“Gnit” an Eclectic and Eccentric Production for The Bluebarn Theatre
February 19th, 2014
Omaha, NE — Action, adventure, and introspection are on tap in a new comedy onstage at The Bluebarn Theatre.[audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/GNIT-web.mp3]
The Bluebarn Theatre in Omaha continues its 25th anniversary season with â€œGnitâ€ a new play by Will Eno. This is only the second production of the play in the United States. The Bluebarnâ€™s Producing Artistic Director, Susan Clement-Toberer, was able to see the first production at the â€œHumana Festivalâ€ in Kentucky.
â€œ(The Humana Festival, which is a new playwrightsâ€™ festival, and) â€˜Gnitâ€™ just rocked my socks off.â€ Clement-Toberer said. â€œI thought it was perfect for the Bluebarn, itâ€™s eclectic, itâ€™s eccentric.â€
The play is loosely based on Ibsenâ€™s â€œPeer Gyntâ€ and includes elements of adventure, drama, and humor.
â€œSolvay says, â€˜Iâ€™ve heard about you, Iâ€™ve always wondered about that name, Gnit.â€™ And he says, â€˜Oh, it was a typo on my birth certificate and we thought weâ€™d just leave it.â€™â€ said Clement-Toberer.
This production features the Bluebarnâ€™s signature minimalist approach to set and design, an aesthetic that responds to the theatreâ€™s space restrictions and the resources historically available.
â€œWe started on a shoestring budget, and we know that we can tell the story of the play in a simplistic and authentic way,â€ said Clement-Toberer. â€œThe elements in are very minimalistic. You know, the motherâ€™s house is a bed and a window. It moves very rapidly, the play does, so we knew that we had to create pieces that would immediately set the audience in place and time.â€
The minimalist approach to this play also applies to casting. Matthew Pyle plays â€œGnitâ€ with Stacie Lamb as his mother. The rest of the roles are split between four actors, each one playing multiple characters.
â€œSarah Carlson-Brown plays â€˜Solvayâ€™, who is really Gnitâ€™s love interest for the span of the play, which is about 30 years. She also plays a male bartender, a gravedigger, which is very funny, and an auctioneer as well.â€ said Clement-Toberer. â€œAnd then we have Jonathan Purcell who plays â€˜Townâ€™, a multiple-character person, and he also plays â€˜the Green Familyâ€™ – all of them at once – and he also plays â€˜International Manâ€™.â€
Katlynn Yost, plays â€œStranger 2â€, another multiple-character, as does an actor who KVNO listeners might recognize.
â€œBill Grennan plays a hunter, he plays a sweet man who gets left at the altar, and he plays â€˜Pale Manâ€™, which I wonâ€™t say too much about.â€ Clement-Toberer said.
â€œGnitâ€, a new play by Will Eno opens February 20 and runs through March 16 at the Bluebarn Theatre in downtown Omaha. For showtimes, tickets, and more information, visit www.bluebarn.org.
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