Director: Dane CT Leasure^
Stage Manager: Patrick L Johnson*
Scenic Designer: Brian C. Seckfort
Costume Designer: Irene Mack-Shaffer
Sound Designer: Hazen Tobar
Lighting Designer: Alex Barnhart
Playwright: Eric Mansfield
Ray and Kate Strong were high school sweethearts in Ohio. After graduation, Ray joined the Army, and Kate followed him as his training progressed. While they have been talking about marriage for several years, their wedding plans were sped up when Ray was mobilized for the Iraq invasion. Hours before Ray boarded a plane for the war, they were married in the post chapel in a hasty ceremony and no family present. It is nine months later when the play opens with Kate alone in their military apartment. She has been counting down the final days for Ray's return home when she hears a news report of an attack at Ray's base camp, Camp Freedom. Unable to get information about whether Ray is dead or alive, Kate fears the worst. This love story crescendos with sharp feelings, dramatic moments, and even some comedic levity all while draped in the constant uncertainty of whether Ray is already dead.
Eric Mansfield - Playwright
Eric Mansfield is a U.S. Army veteran with service in Iraq, Honduras, Hurricane Katrina and state emergencies during his 20-year career with the Ohio Army National Guard. A retired Major, Eric continues to serve the Army representing soldiers, families and veterans in the Buckeye state with his appointment from the Pentagon as the Civilian Assistant to the Secretary of the Army - Ohio (North).
Eric is a career storyteller with 20+ years as a professional journalist, most at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, which included three regional Emmy Awards and honors from the Associated Press, Cleveland Press Club and others. Eric began writing plays about five years ago, and his full-length play Love in Reserve, which chronicles the challenges of military couples who are separated during wartime, was named a national semi-finalist by Arts in the Armed Forces and will see its world premiere at Rubber City Theatre in Akron, Ohio in spring 2021.
Eric has written dozens of stage plays, and in 2021 joined more than 500 international playwrights from 50+ countries in each crafting 28 plays in 28 days for the Literal Challenge. While Eric has already earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Dayton and an M.A. in Public Relations from Kent State University, he is now seeking his M.F.A. in Creative Writing - Playwriting from Kent State.
He currently serves as Assistant Vice President, Content Strategy and Communications, at Kent State.
Lysander Mills - Army Officer/Understudy
Lysander is very excited to be a part of the world premier for Love in Reserve. Lysander is a recent graduate from the University of Akron but has tackled projects such as playing Arturo Ui is in the Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Wadsworth in Clue, Peck in How I Learned to Drive, Conrad in Stupid F--cking Bird, and most recently directing The 39 Steps. He is currently a Teaching Apprentice at Rubber City Theatre and is happy to be back on their stage. He would like to dedicate his performance to Nonna, Trevor, Bea, and Borko (his dog).