What the Butler Saw

What the Butler Saw

By Joe Orton

Directed by Katrina Stevenson

Extended! Jan. 7 – 29, 2010

Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Tickets: $24.50

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

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Creative Loafing Best of the Bay

What It's About

A swingin’ 60’s British sex farce

When high-strung psychiatrist Dr. Prentice tries to seduce an innocent secretary on her first job interview, his botched efforts leads to comic bedlam involving his nymphomaniac wife, a randy bellhop, a befuddled police officer, an insane asylum inspector and ultimately, the formidable manhood of Sir Winston Churchill.

It is as outrageous as it is entertaining, and its unrestrained depiction of a world gone mad displays Orton’s talent at its subversive best. Wild, risqué, and ferociously playful, Orton’s uproarious farce is one of the seminal works of modern comedy.

The premiere of What the Butler Saw, Joe Orton’s final (and arguably finest) play, produced almost two years after his death at the hands of his lover, sent shockwaves through London audiences, who were scandalized by its lewd humor and madcap energy, but who still could not deny his work anything other than drop-dead funny.

Intended for mature audiences, What the Butler Saw features rampant cross-dressing, undressing, scathing commentary on psychiatry, marriage, sexuality and government, but no actual butler. The title refers to a coin-operated machine that was used to display pornography.

Hilarious, outrageous ... toying with words as if they were firecrackers … the ending is a delight that Oscar Wilde might have dreamed up in a sequel to The Importance of Being Earnest. – New York Times

Katie Castonguay and David M. Jenkins in Jobsite's What the Butler Saw. (Photo by Pritchard Photography.)

Critic Reviews

With the same madcap madness of a Benny Hill skit, the cast scampered across the stage in a titillating series of scantily clad romps, double entendres and miscommunications ... Jobsite has delivered a delightful comedy of errors. – Tampa Tribune

One of the funniest performances I’ve seen in years... I can heartily recommend it to lovers of intelligent lunacy – and of laughter. – Creative Loafing

What the Butler Saw is a blast ... very entertaining ... If you're not looking for anything more than two hours of low-brow entertainment, and if you don't mind the playwright's obsession with sex, Orton's play and Jobsite's production can serve up exactly what you're hungry for. – St. Petersburg Times


Cast & Crew

  • Katrina Stevenson – Director
  • Xylina Golding – Stage Manager


  • Katie Castonguay – Geraldine Barclay
  • David M. Jenkins – Dr. Prentice
  • Caroline Jett – Mrs. Prentice
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Sgt. Match
  • Dayton Sinkia – Nicholas Beckett
  • Ward Smith – Dr. Rance


  • David M. Jenkins – Sound Designer
  • Greg Newcomb – Graphic Designer
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic and Lighting Designer
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costumer Designer

Patron Reviews

Very funny and most definitely very British. A very clever script. – David Hood

Great show last night indeed. Thanks again Jobsite! – Luis M. Perez

Great show, Y’all. “Tragedy is easy, …” Keep up the good work! – William Lloyd Pearson

My wife and I saw the show with 12 friends Friday night and it was a blast. The cast was amazing (especially Ward Smith!) and the venue was perfect. We will definitely support future Jobsite Theater productions. Keep great shows like this coming. – Cory Neupauer

The word on the street is right, your show ROCKS!!!Great job. That is an awesomely funny show! – Scott Short

Reeeeeally funny stuff!! – Gerald Outlaw

The play was hysterical. What a great night, all TWENTY of us!! We can’t wait til your next play. – Tammy P

You guys are INSANE! Loved the show last night, I’ve really glad I got a chance to see it. Can’t wait for “BOOM!” – Josh Hamel

Fantastic show tonight!!!! – Kris Sizemore

I had never read or seen WTBS before. It was outstanding. Farce is so demanding and you all excelled. The direction was terrific. I thought Brian’s set one of his best. – Nancy Cole

What the Butler Saw is a hilarious raunchy romp thru 60s era sexuality, mistaken identity & madness. Go @jobsitetheater!. – Rene_Sanchez

Thoroughly enjoyed What the Butler Saw last night. Well worth braving the freezing temperatures to see it. It was absolutely fabulous! Totally hilarious. Everyone was great in the show, and Caroline Jett stole every scene she was in. Of course the set was amazing, great job bro. The only disappointment was they… ran out of hot chocolate at intermission. Loved it! – Kim Smallheer

Jobsite’s What the Butler Saw is absolutely fantastic. I laughed so hard that a trip to the restroom was required before act 2. Go see this show people – Spencer Meyers

Amazing!!! Really funny and a total blast!! I’m going again!! – Prentice Gerald Outlaw

Saw the play last night and really enjoyed it -an awesome job, congrats! – Gayle M

The show was outstanding! – Christine F

Great cast! We really enjoyed the show and I recommend it highly to anyone- absolutely wonderful. – Sandy S.

The entire cast was fantastic. I laughed until I cried. Thank you for such a wonderful time!! I was crying!!! I laughed so hard and I was trying to stifle it so I wouldn’t miss the next line. It was really, really good! – Peggy Walker Ehrhart

Wasn’t it awesome? My brother said he laughed till his stomach hurt! – Debra Miller

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