“The Things You Least Expect”

by Joan Vail Thorne

LA VOW THEATRE COMPANY presents Joan Vail Thorne’s provocative and amusing play THE THINGS YOU LEAST EXPECT on November 18 & 19 (7:30 p.m.) and 20 (2:30 p.m.) at Theatre Baton Rouge Studio, 7155 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, La 70806 .

In her late sixties, Clare Gardiner gets a second chance to follow her dreams of long ago to travel and pursue art.  The play raises many questions about age, love, and self-fulfillment in life.  Clare defies one of the most powerful taboos in our society when she and a much younger man, Sam, fall in love.  Running off to Italy, she leaves her older sister Myra and daughter Caroline to worry and wonder about her escapades. She sends them emails that do not include any information about her young lover.  Sam has convinced Clare that age doesn’t matter and encourages her to make the most of every moment.  But when Sam becomes insanely jealous of her passion for painting, Clare sends him back to the United States where he becomes involved with Myra and Caroline.  Myra becomes fond of Sam and Caroline falls in love with him, not knowing about his love for her mother.  When Clare returns to Pennsylvania, she finds out Myra has put money aside for college for Sam and Caroline plans to marry him. But Sam realizes he loves Clare and can’t marry Caroline.  The tension rises when Clare feels compelled to tell Myra and Caroline about her relationship with Sam; he takes the money, and Caroline becomes pregnant.


Passage of Time

Setting: Pennsylvania and Italy

Act I

Scene 1: Late November, Clare’s Sitting Room

Scene 2: Same Evening, Clare’s Living Room

Scene 3: Next Day, Clare’s Sitting Room

Scene 4: One Month Later, December, Clare’s Sitting Room

Scene 5: Shortly Later, Same Day, Airport Lounge

Scene 6: Next Day, Clare’s Sitting Room and Rome

Two Days later, Early January, Clare’s Sitting Room and Venice

Scene 7: Week Later, Evening, Mid January, Hotel lobby in Venice

Another Week Later, Late January, Clare’s Sitting Room

Next Evening, Hotel Suite in Venice

Act II

Scene 1: Two Weeks Later, Mid February, Clare’s Sitting Room

Same Time, Uffizi Gallery in Florence

That Evening, Clare’s Sitting Room

Few Days Later, Morning, Hotel Suite in Florence

Same Day, Afternoon, Clare’s Sitting Room

Week Later, End of February Hotel Suite in Florence

Scene 2: Week Later, Beginning of March Clare’s Sitting Room

Same Day, Florence and Clare’s Sitting Room

Scene 3: Week Later, Mid March, Clare’s Sitting Room

Scene 4: Month Later, Mid April, Clare’s Sitting Room and Italy

Scene 5: Several Days Later, Clare’s Sitting Room

Scene 6: Same Day, Myra’s Apartment

Scene 7: Two Days Later, Cell Phones

Scene 8: A Day Later, End of April, Myra’s Apt.

Scene 9: Same Evening, Clare’s Sitting Room

Scene 10: Year Later, Clare’s Sitting Room


Myra Robinson – Dianne Edouard

Clare Gardiner – Jerel Giarrusso

Sam Kennedy – Robert J. Wilson

Caroline Gardiner – K.K. Landreneaux

DIRECTOR – Aileen Hendricks


Stage Manager – Faydra Thomas

Lighting Designer – Rudi Spruell

Sound Designer – Ted Hansen

Video & Photography – Don Couvillion

Set and Property Mistress – Déanna Ernst

Special Thanks

Kristina Web Shapiro, Attorney, LA VOW Legal Agent. She is a partner in the firm Shapiro & Shapiro, LLC. On the web at: www.ShapiroAndShapiro.com.

Special Thanks

Delores Wheeler Dyer
Jan Dardenne

Special Thanks

Theatre Baton Rouge
7155 Florida blvd. Baton Rouge, La 70802
phone (225) 924-6496
on the web at: www.theatrebr.org

Special Thanks

The Red Shoes
303 Government St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
On the web at: www.theredshoes.org

Special Thanks

DéAnna Ernst for the set and property acquisitions
Phone: (225) 926-7389
Email: ernstdesignllc&gmail.com
On the web at: www.ernstdesignllc.com

Cast Bios

cast bios

DiannebwDianne Eoduard (Myra)
I was a teacher…a most un-teacherly teacher…one of my favorite students said. And I took those words as compliment indeed. In fact, much of who I am…writer, painter, actor, collector of things odd and ornamental…is prefixed by an “un”. For I have lived passionately and unconventionally.





Jerel M. GiarrussO (Clare)
Jerel M. Giarrusso, an accredited, veteran public relations professional, is retired as the Director of Communications for the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from LSU, and branched into public relations after several years in news reporting. A New Orleans native, Jerel and her husband, Ted Hansen, have two adult children and share their mini-estate with a horse, several dogs and cats, and innumerable rose bushes. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, Bible study, gardening, writing, photography, travel, cooking, creative needlecraft and history studies, in no particular order. Active in civic affairs and in her church, she participates in annual Central American missions as a member of the church mission team.

Although she enjoys attending stage and cultural productions, Jerel’s only stage appearance since junior high school about a half-century ago, was LA VOW’s recent production of The Exact Center of the Universe. She appreciates the opportunity that LA VOW has given her to learn stagecraft and appear on its stage. Jerel credits much of what she has learned about theatre to her daughter, AEA Stage Manager Elena Hansen, MFA, who currently teaches stage management at the University of Northern Colorado.

KKbwK.K. Landreneaux (Caroline)
K.K. is from St Francisville, a BRCC acting student and this play is her LA VOW and stage debut




RobertbwcropRobert J. Wilson (Sam)
Robert is making his LA VOW debut in “The Things You Least Expect”, but has been involved in theatre for more than 30 years. An actor and director, Robert performed in/directed a host of productions ranging from Guys & Dolls, Crazy for You, Bye Bye Birdie, Neil Simon’s Fools, Why We Fall, Charlotte’s Web, House for Sale, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Wintertime, Proof (Asst. Dir.), Carol: A Broken Chain, Lend Me a Tenor, and many more. He has worked with troupes/companies across South Louisiana, including Acadiana Repertory Theatre, Opelousas Community Theatre, Theatre Baton Rouge (then-BRLT), Dee Cothern’s Cabaret Theatre, Denham Springs Area Community Theatre, and Thespian Troupe 5034 (Lifetime Member). Robert is a Central native and is thrilled to return to the BR stage. To Donna: thanks a million for returning that voicemail! To my Roger: Thank You for all of the…rapture!

AileenbwcropAileen Hendricks (Play Director & Artistic Director of La VOW Theatre Company, Incorporated August 30, 2013 as a non-profit 501c3)
She has more than 50 years experience in amateur, professional, community and educational theatre. She recently retired (December 14, 2014) from Southern University as a full professor of Speech and Theatre after 23 years of service. She has written plays; published scholarly articles; and won awards from the community, professional, educational and artistic organizations. One of the first women to graduate from Texas A&M University in 1971 (1974 Masters), she earned her doctorate in theatre from LSU in 1988. She is married to Donald Luke Couvillion and the proud mother of August W. Wenck, Robert W. Wenck Jr. and Yolanda Prevost-Robinson.