ECTC stages romantic comedy ‘Sylvia'

Special to The Log
The cast of "Sylvia" is now in rehearsal. [SPECIAL TO THE LOG]

Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) continues its fifth anniversary season with the romantic comedy “Sylvia” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sundays from Feb. 15 to March 4.

Performances will be held upstairs at 560 Grand Blvd. in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The play is appropriate for ages 13 and up due to mature situations. Ticket are $28/adults, $24/seniors, and $20/students. Purchase tickets at or call 850-684-0323.

A modern romantic comedy about a marriage and a dog, A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” centers on the world of a middle-aged New York couple turned topsy-turvy when the husband brings home an exceptionally engaging canine running loose in Central Park.

Off-Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club producer Lynne Meadow and actress Sarah Jessica Parker understood this play was a little more than “love me — love my dog.” They launched it, with great results, in May 1995. Twenty years later in 2015, Mathew Broderick (married to Parker in real life) starred in it as Greg in the Broadway revival.

Gurney, who died in June at 86, was an author, MIT professor and award-winning American playwright. His well-crafted plays (“Love Letters,” “The Cocktail Hour,” “The Dining Room”) are about the quiet rebellions of people trapped in an increasingly obsolete class of American society — the awkward confrontations, ironic disappointments, and small humorous victories of the more self-aware members of a once dominant tribe.

Of “Sylvia” the playwright said, “It's a timely message of the need to connect in an increasingly alien and impersonal world. There is a need to connect, not only to a dog, but to other people through the dog.”

Nathanael Fisher directs an ensemble cast that includes Hope Golds (Sylvia), Nick Trolin (Greg), Daphne Lewis (Kate) and Doug Gilliland (Tom/Phyllis/Leslie).

Set design is by Rebecca Lake. Lighting design is by Cory Tucker. Costumes are designed by Anna Fisher, and stage management is by Bridgett Bryant.

"We all love our dogs just as if they are part of the family,” said Nathanael Fisher. "‘Sylvia’ takes us into the delightful mind of a rescued pup whose thoughts will make us laugh out loud and wag our tails.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. so theater patrons can browse artwork by local artists showcased in the ECTC Lobby Gallery curated by Lori Drew, founder of Lowkylzart. A portion of proceeds from each sale benefits ECTC and its education outreach and scholarship programs.

This is the final main stage offering of the fifth anniversary 2017-2018 season.