Butterflies are Free

Freedom, friendship, and romance collide in the
Broadway comedy classic that will set your spirit free!
Dive into the enchanting world of Butterflies are Free Leonard Gershe’s Broadway sensation that continues to captivate audiences. In the heart of Greenwich Village, young Don Baker is on a quest for independence, but his journey takes a delightful twist when he crosses paths with his eccentric next-door neighbor, Jill. Their unconventional love story unfolds against the backdrop of 1960s counterculture, challenging societal norms and celebrating the transformative power of love. Mrs. Baker, Don’s well-intentioned yet overbearing mother, adds a touch of comedy to this poignant exploration of freedom, self-discovery, and the beauty that emerges when we finally spread our wings.

Five performances only in Owens Auditorium at BPAC:

Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 7 pm (opening night, early curtain)
Friday, March 8 at 8 pm
Saturday matinee, March 9 at 2 pm (post-show talkback w/cast & creative team)
Saturday evening, March 9 at 8 pm
Sunday matinee, March 10 at 3 pm (closing performance)


MORGAN FAIRCHILD* (Mrs. Baker) most recently starred in Lifetime’s “Ladies of the ’80s: A Diva Christmas.” She currently plays Haven DeHavilland on ABC’s “General Hospital.”  A native of Dallas, Morgan began acting as a child, when her mother enrolled her in drama lessons after she was too shy to give a book report in class. From the age of 10, she performed in children’s and dinner theatre and stock productions in Dallas. This vigorous preparation readied her for the key role of the paranoid murderess, Jennifer Pace Phillips, in the CBS-TV daytime series, “Search for Tomorrow”, a part which Morgan landed six weeks after moving to New York which was the beginning of her television career. Following her stint on “Search for Tomorrow”, Morgan moved to Los Angeles, where she made numerous guest appearances on TV series. She had a recurring role on “Mork & Mindy”, with Robin Williams, as well as a recurring role on “Roseanne”.

You could not complete a Morgan Fairchild biography without some of Morgan’s most popular roles – Chandler’s Mom “Friends” and the original Jenna Wade on “Dallas”, as well as appearing on such series as “Hot in Cleveland”, “Bones”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “The Bold and the Beautiful”, “Two and a Half Men”, “”That ’70s Show”, “7th Heaven”, “Home Improvement”, “Days of Our Lives”, “Barnaby Jones”, “Happy Days”, “The Bob Newhart Show”, “A Man Called Sloane”, “Police Woman”, “Switch”, “Kojak”, “Big Shamus”, “Perry Mason”, “Burke’s Law”, “Murder, She Wrote”, “Lois & Clark”, “Empty Nest”, “Diagnosis Murder”, “Robin’s Hoods”, and “Cybill”. Morgan also starred in the contemporary film noir mystery “Writers Block” for USA Network. Morgan starred in “Star Command” with Chad Everett for the United/Paramount Network as well as “Dead Man’s Island” with William Shatner, Barbara Eden, Roddy McDowell, and Christopher Atkins, a Movie-of-the-Week for CBS.

Additionally, Morgan co-starred with Natalie Wood in “The Memory of Eva Ryker” for CBS and also appeared in other TV movies including “The Initiation of Sarah” with Shelly Winters, “Music in Music City”, “Concrete Cowboy” with Tom Selleck, and the prime time mini-series “The Dream Merchants” with Mark Harmon. In the latter, she won terrific notices for her portrayal of the tragic actress, Dulcie Warren. She also appeared in the David Wolper mini-series, “North & South” with Patrick Swayze and Elizabeth Taylor.

Morgan landed the key role of Constance Weldon Carlyle in “Flamingo Road”; the NBC-TV series ran for two seasons, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. Since that show propelled her to stardom, she starred as a TV newswoman in the feature film “The Seduction”, co-starred with Erik Estrada in the NBC-TV movie “Honeyboy” and with Bette Davis in “Hotel” for ABC.

She also starred in the CBS-TV movie “The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood”, a comic version of the famous tale co-starring George Segal and Roddy McDowell. She played the naughty Racine in the ABC-TV series “Paper Dolls” with Lloyd Bridges and later starred as lawyer Jordan Roberts in the CBS-TV series “Falcon Crest” with Jane Wyman. Morgan also made a cameo appearance in the feature film “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”, as well as over a dozen appearances on NBC-TV specials with comedy legend Bob Hope.

Morgan Fairchild starred in the feature film “The Red-Headed Stranger” opposite country music legend Willie Nelson, based on his concept album of the same name. She then starred in the Paramount feature “Campus Man” in which she played a magazine publisher. She also starred as the Queen in “Sleeping Beauty”, part of the Cannon Films fairy tale series. She then starred in “Deadly Illusions”, another feature opposite Ben Masters in the CBS movie “Street of Dreams”, a film noir detective story, as well as “Midnight Cop”, a motion picture shot in Berlin with Michael York and Armin Mueller-Stahl.

Morgan’s career reached new heights with her co-starring role in “Gospa”. In the film, which was shot on location in war torn Bosnia, Morgan played Sister Fabiana, opposite Martin Sheen. “Gospa” was executive produced by Academy Award winner Barry Morrow.

STEPHEN SHORE* (Don Baker) is thrilled to be in Judson Theatre Company’s production of Butterflies Are Free. Select Regional Credits: Private Lives (Gloucester Stage), Airness (Vermont Stage), Constellations (Middlebury Acting Company), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Huntington), Once (Speakeasy), Treasure Island (Fulton), Million Dollar Quartet (Encore Musical Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (TX Shakes), Cymbeline (VA Shakes), Of Mice and Men (Cardinal Stage), Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical (GA Shakes). TV Credits: Sinking Spring (Apple TV) and The Food That Built America (History Channel). Stephen thanks Grace and his family for their love and support. For Dad. www.StephenTShore.com


MORGAN-ELLENE DAVIS (Jill Tanner) is thrilled to be making her Judson Theatre Company debut! Based in New York City and Nashville, Mrs. Davis holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Belmont University. Previous credits include Lavinia in Titus Andronicus and Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost at Island Shakespeare Festival, Elizabeth Lavenza in an original adaptation of Frankenstein at Studio Tenn, Juliet – Romeo & Juliet, Lady Macbeth – Macbeth (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), Brooke – Noises Off and Marianne Dashwood – Sense & Sensibility (Nashville Repertory Theatre). Mrs. Davis would like to thank her dear husband, Mitch, and family for all of their love and support. morgan-ellenedavis.com


CEDRIC GEGEL (Ralph Austin) is an actor, director, and screenwriter based in the New York City area, originally from Ohio. He’s thrilled to join this talented cast and enjoy beautiful Pinehurst! Theatre (selected credits): Pippin (Pippin), Beauty and the Beast (The Beast), Something Rotten (Shakespeare) Kennedy: Bobby’s Last Crusade (Robert F. Kennedy), Sunset Boulevard (Joe Gillis). Film/series (selected credits): Cadia: The World Within, The Coroner’s Assistant, Forbearance, American Dynasty, Cocoa. YouTube: Cedric Gegel. Capital University ’17. Thanks to my family and always, always to Sarah. Micah 6:8. Much love. @cedricgegel



LEONARD GERSHE (Playwright)  (1922-2002) once said in an interview, “The less the public knows about a writer, the less they are likely to ‘read’ things into his work, and it is far better for them to use their imaginations and draw their own conclusions.” At his request, no personal biographical data appeared in the Broadway program of Butterflies are Free, or in Random House’s book-publication of the script.

Gershe’s professional life began by writing some lyrics for a London revue, Tuppence Colored, with music by Richard Addinsell. He made his Broadway debut writing material for the revue Alive and Kicking in 1950. After that, he wrote the book for a musical called Wedding Day, which he hoped would be produced on Broadway. It wasn’t.

He went to Hollywood and wrote tv scripts for Ann Sothern and Lucille Ball’s sitcoms. Producer Roger Edens persuaded MGM to buy Wedding Day, which was eventually taken over by Paramount and became the film Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. Edens and Gershe wrote three songs for that film. Gershe was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay, but didn’t win. Edens and Gershe also wrote the song “Born in a Trunk” for Judy Garland’s version of A Star Is Born. Gershe and Garland were born on the exact same day: June 10, 1922. Edens and Gershe shared a close personal and professional relationship.

Returning to MGM, he collaborated with Leonard Spigelgass on the screenplay of Silk Stockings, the Cole Porter musical that starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. In 1959, Gershe wrote the book for the Broadway musical Destry Rides Again, structured around an extant score by Harold Rome, replacing a libretto by another writer that producer David Merrick has rejected. The show starred Andy Griffith and Dolores Gray. The show ran for over a year, toured with John Raitt and Anne Jeffreys, and made the rounds on the star-driven summer circuit.

This was followed by a frustrating period where Gershe worked on the screenplays of projects that never got made: the film version of the Richard Rodgers Broadway musical No Strings; the Irving Berlin cavalcade Say It With Music; pilots for television series; and adaptations of Margery Sharp’s novel The Stone of Chastity and Terence Rattigan’s play Who Is Sylvia? His play Miss Pell Is Missing, based on a short story by Saki, played London in 1962.

He returned to the theatre, his first love and the medium in which he preferred working, with Butterflies are Free. The idea for the play came from a radio interview with a young law student named Harold Krents, who went on to get a law degree from Harvard.

After Butterflies, Gershe wrote a screen adaptation of Jay Presson Allen’s play 40 Carats, and material for the film That’s Entertainment Part II. He also wrote the play Snacks, announced in 1982, that never made it to Broadway. He died in Beverly Hills in 2002 at age 79.

Butterflies are Free is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com

* = member, Actors Equity Association (AEA)