The Glass Menagerie – July of 1998
In a story revealed through memory and haunted by an absent father, the play glimpses the Wingfield family’s struggle to hold its ground in 1939. Amanda, the matriarch of the family, is trying to maintain her dignity and provide for the future in the midst of the Great Depression. Her son Tom has of necessity become the reluctant breadwinner after his father ran out on the family. His frail sister Laura (Heather Tom) has retreated from the world’s harsh realities to a homebound life where she finds comfort caring for her collection of little glass animals. Tension in the tiny apartment mounts as Tom becomes increasingly dissatisfied with working in a warehouse, and Amanda’s constant demands that he recruit a prospective husband for Laura. The arrival of Jim, a “gentleman caller”, at the Wingfield residence could be a sign of hope or a disturbance that will shatter their fragile home.
Gila – fall of 1998
Gila is a drama about a scientist battling to discover a cure for AIDS who locks horns with his hearing impaired colleauge (Phylis Frelich) in the company of a young interpreter (Heather). The issue is the ethics of infecting a gorilla (Garon Michael) with the disease in the interest of a cure versus the rights of the sign language speaking primate and the scientist who has been his teacher and surrogate parent. Heather not only starred in the play, but she also produced it as well.
Biloxi Blues is the sequel to Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs. It takes up with the story of Eugene Jerome (Chad Allen) as he is on his way to boot camp in Mississippi to train for WWII. He learns the hardships of war through boot camp, to accept other people’s differences, falls in love and loses his virginity to a prostitute. He and the other young men must endure the rigorous training and abuse from their drill sergeant.Heather successfully produced the play as well as appearing in the play in the role of Daisy, alternating the role with her sister Nicholle Tom.
Jack Heifner’s Vanities is a poignant view of America coming of age and passing from innocence to the realities of the Vietnam War era and the 70’s. Heather Tom stars in this bittersweet, laugh-aloud comedy about the growth of a friendship between three small town women: Joanne, Kathy, and Mary (Heather). Her character Mary is a seething volcano, constantly trembling on the verge of eruption — and possible extinction — as she desperately seeks ways to gain freedom from parents whose resources are liberating, but whose control is stifling. Mary grapples throughout the play with her desire to rebel against the small-town conservatism in which she was raised. Heather says, “She just rebels in a huge way, and she never quite loses her past because of that — she never really gets her own individuality, because she’s always trying to run from how she grew up.”
Lemonade is a searing comedy of new age love, sex and friendship. Handsome but arrogant PR executive Carl (Maxwell Caulfield) invites his old pal, Jim (Hugh O’Gorman), to a dinner party, where Carl’s wife, Jane (Laura Rogers), unwittingly fixes Jim up with Carl’s own mistress, Betsy (Heather Tom). Since Jim is actually in love with Jane, he and Betsy decide to pretend to fall for each other, so as to be able to work as a team in order to break up Carl and Jane’s marriage.
Eleven monologues performed by women. Idiosyncratic characters amuse, move and frighten, always speaking from the depths of their souls. They include a baton twirler (Heather Tom), a fundamentalist snake handler, an ex-rodeo rider and an actress willing to go to any lengths to get a job. 1982 winner of the American Theater Critics Association Award for Best Regional Play. The play was presented at the Court Theatre in Los Angeles in June 2003. Renowned acting coach Howard Fine directed the production.
Prymate, a new play by Mark Medoff (the author of the Tony-winning Children of a Lesser God ), will be a surprise 2003-2004 season entry. According to a production spokesperson, the drama will begin previews at the Longacre Theater on April 16 and open there on May 5, making it the final show of the spring season. Prymate centers on two scientists doing battle for the life of an aging gorilla who speaks several hundred words of American Sign Language but communicates a great deal more. At stake is the gorilla’s right to age peacefully rather than be used for testing in the quest for an AIDS cure. Prymate ran at the Richard G. Fallon Theatre at Florida State University in Tallahassee from February 20 through February 29 with two-time Tony nominee Andre De Shields, Children of a Lesser God Tony Award-winning actress Phyllis Frelich, One Life to Live ‘s Heather Tom (who was recently nominated for a 2004 Daytime Emmy Award for her work on The Young and the Restless ) and television veteran Robert Walden.
Vladimir’s Pocket Productions presents Moonchild at the New York International Fringe Festival. Heather starred in this dark farce that investigates the early career of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and his scam with a Black Magic sex cult. Written by Maureen FitzGerald and directed by Alex Lippard, the show is based on actual events, and examines the relationship between a young, broke and struggling L. Ron Hubbard and the brilliant, half-crazed rocket scientist Jack Parsons, a Satanist and disciple of the infamous Aleister Crowley. Playwright Maureen FitzGerald speculates on how a meeting between two of the twentieth century’s most controversial figures led to the birth of a multi-million dollar empire.
Proof is the story of a prodigal young woman haunted by the passing of her brilliant but unbalanced father. When confronted with a mathematical riddle he may have left behind, she encounters her own mysteries of truth, love and trust. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best New Play, Proof treads the seemingly thin boundary between genius and madness.
Written over 2,000 years ago, HECUBA is the story of a once-great Queen who — captured during the fall of Troy and forced to plead with her captors and appeal to the Gods to save her only daughter Polyxena — lashes out with a final, devastating act of violence. HECUBA is an eerily timely play about political corruption, the devastating effects of war, and the resulting loss of humanity. Heather Tom co-stared as Polyxena.