April 8, 2019
Written by: Laurie Ryan

April 8,2019- Exton, PA: Mystery, mischief, mayhem, McCarthyism, marriage, mistaken identity, murder. And Velveeta. Just your average day in 1952 if you’re Detective Maggie Pelletier, investigating the case of a mysterious body dumped in Boston Harbor. Red Herring, by local playwright and theater professor Michael Hollinger, is many entertaining things rolled into one: a murder mystery, a spy thriller, a noir spoof, a zany comedy, and three love stories.


Director Elizabeth Wheeler is new to directing at the Barley Sheaf Players, but she brings years of  experience directing a summer program for teens  and performing at various theaters throughout the area, as well as assisting seasoned BSP directors. One of the things that most drew her to Red Herring for her first solo adult directing position is its often laugh-out-loud dialogue. “It’s so clever and witty. I find myself quoting it in my normal everyday life. The same can be said for the cast and crew. We can’t get through a rehearsal without breaking into laugher!”

Under Wheeler’s direction, a cast of 6 actors (Mike Macri, Anthony Marsala, Melanie Peppel, Gabrielle Sheller, McGair Valois, and Sarah Williamson) play 18 different characters, from corpses to Communists to courting couples. Rounding out the staffHerring33 are Christine Robinson (Producer), Doug Roberts (Consulting Director), Katie Upton (Stage Manager), Wayne Grinwis (Set Design), Brian Shapella (Lighting Design), Bryan McVeigh (Sound Design), Mercedes Duran (Costumes), and Deb Sulenski (Props).

"Exceedingly funny. A genuinely human comedy about six people in search of love in a mixed-up world. A thoroughly engaging piece of theatre." — Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Hilarious. A valentine celebrating love and marriage. A fun, engaging, farcical romp with a cleverly complex plot and a loving heart." — Main Line Times.


Red Herring runs for seven performances: April 19, 20, 26, 27 and May 3, 4 at 8:00 pm, and April 28 at 2:00 pm. Purchase your tickets and select your seats online at or call the box office at 610.363.7075.


Top Picture: l to r: McGair Valios as Frank and Sarah Williamson as Maggie

Bottom Picture: l to r: Anthony Marsala as Andrei, Melanie Peppel as Mrs. Kravitz, McGair Valios as Frank, Sarah Williamson as Maggie, Gabby Sheller as Lynn, and Mike Macri as James

Michele Bolay wrote the press release.

Andrea Grinwis is the photographer.


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