Ringgold Playhouse Presents True West

Show Opens Thursday

Saturday, April 14, 2018
"True West" explores the brokenness of an American family as two brothers clash over a Hollywood screenwriting deal. Adam Cook, left, and Jonathan Harris work a scene as "Lee" and "Austin" in a recent rehearsal.
"True West" explores the brokenness of an American family as two brothers clash over a Hollywood screenwriting deal. Adam Cook, left, and Jonathan Harris work a scene as "Lee" and "Austin" in a recent rehearsal.

Gritty, haunting, intense...those are just a few of the words being used to describe the Ringgold Playhouse's production of "True West" opening this week, said officials. 

Review for True West: 

The classic Sam Shepard tale directed by Joanna Lewis will kick off its seven-performance, two-weekend run at the historic Ringgold Depot Thursday night and will dissect the dynamic of sibling rivalry like few plays ever have. 

"Sam Shepard has brilliantly illustrated the dark humor, complexities, and the dichotomous themes of the American family," Ms. Lewis said. "He addresses the rivalry paired with fondness, the bonds and estrangement, and the hilarious yet dark dysfunction of it all." 

After acting and stage managing with TRP over the past few seasons, Ms. Lewis is making her directorial debut with the show.  

"This story has several motifs that resonated with me on a personal level, which is why I chose to tackle it as my first directorial effort," said Ms. Lewis. 

The story showcases the clash between an up-and-coming writer Austin (Jonathan Harris), and his older brother Lee (Adam Cook), a criminal drifter, who arrives uninvited and tries to swindle Austin's screenwriting deal out from under him by schmoozing big time Hollywood producer Saul (Steve Jordan). The story's action takes place in the California home of the duo's mother played by Julia Wyant.    

"The brothers are tied to their roots and their equal upbringing, and yet both struggle to escape it," Ms. Lewis said. "They fight against each other to have their individual stories heard, yet the story that needs to be heard and is inevitably told, is really about them and their relationship. That's because the stories that engage us are not those that are contrived, but stories that are 'true to life'." 

Ms. Lewis believes the story has a little something for everyone, and that audiences will connect with themes in the show.  

"I feel that every individual has experienced some level of familial brokenness in their life, and that is what this play speaks to," she said. "It also addresses the fight within ourselves to tear off our labels, whether based on our past/upbringing or our own self-inflicted and confined identities." 

Mr. Shepard's snappy dialogue and rugged ambiance are entertaining and impressive, as is the stamina of Mr. Harris and Mr. Cook, who deliver the goods while remaining on stage together for the play's entire two hours. 

"This show is powerful, funny, and wildly entertaining," said Ms. Lewis. "I think that Adam and Jonathan have tackled these brothers and their relationship with enormous insight and fortitude, and I award them with respect and gratitude for all their hard work. The cast is wonderful, and I am confident that the performances will be compelling and that the audiences will be fully engaged, enthralled, and entertained." 

Performances will run April 19-21 and 26-28 at 7:30 p.m., with a special matinee performance Saturday, April 28, at 2 p.m. 

Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 for seniors and students, and can be purchased in person at Ringgold City Hall, over the phone at 706-935-3061, or online at CityOfRinggoldGa.gov


Director Joanna Lewis
Director Joanna Lewis


Hello, Dolly! Opens On Friday At The Chattanooga Theatre Center

Hello, fun! That’s what our season-ending production of the Broadway blockbuster musical HELLO, DOLLY! promises to be when it hits the stage on Friday. The musical comedy, which boasts some of the greatest songs in musical theatre history, continues its run through Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Chattanooga Theatre Center. HELLO, DOLLY!, which first opened on Broadway in 1964, is currently ... (click for more)

Van Johnson In WWII Docudrama GO FOR BROKE! To Screen At Heritage House On July 19

Van Johnson in Dory Schary's World War II Docudrama GO FOR BROKE!  will be presented on  Thursday, July 19 at 2 p.m. at Heritage House Arts & Civic Center, 1428 Jenkins Road in Chattanooga.  Admission is free.  Running time is 1:31 and the film is rated PG. Review of the film: The film GO FOR BROKE! is the story of the 442nd Infantry Battalion, the ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Senator Watson And Rep. Hazlewood Ask TDOT To Move Swiftly On Highway 127 Road Project Up Signal Mountain

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) have asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to move swiftly on the Highway 127 project leading up Signal Mountain. In a sternly-worded letter, the lawmakers asked TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to prioritize the road project due to further deterioration of the road. ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding - And Response (2)

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)