Last Tuesday night we had one of our fabulous LookIns for our upcoming production of Rapture, Blister, Burn, by Gina Gionfriddo. There was food wine and curious minds everywhere wondering what they were about to see and what they were about to experience. Guests gathered into our rehearsal studio and headed towards the overflowing buffet tables. Then they went and found their seats, excited to learn what was to happen on the living-room style set in front of them. First we had a lovely introduction about our guest director, Lauren Shouse, from our Producing Artistic Director, René D. Copeland. Then Lauren came up and spoke passionately about the central themes of Rapture, Blister, Burn.

For a brief synopsis of Rapture, Blister, Burn click here.

Lauren spoke mainly about the choices the lead characters didn’t make, and how they never realized that they had never examined the life not lived until, they felt, it was almost too late. The interesting thing about this underlying theme is that the playwright, who is around the same age as these characters, was going through some interesting life journeys herself that forced her to look at a life she might not have:

“I was pregnant when I was writing the play, but without getting into too much detail, I had miscarriages, and it was not a smooth path,’’Gina Gionfriddo says. “I wasn’t one of those people who are pregnant and looking to the future joyfully. I felt it could all be taken away, and I was considering what life would be like if I didn’t have this baby.’’

This play’s central focus is can women really “have it all?” Can they have the career and the family, or must they choose how they get their life’s fulfillment?

Lauren then introduced Gary C. Hoff and Evelyn Thornhill, our Resident Scenic Designer and Props Master respectively, to describe the set and how they used its design to symbolize each character. For instance, there is a scene in a backyard between two characters, Catherine and Don. Don is a pot smoking, porn addicted, heavy drinker with absolutely no drive to reach his potential as he feels settled in mediocrity. The set for this scene is intentionally unkempt with vines and ladders and an old grill, to represent unkempt and unmotivated Don. In the various other scene settings you’ll be able to see and analyze which set represents which character.

To close the evening, our fabulous actresses portrayed one of the most poignant scenes from the beginning of the play for our eager audience. Not to give too much of the story away, this scene involved a discussion on porn, sexual promiscuity, antifeminism, and Jesus. Needless to say, this play is hilarious and extremely thought provoking for men and women. Be advised that there is strong language and sexual situations, so it is intended for a mature audience.

For tickets and more information click here.

We hold LookIns the Tuesday before each show opens, so if you missed this one, no worries! Our next one will be September 29th for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. To make your reservation for this FREE event click here.