< Back | Home
Lowell Bartholomee is the director of "In On It," a play about a playwright
struggling with his own identity. The play premieres at The Off Center tonight
and performances will be Thursdays through Saturdays until July 29.
Less is more in evolving play 'In On It'
Posted: 7/13/06It's not often that a playwright publishes an
award-winning piece, and keeps changing the script. In Canadian playwright
Daniel MacIvor's case, though, that's his precise formula.
piece "In On It" follows "This One," a playwright struggling with his own
identity as he writes a family drama. Local actor Scotty Roberts tackles this
challenging role, both opening and closing the play. Robert Faires plays "That
One," Roberts' character's lover.
The Dirigo Group spotted the play in
January 2003 when MacIvor performed it at UT for the Fresh Terrain Festival.
MacIvor was still reworking the piece as it toured, though it had already been
published and won an Obie in 2002.
"It gives me a lot of respect for him,
that he's rewriting after it was published," said Lowell Bartholomee, who is
directing the play during its run at The Off Center.
"I don't think I
would change my play after it had been published and won awards."
group met MacIvor and began working to perform "In On It" themselves. They set a
deadline for MacIvor to finalize his script - Saskatchewan Day, the first Monday
of August - and began casting.
"Casting is often reading a part, and then
faces pop into your head," Bartholomee said. "We read the role, and Scotty
popped in my head. Then it was just finding a costar to work with him, and
Robert fit that."
Both actors play multiple roles, covering the
characters within "This One's" play, along with recreating the people "This One"
and "That One" interact with daily. All of this is done on a stage with only two
chairs - no props, no scenery. The script was written for a bare stage, and also
included directions for lighting design, which was ideal for Bartholomee.
"The concept's been worked out, so you're just working with the actors,
getting them to reach the point that the director wants them to hit, and Scotty
and Robert made it," Bartholomee said.
To prepare for "In On It," the
group cleared out The Off Center, including seating. Without anything in the
way, Bartholomee had an easier time visualizing the play.
tends to be more of a black box," Bartholomee said. "I think it's a different
experience for the audience to walk into a completely bare space, in the dark.
It's really exciting to take a space so bare and bring it to life. That's
Bartholomee works both angles of Austin theater, jumping
between acting and directing with ease. Though he prefers to act, work is more
available as a director.
"It's easier to give yourself a director job,
since you can't give yourself an acting job. The director casts the actors," he
Bartholomee is a co-artistic director in the Dirigo Group, along
with Ellie McBride. After "In On It" completes its run, he will take a break
from theater to work on his film projects. He will begin shooting his film
"Fleet Street," a "tight little thriller."
"In On It" was rated top
"Theatre to See in July" by local publication Austinist. The play, premiering at
The Off Center tonight, will run Thursdays through Saturdays, ending July 29.
The next Dirigo Group production is in January, though the piece has not been
© Copyright 2006 The Daily Texan