Monday, September 7, 2009

Mouse in a Jar - The First Readthrough

Walking in from the humidity on an abnormal Chicago Sunday morning, I found myself walking into a cozy one bedroom apartment occupied by the young, hip, semi-indie style of the Davis'. Welcomed by hugs and the comfy smell of fresh baked goods I knew I was in for a treat (no pun intended). Having been to thousands of read-throughs, from college fold out tables to basement floors to one of the greatest regional theatre's in the country, I found myself in a living room and I’ve never felt so comfortable. As Martyna Majok arrived (playwright/Yale Grad. student) the energy of the room was filled with high hopes, nervousness, and of course potential.

Gathered around in the living room the normal process began. We got a chance to listen to Miles Polaski’s chilling sound design. Martyna's face was filled with joy as we heard tracks from his computer. Striking bars from the violin were played from the sound track to There Will Be Blood. The best part was the excitement that this sound designer was giving off; he truly has a passion for his work and this piece. Next came a slideshow from company member Kyle Land, who said, "I’m not a lighting designer, I’m a shadow designer." His images had a modern feel of what Hitchcock would create if he was alive today. Next, Kat Powers, the props designer, who is in the early stages of the process, let us know that if we or anyone we know has stuff from the basement to get in contact with her. This image of shadows and darkness set the tone for Bill Anderson’s set design. This guy's model was something out of a book. The Red Tape space will be transformed into a basement, a dark, water dripping from the walls, horror film style kind of basement. Everyone was gathered around this model, there was a silence and the designer was just keeping his eyes on the model, sort of waiting to see if people liked it. Trust me people were in amazement. This model represents where Red Tape is going and how we will take an audience by the throat and won't let them go until we are done!

We then, of course, did a reading of the play. I don't want to give anything away other then this play is a must see. Strong women roles filled with incredible talent. Be ready for a ride. In my opinion, this play is the bastard child of Sam Shepard and Adam Rapp. Martyna is able to keep us slightly uncomfortable while being fully engaged and wanting more. The designers will keep you in this play without even noticing them. I cannot wait until this play opens.

Nicholas Combs

Company Member

Mouse in a Jar runs October 5-31, 2009.
Purchase tickets through our website.

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