TV Stars Grace Delaware Theatre Company’s Stage


by Charles “Ebbie” Alfree III – Delaware Arts Info Blog

The Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) opens its 2012 – 2013 season with the Delaware premiere play, The Outgoing Tide, by Bruce Graham and directed by Bud Martin, who is celebrating his first season as the Executive Director of DTC. The three-person play stars three celebrated television actors: Michael Learned (The Waltons), Ian Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun), and Peter Strauss (The Jericho Mile).

The three actors make up the Concannon family; Mr. Lithgow plays Jack, the grown son of Gunner (Mr. Strauss) and Peg (Ms. Learned). Gunner, the now retired South Philly, blue-collar worker who later owned his own trucking business and married his teenage sweetheart, has summoned Jack to Gunner’s and Peg’s retirement home on the Chesapeake Bay. Gunner has a proposal to make to both Peg and Jack that will forever change their lives.

The three actors are stellar in this thought provoking dramedy. Mr. Lithgow gives a subtle, but effective performance as Jack. Through flashbacks during the play, the audience gains a better understanding of Jack’s inner turmoil and Mr. Lithgow handles the role beautifully. Ms. Learned gives a commanding performance as Peg. Peg, a devout Catholic, is dedicated to her family and their wellbeing. She’s trying to keep everyone happy and healthy, while maintaining her sanity. However, with a husband like Gunner, that’s not always easy. Gunner, like Peg, is also dedicated to his family, but he’s confronted with a life-altering dilemma that can’t be ignored.

Mr. Strauss gives a dynamic performance as the family’s patriarch; a one time city boy who is now an aging fisherman. Mr. Strauss fully captures Gunner’s South Philly background, perfectly adopting the accent and movement of the character. He may be known for his television and film work, but in this play Mr. Strauss proves that he belongs on the stage!

Besides the three exemplary performances, Scenic Designer, Dirk Durossette, creates a gorgeous set that serves as the interior and exterior of the Concannon’s residence. The set truly evokes a cottage-like home on the Chesapeake (my Dad owns a home in that area)! See The Outgoing Tide now through October 28, at DTC before it moves to 59E59 Theaters in New York. For tickets, visit or call 302.594.1100.

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