The Column Online



by Jerry Sterner

Rover Dramawerks

Director – Paul McKenzie
Set Design – Paul McKenzie
Lighting Design – Jack Piland
Costume Design – Shanna Gobin
Property Design – Lindsey Humphries
Sound Design – Jason Rice
Stage Manager – Darcy Koss

Mike Partyka – William Coles
Tom McWhorter – Andrew Jorgenson
Nancy Lamb – Bea Sullivan
Robby Dullnig – Lawrence Garfinkle
Molly Bower – Kate Sullivan

Reviewed Performance: 2/20/2015

Reviewed by Angela Newby, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

How far will you go to fight for what you believe? Other People’s Money examines that question, as a failing business fights against a hostile takeover. In this 1989 play by Jerry Sterner, which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, the audience gets to judge if a corporate raider is evil or just a realist.

Rover Dramawerks gives a profound performance through an emotional journey for a small Rhode Island town that eventually gets what it wants.

Paul McKenzie’s clever set design easily distinguished between a small factory office and an executive office in New York City. Andrew Jorgenson’s office was unobtrusive and simply decorated with rotary-dial phone, a comfortable leather chair and heavy wooden desk. On the other hand, Lawrence Garfinkle’s executive office showed his power and financial wealth with an executive desk, multiple computers, a huge back window looking over the New York skyline. McKenzie completed the set with a third location - a simple black couch used as both a limo and a cozy conference setting. Each of these locations well executed the tone of the play.

Jack Piland’s lighting operation struggled throughout the show. By either implementation or design, at times the actors would speak in the dark while waiting for spotlights to come on, or else scene transitions were full black and others partially lit. Piland’s design had to quickly change between the three locations as the cast moved throughout them. PIland did design the lighting with careful detail to narrow and broad spotlights as well as color to help intensify the play.

Jason Rice’s sound design was uniquely spot on for the play. Through the numerous transitions, subtle instrumental music played, varying in mood and tone to fit the script. One slight timing error occurred when an actor got out of a moving vehicle, but otherwise, the music only enhanced the play.

Costumes by Shanna Gobin were perfectly matched for each character to help set who they were. Suited business attire opposite khaki pants and a plaid shirt showed the power hungry Coles versus the experienced and ready to retire Jorgenson. Lawrence Garfinkle, corporate mogul, was dressed in a power suit and only equaled by lawyer Kate Sullivan. Gobin’s design brought the play full circle and enriched the performance.

Mike Partyka, as William Coles, played his solemnity through hands in his pockets and even-toned vocal inflection. He also used varied facial expressions to express Coles’ inner turmoil as he fought for what he believed. Partyka’s used heavy sighs, down-cast eyes, and nervous twitches as Coles continued to push the company forward.

Andrew Jorgenson was played by Tom McWhorter, the even-keeled CEO of the New England Wire and Cable Company. McWhorter portrayed Jorgenson’s calm demeanor through thoughtful eyes and smooth tone. Unfortunately, there were multiple dialogue flubs that broke the realism and flow of the script. Yet McWhorter’s vocal inflection and powerful voice nicely exhibited Jorgenson’s convictions.

Nancy Lamb’s performance as Bea Sullivan was incredible. Sullivan is Jorgenson’s secretary and life-long friend who has weathered the ups and downs of the company, as well as Kate Sullivan’s mother. This dynamic character was enhanced by Lamb, whose soulful eyes and no-nonsense voice showed Sullivan’s inner turmoil. Lamb was passionate and her performance got better as the play progressed.

Lawrence Garfinkle, played by Robby Dullnig, is the corporate mogul ready to take over Jorgenson’s company. Dullnig personified the antagonist through beady eyes and raised eyebrows, his scowls juxtaposed to his relaxed stance, and coupled with a commanding voice and authoritative demeanor. But Dullnig’s New York accent was not wholly realistic.

Molly Bower’s performance as Kate Sullivan stole the show. Kate Sullivan is the lawyer for Jorgenson’s company who wants to make a name for herself as she fights for company rights. Bower exuded confidence through her authoritative tone and piercing eyes. Bower’s staccato pace and vocal inflection showed Kate’s desire for perfection. As her character evolved, Bower’s body language and expressions displayed a softer demeanor.

Rover Dramawerks’s Other People’s Money was a passionate show that delved into a contemporary topic of corporate upheaval. Thoughtful and dynamic, one must come to their own conclusion - was the right choice made or not?


Rover Dramawerks
221 W. Parker Road, Suite 580
Plano, TX 75023

Runs through March 14th

Thursday - Saturday at 8:00 pm, and Sunday, February 28th at 2:00 pm
Tickets are $16.00 Thursday and $22.00 Friday - Saturday.
Student, senior, and group discounts are available.

For information and to purchase tickets, go to or call the box office at 972-849-0358.