SOLD OUT! Janis Stevens as Dorothea Puente

Janis Stevens as Dorothea Puente

Janis Stevens plays Dorothea Puente
Janis Stevens.

Drama Desk Award Nominee Janis Stevens is portraying Dorothea Puente in California Stage’s newly commissioned play on Sacramento’s infamous boarding house murders.

The play has had a tremendous response, and all shows have sold out.

Janis is very pleased to return to California Stage to star in the premiere of Mark Loewenstern’s new play.  Her extensive credits as an actress are known from Maine to NYC to Florida and back across the USA to the theaters in her hometown, Sacramento. Janis’s directing credits at California Stage include award winning productions like: Widowers’ Houses; Love, Isadora; Winter’s Waltz and Reckless.  Director Megan Cooper said that Janis Stevens’ characterization of Dorothea Puente at a public reading last year astounded everybody and we were overjoyed to give her the role.

TDorothea Puentehe play is entitled: Dorothea Puente Tells All! An Evening with the Magnanimous, Distinguished and Noble Lady of Sacramento. It was researched and written over a three-year period by Mark Loewenstern, a winner of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival and a three-time finalist for the Heideman Award and a semi-finalist for the nationally prestigious Playwrights Award of The O’Neill Theater Center.

The play will premiere Friday, January 24, 2020 and will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 2PM through Sunday, February 23.

Lowenstern’s extensive research has uncovered elements of Ms. Puente’s temperament and personal relationships which are not publicly known. His play reaches deep into her personality and gives us new insight into a murderer who does not fit the common definition of a “Serial Killer.” Producer Ray Tatar added, “Dorothea’s motives revealed in Mark’s play will change many peoples ideas about this killer. Her outward personality belied the twisted values that shocked many who knew her.”

24 thoughts on “SOLD OUT! Janis Stevens as Dorothea Puente

  1. I just joined your mailing list in hopes that the next time this play comes around I can get advance notice! I am so sorry to have missed it!

  2. Omg! How did I not hear of this sooner? My dad knew her personally and always told me stories of her when I was a child!

  3. BRING THIS BACK NEXT YEAR!! So disappointed the run is completely sold out! I read the comments that no addl dates can be added to extend the run. I’m sure the demand will support another run next year, and I’ll be first in line.

        1. How dare you call Dorothea Puente a distinguished and noble lady! She was a cold blooded killer. Must hurt the family members of her victims to hear this!

          1. As you can see from the other replies we’ve made to previous comments, the play does not attempt to absolve her of her crimes or whitewash her reputation in any way. The title is satirical, this is the way she saw herself. The play is a deep dive into her warped and evil psyche.

    1. Hal, you could come down to the California Stage a half hour before the show and wait to see if there are any no-shows, but no guarantees.

  4. I would very much like to see this play. I testified in both her Preliminary Hearing and Jury Trial about the money she stole. So it was an important part of my life for a period. How can I get a ticket??

    1. Sorry, Craig, we simply do not have any more tickets available. We hope to bring the play back at some point, however. Stay tuned!

  5. In the description of the play itself, it suggests possibly forming a different opinion of her. I was married to family members of one of the original murder victims and I can tell you that they do not share your sentiments. I’m guessing that most people’s CURRENT opinion of her is negative. Does this play devalue that well informed opinion?

    1. Eric,

      Certainly not. The play does not devalue the popular opinion. For those who are informed or not, it clarifies it, and for some it better defines the darkness of her heart. The popular opinion of Dorothea Puente is that she was a serial killer. She was far from it. Serial killers rarely know their victims.

      Dorothea was supposed to care and protect her boarders. She conned people in the social services sector, who were hired to protect and serve… and she got away with it for years. She conned her Parole officers for years… Do you know what she did with the money of those she murdered? SHE GAVE IT AWAY to political functions, to the religious charities of the Bishop… to young Chicanas to go to College… She built a wall of respect around her to feed her lust for attention. She was closer to what we might describe as “evil.”

      Ray Tatar
      Producing Artistic Director

  6. Will you be adding more shows? I was a kid when this happened and remember being scared to death to ride the bus downtown on a field trip. Of course the bus driver just had to take us down F street so we could see the house! Many have and would jump at the chance to see this play since it happened in our town. Hope you consider adding more!

    1. Raquel,

      Though we’d like to, we are sorry that we cannot add any more dates for this play. We plan our play schedule on an annual basis, so we are bound to move on to our next production. Perhaps we’ll bring it back next year!

      Ray Tatar
      Producing Artistic Director

  7. I have a question- all dates are sold out 🙁 Is there a way to show up early on certain dates and buy any unreleased tickets, or get on a waiting list?? Thanks for any information!

  8. Ray, et al,

    I must admit I was a bit shocked when I saw the title so, of course, I clicked on it!

    My gal is a lifelong professional artist and I am a lifelong lover and supporter of all things arts and humanities.

    If her crazy schedule allows, we will attend. And if we are shocked, we will be shocked! If we learn something new, we will learn. But art is art and it speaks for itself. Well, I certainly don’t speak for it. But universe willing, we will experience your art and I applaud you for being BOLD! And for contributing to the culture of our community.


  9. As a criminal historian I am disgusted that this play was even considered. Puente was a life long con artist, and a multi-murderer. There is nothing to celebrate about her life. She should not be humanized in any way. Puente was a monster…. shame on California Stage

    1. David,

      I am surprised at your response to the clear irony in the title of the play. Of course, Dorothea was a con artist and a murderer, but I think people should see a play before they condemn it and assume that there are no lessons to be learned.

      We researched her story for two years and found information we believe expands public understanding about her and about serial killers in general.

      We also held open public readings of this play and a few people came loaded with knee jerk negative responses to the community impact of someone like Dorothea Puente. After heartfelt talk-backs, NO ONE walked away with your opinion.

      Please consider that Hitler did much more than Dorothea in her darkest dreams, and there are hundreds of plays and movies about him. Our play looks straight at her personality and motivations. It peels back the psychosis of a narcissistic con artist who completely outwitted our weakened social service system — not to mention a number of intelligent, highly respected community individuals — for years.

      David, it is a worthy subject for our times; there are very important lessons still to be learned from the actions of this horrible person.

      And I am assuming that you are not one of those people that think our Theaters should only be doing plays like “Hello Dolly” or “Guys and Dolls.”

      — Ray Tatar
      Founder, California Stage

    2. David, One could say the same of Macbeth, Richard III, the Godfather, Aaron Burr — need I go on? It’s drama, it’s theater, it’s an opportunity to make creative art (and perhaps some understanding of human psyche) out of a monstrous story. I’ll be attending, looking to learn something.

    3. Where in the description of this play does it mention “celebrating” Dorothea Puente? This simply seems to me to be a play that examines the thoughts and motivations of a notorious killer . . . which has been done since film was invented!

    4. Do you work with abused children David? Because it’s easy to cast stones and dehumanize folks who’s shoes you never walked in. She was a human child at some point, subjected to more abuse than most of us. I will humanize her to anyone who asks!

      1. I hear you Jose, no one is perfect, she was Diagnosed with schizophrenic, What that being said Is a sick individual, Who needed, Needed help Never got it And decided to go on a killing spree, Sin is Sin how ever you may see it Jose, To take someone’s life in my eyes is evil. So you’re opinion about evil ?Maybe you’re into it liking serial killers

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