If the lead actor looks familiar to patrons of the Wimberley Players’ current production, Rose’s Dilemma, it’s because he’s a teacher about town as well as a veteran of many a theatrical production here and elsewhere. Lee Stubbs, Theatre Arts Instructor and lead teacher for the 21st Century after school program at the Katherine Anne Porter School (KAPS) in Wimberley, plays the role of Walsh McLaren in the comedy by Pulitzer Prize winner Neil Simon, being presented at the Wimberley Playhouse July 25-August 10.
Rose’s Dilemma is a sweet, sentimental walk through a once-famous writer’s life. Rose Steiner faces financial demise and seeks a way out of her situation by consulting with the ghost of her former lover, Walsh. As they work out a way to save Rose’s dwindling bank account, they reminisce about their wild ride together during their prime.
This is the second appearance on the Players stage for Stubbs, who also played the lead muleteer in Man of La Mancha. He will direct Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap for the Players in February. This is his first time to direct that play but he has acted in a professional production of the play in Tucson where he also helped start that professional theatre company. He also keeps his backstage skills alive by working on sets for the Players.
Stubbs encourages his students to get firsthand experience. “If you are going to teach acting, you need to be an actor yourself,” says Stubbs. KAPS student Kera Harmon acted in Blithe Spirit, another Neil Simon play, and Christina Sullivan worked backstage and played a couple of walk-on roles in Man of La Mancha. Groups of his students have accompanied Stubbs as class outings to see Players productions. “It is a plus for them to see what a production looks like,” he says. “It helps when they go back to school and set up their own shows.” Under Stubbs’ skilled hands, KAPS put on its first two productions for the public last year.
Stubbs moved to Wimberley recently from Arizona. After visiting Wimberley one time, he liked it and the job at KAPS opened up, so he decided to stay. With his 35 years of writing and acting experience and many years of teaching theatre arts in Arizona and Georgia, he was a natural for the position. He holds a BFA in theatre education from the University of Arizona and has opened theatre companies in Baltimore, Atlanta and New Mexico.
Stubbs likes his role as Walsh in Rose’s Dilemma. “It is the absolute opposite of the role I played in La Mancha,’ he states. “It is far more sophisticated and subtle. I enjoy going from one end of the spectrum to the other.”
The other cast members of Rose’s Dilemma are Judith Laird as Rose, Perry Redden as Clancy, and Suzan Kurry as Arlene.
Rose’s Dilemma is running weekends from July 25 to August 10 at the Playhouse, 450 Old Kyle Road. Performances are 8:00 on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 on Sundays. On opening night, July 25, a special reception will be held before and after the show, with fine hors d’oeuvres and beverages.