Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga welcomes back its Brave New Works New Play Series with Dust by Chicago playwright Robert Smith.
Dust will be presented in four shows, July 19-21, at Barking Legs Theater. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, July 19-20, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $17 for students and senior citizens. Call 987-5141 for ticket information.
“Rob and I were college friends in North Carolina and through our common interest of play writing have managed to keep in touch," said Garry Lee Posey, founder and executive director of ETC. "ETC presented a staged reading of the one act version of DUST in 2009 with our New Play Tuesday series. As Rob lengthened, work shopped and premiered the longer version in Chicago, we kept in touch trying to find the right moment for us to present the full length.”
The one-act version of DUST received the highest honor for a short play in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival shortly after Mr. Smith penned it. “In academic theatre, KC/ACTF is a huge deal,” said Mr. Posey.
Review for DUST:
The plot is simple. While sick, a father tries to reconcile with his estranged daughter. Carver, a successful composer, and Lucia, his promising violinist prodigy, find themselves overwhelmed by grief when Carver’s wife and Lucia’s mother (also a musician) dies unexpectedly in a car accident on her way home from a booking. Carver dives deep into his creativity, Lucia loses interest in hers. Through intermittent flashbacks, Mr. Smith weaves like a tense fugue, the pasts and presents of these two characters. Flourishing through conflict, reaching a climax that questions the very nature of one’s identity.
“These characters are so complex," said Gioia Fazzini who plays Lucia, the daughter. "Stubborn at one moment, full of guilt at another; angry and unapologetic at one moment, reminiscent later. There is a lot to really dig into.”
DUST marks a return to the ETC stage for Ms. Fazzini, having last performed with ETC in 2008’s Songs for a New World.
Bruce Shaw, fresh from this season’s Urinetown and Side Show plays Carver. Rounding out the cast is Jennifer Bryant (Sideshow) playing Maddie- Lucia’s best friend and Joseph Tipton (2012’s Macbeth) playing the role of Ari, a friend of the family.
Making his directorial debut with ETC is onstage regular Joseph Watts. “It’s such a special moment when you are asked to direct a script that you have such a personal connection to. The more time I spend with this story, the more I appreciate just how accessible it is.”
ETC has partnered with local musician and composer Tim Henson-Hinck for Dust as well. Mr. Henson-Hinck has composed original music to accompany the play, which Ms. Fazzini will play live onstage.
“Being able to collaborate with other local artists is such an amazing opportunity,” said Mr. Posey. Stage Manager is Matheson Wynnermer, set design is by Martine Cartier, costumes and props are by Mr. Posey.