See the Genesius Difference | A Non-Profit 501c3 Organization

April 2014 – Bill W. & Dr. Bob

April 2014 – Bill W. & Dr. Bob

BILL W. AND DR. BOB – A play about the miraculous and humble beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous makes a second Berks County appearance at Genesius Theatre. The initial debut occurred at Easy Does It, Inc. in Leesport, PA

Bill W. & Dr. Bob is a new play about Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, two hopeless drunks, whose sometimes stormy friendship, buffeted by their strong desire to recover from their chronic alcoholism, led to the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Written by Stephen Bergman and Janet Surrey, BILL W. AND DR. BOB is believed to be the first play to depict the relationship between Wilson and Smith and the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous, a rich, provocative dramatization of what remains one of the most enduring, if unlikely, success stories in American history.

BILL W. AND DR. BOB is directed by L J Fecho.  The cast includes:  Chuck Austin as Dr. Bob Smith – Dan Smith as Bill Wilson – Diane Smith as Mrs. Anne Smith – Cathy Miller as Mrs. Lois Wilson – Brandon Kegerise is playing a compilation of Male Characters including Ebby, Bill Wilson’s friend who helps him get sober and also Billy, the 3rd AA Member – Amy Hudak is playing a compilation of Female Characters, including the wife of Billy, who was the 3rd person to join AA.

BILL W. AND DR. BOB is the compelling and often humorous story of how Wilson, a failed stockbroker, and Smith, a surgeon, met in 1935. Diagnosed as an incurable alcoholic, Wilson determined that what he needed most was fellowship with other alcoholics after previous attempts at recovery failed him. When Wilson’s desire to drink overwhelmed him during a trip to Akron, Ohio, he picked out the name of a clergyman at random and asked if he could give him the name of a local alcoholic to talk to. That search led him to Dr. Bob Smith, a respected surgeon who frequently operated while inebriated.

The stockbroker and the surgeon first met in the living room of Akron matron Henrietta Sieberling on May 12, 1935, talked for six hours straight – the first AA meeting – and history was made. On June 10, Dr. Bob took his last drink and drug – and this is taken as the date of the founding of AA.

About The Authors – Stephen Bergman (co-author) was a doctor on the Harvard Medical faculty for thirty years, and, under the pen-name “Samuel Shem,” is a playwright and novelist. His plays Room for One Woman and Napoleon’s Dinner were produced Off Off Broadway as The Shem Plays) and selected for The Best Short Plays of the Year anthology. Other plays are The Life at Ground Zero (Blackburn Theatre, Gloucester) and Courtenay’s Gym (The Boston Shakespeare Company, where he was playwright-in-residence for two seasons). Novels include: The House of God (cited by The Lancet as one of the two most significant medical novels of the 20th century), Fine, and Mount Misery. The novels have sold over two million copies in fifty countries.

Janet Surrey (co-author) is on the faculty and board of the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy in Newton, Mass. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice and has taught at the Harvard Medical School, Andover Newton Theological School and the Episcopal Divinity School. She is the author of many books and papers in the area of relational psychology, women’s psychological development, spirituality, and addiction. She is a Founding Scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Stone Center, Wellesley College, and with her husband co-authored the nonfiction book: “We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues Between Men and Women.”.

Presentation of BILL W. AND DR. BOB does not imply affiliation with nor approval or endorsement from Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

BILL W. AND DR. BOB will perform for – One Weekend Only – Runs – Thursday, April 17 @ 7:30 PM, Friday and Saturday @ 8:00 PM with a Saturday matinee @ 2:00 PM.  This show has a large local following, so please reserve your tickets as soon as possible. PG Rated – (Ages 10 years old on up) – Handicap Accessible – Free parking



Bill Wilson
Dan Smith

Mrs. Lois Wilson
Cathy Miller

Dr. Bob Smith
Chuck Austin

Mrs. Anne Smith
Diane Smith

Man (Ebby Thatcher, Billy Dotson, Reverend Tunks, Others)
Brandon Kegerize

Woman (Henrietta Seiberling, Hen Dotson, Others)
Amy Hudak


What the Critic’s have said about – BILL W. AND DR. BOB:

“A textured and truthful telling of AA’s story. 
The play sketches evocative portraits of two complex men without portraying either as an untarnished hero. Inspiring.” – Boston Globe

“An insightful new play”—The New York Times

“An endearing portrait of friendship uplifted by warm humor”—The New Yorker

“Deeply human, audience-embracing, intelligent writing, a leavening of humor and an innate power of biographical storytelling. A remarkable story!”—Variety

“Holds the audience in the palm of its hand from the very start…The stakes are life-or-death throughout…Captures the wild exciting uncertainty of invention…An uplifting reminder of the power of the human spirit. The sleeper hit of the season”—, New York

“Funny and fast moving…Mesmerizing drama. This is what good theatre should be. You don’t have to be an alcoholic or a member of AA to enjoy this”—


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