think, that drives people on. And Believable, they just have to be believable in what they're doing.

Theresa: Nervous?
David: Yeah, I like to see an edge on what people. I think, if you don't have that......I think if people become blase and cocky, they lose that wonderful Edge which drives them forward that makes them want to do something very special and very good.

Theresa: How do you like Houston? How do you like The States?
David: The States' great. Houston is great. I love the lifestyle in the States. I miss London Passionately. Because I lived there for 12 years, right in the center. And Houston is a big city with a small town mentality, and the lifestyle and the cost of living makes it a nice place to live.

Theresa: Who influenced you as an Artist?
David: I never used to go to much theatre as a child. And the first time I ever went to one was a local theatre and they had pantomime on. It's like British farce, it was pretty wild. But what amazed me as a child was that people could get up on there, with nothing. They have nothing in their hands, and make me believe that they were on a Coach going to a Ball, or they were fighting a sword fight. And they didn't have anything in their hands. And I couldn't understand how they did that. And I thought, I wanna be able to do that. I wanna be able to make people see something happening that isn't happening.

Theresa: What would you like to say to the Houston Theatre-going Audience?
David: Get out there and go to more Theatre, cause you don't know what you're missing. I think you take for granted what you have on your doorstep. And there are people in town who would cry for some of the facilities you've got here. So, get away from your TV's and get into Live Theatre!


Interview with Loren Lancaster
Mrs. Bella Manningham in FBT's Production of Angel Street

by Theresa Hyde

Loren Lancaster

An English teacher for HISD, Loren has recently returned to the "Boards" after a long hiatus since high school days. She's performed at FBT in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Anne of Green Gables, Dirty Work at the CrossRoads (earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actress!), and most recently in Poe's Midnight Dreary.

Theresa: Tell us about the part you're playing.........
Loren: Well, Bella is a woman who obviously, was in love with this man at one point, and was taken in by him. And at this point in time, she is not sure whether she is losing her mind, or if somebody is playing this massive trick on her. But she's pretty convinced that she's probably losing her mind because her mother had been insane or mentally ill. So, she's a very confused person.

Theresa: How did you become a part of this play?
Loren: I auditioned with the Open Auditions. I've done a number of shows here. My daughter, originally was involved. I just happen to be up here a lot with her about a year ago and they needed somebody to fill in for someone who had broken a leg. I had been a Theatre major in College years ago, but I hadn't done anything for 18 years. So, I said, I'll do it. And I've just been doing one right after the other ever since.

Theresa: And you're also an English Teacher........
Loren: Basically, in school, I majored in Theatre. Later on, I went back to school for Teaching. So, now I'm a teacher. I missed Acting. I missed it a lot. I didn't realize how much I missed it till I started doing it again. I have been doing theatre from the time I was in fourth grade until a year or two after I gotten out of College and got married.

Theresa: Who are your most favorite actors?
Loren: Merryl Streep is obviously, wonderful. Now, she's so well known, you can't just lose yourself in the characters anymore. It's not so much the actors, it's every performance. They become somebody different. And the more they can do things that take you away from seeing somebody familiar, then that's what I appreciate.

Theresa: Who influenced you as an artist?
Loren: Oh, when I was younger, Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland. Mostly, a lot of the people that I have been around. Theatre teachers, other performers, people that I enjoyed learning from.

Theresa: What would you like the audience to gain from watching this play?
Loren: Just a feeling of "Wow". It's the Theatre experience. There's really no moral significance other than, Watch Who You're With. It's just a feeling of an evening or an afternoon at the Theatre. That you got some quality culture and theatre out of it. And that the performances took you away from where you were into that little world.


Interview with Angel Street's Nancy and Elizabeth
Played by Amber Gibson and Dee Dee Silva

by Theresa Hyde

Amber Lynn Gibson is a student at Texas School of Business. She's performed with Johnny Z in Low Rider and Mercedes, and hopes to turn her love of acting into a career someday. She plays the flirtatious 19 year old maid of the Manningham Household. A very adorable and dainty blonde, she prances around in her red evening dress until the dastardly dashing Mr. Manningham cannot resist her advances.

Dee Dee Silva plays the more responsible and endearing Elizabeth. She is a student at HCC (Drama major), she plans to have a full-time acting career after graduation from the University of Houston. She's performed in such shows as Reimers of Eldritch, Bury the Dead, and Henry IV, plus can be seen in the upcoming children's show, Follow that Rabbit!

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing..........
Amber: Nancy? I am the pretty, cheeky, self-conscious maid of 19. I am definitely impudent. And by the end of the play, nobody likes me (laughs).

Dee Dee: I play Elizabeth. Elizabeth tries her best to take care of Mrs Manningham. She absolutely adores her, she's a jewel. She tries to keep Mr Manningham away from her. Which is great, 'cause there's one part in the play where there's a police detective in the closet, and oh my goodness, Mr. Manningham comes into the room and I'm supposed to somehow, keep him out of the closet. And Mr. Manninham keeps going in there, and I don't know where the detective went and I'm going crazy. It's really great fun. I really enjoy it. There's a lot of comedy in it, although it is a thriller. It's wonderful. It's been a learning experience cause I'm working with some great actors.

Amber: (innocently) This is my first time in any play at all. So, I'm really enjoying it. I've never ever been in theatre before.

Theresa: How did you become a part of this?
Amber: Well, my grandparents noticed the ad in the Fort Bend Lifestyles Magazine. And I had told them that I was interested in joining in Acting and everything. And I wanted to get into a play, and Theatre or something. And so they told me to come here, and I auditioned, and.......I got the part. Cha-Ching!!!

Dee Dee: Personally, it's my Life. I love Theatre, so that's what I'm pursuing in school right now, to get my degree. Hopefully, someone in L.A. will say, "Hey! Come on, Dee Dee!" and give me a chance. Maybe one day. But this is educational for me. Working in theatres all around Houston is great experience. Like I said, you learn a lot from all the different actors, and directors that you work with. I've worked at the Heiman Theatre. One in Richmond Texas. Done a couple of TV, commercials. It's definitely my profession. I love it!

Theresa: Who are your favorite actors?
Amber: Ooooooohhhhhh
Dee Dee: Michelle Pfeiffer, definitely.
Amber: Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino. All those Italian Mafiosos.........
Dee Dee:........bad girl......bad girl........(laughing)
Amber: With their little cigars, and hats. I like the bad guys.

Theresa: What would you like the audience to gain from watching this play?
Dee Dee: That's interesting because in a couple of shows we've had, a couple of ladies actually directly tell us that they have had some sort of situation in their life similar to Mrs Manningham's that they can relate to. Whether it's the domestic violence, whether it's the verbal abuse, or the neglect, whatever. They come to us and they say, "You know what? I felt it. And I'm so glad you survived." Some ladies didn't think that Mrs. Manningham was going to survive. They actually thought she's not gonna make it through.........but it helped them, you know.

Theresa: Watching Theatre, brings out emotions from people, and brings back memories.
Amber: I've sat backstage and watched Mrs. Manningham and actually cried. I mean, she's really good.

Theresa: Who do you want to dedicate this performance to?
Amber: Oh, my grandparents. My grandparents, my family and my boyfriend.
Dee Dee: Definitely, my husband. Because he's absolutely stood by me through this. It takes a lot of hard work, it takes a lot of energy to come here doing rehearsals for two or three months. The audience doesn't know this, but it's really a big dedication on our part.


Interview with Dean Turner
Sargeant Rough in FBT's Production of Angel Street

by Theresa Hyde

Dean Turner

Dean first appeared on the FBT stage playing Bertram (part-time) in Poe's Midnight Dreary last fall (earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actor!) Having performed in area theatres since the age of 14, some of his favorite roles include Deeley in Old Times, John Smith in Run For Your Wife, Carl in Lonely Planet, and Leon Schwab in Voice of the Prairie.

Theresa: Dean Turner. Great performance!
Dean: Yes, that's it! Thank you! Thank you very much.......

Theresa: Tell us about the part that you're playing.......
Dean: Sargeant Rough. He's earnest, but he's also got a comic side to him. He's retired. A little bit on the self-confident side to a slight extreme, but he's not obnoxious. He's just very confident, and very sure of himself. He's personable, I hope. And he is interested in the welfare of this woman (Mrs. Manningham), as well as a certain vendetta against this man who did this murder fifteen years ago.

Theresa: As I was watching you onstage, it reminded me of a particular character actor. Probably, one who's a wise detective and comedic at the same time. When you were rehearsing for the part, was there anyone, perhaps that you would pattern the character after?
Dean: Let's see......I didn't really draw from another Actor. I just thought in terms of making him not too heavy, or not too miss out on the humour. Because of the things that they talk about, such as murder, it could be that the humour is lost, easily. And I said, "Well, he's gotta be earnest and committed, but he's also gotta be liked and actually funny at times." He runs a gamut. He goes from very intense, very intense, to........you know......just chatty. There was no particular actor I was thinking of, just some characteristics I was trying to keep.

Theresa: How did you become a part of this?
Dean: I've been doing acting since I was eleven. My first show was when I was 14. The Dean Goss Dinner Theatre, which is a theatre over by the Astrodome. But I've done Community Theatre around Houston since 1970, off and on. FBT did Edgar Allan Poe, and that was my first show here.

Theresa: Other Theatres, besides FBT?
Dean: The Actors Workshop. A lot of shows at HCC with John Corley. I did a show with Ed Muth at Theatre LaB, which got some prominence lately. Ed Muth does a lot of things in town.

Theresa: Who are your most favorite actors?
Dean: Oh, that's easy. James Cagney. James Cagney is my favorite actor because he has an incredible strength and vitality and confidence. But he's also extremely humble. Very humble. He can do lite humor, dance and sing, "Yankee Doodle Dandy", but he also can be very heavy and nasty.

Theresa: What qualities do you look for in an Actor?
Dean: Humility. Somebody who is in the character. Someone who is trying not to inflate himself, but to serve the interest of the director and the writer. As the Vessel for the author, the director. Someone who can bring enjoyment to the audience. And an ability to be honest and real. Honesty and Humility.

Theresa: Who influenced you as an Artist?
Dean: I would say, the director for HCC, John Corley. I've done twelve shows with him. Working with him has given me a lot of confidence. My mother, too. My mother's always a big supporter. But John Corley, the opportunity to work with him several times has really been a growing experience.

Theresa: What would you like to say to the Houston Theatre-going Audience?
Dean: Hopefully, that the community theatres could be supported and people could tap into that and see how wonderful it is. Because a lot of people, including myself, don't generally think in terms of going to a play first. They think in terms of a movie, or some other diversion. To support the plays and to realize that the people sacrifice and work hard. Community Theatres don't have a lot of money. They struggle. Everyone of them do, so to keep that in mind. Any kind of patronage is very appreciated.



DIRECTOR..................................FRANK LETTS
COSTUMES..................................TARRA MCCAIN


Interview with Jason Howard
Assistant Director for Angel Street at FBT

by Theresa Hyde

Jason is a 20 year old Assistant Director who recently performed in POE'S MIDNIGHT DREARY, and before that was seen in Goldi Lox and the drug-awareness program, STICKS AND STONES. An accomplished musician, Jason aspires to be a writer and director for film and stage. He was also the Assistant Director for The Glass Slipper and is trying his hand at directing in the upcoming production of Follow That Rabbit!

Theresa:You are the assistant Director and you also play a part in this play
Jason: Yes, I have a cameo, as one of the policemen. After the second act, right at the very end, the finale.

Theresa: How did you become a part of Fort Bend Theatre?
Jason: Well, actually, my story here is a little weird. I came to watch a friend who is in a play here, and I've done for about 8 years before this. Various places here in Houston, Austin, Missouri, and many other places. After the play, I was talking to her and the director ran out and needed a replacement for someone to start tomorrow and my friend jumped up and said that I could do it. Drew me back in, so I got back into it. I've been in about 4 plays here since then, and directed about the same number.

Theresa: Who are your most favorite actors?
Jason: I guess, I like a lot of the old ones, you know, Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart. Of the newer ones, I like Kevin Spacey. He's great.

Theresa: Would you rather be an Actor or a Director?
Jason: Actually, what I want to do in life is write and direct for film and stage. Definitely, Writing and Directing. If I had to choose one, it would be writing. I haven't written anything that's been produced yet, but hopefully soon. I plan on entering an Austin Film Festival in October.

Theresa: What qualities do you look for in an Actor?
Jason: Well, I think, it varies by the play. But I really look for someone, who can grasp an understanding of the script. I don't necesarilly look for experience. In fact one of our Actors here, this is her first play. And someone who's willing to get into the part, who can lose themselves for the part.

Theresa: What would you like to say to our Houston Theatre-going audience?
Jason: I'm really happy to be involved in this play, Angel Street. Wonderful cast and crew. It just turned out to be a great great experience.