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“Fully Committed” is a Theater First for Santa Clara Players

“‘Fully Committed’ is a show unlike any show our theatergoers may have previously seen,” said Santa Clara Players show director Robert Casillas. “It is unique. It’s a one-person show that includes numerous characters—all created by one actor.”

By American playwright Becky Mode, the 90-minute comedy (no intermission) runs May 17 – June 2. It stars Santa Clara native Patrick Idleman as 39 characters. That’s a lot of lines for one person.

“It’s about 1,000 lines,” said Idleman, who has a BA degree in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University. “I’ve never done a one-man show before, so I was intrigued by the uniqueness of the challenge.”


How did Idleman learn all those lines?

“Practice, practice, practice is about all that works. I’ve spent roughly a year (since last June) slowly making my way through the script, memorizing every page,” he said. “It’s a much different beast to have to be up there all by yourself and have no one to catch you if you stumble a bit. I wanted to stretch myself and test my limits.”

“Fully Committed” depicts one harried day in the life of Sam Peliczowski, an out-of-work actor who answers a red-hot phone reservation line from the basement of New York City’s top restaurant. Socialites and celebrities desperate for a table stoop low, trying coercion, threats, bribes and histrionics.

Sam is also grappling with the death of his mom. What’s a nice young guy to do?

Idleman has plenty of empathy for Sam.

“He’s a younger actor at a dead-end job he hates, wishing he could make it big while dealing with the realities of his family life, including the recent death of a parent,” said Idleman, whose dad died a couple years ago. “I see elements of myself in Sam as a fellow actor in almost every other line that comes out of his mouth.

“I relate to that strange sort of limbo … when you’re still young and wondering if you’re going to progress past this stage of life to something greater,” continued Idleman. “I empathize with Sam’s doubt and despair as well as his hope and ultimate triumph. ‘Fully Committed’ is a play about the reality of being an actor, blemishes and all.”

Director Casillas pointed out that it takes a very skilled actor to pull off a solo role like Sam.

“Patrick is amazing, and he will impress the patrons who attend our show,” said Casillas, experienced in acting as well as directing.

Furthermore, “Fully Committed” offers insights into the inner workings of popular restaurants.

“It is so uniquely written that people will see the different ways a hard-working restaurant employee is treated by the different personalities that call in. Plus, senior staff treat a support staff member poorly—or kindly. This may be eye-opening to our audience members,” said Casillas.

Originally produced off-Broadway in 1999, the comedy is still relevant.

“It will give patrons something to talk about when they leave the theater,” he added.

“This play is very funny and very impressive,” said Santa Clara Players producer George Doeltz. “As far as I know, the Players have never done a one-person show before. This is a first.”

For tickets, visit or call (408) 248-7993. Performances are in the 71-seat Hall Pavilion (behind Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art), 1750 Don Ave. at Warburton Ave.

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