Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time for Audiences to Board THE TRAIN DRIVER

By Alexander Coddington

Only a few more days until we open THE TRAIN DRIVER on Friday, Feb. 27! Tonight is our Pay-What-You-Can preview, and we are very excited to have our first audience in the Studio Theatre to see this production.
Playwright Athol Fugard
In the past week, we have moved from the rehearsal hall upstairs and into the Studio Theatre, onto Lisa Schlenker’s meticulous, arresting set.  All of the design elements have really come together in service of Fugard's text beautifully, from the African sunsets created by lighting designer Steven Roy White to Debra Krajec’s costumes, which she bought looking brand new and now look like they have been weathered by the years.  Victoria Deiorio, whose work you may have heard recently during THE AMISH PROJECT at the Rep, provides the play with its haunting score.

It seems unfathomable to me now that David Daniel and Michael Torrey had never met before that first read-through less than a month ago.  They have become fast friends, but how could they not?  Rehearsing a two-character play where neither actor leaves the stage I am sure has been an incredible bonding experience for the two of them.

Fugard has written a very difficult play.  He challenges the artists tackling his work with how to approach the extremely delicate issues of race and class, life and death.  He then in turn challenges his audiences with how to interpret what those artists have presented before them.  Fugard’s writing is an act of empathy and ultimately it is up to us all to give ourselves over to a journey towards understanding the human experience.  It is a journey that we are incredibly grateful to have taken together as a team of artists, and we are thrilled to have audiences join us as we continue discovering the rich layers of Fugard’s text.

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