Valencia College Theatre Presents Den of Thieves


John DiDonna

Cast members prepare for their upcoming performance in Den of Thieves

Taylor Graham, Reporter

This spring semester, Valencia College’s Theatre Department will virtually perform Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Den of Thieves. Opening night is Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The online production will also take place on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m., streaming live on Vimeo.

Characterized as a “darkly edged comedy,” Den of Thieves follows a “ragtag team of would-be criminals who try to do a heist at a disco, taking $750,000 out of a safe only to discover that the disco is owned by the mafia [represented by Little Tuna, who is the heir to the throne of Big Tuna], and now the mafia is going to kill them,” a description provided by John DiDonna, Valencia’s Program Chair/Artistic Director of Theatre.

“It’s kind of a very funny, urban streetwise sitcom,” continued DiDonna. “We’re in this very odd time where we have to do everything online, and this play lent itself to some online work.”

Big Tuna’s character is played by Bill Warriner, who is a stage combat instructor and adjunct at Valencia. Warriner started performing at age 8 and has continued throughout his entire adult life. Even as an actor with years of experience, he acknowledges the new challenges that come with performing a comedy virtually.

“You just have to trust the material and make sure you’re prepared because comedy takes more preparation than drama. Timing is far more important, and you’re not going to be able to read the audience, so you just have to make sure that it’s tight and good to go,” said Warriner.

From auditions to rehearsals, the whole process has been conducted over Zoom. James Bordenkircher, 21, plays a character named Paul, this being his first lead role at Valencia.

“The people in it [Den of Thieves] make it so much fun. One of my favorite parts is actually just the fact that the director always calls for social time. We start the Zoom calls maybe twenty minutes early, and that’s really needed at this time to just get together,” shared the musical theater major.

Tickets to attend the play are free; however, they are required. To register, refer to Valencia’s event calendar.