Closing in on Opening Night

Clara (Maria Knox) and Lily Dale (Maggie Heffernan)

by Carolynne Wilcox

Stone Soup Theatre PR Manager and YMA Cast Member

Stone Soup first decided to include Horton Foote’s Pulitzer Prizewinner for Drama (1995), The Young Man From Atlantain our season back during the summer of 2011. We had our director, Maureen Hawkins on board, and were just coming off our season auditions. Most of the cast have known we’d be lending our acting talents since then. Chris Scofield, our production manager, set about hiring designers who then began working on set, lighting, sound and costume plans.

Rehearsals started at the beginning of January, right after the holidays, and we’ve been plugging away either with rehearsals or construction and assembly of the various other parts of the production that are necessary pieces of the whole. We’ve had a few formidable kinks, like snowstorms and actor illnesses to contend with as well as smaller foibles like having to take off our shoes so as not to damage the newly-painted floor, but through it all, we’ve stayed the course, because the show, after all, must go on

We find ourselves now in the home stretch of tech week (or “Hell Week” as it’s sometimes affectionately called) with four dress rehearsal runs before we put this show in front of an audience. Two runs tonight; two runs tomorrow night. Lines have been learned, costumes have been fitted, all the precious and important pieces

Come into our living room!

are mostly in place and now we just have to do it. Again and again and again…and then once more, with feeling.

The verdict? It’s a graceful, lovely show. It’s about real people dealing with real things. The death of a child, a difficult economy, and all those wonderful little issues in our lives we choose to remain in denial about. It’s not a histrionic show – there isn’t a lot of scenery chewing. The actors are subtle and the performances are richly nuanced. They and all the supporting elements (costumes, set, lights, sound) frame Foote’s words beautifully. There are moments that will make you roll your eyes. There are moments that will induce chuckles. And there are moments that will absolutely break your heart.

We invite you into the living room of Will and Lily Dale Kidder to laugh and cry with them as they figure out how to make lemonade out of the recent lemons life has handed them.

______________________

The Young Man From Atlanta opens Friday, February 17th with two 8pm preview performances on Feb 15th and 16th. Running through March 10th, showtimes are 8pm Th-Sat and 4pm Sundays Feb 26th and March 4th. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com and a limited number of half-price tickets are available at goldstar.com.

Etta Doris looking at a photo of Bill Kidder

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