Riverfront show takes on modern dating
By Randall G. Mielke For Sun-Times Media July 12, 2012 3:50PM
The Ten Rules of Internet Dating
♦ July 20-Aug. 25
♦ The Riverfront Playhouse, 11-13 South Water Street Mall, Aurora
♦ Tickets, $12-$15
♦ (630) 897-9496
Updated: July 13, 2012 10:34AM
Although The Riverfront Playhouse in Aurora is well known for presenting British comedies and other farces, its current comedic production, “The Ten Rules of Internet Dating” is a bit of a departure for the theater troupe.
“The play takes place in America, so the cast does not need any French or British accents,” said Heidi Schultz, the play’s director. “The main idea with presenting this play was to get a younger audience; to get younger ideas into the theater. That’s what theater is: it keeps living and it keeps moving.”
“The Ten Rules of Internet Dating” will be presented at The Riverfront Playhouse in Aurora beginning on July 20.
In “The Ten Rules of Internet Dating,” by Brian Mitchell and Brad Erickson, Matt Wilson, a recently divorced dentist, finds himself forced to move in with his younger brother, Joe. Joe considers himself an Internet dating aficionado, and vows to find his big brother a new love interest by using The Ten Rules of Internet Dating. Things begin to fall apart when ladies start to answer the ads. Through the course of the play the brothers encounter falsehoods, sibling rivalry, Pakistani cuisine and a professional wrestler in an effort to fulfill Joe’s promise to his brother.
“It’s a comedy and it’s modern,” said Schultz of the play’s appeal. “Especially in the summer, people don’t want to see a bunch of tragedies. Comedies make you laugh.”
Although Heidi Schultz has done some directing in high school, this show marks the first time that she is directing a play at Riverfront. However, it is far from her first experience in the Aurora theater. Riverfront husband and wife mainstays, Jack Schultz and Sherry Winchester Schultz, are Heidi’s parents.
“Both of my parents are helping,” Heidi Schultz said. “Growing up at the theater, everyone has been helping me. My dad helped with auditions, as did my mom. Shawn Dooley is helping with set design ideas. His wife, Kathleen Dooley, had some good ideas for casting. They are all really encouraging.
“They are all trying to help,” she continued, “but it was totally up to me to choose the script. I looked at mysteries, and a horror story and one with puppets. That one would have been fun, but not sure an audience would show up. It is nice to do this kind of play. It is similar to shows we have done, but more modern.”
Heidi Schultz believes her experience at Riverfront serves her well as a director.
“I have done dozens of shows at Riverfront,” she said. “I know I’ve done ‘A Christmas Carol’ for 15 years. I have gone to so many auditions there, even when I was not performing, that it feels like I have more than 20 years of experience.”
And similar to more seasoned directors, Heidi Schultz finds satisfaction when the show starts to come together.
“The satisfaction is seeing it finally come to life,” she said. “When you finally have it where the actors are those characters and you can see the show and the show has a heartbeat. It may not be on opening night. It may be at a point during rehearsal, but when it happens, it’s special.”