Press Release: Candida





The Los Angeles Premiere of


Written by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Kathleen F. Conlin

Limited Engagement opens Saturday, February 7, 2009
at The Colony Theatre in Burbank!

A love triangle -- and a woman's choice between the two men who love her.

January 16, 2009 ... Burbank ... The Colony Theatre Company presents the fourth production of its 2008 - 2009 season, CANDIDA, written by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Kathleen F. Conlin.CANDIDA will preview on Wednesday, February 4; Thursday, February 5 and Friday, February 6 at 8:00pm and will open on Saturday, February 7 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, March 8 at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.

CANDIDA is the delightful, light-hearted classic from George Bernard Shaw, writer of Major Barbara and Arms and the Man, winner of the Academy-Award for writing Pygmalion, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.Reverend Morell thinks he and his wife, Candida, have the perfect marriage, but when a passionate young poet also declares his love for her, Morell begins to doubt whether his wife loves him after all. Written over 100 years ago, George Bernard Shaw shows that marriage hasn't changed all that much.

Directed by Kathleen F. Conlin, from her acclaimed production at the Utah Shakespearean Festival.


GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (Playwright) (1856-1950) was born in Dublin, the son of a civil servant. His education was irregular, due to his dislike of any organized training. After working in an estate agent's office for a while he moved to London as a young man (1876), where he established himself as a leading music and theatre critic in the eighties and nineties and became a prominent member of the Fabian Society, for which he composed many pamphlets. He began his literary career as a novelist. As a fervent advocate of the new theatre of Ibsen (The Quintessence of Ibsenism, 1891) he decided to write plays in order to illustrate his criticism of the English stage. His earliest dramas were called appropriately Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant (1898). Among these, Widower's Houses and Mrs. Warren's Profession savagely attack social hypocrisy, while in plays such as Arms and the Man and The Man of Destiny the criticism is less fierce. 

Other important plays by Shaw are Caesar and Cleopatra (1901), a historical play filled with allusions to modern times, and Androcles and the Lion (1912), in which he exercised a kind of retrospective history and from modern movements drew deductions for the Christian era. In Major Barbara (1905), one of Shaw's most successful plays, the audience's attention is held by the power of the witty argumentation that man can achieve aesthetic salvation only through political activity, not as an individual. The Doctor's Dilemma (1906), facetiously classified as a tragedy by Shaw, is really a comedy the humor of which is directed at the medical profession. Candida (1898), with social attitudes toward sex relations as objects of his satire, and Pygmalion (1912), a witty study of phonetics as well as a clever treatment of middle-class morality and class distinction, proved some of Shaw's greatest successes on the stage. It is a combination of the dramatic, the comic, and the social corrective that gives Shaw's comedies their special flavor. Shaw's complete works appeared in thirty-six volumes between 1930 and 1950, the year of his death.
KATHLEEN F. CONLIN (Director) Kathleen makes her directorial debut at The Colony Theatre with this production of Shaw's wonderful and witty classic. She has had a varied career in both the professional theatre and the arts in higher education. As a director, she has devoted her career to the Utah Shakespearean Festival where she has directed Shakespearean plays, modern American comedies and dramas. Celebrating her twentieth year with that Festival, she has been instrumental in its growth to a major regional theatre with both summer and fall seasons and an acting company of over sixty actors and an increasing number of AEA contracts at a LORT level.

Her recent productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, and Hamlet (at the Krannert Center in Illinois) have developed her work with lighting designers and composers to enhance the thematic content of the plays. She has spent nearly thirty years as an arts administrator, award-winning teacher, and dean. Developing new arts technologies, increasing international networks, and bridging the intellectual agenda of the campus with innovation in the arts practice have been hallmarks of her accomplishments. Currently she is the Barnard Hewitt Professor of Theatre and Director in Residence at the University of Illinois and the Associate Artistic Director/Casting Director for the Utah Shakespearean Festival. A member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, she has been installed as a Fellow of the American Theatre in ceremonies at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.


WILLOW GEER (Candida) holds a B.A. in theater from U.C.L.A. and has studied at the London Academy of Theater and Globe Theater in London. She has toured around the world singing with The Bird and the Bee, picking up some television, film and voice-over credits along the way. She most recently played Ophelia at the Odyssey Theatre in a production of Hamlet with the Independent Theater Company and is a lifelong company member of the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum theater in Topanga Canyon where this past summer she enjoyed the roles of Rosalind in As You Like it, Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Lady Teazle in Sheridan's The School for Scandal. 

MARK DEAKINS (Morell) Mark Deakins makes his Colony Theatre debut with Candida.Other theatre credits include Getty Villa Theatre (Herald in Agamemnon), A Noise Within (Orlando in As You Like It, Sergius in Arms and the Man), Geffen Playhouse (Tony in Boy Gets Girl), Ahmanson Theatre (Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Friar Peter in Measure for Measure), L.A.'s Court Theatre (Matt in Burning Blue), Broadway and London (Connie in The Grapes of Wrath), New York Shakespeare Festival (Henry IV 1 & 2, All's Well That Ends Well), Hartford Stage (Dr. Cukrowicz in Suddenly Last Summer), McCarter Theatre (Agis in The Triumph of Love), Guthrie Theatre (Belville in The Rover), and La Jolla Playhouse (Macbeth).

JOHNATHAN McCLAIN (Marchbanks) Previously at The Colony: The Glass Menagerie directed by Jessica Kubzansky. Off-Broadway: Original cast of Jonathan Tolins' The Last Sunday In June (Century Center), Spinning Into Butter (Lincoln Center Theatre), Lincoln Center Director's Lab. Regional: American Conservatory Theatre, Florida Stage, Paper Mill Playhouse, National Jewish Theatre. Los Angeles: Cold/Tender, dark play or stories for boys (both at The Theatre @ Boston Court). He has also performed his critically acclaimed one-man show, Like It Is, in Chicago and New York. 

MATTHEW HENERSON (Burgess) has appeared locally at the Ahmanson (Romeo and Juliet, directed by Peter Hall), A Noise Within, Antaeus, East West Players (M. Butterfly), Furious Theatre Company (Playboy of the Western World), the Independent Shakespeare Company (Henry V and Macbeth), International City Theatre (Scrooge in A Christmas Carol), Kingsmen Shakespeare, Main Street Theatre Company (Dreams of Anne Frank), P.L.A.Y., and South Coast Repertory (Hamlet, directed by Daniel Sullivan).

KATE HOLLINSHEAD (Prossy) her local credits include Judy in The Perfect Wedding at Sierra Repertory Theatre Company, Mary in How The Other Half Loves at The Odyssey Theatre Company, Sophie in The BFG at MainStreet Theatre Company, and Nell Qwynn in Le Female Stage Beauty for both Rogue Machine Theatre and The Ventura Court Theatre. Most recently she played the leading lady Ashley in the world premiere of Desperate Writers at Edgemar Arts Centre.
GABRIEL DIANI (Lexy) is an award-winning actor, writer, and comedian. He and his comedy partner, Etta Devine, have been audience favorites at comedy clubs and festivals all over the country and won the 2007 International Sketch Comedy Competition. He also received the Best Supporting Actor award at the B Movie Film Festival for his role in the independent film "The Little Documentary That Couldn't" and the Best of the Fringe and Best Solo Male Comedy Performer awards at the San Francisco Fringe Theater Festival for his one-person show God Complex. Gabriel is also a member of the Antaeus Theater Company's Academy Company and played the title role in Aphra Behn's The Rover as part of Antaeus' ClassicsFest last summer.

CANDIDA has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by Michael C. Smith. The costume design is by Sherry Linnell. The lighting design is by Donna Ruzika. The sound design is by Drew Dalzell. The property design is by MacAndME.

CANDIDA will open on Saturday, February 7 and perform through Sunday, March 8, 2008. Performances for CANDIDA are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. There will be additional performances on Saturday, February 14 & Saturday, February 21 at 3pm and Thursday, February 26 & Thursday, March 5 at 8pm. Ticket prices range from $37.00 - $42.00 (student, senior and group discounts are available). Preview performances are Wednesday, February 4 at 8pm; Thursday, February 5 at 8pm and Friday, February 6 at 8:00pm. Preview Tickets are $20.00 - $25.00.

Opening night performance with reception - all tickets $50.00. There are question-and-answer talkbacks after the performances on Friday, February 13, and Thursday, February 26 and a Pay What You Can on Sunday, February 15 at 7 pm (Buy tickets from 5 to 6 pm for the 7 pm show, limited seating, cash only, first-come, first-served, limit 2 tickets per person). For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818/558-7000 ext. 15 or online at

For more information, press interviews, photos or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at or visit

The award-winning Colony Theatre Company is Burbank's premiere professional theatre. It was voted "Best Live Theatre in L.A." in The Daily News 2006 Readers' Choice poll, and has been named one of "25 Notable U.S. Theatre Companies" by Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac for 6 years in a row. 

The Colony Theatre Company is a 34-year old organization dedicated to bringing the finest-quality theatrical productions to Los Angeles. The theatre is located at 555 North Third Street, at the corner of Cypress, in the heart of Downtown Burbank. For further information, call (818) 558-7000. Fax: (818) 558-7110. E-mail: Or visit our website at