Love Quest
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Written by Mary Maguire & Steven McGraw
SHOW TIMES: Wednesday, April 25th -
Sunday, May 13th

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

A renowned scientist once theorized that finding “intelligent life” on other planets in the universe would be like shooting a particular blackbird in a room full of blackbirds, with the lights out. Ironically, the same probability applies for finding a “normal man” on an online dating service.

Love Quest – a new comedy – explores the journeys of two women in the perilous world of online dating.

Kate Crawford, 60, was married for 30-years and divorced for 3. Her husband left her for a younger woman and she is dealing with issues of abandonment, old age and the new world order of internet dating. It is a position in which she never thought she would find herself. Her concerned daughter, Megan, posts Kate’s profile on the Love Quest dating site and Kate is thrust into unknown territory. The “gentleman caller” is a thing of the past. Now a relationship is decided in a millisecond with the “swipe” of a finger across your smart phone. And speed dating gives Kate sixty seconds to present herself, thirty seconds too long for many of the younger men who sit across from here.

Brook Davis, 35, single, has climbed the corporate ladder in the fashion industry with a driven, single minded focus. Her ambition left her little time for socializing which is just fine with her. Raised in foster homes she has learned to only trust herself. A relationship would only get in her way. However, executives in her firm want her to raise her celebrity profile by being seen and photographed at the right places with eye candy dates. Her assistant, Bové, reluctantly signs her up on Love Quest. Brook is far more cynical than Kate and is more amused than shocked by what she encounters in the world of high speed dating.

Kate and Brook meet after a bad date goes awry and become friends and allies in this strange new dating world. This is their story.


Director:  Jacqueline Hubbard


Stage Manager:  Laura Lynne Knowles*

Scenic Designer:  Daniel Nischan

Lighting Designer:

Sound Designer:  Tate R. Burmeister

Costume Designer:  Elizabeth Cipollina

* member of Actors Equity

First published in The Beach Reporter – August 2015

Leap of Faith: Manhattan Beach’s Mary Maguire hopes to have first play, ‘Love Quest,’ produced by the end of the year

Mary Maguire was 58 years old when she became single for the first time in 32 years. She got divorced soon after moving to Manhattan Beach from Arizona. She knew few people in the beach cities, so she jumped into the foreign world of online dating more than five years ago.

“I had so many horror stories and some good ones too. Nothing scary where I felt like I was in danger, some awkward, embarrassing on both ends,” recalled Maguire. “Some great guys that got away, some didn’t like me and vice versa. I just went on a ton of dates. I’m embarrassed to say how many.”

Maguire added, “I would come home and call my sister and call my friends. I had this routine where I would stop at a gas station and buy the cheap Hostess white donuts. I would talk to my friends, ‘Oh, this date was so terrible.’ I’d be covered in all this white power. My friends said, ‘You should start putting this stuff down.’”

Pictured back row at the first staged reading of the original play, ‘Love Quest,’ is director Billy Gallo and playwrights Mary Maguire and Steven McGraw. Front row, left to right, are Ian Lindsay, Tom MacDonald, Danny C.Alfaro, Lara Fisher, Meg Bennett, Stephen Howard, Lindsey Buttles and Ian Marlow.

Maguire took her friends’ advice and wrote her first play, “Love Quest,” a semi-autobiographical account of her recent dating experiences. She took her play, which she co-wrote with her cousin Steven McGraw, to Billy Gallo, owner of Manhattan Actor Studio and a Manhattan Beach resident. “Love Quest” had its first reading in July.

“What attracted me was her passion for the project,” Gallo said. “It’s about making dreams come true. It’s awesome … seeing her words come to life here at the studio, to see a full house laughing, and my actors working.”

Gallo cast six of his actors, and auditioned a couple more for the July table reading.

“We thought we had something there and the actors brought it to life,” said Maguire of the first reading. “We cut some scenes. We heard a few things that were dragging. One of the actors was so good in his scene we thought we didn’t see enough of him, so we extended the scenes. It played well; it was packed. It gave us the encouragement that we were on the right track.”

Playwright Mary Maguire and director Billy Gallo outside the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood for the first staged reading of ‘Love Quest.’

They took a larger step last week when they took the play to the 99-seat Macha Theatre in West Hollywood for its first staged reading, directed by Gallo. The cast included Meg Bennett, Stephen Howard, Lara Fisher, Lindsey Buttles (Manhattan Beach, CA), Ian Marlow (Redondo Beach), Ian Lindsay, Tom MacDonald and Danny C. Alfaro. The goal is to have a full production ready to go in November.

“I don’t know where this is going to take me, but I would like to give it my attention over the next year,” said Maguire, who is retired but is involved in volunteer work. “I would like to see this take off and play at a variety of small theaters. It’s a very inexpensive play to produce. Basically you need a flash drive, a table, two chairs and six actors. It’s viable for small theater companies to do.”

Maguire knows she is taking a leap of faith, especially since “Love Quest” is her first play, but she said “believe me there’s enough material for sequels.”

“I would be disappointed if nothing ever came of it, but I would also feel fulfilled that I was able to do it and follow a dream,” she said.

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STEVEN McGRAW – author

Steve’s teleplay “Miles from Nowhere”, an autobiographical family drama, was produced by New World International, and starred Rick Schroder and James Farentino. It first aired on CBS, and won a Christopher Award for writing. The story was also published by William Morrow as a novel titled “Totaled.” His screenplay, “Pendragon” won in the action/adventure category at The Breckenridge Film Festival, Table Read My Screenplay in Park City, and most recently the White Nights Russian Film Festival.

Steve has presented some of Off Broadway’s longest running hits at his cabaret theatre in Manhattan. Among them are “Forbidden Broadway”, “Forever Plaid,” and Frank and Malachy McCourt’s “A Couple of Blaguards”.

Steve is a graduate of Notre Dame.


Join us for an opening night reception following the 8:00pm performance on Friday, April 27th. Light refreshments will be served.


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Ivoryton Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard, found Love Quest when she attended a staged reading of the play at Saint Luke's Theatre in New York back in February 2017. At the reading, the lead character Katherine Crawford was played by American singer, dancer, comedian and actress of stage and television Sandy Duncan.