After a season of through-the-roof ticket sales and critical acclaim, the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC) now presents the final play of Season Eight. In true BETC style, “This” by Melissa James Gibson is a thought-provoking, heartrending, and laugh-filled examination of some of the most difficult years of our lives.
“This” was a hit off Broadway in 2009 with Julianne Nichols (August: Osage County) in the starring role of Jane and Louis Cancelmi (Law & Order) in the role of Jean-Pierre. NY Times critic Charles Isherwood wrote that Gibson “graduates into the theatrical big leagues with this beautifully conceived, confidently executed and wholly accessible work.”
At the helm of “This” is acclaimed local director Christy Montour-Larson. “Melissa James Gibson has an appreciation for the unexplained minor absurdities of life,” says Larson. “She is not afraid of experimentation, she is able to mine mythic and allusive substructures within colloquial speech—all while allowing the humor and humanity of her characters to shine through.”
Though this is her first play with BETC, Larson is one of the region’s most prolific directors. She is Producer-in-residence at Curious Theatre, and a frequent guest artist at many theatres including the Denver Center and Creede Rep. BETC Producing Ensemble Director, Stephen Weitz, says of Larson, “I’m so delighted to have someone of Christy’s caliber working for BETC. I’ve admired her work for years and am thrilled we were finally able to get her on board.”
Larson says. “‘This’ is the story of a group of friends in their late 30’s who struggle with infidelity, grieving, parenting and the meaning of life. It is about that time in our lives when we are lost at sea and disoriented, unmoored, vulnerable and susceptible. Everyone has a ‘This.’ It is the scary thing that demands attention but doesn’t necessarily receive it.”
The production stars Jessica Robblee (Curious Theatre’s “After the Revolution”) as Jane, and features BETC ensemble member Josh Hartwell (“Shipwrecked”), returning guest artist Ghandia Johnson (“Doubt”), and BETC newcomers Michael Morgan and David R. Russell.
“This” is a wonderful story for the midlife crisis in all of us,” Larson says. “Anyone going through a change in life will be able to relate to ‘This.’”
NY Times on “This”: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/theater/reviews/04this.html?pagewanted=all
Press images: http://betc.smugmug.com/Season-8/This-Press-Images
“This” by Melissa James Gibson, directed by Christy Montour-Larson
May 2-18. Preview May 1 ($15 tickets for preview and select performances)
Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m.; Sundays 4 p.m.
Dairy Center for the Arts, 26th and Walnut Street, Boulder
Tickets: (303) 444-7328 or betc.org