Well, here it is.
On Thu. we open Closetland, the final show in our 2011-12 season. It’s been a great year, and we still have hope that this year’s gross sales top last. We’re very proud of our consistent growth season to season, as proud as we are of the work we do. I have no doubt that productions like RACE and The 39 Steps will stick out in audience minds for years to come.
Hopefully Closetland will be one of those productions as well — it has all the makings of sleeper hit. Allow me to wax on as an actor a little bit, a rare treat for me at this stage in my career. I only get this opportunity once every few years now. It will always be my first love, but as I’ve developed as an artist, producer, and administrator I understand that my energies are perhaps more meaningful put to other uses … still doesn’t mean I don’t miss the stage.
This experience has been amazing. As Paul Potenza calls it, “a great room.” Gavin Hawk is a gentle, insightful, and encouraging director. We are so lucky to have him helm this piece in his Jobsite debut. Katrina Stevenson, who shares that creepy little interrogation room with me, has been selfless every step of the way in this process (and managed to find me an amazing suit). Matt Ray and Brian Smallheer are helping hold it all together as always, and making us look great every step of the way.
As an actor I of course have even less objectivity about my work than as a director — I’m up there, in it, invested — but I do know how it feels, and it feels great. There’s an immediacy, a vitality, an intensity to this piece that screams to be witnessed. It’s a beautifully brutal piece, or perhaps better said it’s brutally beautiful.
It’s important to note that the show itself is not excessively gory or violent. Playwright Radha Bharadwaj specifically wanted to make sure that most of that work is left to the mind of the audience, and she notes this play is ultimately about the strength and perseverance of the human spirit. Closetland operates at a deep psychological level. I think that anyone who enjoyed The Pillowman or One for the Road, anyone who geeks out on TV shows like Homeland or Criminal Minds, or anyone who simply digs good drama will thoroughly enjoy this show. There’s a lot to like here, including its one hour and twenty minute run time, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your evening. 🙂
Me to you? It would really mean the world to see you over opening weekend. We need our best supporters in the theater then. Not only to fill the house, but hopefully also you’ll be encouraged to send us a friend or two over the run. We cannot extend this show, July 29 is a firm close date. If you asked me when to come, I’d plead with you to be there on opening night, Thu., July 12.
This will be the last show we open on a Thu. night, stay tuned for more exciting Fri. opening nights starting with Fahrenheit 451!
Also, don’t forget about Christen Petitt Hailey’s new late-night bawdy comedy, Chapel Perilous, which plays July 19-29 on top of Closetland.
Finally, keep in mind that our 30% off Early Bird special on 12-13 season tickets expires on July 29, we’ll be set up out in front of the theater during the run of Closetland to take your orders!
Truly hope to see you this weekend at the theater,