A talented cast energizes the critically acclaimed play, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, by Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey, to close the highly successful 2011-2012 season for San Jose Rep. Directed by Richard Seer, the work is a quick-witted and honest docu-drama following two dynamic and dedicated men who, in the midst of their battle with acute and debilitating alcoholism, formed a formidable and historic alliance to help each other and others combat the same addiction.
In 1929, successful New York stockbroker Bill Wilson, played by Ray Chambers, crashes with the stock market and turns to drinking. Dr. Bob Smith, played by Bob Sicular, is a surgeon from Ohio who has also been an alcoholic for thirty years, often going into the operating room with a hangover.
Through an astonishing series of events, Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet and form a relationship, each helping to keep the other sober. This is the amazing and often humorous story of the two men who pioneered Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as the story of their wives, who founded Al Anon. These four people were the starting point for all the 12-step-oriented recovery programs that are now implemented all over the world, for issues ranging from alcohol to food to sex to gambling to shopping. The story of how they discovered how to help each other live without the thing they are addicted to is intriguing, moving, and inspiring.
The production runs from June 21 to July 15, 2012 with Press Opening Night on Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the San Jose Rep Box Office at 101 Paseo de San Antonio or can be purchased online at www.SJRep.com or by calling 408.367.7255. Approximate Performance Run Time: 2 hours with one 20-minute intermission.
While this work does not imply affiliation with or endorsement from Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc., it tells an incredible story of hope and healing through real human connection. The journey that Bill W. and Dr. Bob took together has become a beacon of hope in the dark for so many people around the world.
Ray Chambers (BILL W.) is appearing on the San Jose Rep stage for the first time. He was last seen in the Alan Ayckbourn play The Life of Riley at The Old Globe where previous productions include Macbeth, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Coriolanus, The School for Scandal, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Comedy of Errors. As an associate artist for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, some of Mr. Chambers’ leading credits are The Count of Monte Cristo, Coriolanus, Henry V, The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, A Doll’s House, Tartuffe, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ghosts, and Saint Joan. Mr. Chambers has been seen in theaters across the country such as Syracuse Stage, Studio Arena Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, and Two River Theater Company in New Jersey. He is currently Head of Acting with The Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre.
Robert Sicular (DR. BOB) is delighted to return to San Jose Rep where he has previously appeared in The Weir, The 1940’s Radio Hour, and On the Verge. Mr. Sicular’s regional credits include performances with Denver Center Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare in Santa Fe, and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. In the Bay Area, he has appeared at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, Marin Theatre Company, PlayGround, Traveling Jewish Theatre, and The Christmas Revels. Film and television credits include General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, Never Die Twice, Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya, and Love & Taxes. Mr. Sicular is a native of Berkeley and a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.