Holmdel Theatre Company's monthly Play Reading offering for September, "Middletown," takes place tonight at the Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Road at 7:00 pm. Hot coffee will be served and admission is free.
Written by Will Eno, “Middletown” explores the universe of a small American town -- a playful yet penetrating journey into our darkest places. Likened to a latter day “Our Town,” Eno's play centers around the friendship that develops between longtime resident John Dodge and newly arrived Mary Swanson, even as the lives of Middletown's denizens intersect in unexpected and compelling ways, according to press materials.
“What struck me first about the play were two things,” said director C J Nolan.
“First, there are some wonderfully absurd but thought-provoking quotes tossed in after the title page, and second, there's the Prologue speech, which is a brilliant monologue that sort of told me this would be like jumping into the deep end of the pool.”
The playwright's love of language and word play is evident throughout.
“Eno is a masterful word juggler,” continued Nolan. “He also loves small observations about big things, and "Middletown" is sort of an intimate play about the whole of creation, sad but not hopeless, funny but not at anyone's expense."
"Middletown" won the inaugural Horton Foote Award for Most Promising New Play of 2010.
“I guess some people will say 'nothing happens,' said Nolan, "but I think a lot happens."
"A lifetime happens.”
Catherine Rowe Pherson
Directed by C J Nolan
Holmdel Theatre Company's Play Reading Series is a forum where new works are given their first voice and established works are performed just for fun or sampled for possible inclusion in future seasons as main stage productions, according to its website. Evenings consist of a play reading performance followed by a lively audience discussion. Admission is free. For more information visit holmdeltheatrecompany.org.