Becky’s New Car also comes with a back-story of how the production came to life and that story is just as charming as the play.
Becky’s New Car first premiered at Seattle’s ACT Theatre by way of a private commission from Seattle commercial realtor Charles Staadecker.
Searching for an impressive gift to give his wife Benita for her 60th birthday, Staadecker happened to meet a local woman who had commissioned a tuba concerto from the Seattle Symphony in memory of her husband.
Charles latched onto the idea and brought it to ACT Theater, where his wife served as a trustee.
Artistic director Kurt Beattie liked the idea so much he hired award-winning playwright Steven Dietz to pen the work.
The 2006 collaboration also led to the forging of ACT’s New Works for the American Stage, an innovative play-commissioning program that brings patrons and playwrights together.
Don Harper who is directing the B2B production at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach said he was thrilled when he received an e-mail from Staadecker wishing them all the best with the production.
The Staadeckers now travel throughout the United States visiting each production of Becky’s New Car, and educating arts patrons on the importance of commissioning new works and funding arts organizations along the way.
The two have attended 24 productions of Becky’s New Car across the U.S. and when they can’t make it to a production they send their friend Eric Meltzer who resides in Washington State as well as Vancouver.
Meltzer who has been friends with Charlie well over 50 years was representing the Staadeckers during the opening night performance of Becky’s New Car at the Village Theatre July 11.
He said he has seen the play in Seattle and Vancouver and will be attending a production on Whidbey Island in Washington State in the fall.
He admitted he enjoys his job reviewing the various performances.
“I see 25 plays a year. I have a college degree in music art and theatre and of all the things I studied in school the only thing I took with me at 67 is music art and theatre. I have been retired for many years and this is the best job I have ever had,” he confessed.
Meltzer revealed that he was scrutinizing the production and each cast member and even with his keen sensitivity to the play he had nothing but good things to say about it.
“I thought it was a superb production. Unlike Charlie who has seen 24 times I have seen it three times and I loved the way the people on stage related to each other … that is what turned me on,” he stated.
He said judging from the reaction of the audience, the play will do well.
“I looked around at the audience and I could see they enjoyed it and it was a thrill to be a part of that.”
Meltzer said he is looking forward to discussing his experience at the Village Theatre with his lifetime friend Charlie.
“I am brimming with things to talk about. I did email him and told him that he missed something even though he has seen it 24 times.
Meltzer who had the opportunity to meet with Harper and some other patrons of the local theatre said he was impressed to hear about the level of support in the community for Bard to Broadway and ECHO Players.