Jesse Darland

October 12, 2007

If you want a holiday that's a perfect fit for the performing arts, you want Halloween. The costuming, the surprises, the begging for candy -- it all fits. So, if you're looking for something to scare you this October, or something to make you laugh, here are two plays and a film you might be interested in.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Victorian cautionary tale of a man caught between his better nature and his repressed inward desires is getting a new treatment in the Monroe County Civic Theatre's production, as director Russell McGee lays some modern elements on top of the classic tale. "I've had a fascination with Jekyll and Hyde for a long time," McGee says.

September 26, 2007

In the opening moments of Joel Pierson's new play Mourning Lori, the character David has an animated argument with his mother, Lori. At stake is whether or not David is mentally ill.

David tells his mother that he's just been under a lot of pressure lately but that things are looking up for him. His mother counters with the fact that she is dead.

Mourning Lori, which opens Oct. 4, at the John Waldron Arts Center's Rose Firebay, is a family drama in a postmodern wrapper.

The setup is simple. Lori has died - committed suicide, in fact - and her family gathers in Chicago to grieve and plan the funeral.There is the father, Michael (played by James Behmke); Talya, his responsible daughter (Whitney Christiansen); Carolyn, the other daughter (Jenn Robison Taylor); and David (Aaron Moon), Hollywood screenwriter and diagnosed schizophrenic.

September 16, 2007

BloomingPlays, the Bloomington Playwrights Project’s (BPP) new collection of one-act plays, grew out of a group of writers looking for a place to call home.

“Outside of very specific events we do here, there’s not really a place for new plays,” says David Nosko, a BPP member who’s involved on many levels with BloomingPlays. “There’s a group of us local writers who sought a space for us to develop and showcase our own works.”

So, starting in March, the group began meeting regularly to discuss each other’s writing. In the workshops, writers provided positive feedback to each other, who then revised their plays. Out of that process, five plays—“Streetside Shoeshop,” “For the Love of a Couch,” “Morning,” “The Clockwork Man” and “Party Girls”—emerged to be part of the Lora Shiner Series, in which each was polished to a finished product, collectively known as BloomingPlays.

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