Poetry onstage

RUTH-Final-webWay back in 1992, the year all for One was founded, a friend of mine suggested that I should write a play based on the book of Ruth. I had previously written a one-man show about Martin Luther and the Reformation, and some very short dramas for church. I loved the idea of a play about Ruth, and since I’d been toying with the idea of a blank-verse play, I decided to write the Ruth script in that meter.  The Redemption of Ruth is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter, and employs imagery from harvesting as well as refinement of precious metals. It also uses extensive allusion to other parts of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures.

A word about poetry, for those who don’t recall their high school English class: Continue reading

Designing two shows on one stage

RUTH-Final-webTwo separate plays on one bill:  two separate casts, two separate directors. But one costumer, one lighting designer, and–most importantly–one stage, which must quickly convert from ancient Israel to a department store in 1945.

When Megan Arnold and I (Lauren Nichols) began talking about the stage design for our two versions of Ruth, we were hunting for a motif which would carry over from one play to the other, some visual element which would silently tie the two plays together.  Eventually we landed on the idea of trees.  After all, the opening line of The Redemption of Ruth references trees: Continue reading

One great love story. Two versions.

RUTH-Final-web

Our entry in the “romantic comedy” category, in honor of February, is a pair of short plays which designed to both entertain and inspire.  Ruth2 is two one-act  adaptations of the story found in the Hebrew scriptures, of a foreign woman who marries into the ancestral line of King David.

The synopses

In The Redemption of Ruth, we meet Naomi, a bitter Israeli widow living in exile in Moab. After losing her husband and both adult sons (we are not told how any of them die), she decides to go back to her husband’s home in Bethlehem. She tells her widowed daughters-in-law to go back to their own families. One of them does, but the other, Ruth, refuses to abandon her mother-in-law. Continue reading

The Play’s Afoot! Our Season Opener–

HOLMES-FINAL-web-1-240x300Sherlock Holmes and the 1st Baker Street Irregular is a new play by Brian Guehring which incorporates several of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories about the famous detective, and weaves in an original story about how Holmes came to employ his “irregulars”–various street urchins who ran errands and gathered information for him.

“Wiggins,” a resourceful young person, is the leader/protector of a gang of London orphans. When the wrong pocket is picked, this gang is brought in contact with none other than Sherlock Holmes. Neither he nor the orphans appreciate at first just how useful their partnership could be.  Expect suspense and lots of laughs as Wiggins becomes Holmes’ apprentice and both of them get more than they bargained for.

Holmes PR photo

l. to r., Josh Hanson, Jack Hanson, Nate Chen, Josette Wilhelm

The play, which runs a brisk 75 minutes with no intermission, is a perfect introduction for young people who are unfamiliar with literature’s most illustrious private detective. The Red-Headed League and The Blue Carbuncle are two of Holme’s quirkiest puzzles, and neither involves a murder, making the play truly appropriate for all ages to enjoy together.

Our cast of 13 includes six juveniles.  Expect to see:

Nate Chen as SHERLOCK HOLMES
Matthew Williams* as DR. JOHN WATSON
Jen Netting as MRS. HUDSON
Josette Wilhelm* as WIGGINS
Timothy Deal as INSPECTOR LESTRADE (and others)
Dennis Nichols as HENRY BAKER (and others)
Cole Litwiller* as DUNCAN ROSS (and others)
Ruth Fearnow as SPAULDING (and others)

and

Bella Gilliom*,
Jack Hanson,
Josh Hanson*,
Kaleb Mantle*, and
Kristin Wilder    as THE IRREGULARS.

*denotes actors making their afO main stage debut.

For tickets, call (260) 422-4226 or visit tickets.artstix.org.

 

 

 

Dramaturgy: An Ideal Husband

aih-final-web-240x300I realize this is after-the-fact, but I wanted to include our thoughts on this production here, for the edification of other theaters who may want to produce this work. 

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish-born poet, novelist and playwright, best known for his daring psychological thriller/morality tale, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and his hilarious but insubstantial comedy play, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Wilde is widely acknowledged to have had a genius intellect. He spoke and read several languages and took double first class honors at Oxford (roughly equivalent to earning two simultaneous bachelor’s degrees, magna cum laude). He read widely and deeply, and loved the Classics, especially Greek literature. He also exhibited a lifelong fascination with the Catholic Church, read the Bible and St. Augustine while in jail, and requested a priest to administer Last Rites on his death bed. Continue reading

Introducing “Edward Tulane”

MJET-FINAL-web-240x300The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a gorgeous stage adaptation by Dwayne Hartford of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s novel. DiCamillo is the award-winning author of such diverse books as Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses.

The plot of …Edward Tulane is fairly simple: a china rabbit is separated from his owner, and is found in turn by: a fisherman and his wife, a hobo and his dog, and a poverty-stricken little boy and his dying sister.  The premise of the story is a bit harder to articulate.  Continue reading

An Ideal Husband is ideal comedy

aih-final-web-240x300An Ideal Husband (February 22 – 24 and March 1 – 3, 2019) Oscar Wilde’s warm and witty romantic comedy is the perfect antidote to our cold winter blahs! Sir Robert Chiltern is a paragon of public and private virtue, respected by his peers and adored by both his wife and his sister, Mabel. Why then does the mysterious Mrs. Cheveley want to blackmail him? Meanwhile, family friend Lord Goring politely spars with Mabel and watches Mrs. Cheveley with interest. A clever, suspenseful commentary on relationships and integrity from the author of The Importance of Being Earnest.  Rated PG for subject matter.

Introducing the cast of all for One’s February romantic comedy:

Sir Robert Chiltern, MP   Timothy Deal*
Lady Gertrude Chiltern   Corrie Taylor
Mabel Chiltern, Robert’s sister   Lydia Tomaszewski
Arthur, Lord Goring   Mason Dillon*
Lord Caversham, Arthur’s father  Dennis Nichols
Mrs. Laura Cheveley   Abbey Pfenning*
Lady Markby   Leslie Bryan*
Mason, the Chilterns’ butler  Larry Garver*
Phipps, Lord Goring’s butler  Dennis Meehan*

*denotes first appearance with afO