Romantic comedy brings the community together

Mike Woodbridge calls the Scarborough Village Theatre home.

He is a local resident and the director of the Jack Sharkey play I Take This Man, which is running now until April 12 at the Scarborough Village Theatre.

“I’ve worked in this theatre since it opened in 82,” Woodbridge said, adding he enjoys being able to put on productions in the community.

Mike Woodbridge, director of I Take This Man.
Mike Woodbridge, director of I Take This Man.

Woodbridge said I Take This Man is billed as a screwball farce, but he sees it as more of a romantic comedy. He said it reminds him of the old Doris Day and James Garner films of the early 1960s.

The play is about a young woman named Gideon Hollis who goes out to watch the end of the Boston Marathon and finds a runner unconscious.

She immediately falls in love with him and coaxes a police officer into carrying him up to her apartment by passing him off as her husband. When he awakes, Gideon finds herself in a tricky situation.

Actor Velika Mangova plays the main role of Gideon. Even though Mangova has auditioned at the theatre before, this is her first time taking part in a production in Scarborough.

“I’ve been wanting to do one here for a while,” she said. “I like the theatre and I’ve always wanted to get in with the group.”

Mangova said her character Gideon has a very happy personality, which is why she is called Giddy for short.

“My character is somebody that loves romance who wants to take the bull by the horns and she finally decides that this is the way she’s going to live her life and find love,” Mangova said. “She’s not going to wait for it, she’s going to go out and get it.”

Susan Mochan, the producer of I Take This Man, said they have been preparing for about two months with three rehearsals a week.

Mochan said she was an actor and a make-up artist in the theatre industry, but she enjoys being a producer most. She has been a producer for about 10 years.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Mochan said. “It’s a little frustrating, but what else is new?”

Like Woodbridge, Mochan is also a Scarborough resident. She was originally from England, where her theatre career began, but she has lived in Scarborough for about 40 years.

In a rehearsal for I Take This Man, Gideon Hollis (played by Velika Mangova) tries to justify kidnapping an unconscious man.
In a rehearsal for I Take This Man, Gideon Hollis (played by Velika Mangova) tries to justify kidnapping an unconscious man.

“I was a ballerina in England, but then the war came along and screwed up my career for me,” she said with a laugh.

Woodbridge said he was also born in England and came to Scarborough as a child in 1957. Like Mochan, he also started out as an actor at the Scarborough Village Theatre.

“I was in the very first show that was in this theatre,” he said. “I started doing British farces when I first came here, so that’s the genre I’m most familiar with.”

Woodbridge has now been directing for about 20 years. He said I Take This Man is a great play with an excellent cast and he is sure the community of loyal subscribers will not be disappointed.