Revealing themselves

. January 21, 2014.
carter_PRTC_redwood_2014_0075

Lanford Wilson's play, Redwood Curtain, is the Purple Rose Theatre's winter offering. Stephanie Buck is making her directorial debut, and longtime Purple Rose actress and director Michelle Mountain will take on one of the three roles in the play. Current talked with them about working together and about Redwood Curtain.

Buck: I was an apprentice here at the Purple Rose in the 2006-2007 class, and then, after that, I got hired as a stage manager, which is really excellent training for directing. You facilitate for the director, but you also get to listen to all the notes that the director gives the actors and see what things work for people—what sort of language works for different types of actors. I think directors have to be able to speak many languages. You have to talk with designers in a way that works for them, you have to talk to an actor the way that helps them, and different actors are different. Once the show opens, the stage manager is in charge of maintaining the actors and everything. I love the sort of collaborative work that theater gets to be, that you don’t get very often elsewhere. This show came up and Guy (Sanville, Purple Rose’s Artistic Director) asked me if I would direct it, and I said, “Yes!” (Laughter)

In about two seconds. (Laughter)

Buck: I was lucky. When I first started stage managing there were also a lot of new actors in this company. They were learning how to perform for ten weeks and I was learning how to maintain actors for ten weeks. The first show I stage managed, Michelle directed. I was an apprentice for a long time while she was an actor, so we became very comfortable with each other.

Mountain: I feel like since we knew each other pretty well […] I just felt like we didn’t have to say a lot in rehearsal either, which is pretty rare.

Tell us about Redwood Curtain.

Buck: It’s about a young girl, Geri, seventeen, who is looking for her biological father, who she believes is a homeless Vietnam vet living in the redwood forest in California. She has been adopted into a very wealthy family in California, and her adopted father has passed and now she’s looking for her biological father, and she thinks she’s found him. She’s staying with her aunt, who Michelle is playing, and the play is about how they come to all be looking for themselves, together.

The title is intriguing.

A curtain is something that you can hide behind, but it can also reveal. Redwoods bring to mind the past, and history.

Mountain: I feel like it’s a redwood curtain because while he is hiding in there, hidden knowledge is in there too, and throughout the course of the play, so many things are revealed. The longing for your family, to know who your family is, and that they acknowledge you, is thousands and thousands of years old.

Like the redwood forests.
Buck: It’s a real world where magical things happen.

Redwood Curtain runs through
Saturday, March 15, 8pm. $27-42.
The Purple Rose Theatre, 137 Park St. Chelsea.
734-433-7673. purplerosetheatre.org

Trending

Laith Al-Saadi & Friends – Annual Birthday Bash

It goes without saying that Laith Al-Saadi is a treasure of the Ann Arbor music community. But if you haven’t yet experienced this bipedal force of nature with his signature beard, shredding guitar, and astonishing singing voice, then clear your schedule next Saturday… Laith Al-Saadi’s Annual Birthday Bash Sept 29 The Michigan Theater 8pm INFO

Grove Studios Grand Opening

If you’ve been following the pages (printed or online) of Current this past year, then you’ve probably heard a bit about Grove Studios already. Grove is a grassroots effort to provide musicians and artists from all around the Detroit metro area and western Washtenaw County a rehearsal and creative space for their work and development.

Audiotree Music Festival (Kalamazoo) – Sept 22/23

The Audiotree Music Festival returns to Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Creek Festival Place next Saturday and Sunday. The lineup features more than 20 artists, including Father John Misty, Khruangbin, Chicano Batman, Diet Cig, and many more! While the names we dropped in the previous paragraph are nationally renowned artists signed on to notable labels like Sub Pop or

saajtak featured among a genre defying lineup at blind pig – sept 13

  Genres are irrelevant. No one proves that assertion better than Detroit’s saajtak. Formed five years ago at U-M’s School of Music, saajtak’s made quite an impression with their stormy fusion of free jazz, noise experimentation, electronica, space-rock and opera. Their newest EP, Hectic, came out earlier this summer. Hectic EP by saajtak Thurs, Sept 13 saajtak