It’s fairly unconventional for a cast of actors to reunite for a play they performed three years earlier.
As Redding’s Elizabeth Johnson puts it: “Usually when an actor is done with a play, it gets put behind them and they look for new adventures.”
In the case of Conor McPherson’s “The Weir,” it’s a different situation.
The play, originally directed by Robert Soffian, ran for just two performances at Shasta College in Redding, then enjoyed a limited run in Weaverville. The actors had such a good time with it, they felt like more people should have had the chance to experience it.
“Every time anyone of us would bump into each other, we would always say, ‘We have to do it again!’ It is such a tremendous script,” said Johnson, the stage director in the original play who is directing this time around. “It only played two nights in Redding so we know there is an untapped audience.”
The play is being presented by the Root Theater Company . The show is set for 7:30 p.m. March 5-6 and 12-13, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 7 at the Old Schoolhouse in Shasta off Highway 299 (take a right on French Alley). Tickets are $12 at the door. For more information and ticket reservations call 241-8775 or click here .
The play is set in an Irish pub and the characters engage in an evening of stories about life, lore, loss and love.
“It doesn’t bring up social issues or political issues or world views, it’s just a slice of life,” says cast member Dean Williams. “It’s very real, very down to earth. It’s satisfying to do. It goes through the whole range of emotions that people have — anger, jealousy, comrade, symphony, love. It’s an actor’s play.”
Joining Williams in the cast are Bob Koroluck, Deanne Foley, James Hutcheson and Levi Goldin.
The Old Schoolhouse in Shasta is a perfect venue for the play, says Johnson.
“The Old Schoolhouse in Old Shasta is much more fitting and atmospheric,” Johnson said. “We are making use of the small quarters and will practically be in the audience’s lap — every actor’s dream.”
I remember chatting with Williams and Koroluck following the original production. I got the sense back then that I had missed something special. Three years later and with a new director, I’m sure the play won’t be an exact copy of what it was before.
But I won’t be missing it this time around.
I missed Sunday’s blues show by Tommy Castro at Johnny’s Cathouse, but my friend Derral Campbell (blues DJ for Jefferson Public Radio) was there.
Here’s what Derral had to say about the first in a series of name blues shows at Johnny’s:
“It was a great night, musically. His new bass player is exciting on several levels — he plays good, driving lines, and he dresses sharp as well as cuts some nice stepping. Fun to watch and really kicks the beat. Tommy was in fine voice and played some great leads. He went for a walk
all the way upstairs up one side and down the other. Two-horn augmenting going on, and a tough new piano guy, Tony Stead. I liked the new songs.”
Here’s a pic Derral took from the evening: