August 8, 1974. America's most infamous counterculture author and screenwriter is having a bad day.  Writer's block, a disturbed teenage son, and an FBI agent spying on him from the bushes. But still, Nixon's resigning. Everything's going to be okay.  Right?

"...quirky, engaging... hilarious yet poignant."
--BackStage West

"...suitably unhinged... lunacy ensues." --L.A. Times

Read the Reviews!

JANUARY 16 - FEBRUARY 21, 2009
Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm

Tickets: $20
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Thanks to the official Terry Southern website for
promoting RESIGNATION DAY to their readers!


Chairman Barnes

Bonnie-Kathleen Discepolo

Michael Rachlis

Sean Sweeney

Richard Horvitz

Tanner Thomason

Roy Allen

Richard Sabine

Joseph Beck

Tifanie McQueen








Agent Tork

Mr. Smudge

Mrs. Smudge


Directed & Produced by

Written by


Assistant Director

Scenic Design

Costume Design

Lighting Design

Sound Design

Additional Music


Master Carpenter

Stage Manager

Press Photographer

Postcard Design

Caricature Art

David LM McIntyre

Charles Pike

Richard Levinson

Corey Klemow

Christina Silvoso
Aaron Francis

Cynthia Herteg

Karyn Lawrence

Cricket S. Myers

Richard Levinson

Gerald McClanahan
Suze Campagna

Aaron Francis

Jessica Devra Ferstand

Haven Hartman

Suzanne Karpinski

Gaetano Vicini



Playwright Charles Pike's riff on the life of the brilliant iconoclastic author Terry Southern (Easy Rider, Dr. Strangelove, Candy) is quirky, engaging, and hilarious. With a sparkling ensemble under the direction of David LM McIntyre, the play captures much of the raunchy, evanescent charm of Southernís life and work. The play takes place over a day in the chaotic life of Southern (Chairman Barnes), who is ensconced in a backwater Texas town where he is struggling to write his magnum opus -- an autobiographical novel about his Texas childhood -- while supporting himself by writing pornography for a sleazy New York publisher. Needless to say, things arenít going well, despite the tender ministrations of his girlfriend, Gail (Bonnie-Kathleen Discepolo); a visit from his hypersexed teenage son, Bigboy (Michael Rachlis); and the advice of an assorted menagerie of friends, including actor Rip Torn (Tanner Thomason), beat poet William S. Burroughs (Roy Allen), and offbeat comedian Professor Irwin Corey (Richard Horvitz). To add to the chaos, Southern is being stalked by government agents, and President Nixon is on the brink of resigning. What ensues is a delightful, surreal romp that would have made Southern proud. Chock-full of scatological humor and irreverent political barbs, mixed in among the pathos of the writer's desperation, the play is hilarious yet poignant. Barnes is outstanding as the beleaguered Southern, at once peevish and pathetic. Rachlis is wonderfully over-the-top as the sexually charged scion, and Discepolo is appealing as Southern's devoted vixen. Horvitz is a hoot as comedian Corey, Allen is spot-on as the deadpan Burroughs, and Thomason is a winning Rip Torn. Richard Sabine is marvelous as the perverted government agent, while Joseph Beck, Tifanie McQueen, and Sean Sweeney have terrific turns in various roles. McIntyre cuts to the chase in his fast-paced direction, which not only corrals the comedy but also seizes the essence of Southernís work and persona, grabbing it by the neck and giving it a shake for good measure.

--Hoyt Hilsman
© 2009 BackStage West


Aug. 8, 1974, should be writer Terry's red-letter day. Tricky Dick is poised to make unsavory history, a ripe situation for any counterculture satirist. Yet it's just another vexing distraction for Terry.

Of course, not every anarchistic author in America faces epic writer's block, a pubescent son who gropes anything that moves, nonstop telephone interruptions from the IRS, porn publishers and couples trying to return a toaster. That alleged electrician crawling through the window after tangling with Terry's pet sow? Don't ask.

Welcome to the gonzo spirit of the late, great Terry Southern, which shoots across "Resignation Day" at Sacred Fools Theater. Charles Pike's absurdist comedy posits the infamous scribe of "Candy" and "Easy Rider" in crisis on the day Richard Nixon resigns, and it revels in iconoclastic errata.

Pike clearly knows his subject. He doesn't so much riff on Southern's life and prose as roll its components up into a sardonic fantasia. In many ways, it's a representative Sacred Fools outing, and, barring some slack pacing, David LM McIntyre's ambitious staging explores the script in suitably unhinged ways.

The designs are witty, particularly Cricket S. Myers' referential sound, and the players are avid. Chairman Barnes pulls his ebullience inward as Terry, cracked yet courtly. His colleagues all go for it. Bonnie-Kathleen Discepolo's girlfriend Gail is archly straight-faced, Michael Rachlis' hormonal Bigboy aptly outrť. Sean Sweeney gives his interloper a wild-eyed punch, while Joseph Beck and Tifanie McQueen inhale their various phone callers. In Act 2, when Tanner Thomason, Roy Allen and the scene-stealing Richard Horvitz show up as Terry's celebrated cronies, lunacy ensues.

In fact, that's problematic. Act 1 almost amounts to one long, surreal exposition, its groundwork coming full circle without quite earning the final polemic. "Resignation Day" is weirdly worthy, but group brio only intermittently trumps the need for revisions.

--David C. Nichols
© 2009
L.A. Times