Arts October 11, 2010
The Theater District

Theater is thriving in the valley! Following up their hit starring local Bruce Willis onstage in Sam Shepard’s True West, Company of Fools will present A Christmas Carol during the holiday season. But wait! This one is something very different—a brief, amusing version (adapted by Douglas Jones) that unfolds "in a wink of an eye" and emphasizes the excitement of a truly irresistible ghost story. Have fun!

A musical version of James Joyce’s The Dead—sounds strange, but it worked on Broadway last year, where it starred Christopher Walken. Famed critic Robert Brustein called it a "touching theatricalization of a great piece of literature." The Dead, despite its title, is actually a poignant tale that was the last story in Joyce’s The Dubliners; it was also the basis for John Huston’s last film.

Set in turn-of-the-century Dublin, the play revolves around an annual Christmas party in the home of Gabriel Conroy’s music-loving aunts, where three generations gather to exchange memories and good cheer. The guests recite poems, play piano, give speeches, and sing traditional Irish tunes. On this particular night, however, a guest’s song awakens a memory in Gabriel’s wife that reveals her long-buried passion for a past love. The Company of Fools presentation will be Feb. 21-March 10, 2002, with a cast including Andrew Alburger, Mike Craig, John Glenn, Danielle Kennedy, Claudia McCain, Cheryl Morrell, Laine Satterfield, Denise Simone, Marilyn Teitge, and Joel Vilinsky. Contact the Liberty Theatre (208.788.6520) or visit www.companyoffools.org.

The New Theater Company was recently awarded a grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts for its community outreach programs, including its production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit. The funds will be used in part for a new program called From Page to Stage, which will bring theater professionals together with anyone interested in experiencing theater from the first reading to the first performance of a play. Watch actors rehearse with the director. Join a roundtable discussion about the characters. Be there for rehearsal to watch lighting and sound cues. Attend opening night and even the cast party afterwards. The total theatrical experience! 208.788.2026.

Crystal Thurston, longtime resident of the Wood River Valley and co-founder of the New Theater Company, is a writer, a mother, and the Program Director at The Community Library.