Press Release: The Voice of the Prairie






Written by John Olive
Directed by David Rose

Limited Engagement opens Saturday, June 21
at The Colony Theatre in Burbank!

Before talk radio, before shock jocks, before Garrison Keillor . . . There was country boy Davey Quinn.

May 28, 2008...Burbank...The Colony Theatre Company presents the first production of its 2008 - 2009 season, THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE, written by John Olive and directed by David Rose. THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE will preview on Wednesday, June 18; Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20 at 8:00pm and will open on Saturday, June 21 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, July 27 at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center. On the 1920s prairie, Davey Quinn's special storytelling grabs the ear of an early radio hustler who puts him on the air -- and a star is born. Quinn's homespun yarns become a hit with the hearts of America, including one whose childhood memories are mysteriously stirred to life. An epic adventure of young love and redemption -- with 3 actors playing more than 20 roles! Directed by David Rose, the award-winning director of "Master Harold" ... and the boys and ...Young Lady from Rwanda. 


JOHN OLIVE (Playwright) is a widely produced and award-winning playwright, the author of Minnesota Moon, Standing On My Knees, The Voice of the Prairie, Careless Love, Killers, The Summer Moon, Evelyn and the Polka King, God Fire, Into the Moonlight Valley, and many others. Producing theaters include: the Guthrie Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Rep, the Old Globe, ACT/Seattle, and the Royal Theatre Copenhagen. Mr. Olive is a resident playwright with Seattle Children's Theatre, for whom he has done six mainstage adaptations. He is also a screenwriter, a novelist, and a popular teacher of creative writing. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Mary and their son Michael.
DAVID ROSE (Director) has staged over 25 productions for The Colony Theatre since he became a company member in 1990, including last season's Almost, Maine and Master Harold ... and the boys (NAACP Theatre Award nomination). Other Colony productions include ...Young Lady From Rwanda, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Sherlock's Last Case, the L.A. Premiere of The Drawer Boy, Fuddy Meers, The Nerd, The Man Who Came to Dinner, the World Premiere of Bea[u]tiful in the Extreme, Our Country's Good (six L.A. Ovation award nominations, Drama-Logue award), the L.A. Premiere of The Living, The Front Page (L.A. Weekly award - Revival Production of the Year), You Can't Take it With You (Drama-Logue award), June Moon, and the West Coast Premiere of Peccadillo. He also directed Second Stage productions of True West, Baby With the Bathwater, and I Can Fit My Fist in My Mouth. As an actor, David has appeared at The Colony in Bedroom Farce (Drama-Logue award), Mornings at Seven, The Clearing, Incident at Vichy, Einstein and the Polar Bear, and Pastoral. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, he has directed productions of Geniuses (Drama-Logue award), Justin Tanner's Big Bear, and the nine-month run of the smash hit Road to Nirvana (Drama-Logue award) - all at Burbank's Third Stage - as well as The Dining Room at Theatre 40, Inspecting Carol at the Ivy Substation (Drama-Logue award), and Chased From Paradise and The Blues are Running at the Lost Studio. He is the former Artistic Director of The New York Comedy Repertory Ensemble and a founding member of Washington, D.C.'s acclaimed Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.


ASHLEY BELL (Frankie the Blind Girl, Frances Reed, Others) is honored to return to The Colony Theatre, this time on the boards, having previously served as assistant director on Lillian Groag's The Ladies of The Camellias. Recent theatre credits include playing Abigail in The Crucible at The Matrix, and she just finished performing in a student performance series at The Groundlings directed by Mindy Sterling. In New York, Ashley played the lead in Something More Pleasant in the Fringe Festival, as well as Wounds to the Face, The Martyrdom of Washington Booth, What She Found There, Terminating, I Licked a Slag's Deodorant, Hero in Much Ado about Nothing, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Cambridge, England, Ashley received the best actress award for playing Ophelia in Hamlet. She has also written and performed a one-woman show entitled Acting Served Cold. Ashley just finished filming an independent feature called The Truth About Angels directed by Lichelli Lazar-Lea. You can see her in the episode of CSI entitled "Goodbye Good Luck," and battling a vending machine in a Subway commercial. She has done voice work on Stuart Little, Recess the Movie, Assassination of a High School President, Tutenstein, Kingdom of Paradise and Power Rangers. In 2007, Ashley graduated a year early on the dean's list from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in theatre. Kathleen Turner mentored her in a class entitled Practical Acting: Shut Up and Do It.

TOM DUGAN (Poppy, David Quinn, Others) has appeared in five Colony Theater productions including the leading role in The Man Who Came to Dinner in the fall of 2000. His other theatre credits include Amadeus (ITL Award), Misery (opposite Susan Rattan), On Golden Pond (starring Jack Klugman), Dublin Carol (Ensemble Theatre), and Friends Like These (with Donna Mills). Tom is also an accomplished playwright whose critically acclaimed one-man shows include Oscar To Oscar, a comic salute to the Academy Awards; Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray, which continues to tour across the country; and Frederick Douglass: In the Shadow of Slavery, starring Mel Johnson Jr. He looks forward to portraying one of the great heroes of the twentieth century in his newest solo drama, Nazi Hunter: Simon Wiesenthal, premiering at The Torrance Cultural Arts Center in February of 2009. Film and TV credits include The Naked Gun, Ghostbusters II, Kindergarten Cop, Dave, Friends, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Just Shoot Me, The Practice, Chicago Hope, Party of Five, Lois & Clark, Santa Barbara and Alien Nation.

MICHAEL MATTHYS (Leon Schwab, Davey Quinn, Others) started his career with the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis where he appeared as Treplev in Garland Wright's acclaimed production of The Seagull. Shortly thereafter he moved to LA where he has worked with such theaters as Shakespeare Festival/LA, the Ahmanson, and Laguna Playhouse, among others. He has done three plays at Ensemble Theatre in Santa Barbara, most recently playing Camille in Therese Raquin, and six shows with A Noise Within. Besides Treplev, his favorite roles include the Emcee in Cabaret, Tim in SubUrbia, Alan in Equus, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. He has worked extensively in Shakespeare, having appeared in 12 of his plays, and loves Chekhov, having appeared in two of his four major. He has appeared on TV in Grey's Anatomy, Profiler, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, among others. Films include Full Blast, Nightwatch, Destiny Turns on the Radio, BASEketball and lots of shorts. He holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota.

THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by David Potts (Almost, Maine, Grand Hotel). The costume design is by Terri A. Lewis (I Capture the Castle, The Habitation of Dragons). The lighting design is by Jeremy Pivnick (Almost Maine, Sherlock's Last Casel). The sound design is by Cricket S. Myers (Trying, Clutter). The property design is by MacAndMe (Trying, Almost, Maine).  THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE will open on Saturday, June 21 and perform through Sunday, July 27, 2008. Performances for THE VOICE OF THE PRAIRIE are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. There will be additional performances on Saturday, June 28 and July 12 at 3pm and Thursday, July 17 and July 24 at 8pm. There will be no performances July 4, 5 and 6. Ticket prices range from $37.00 - $42.00 (student, senior and group discounts are available).

Preview performances are Wednesday, June 18 at 8pm; Thursday, June 19 at 8pm and Friday, June 20 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, June 27, and Thursday, July 17 and a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Sunday, June 29 at 7pm (buy tickets in person from 5:00 to 6:00pm, cash only 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