"Sealed for Freshness" - by Doug Stone - New Players Theatre Guild (Fitchburg, MA.) - REVIEW

(Cover Photo: The CAST of Doug Stone's "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" from New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg, MA. through June 9, 2024. Photo Credit: Jennifer Knight)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724

“I'm pregnant - I'm allowed to be insane.

                                               - ("Sinclair") / Doug Stone

New Players Theatre Guild 

Presents Doug Stone's


Written by Doug Stone

Directed by Michael Knight 

Cast Includes: Jennifer MacLean as "Bonnie Kapica," Michelle Sparrow as "Tracy Ann McClain," Bonnie Mailman as "Diane Whettlauffer," Chelsey Patriss as "Jean Pawlicki," Jodi Feeley as "Sinclair Benevente," John Williams as "Richard Kapica." 

Creative Team Includes:

Producer - Missy Cote; Co-Producer - Carolyn Mitchell; Stage Manager - Jennifer Knight; Assistant Stage Manager - Nicole Gentilia; Set Design - Michael Knight, Hal Smith; Set Construction - Hal Smith, Bill McGrath; Set Dressing - Jennifer Knight, Michael Knight, CAST; Set Painting - Nancy King, Alexis Wood, Bill McGrath; Sound and Lighting Technician - David Vaillette, Ted Sparrow; Costumes/Props - CAST; Hair Design- Steven Cristofono; Concessions - Michael Talarico, Bill McGrath, Edith Stephen; Tickets - Carolyn Mitchell, James Stephen, Nancy King; Poster - Nancy King; Photographers - Missy Cote, Jennifer Knight; Program - Nancy King.

New Players Theatre Guild Center for the Performing Arts, 15 Rollstone Street, Fitchburg, MA. 


May 31, 2024 through June 9, 2024

(Contact Venue for Exact Dates and Times) 


Phone # 978-345-6570  nptg.org   


Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

New Players Theatre Guild (NPTGgathers together a fine cast playing crazy characters in perhaps the most unusual Tupperware party ever, "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS," now playing in Fitchburg.

Tupperware, founded in 1946 in Leominster, MA. became famous, especially at the height of the late 60s, for empowering women by establishing the concept of "social selling." 

Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy known as the "Tupperware party." 

"Tupperware parties" soon became synonymous with Americana, becoming a global commercial phenomenon and inspiring other companies to use similar "party-themed" strategies.

Tupperware sales and popularity soared and Doug Stone's "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" helps recall the height of the success and the Tupperware ladies who participated in the "parties."

While a good deal of the material may lean heavily on its characters having some outdated concepts and blatant misperceptions, Stone's greatest strength is in the overall pacing of the dialogue which is well executed by the cast.  

Five women gather together at a home for one of these social selling events...a Tupperware party where they collectively epitomize the supportive, nurturing and empowering behavior normally associated with the event.

No. That's not true. They don't. I'm lying.

Instead, over the course of two plus hours, the raucous comedy, keenly directed by Michael Knight, showcases a lot of vitriol between the main characters over their respective life's choices.

In lieu of "sealing in the freshness," they choose to unseal a lot of pent-up animosity and aim it at each other.

"SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" had its premiere in New York City in 2003 at the Pantheon Theater. This was followed by an Off-Broadway premiere in 2007 at New World Stages.

All the performances in this latest staging by NPTG are steady and true to each character. 

The play is also filled to the brim of a barrel-sized container with foul language and crude topics...which merely adds to the hilarity.

(Photo: The CAST of Doug Stone's "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" from New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg, MA. through June 9, 2024. Photo Credit: Jennifer Knight)

Taking place in the mid-western home of Bonnie Kapica (Jennifer MacLean) and her husband, Richard (John Williams), we are at probably the most turbulent year of the 60s in America, 1968. 

Bonnie has agreed to host the party and Richard exits the scene after the two engage an argument.

Bonnie is feeling neglected by her husband who she claims does not look at her the same way after 25 years of marriage...a claim to which Richard does not dispute.

MacLean adeptly meets the challenge of maintaining a balance between showing us the emotional insecurities that come with the character of Bonnie while keeping the performance from falling into a more maudlin tone. 

Williams, as Richard, while not on stage much ("bookending" the story), makes the most of the time he is in a scene by serving up some perfectly timed comedic responses in his exchanges with Bonnie. 

Almost immediately after he exits, the ladies of the party show up which include Jean (Chelsey Patriss) and Tracy Ann (Michelle Sparrow) who await Tupperware representative and new fellow neighbor, Diane Whettlauffer (Bonnie Mailman).

(Photo: Michelle Sparrow as "Tracy Ann" and Jennifer MacLean as "Bonnie" in a scene from Doug Stone's "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" from New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg, MA. through June 9, 2024. Photo Credit: Jennifer Knight)

Tracy Ann is the naïve, youngest member of the group. 

Sparrow is delightful in showcasing the youthful charm and exhuberance of Tracy Ann, who harkens from Iowa (...or is it Idaho? Either way, it is a red state).

As Jean, Patriss is outstanding as the extremely pleasant and diplomatic one of the group, but Jean's diplomatic skills are about to be sorely tested.

Making a surprise appearance to the party is Jean's unpleasant, obnoxious and (seemingly habitual) pregnant sister, Sinclair (Jodi Feeley), who heightens all tensions in the room even before Diane arrives.

Freeley, making her stage debut, is a laugh riot...and occasionally just riotous...as the feisty, fearless (and filter-less) Sinclair, who offends from the moment she enters the scene until the end of the play.

(Photo: Bonnie Mailman as "Diane," Chelsey Patriss as "Jean" and Jennifer MacLean as "Bonnie" in a scene from Doug Stone's "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" from New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg, MA. through June 9, 2024. Photo Credit: Jennifer Knight)

For an undisclosed reason, Sinclair sinks her teeth into Diane, attacking her from nearly the beginning of the party, which shocks everyone else.

Mailman delivers a perfect depiction of "Tupperware lady" Diane who seeks only to gather with these other ladies - her neighbors - to try and ease their lives...with plastic containers. 

Yet, what winds up happening, mostly thanks to Sinclair, is that Diane becomes the target of jealous attacks for choosing a career over motherhood...but soon no one is safe from being attacked and no topic is considered off limits.

Of course, what doesn't help the situation is an override of one of the most basic rules of a Tupperware gathering - no drinking of alcohol.

To be fair, though, in its entire corporate history, it is hard to imagine that this particular rule was adhered to all that much at many Tupperware gatherings.

As with many comedies like "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" that have a stocked bar to one side of the stage (or more), when the drinks begin to flow, the otherwise innocuous proceedings devolve into a labyrinth of spewed diatribes over long-held grievances.

This is where the real fun begins...at least for the audience.

Everyone on stage begins to verbally assault or defend, but Sinclair serves as the catalyst for much of the mayhem that ensues.

The comedy is made up of many hysterical moments for at least 80 percent of the story.

However, when the show goes "dark" unexpectedly, it comes from WAY out of left field, eliciting some shocked responses from the audience. 

(Photo: Chelsey Patriss as "Jean" and Jodi Feeley as "Sinclair" in a scene from Doug Stone's "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" from New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg, MA. through June 9, 2024. Photo Credit: Jennifer Knight)

It is vitally important to remember the era in which this story takes place.

To that end, and on a technical level, the set used in the show is not only an excellent use of space, it comes with a fine attention to late-1960s detail. 

Similarly, the props, wigs and costuming involved all give us the sense of when and where we are.

There were a couple of uncooperative props at the May 31st performance, prompting the perfect ad-libbed response to a dropped crucifix on stage.

Also, there were occasional moments of "pregnant pauses" in the dialogue but nothing that detracted from the overall enjoyment by the audience.

(Photo: The CAST of Doug Stone's "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" from New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg, MA. through June 9, 2024. Photo Credit: Jennifer Knight)

Amid all the character in-fighting, ultimately, the audience will decide if the show ends with a bang, a burp or a whimper - but with plenty of fine performances and laughs along the way, it very well could end in thunderous applause.

(Note: Like the performances of "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" and the remainder of the 2024 NPTG season, this review is dedicated to the memory of beloved and respected former New Players Theatre Guild President, Vice-President, Secretary, Choreographer and Costumer extraordinaire Doreen Croteau who recently passed away. Doreen was a superb human being who also gave great hugs - hugs which I always treasured and will deeply miss. In lieu of flowers, it has been requested that donations be made to New Players Theatre Guild, 15 Rollstone Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420)

"SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" continues at New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg, MA. through June 9, 2024 and this show has definitely "locked in" the funny.

After a busy planned summer, the New Players Theatre Guild will be back in the fall with "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" by Richard O’Brien beginning October 17th, 2024.

For tickets or more information, contact # 978-345-6570 or visit nptg.org.

Approximately two hours, 20 minutes with one intermission.  

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA)




Doug Stone has set his play "SEALED FOR FRESHNESS" in 1968 during the heyday of Tupperware parties. 

Hostess Bonnie invites a group of neighbors over for a party. 

The guest list: perky, rich Jean, Jean's cranky and very pregnant sister Sinclair, ditzy-blonde Tracy Ann, and new neighbor Diane, who's made quite a career selling Tupperware, but at the expense of her marriage. 

The mix of personalities and the number of martinis consumed lead to a great deal of absurd hijinks plus revelations of an equal number of secrets and insecurities. 


The goal of NEW PLAYERS THEATRE GUILD (NPTG) is to foster and promote an active interest in community theater. It is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging people of all ages to participate in the joy of creating quality theater for the Montachusett area audiences. NPTG presents small to medium-scale musical productions and musical reviews for the public as well as straight plays. NEW PLAYERS THEATRE GUILD was founded in 1975 and varies in membership size, but has, at times grown to a membership of over 120 people. The group is managed by a Board of Directors, elected yearly by the membership, as well as several committees that carry out the various activities of the organization.  


15 Rollstone Street 

Fitchburg, MA.