SYLVIA Unleashes Humor in West Bend

Published on September 25th, 2023


SYLVIA is a comedy written by Pulitzer nominated playwright AR Gurney.

Don't let that Pulitzer nomination make you think seriously about this bright, charming comedy. The play SYLVIA is based on the premise that at one time or another all of us have come in second place to a pet with our partners - at least temporarily. In SYLVIA, the truth of the situation is highly relatable - adding to the humor.

Lisa Packard plays the title role of SYLVIA. Lisa has polished her acting skills through improv comedy. She often appears at Comedy Sportz in Milwaukee. As SYLVIA, Lisa wreaks havoc on friendships, marriages and business relationships in Greg's (her new found owner's) life. He's seemingly fallen in love with SYLVIA.

Tom Aldridge appears in SYLVIA with West Bend Theatre Company in the role of Greg, who is married to Kate (Carrie Obst.) Greg and Kate have just moved to the city; which Greg finds as stressful as his job, leading to the complication of SYLVIA appearing in his life. It's as if SYLVIA provides the perfect escape from reality for Greg, which only serves to infuriate Kate.

Kate, Greg's wife is played by Carrie Obst. Kate is completely incensed at the idea of a dog entering the otherwise domestic bliss that she and Greg had begun to cultivate as empty nesters. They moved to the city to start a new chapter in their lives, only to find SYLVIA is a very hairy problem - at least for Kate.

Mike Shelby says "I just love this show. The premise of a dog destroying a relationship.... we know that it's happened." The character Tom, which Shelby plays, offers wit and wisdom to Greg, and as Tom, he is the owner of SYLVIA's bow-wow boyfriend, "Bowser."

Rebecca Sunde appears as Phyllis, a Vassar grad, and sorority sister of Kate. Phyllis can certainly relate to Kate's challenges with Greg and SYLVIA. Her own husband had a thing for animals also, at one time. The mere thought of that sends Phyllis over the edge when she sees what Kate is enduring. It creates a cocktail of old emotions for Phyllis. She'll drink to that!

Colleen Wagner plays the role of Leslie, an androgenous marriage counselor who gathers insight to the challenges faced by Greg and Kate. Leslie then offers some unorthodox steps for Kate to consider in solving the relationship issues. Some of Leslie's ideas are a bit bolder than others, and certainly not what Kate expected.

Come check out SYLVIA at West Bend Masonic Center, October 6, 7, 8 and October 13, 14, 15 for a fun show, good laughs, and great performances from area actors.

Tickets are sold at


Colleen Wagner, (as Leslie); Tom Aldridge, (as Greg); Lisa Packard, (as SYLVIA); Carrie Obst, (as Kate); Rebecca Sunde, (as Phyllis); and Mike Shelby, (as Tom.)

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