adapted and directed by laura somers
based on eugene o'neill's desire under the elms

Awards, Nominations and NotorietyProduction Notes Reviews

sit cold cast

CAST

Eben Greg Gondek
Peter Corey Gagne
Abbie Christa Kimlicko Jones
Simeon Judson Jones
Camera/Director Chris Meister
Cabot Joe Walling
Boom Sharon Sparlin
Sheriff Beth O'Reilly
Min Nicole Furneisen
PA Andy Ramsey
PA Laura Somers
Father Michael Levi Iley Cory
Wendy Wendy Ballard
Fiddler Darcie Deaville

hmmm news brothere

Production Notes

In the cold, clear nights of November 1999, the dirigo produced its first show…not yet the dirigo group by name, but it was the first round of the dirigo group (Greg, Corey, Jud, Laura, Tammy, and myself). It was six friends wanting to do a show that they felt really passionate about. So…without any money…just a bunch of passion…we put up a show. And it was the passion that kept us warm in the freakin’ 30-40 degree weather. Amazing. What the hell were we thinking? Well, we weren’t. We were just doing what we loved to do, and we let the play think for us. And we challenged ourselves, and from the response, challenged the audience as well.

So…like I said, we had no money, so we asked a lot of questions from kind theatre folks in town…Ken Webster, Cyndi Williams, David Jones...to name a few…and we borrowed a lot of stuff…and we got REALLY creative. Out on a farm, under the stars and clip lights, and amongst the goats and turkeys and cats…a play was created and experienced. I have to say it was the most thrilling thing I think I’ve ever been a part of.

There are so many stories from that production…so many great memories. Like the first rehearsal…Laura didn’t tell us where we were going when she told us all to pile in the car. We ended up spending an evening of square dancing…of all things. And while we were there, she gave us things to think about for our characters and some games to play with each other amongst all these strangers. Little did they know we were having our rehearsal.

And the time the cops got called on us when we were rehearsing in the driveway (because we had no rehearsal space). The neighbors didn’t know what the hell was going on.

And running lines late into the night.

And Hawaiian bread and queso.

And the boys working on Jud’s dad’s farm for a “bonding experience”. Little did Greg know that they were really going to have to work…not just milk some cows or gather eggs. And how much Greg and Corey enjoyed banding cattle until they realized that the banding was not for identification, but for….ooh gosh…castration.

And the first rehearsal on the farm. We spent 3 hours walking all around the space…getting familiar…marking our territories as if we were animals.

And the hot chocolate, coffee, Live Oak beer, and blankets for the audience.

And the scrabble game that Corey and Jud played every night after they “went to Hollywood”.

And the goats having sex during a show.

And the drunk patron talking to us while we were performing.

And Greg falling in some turkey poop and telling me in me ear before we’re supposed to roll around and make out. Mmm…that was lovely….

And the port-a-potty.

And the Tejano band across the hill. Boy, were they loud.

And the TVs on top of the shed and the video cameras in our faces.

And the night that my parents came and they were so bundled up you could barely see their faces. My dad said he loved the show, but he asked me afterwards if I was ever going to do a show in a controlled environment…but with a smile on his face because he knew his daughter was doing something she loved.

And the fact that people came out to a farm in November to see a play.

And Jud striking the set when he had a horrible flu.

And bubble wrap.

And overalls.

And then, getting nominated for four B. Iden Payne Awards,

And winning. We were floored.

desire was an amazingly challenging and beautiful experience. It’s one of those shows that I’ve put in my special treasure chest because it was so awesome to be a part of. It is one of those shows that becomes a model for how I hope a theatre experience will be.

And I think a great beginning for the dirigo group.

— Christa Kimlicko Jones

REVIEWS

“Laura Somers is definitely a director to watch”
“At once a fitting tribute to Eugene O'Neill”
“desire was a true theatrical experience”
          Austin Chronicle -
Read the full review

“A group with no name, no money, and no production history is currently staging one of this season's finest productions.”
“Part Shepard, part Beckett, part O'Neill, and part Laurel and Hardy”
“Greg Gondek and Christa Kimlicko Jones smolder”
          Ken Webster - Read the whole review


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