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"The STAND Project"
NASHVILLE'S theatre community "STANDS" against homelessness and addiction.
Nashville playwright Jim Reyland stages his strongest script yet
A Terrific Lieby Martin Brady
Presented by Writer's Stage
Through Nov. 21 at The Next Level, 1008 Charlotte Ave.
A Terrible Lie, Nashville playwright Jim Reyland's latest work, might be his best so far. The credible scenario revolves around a personally conflicted writer desperate to publish his next book, his faithful wife and some of the residents of the retirement home where she works as a nurse. Any more plot details would venture into spoiler territory.
As always, Reyland displays a gift for dialogue, and he moves his audience seamlessly between the couple's apartment and the senior residence, weaving an interesting tale of human weakness and need exemplified by the differing priorities of youth and old age.
The cast, under the direction of Barry Scott, is uniformly excellent. Ross Bolen and Alice Raver deliver sharp, sensitive work in the leading roles, but it's particularly gratifying to experience the performances of longtime Nashville veteran Cecil Jones and Jeremy Childs, the latter on a local stage for the first time in recent memory. Childs is superb in a finely etched portrait of a man with an edge but also a conscience. Jones' wife, Jane Jones, also makes a return to live theater with a convincing and poignant portrayal of Raver's wheelchair-bound, Alzheimer's-afflicted mother. Equally good, only sassier, are Dorothy Robinson and Martha Manning as a pair of senior sisters of indefatigable spirit.
More so than his previous effort Article Four, Reyland's drama seems to have gained a lot through its monthlong workshop process leading up to the opening — not to mention that this script features more realistic characters and plot development, resulting in a more satisfying emotional experience.
November 1, 2009
Writer's Stage presents workshop of Jim Reyland play
By Fiona Soltes
FOR THE TENNESSEAN
For some, "workshopping" a new play means allowing actors to read it out loud, inviting critique. Jim Reyland jokes that it's something deeper: "sheer terror."
It's Monday night, and Reyland is flanked on stage by professional actors/directors Mark Cabus and Barry Scott. They're discussing the script of Article 4 "Reyland's script" in great detail. Altering words. Questioning interpretation. Picking it apart bit by bit by bit. The mood, however, is far from antagonistic; Reyland has been around the theater long enough to know that "painful as the process can be" it's better to let trusted peers give an honest assessment before an audience does.
"It's really wonderful," he says, "if you're surrounded by the right people.
In addition to veteran actor Cabus (who takes the lead in the production) and Scott (a longtime friend who will direct), those "right people" include the cast of Evelyn Blythe, Jamie Famer, Chris Goodrich, Ted Welch and Greg Wilson. With them in tow, Article 4 opens this week still in workshop mode before its full premiere.
By Martin Brady>
Published on November 04, 2009 at 3:06pm
Yet another original play opens this weekend when Jim Reyland's Article 4 receives a formal workshop staging under the direction of Barry Scott. Operating under an Actors' Equity special appearance contract, Reyland has gathered together a notable cast featuring Mark Cabus, Jamie Farmer, Evelyn Blythe, Chris Goodrich, Ted Welch and Greg Wilson.
"It's worth it to me to go a little extra to have great actors," Reyland says. "You can see the difference between really top-flight performers and those who simply aren't at that level. I wanted the best director and the best actors I could find."
According to the synopsis of “21 Baker Road” an original musical by, Nashvillians Jim Reyland and Addison Gore, the main character Charlie Brigade, “falls from the only thing he’s ever loved, his house. He wakes up somewhere between here and there.”
Directed by Barry Scott, for one night only, March 1st at 7:30pm in the Bill and Carole Troutt Theater on the campus of Belmont University. Writer’s Stage, Nashville’s NewVoices theatre company presents a concert performance and stage reading of ’21 Baker Road’.