Pop Quiz! What do a doctor, a pregnant woman, a handyman, and an astronaut have in common?

No, it’s not actually a quiz, I’ll tell you the answer: they were all just involved in the publicity photo shoot for Middletown. If that makes you wonder what the heck this play is about, then you are not alone! Our actors braved the Monday heat in order to get a great image that encapsulates just how wonderfully weird Will Eno’s play is. When they are not running around taking photos in costume our actors are rehearsing their tails off. Can you believe that we are only 9 days away from opening night?!

With the premiere looming so close, Director Colleen Kelly has started gathering all the cast together now for runs of the show. This is a crucial period in the rehearsal process as all actors are now off-book (which means their lines are memorized) and they are really able to get a sense for how their character and scenes fit into the play as a whole. Noticing one little detail in another scene can inspire an actor to change something massive about their own performance. These early runs are also a great opportunity for Colleen to start doing her work of shaping the overall flow and focus of the play. It’s important that this is where all the performance elements are worked out because in a few short days Middletown will enter tech week, which is the opportunity for all of our technical staff to make refinements to their various designs. While nothing in live theatre is ever set in stone (that’s what we love about it), for the sake of the designers, the actors are asked to be as show ready as possible when tech week begins; and from my sneaky little peek at rehearsal yesterday (shh don’t tell anyone…) I think they’re in great shape.

Across the lobby another show is cranking their amps up to 11 and forging ahead as well. One of the cool things about a festival like this is that there is always something new happening in the building, a new show opens nearly every week so there is never a lack of work to be done! To describe Woody Guthrie’s American Song as a horse of a different color, from Middletown, would be an understatement. While there are many characters and scenes in the show, the central character is Guthrie’s music. Rehearsals almost resemble band practice as much as anything else! Stay tuned (get it?*) for more details on Woody Guthrie’s American Song as things progress, but I assure you, this is a show that you will not want to miss. See y’all next week!