Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's Happening, People. BOOK CLUB.

All of my life, I have been someone who loves to disappear into a story. Plays, musicals, books, TV shows, movies - I can spend hours enveloped in the world of a good story being told to me (sometimes to my detriment; I got one of the worst sunburns of my life when I was reading the final Harry Potter book - I got so carried away I didn't realize I was frying). But what I love almost as much as getting swept away in a piece of art is coming back and connecting with the other people who have taken the same journey. The joy of loving a story is doubled by sharing it with other people who love it, and learning more about it from their own perspectives. What's a better catalyst for a good conversation than a good piece of art?

Thus, one of the things I have always wanted to be a part of (and oddly never have been in) is a book club. The idea of good art combined with good company and good discussion is just a triple win, if you ask me. When I came to the theater, I realized that there was something else that I had overlooked before - what if there was a book club that didn't only discuss books, but discussed them in combination with the theater happening at Two River? Discussing books and plays that have connections to each other might illuminate facets of each previously unseen.

For example, during On Borrowed Time I was struck by how interesting the portrayal of death was in the play. Mr. Brink was not sinister or scary like the traditional scythe-wielding image, but rather (as embodied by the wonderful Tom Nelis) warm and wise and a little bit melancholy. It reminded me of the truly marvelous book The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, about a German girl during the Holocaust, which has a similar portrayal of Death. How interesting that both of these works of art, written at very different times about very different eras and places, would share this unusual portrayal. What does it mean about their respective times? About the fears and feelings of their creators, and expected audiences? Does it change things if On Borrowed Time was intended for adults, knowing they are facing the oncoming specter of World War II, while The Book Thief is classified as a young adult book? Is there something about our current culture that would trigger the desire for Death to be seen as a benevolent figure instead of a terrifying one, despite the fact that our political climate is very different from pre-WWII America?

This is a discussion I want to have. And specifically, it's a discussion I want to have with Two River Theater audiences, who have proven themselves at talkbalks to be smart, receptive people with fascinating insights to share.

So, we're starting a book club. On Sunday, November 10th, at 5:00 PM, we'll kick it off in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono library, with some wine and cheese (because let's be honest, every discussion is better with wine and cheese). And we'll be discussing Martin Moran's heartbreaking and hilarious memoir 'The Tricky Part: A Boy's Story of Sexual Trespass, A Man's Journey Towards Forgiveness'. Talking about this book seemed too good an opportunity to pass up, since Martin is performing his two one-man plays, adapted from his memoir, in the theater during the same time. He'll come join us for part of the discussion, and to sign copies of the book, which is available on and at Barnes and Noble and at our box office.

So if you love discussing theater and you love discussing books, and you especially like doing things while eating cheese and drinking wine, please come! It's free, and hopefully it will just be the beginning of some fascinating conversations to come.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Put an Apple on Our Tree!!

We're coming up to the home stretch of On Borrowed Time, and, to put it bluntly, we're bummed. This is a special show, with a great cast, and we'll miss them all immensely.

Ugh, now I'm making myself sad thinking about it. So instead, I'll talk about something else I'll miss - our beautiful lobby tree.

You may have noticed that we have a bit of a tree theme going with this show, for obvious reasons (not obvious to you? You still have five chances to see the show and find out what I mean!). If you visit our lobby, you'll see this beautiful tree:

This tree is a little bit different from the others. This tree is designed to celebrate the theater's 20th anniversary season; for a $20 donation to the theater, you can get a red apple, and onto it you can write whatever you'd like to celebrate - a loved one, a special occasion, your favorite production at the theater, the Breaking Bad finale, whatever you'd like. Then hang it on the tree for all the world to see!

This is the final weekend you'll be able to see this tree. I'm not making any promises as to where it'll go after the show closes, but here's a hint: my living room.