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The Banana Monologues

Off-Broadway, The Acorn Theatre (June - August, 2013)

Time Out New York -- "One of the sexiest events in NYC!"

"Debra Whitfield's breezy direction keeps things bouncing along."

By David Cote

Times Square Chronicles

By Sandi Durell

"Banana Monologues is deftly directed by Debra Whitfield."

nytheatre.com

By Judith Jarosz

"Director Debra Whitfield does a wonderful job of staging this piece, using every bit of the striking multilevel set by Roman Tatarowicz, and making sure that while the pace is elastic, it never drags."

lively-arts.com

By Richmond Shepard

"... hilarious hour and a half of irreverent humor, very funny allusions and amusing tales of Gus' sex life. Brightly directed by Debra Whitfield, it's a great comic romp."

Midtown International Theatre Festival (2011)

talkinbroadway.com

By Michael Murray

"Debra Whitfield has directed with a light but effective hand, helping Brennan find the right balance between coziness and theatrical size to make "The Banana Monologues" as appealing as possible (sorry, sorry). Their joint talent ensures that the show is a lively hour."

Broadwayworld.com

By Duncan Pflaster

"The show is quite funny."

John Brennan in The Banana Monologues
Off-Broadway at the Acorn Theatre
(Photo by Roman Tatarowicz)
John Brennan in The Banana Monologues
Off-Broadway at the Acorn Theatre
(Photo by Carol Rosegg)

Ramshackle Inn

The Amateur Comedy Club (February, 2013)

Call Board

By Jim Sutton

"... the surprise hit of the last 10 years at The Amateur Comedy Club... superbly directed by Debra Whitfield... the attention to detail and creativity resulted in a memorable and remarkable show."

Program cover from Ramshackle Inn
at The Amateur Comedy Club, New York City
(Design by Steve Heiden)

Chapter Two

The Amateur Comedy Club (May, 2012)

Call Board

By Christopher D. Stack

“Debra Whitfield has shown us once again that she can work with difficult material to bring out extraordinary results. She is a great asset to the club, and we can only hope to be able to use her again a few more times before she becomes too well-known and accomplished for us to tempt her to our productions."

Bill Brown and Gregory Taft Gerard
in Chapter Two
at The Amateur Comedy Club
(Photo by Kaoru Babienco)

Ten Little Indians

The Amateur Comedy Club (February, 2011)

Call Board

By Kevin M. Roche

“Director Whitfield put together some of the Club's finest talents and drew top-rate work from all. At no place will you find a better bit of acting on any stage, in any town you care to name."

Christopher Galiardo and Steve Heiden
in Ten Little Indians
at The Amateur Comedy Club
(Photo by John Nasta)

Picasso at the Lapin Agile
by Steve Martin

The Amateur Comedy Club

Callboard

June, 2010

By Christopher Stack 

"Director Debra Whitfield, did a masterful job of steering her cast…and helping each of them to shine in his or her own way. The choice of not using French accents for anyone, but beautifully exaggerated German, Spanish and Southern accents for Einstein, Picasso and Elvis worked perfectly. When the script asked Freddy to break the fourth wall, rather than treat it as an anomaly, Debra ran with it and made it an integral part of the production. Prefacing the performance by having cast members singing chansons cabaret-style was a wonderful way to bring the audience into the Lapin Agile; even the berets on the ushers added to the draw."


Ross Jeffcoat, Shannon Lower, and Alesandra Nahodil in Picasso at the Lapin Agile at The Amateur Comedy Club.
(Photo by Kaoru Babienco)

Slave Shack
by Mike Folie

The Algonquin Theater

nytheatre.com

October, 2009

By Martin Denton

"The production moves briskly yet tautly under the direction of Debra Whitfield. Staged in the very intimate Dorothy Parker space at the Algonquin Theater, the show has been given exceptional production values, including a well-crafted, very detailed set design by Natalie Taylor Hart that neatly conveys the luxury of Blake's office... The uncredited costumes are also effective,* as is Rod Kinter's exciting and vivid fight choreography."

*Costume Design by DW


Michael Gnat as Blake and Candice LaGia Lenoir as Janice in Slave Shack at The Algonquin Theater.
(Photo by Rick Gilbert
www.skyhookentertainment.net)

In The Belly of the Beast

Florida Studio Theatre

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

By Susan L. Rife

“Terrifying and thrilling … superbly and tautly directed by Debra Whitfield.

Bradenton Herald 

'In the Belly of the Beast' is well worth your attention!

By Eric Delp

Directed by Debra Whitfield and featuring fine performances by three very talented actors, this is a thoughtful and compelling drama. Whitfield stages all of this very nicely. This play is a fabulous experience. Not only is it a well-constructed and well-performed show, it is also a valuable cultural experience."

I would say this is a great play, and well worth seeing.

Creative Loafing -- Sarasota

By Mark E. Leib

"This is a fine, at moments stunning production...there's no arguing about the FST production: it's first class in every way. Director Debra Whitfield makes sure that the play never lets go of our attention."


David Sitler as Jack Henry Abbott in In the
Belly of the Beast
at Florida Studio Theatre.
(Photo by Amy Steinmetz)

    Brighton Beach Memoirs

    Emelin Theatre

    The New York Times

    By Sylviane Gold

    “…Debra Whitfield’s Emelin rendition is likely to make audiences smile rather than guffaw. As a result, Mr. Simon’s writing comes across as richer and more trustworthy than it might if the cast were milking his every laugh. The intensity of the Jerome family relationships comes through loud and clear…"

    The Journal News

    By Peter D.Kramer

    “Simon gives each character a moment to shine and Emelin director Debra Whitfield helps each actor make the most of his or her moment. The casting and the cast are first-rate: There's not a note out of place… Yes, these Jeromes are emotional, but it's an emotional play. It makes the laughter - and there's plenty of laughter - all the sweeter… Drop in on the Jeromes at the Emelin. You're sure to laugh and maybe cry. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that."

    The Sound & Town Report

    By Keith Loria

    “Director Debra Whitfield is able to lead her actors into all the humor that the original script requires, but also gets plenty of heart from the emotional scenes that sometimes take a backseat in other productions.  Whether it’s Nora looking for fatherly advice from her uncle, Blanche and Kate squabbling over the past or Eugene mad at his brother Stan for not telling him more about girls, the drama unfolds in a realistic way… one of his best plays and this production does it proud."


    Adam Bryant, Maria Silverman, Paul Wyatt
    and Eli Gelb in Brighton Beach Memoirs
    at Emelin Theatre

    The Memory of Water

    The Depot Theatre

    North Country Public Radio Online

    Good theatre is certainly alive and well at the Depot.

    By Connie Meng

    "Debra Whitfield has directed The Memory of Water with a sure hand.  The staging is very good and at times very clever, highlighting what’s already funny.  Along with her excellent cast, she’s not only made these characters come alive, but makes us accept them as a family.

    The Memory of Water is a terrific play, and the best comedy I’ve seen this season.  It makes us laugh, but is also very moving without ever becoming maudlin.  I wish the run were longer so that more people could see it.  My companion said, and I agree, 'I wish I lived closer.  I’d like to see it again.'”

    On a scale of one to five the Depot Theatre production of The Memory of Water gets five boxcars and a caboose.

    The Glens Falls Post-Star

    By Bob Rose
    Special to the Post-Star

    "A talented cast of professionals… [in] The Depot Theatre’s season-closing main stage production of Shelagh Stephenson’s dark comedy, The Memory of Water.

    There are many laughs as we watch the action being played out… Debra Whitfield’s direction is cleverly accomplished."


    Caroline Treadwell, Shami McCormick, Jennifer
    Kathryn Marshall and Paula Hoza (standing) in
    The Memory of Water at the Depot Theatre

      To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday

      Depot Theatre

      The Glens Falls Post-Star

      Theater Closes With A Wonderful ‘Gillian’

      By Bob Rose

      "Directed by Debra Whitfield, it features a wonderful cast able to bring out the play’s warmth and humor as well as its scenes of heartbreaking sadness. The play is beautifully staged and, despite its underlying theme of how grief can imperil family relationships, its ultimate message about the healing power of love is uplifting, especially throughout the second act."


      Adam Bryant in To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday
      at the Depot Theatre

        A Murder is Announced

        Dorset Theatre Festival

        The Northshire Free Press

        ‘Murder’ Proves A Twisty, Fun Romp (A Murder is Announced)

        By Darrell R. Beebe

        "Debra Whitfield, no stranger to the Dorset Theatre Festival stage as an actress who lent her considerable skills to roles in O! The Days, Noises Off, and last year’s mystery offering, Christie’s The Mousetrap, this time serves as director. It’s a title she must wear as comfortably as she does her actor title, because it was a tremendously successful production. The play was fraught with tension and suspense as each new discovery is made, and as the killer tries harder and harder to cover up their tracks. Whitfield kept the play zipping along at a grand pace, but paying enough attention to the fine details to keep it riveting and engaging. Whitfield is supported by a superb cast."

        The Glens Falls Post-Star

        Enjoying the Murder at the Dorset Playhouse

        By Bob Rose

        "The DTF production is done to perfection with much comedy, many puzzling situations, some moments of fright and the inevitable but quite surprising outcome. If you are a Christie fan, you’ll love it. Director Debra Whitfield has each of her dozen cast members working together beautifully…so well paced and acted that it is a genuine pleasure throughout."


        Wendy Merritt, Kathleen Huber and Phillip Asta
        in Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced
        at the Dorset Theatre Festival
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