by Carolynne Wilcox, Stone Soup Theatre PR Manager

Though producers and designers have been hard at work for some time on Horton Foote’s Young Man From Atlanta, we finally had our official cast and crew meeting/rehearsal Monday January 9.

Stage Manager Chris Scofield (How I Learned to DriveFool For LoveDurang7, etc) Director Maureen Hawkins (Durang7PlayFest4) welcomed everyone to the fold, with a description of the set we’d be using and some useful information about Horton Foote as well as the play itself.

We also heard from sound designer Lindsey Morck (Double (XX) Fest 2011, Compleat Works)  about her proposed use of piano music to correlate to the playing of one of the main characters (Lily Dale, played by Stone Soup Artistic Director Maureen Miko, evenings and Maggie Heffernan, matinees)as well as costume designer Savannah Baltazar (Fool For Love, Durang7, etc) about her ideas for early 50’s period styles in the American South (more to come on that in February 2012 newsletter!).

After that, we read through the script (while intermittently nibbling on the gooey chocolate delights brought by the director), finding it to be poignant, subtle, and unexpectedly humourous throughout. Actor Gordon Coffey brought the perfect grumpy yet anxious vibe to Will Kidder that had us all tittering the whole way through, though most of the situations in the piece are not “funny ha-ha”. And of course, the supporting cast brought their own a-games to the fold.

Along with the quiet intensity of Foote’s words and rhythms, all elements should make for a particularly heartfelt, identifiable show, not without its own brand of laughs. And not surprising, either: the play won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for drama, while Foote himself has won numerous writing awards himself, most notably Academy Awards in screenwriting for Tender Mercies and To Kill A Mockingbird.

“I believe very deeply in the human spirit…because I don’t know how people carry on. I’ve known people that the world has thrown everything at to discourage them, to kill them, to break their spirit. And yet something about them retains a dignity. They face life and they don’t ask quarters.” – Horton Foote

The Young Man From Atlanta previews February 15, and also features the talents of Eva Abram, John Clark (Fool For Love), Jaryl Draper (How I Learned to Drive) Matthew Gilbert (Compleat Works), Maggie Heffernan, Maria Knox, Zachariah Robinson (Durang7, How I Learned to Drive, etc), Suzi Tucker, Michael Way (Double (XX) Fest 2011) and Carolynne Wilcox (PlayFest 3 & 4, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, etc).  Tickets available for purchase here or by calling the box office 206.633.1883.


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