Dreamwell - Here's a look backstage Dreamwell's show More Fun Than Bowling by Stephen Dietz. It opens tomorrow night at Arts a la Carte in Old Brick. It is directed by Rachael Lindhart and stars Matthew Brewbaker as Jake Tomlinson.
Thanks for talking with me, Matt and Rachael. To start off, please tell us what this show is about.
Rachael Lindhart: The show is, believe it or not, actually about love and death. And about the lessons we have to learn from loss. Jake Tomlinson, owner of a small-town bowling alley, can't really tell people that he loves them--although he does, just the same. We follow him through the loss of three wives (not necessarily in chronological order) and cheer when he learns from coping--assisted by his daughter, Molly. Not to mention by a mysterious man who has designs on his life.
Matthew Brewbaker: I agree. The show is really about love and death and a man who admires and fears both equally.
Rachael, you've directed many plays. What is different about this one?
Rachael: Probably the biggest thing that makes this play different is the way it uses comedy--both verbal and character--to make some serious points. It is also marvelous the way that the author plays with the time frames in the play and also the way that he elevates bowling terminology to a poetic level. This is the only play I know of that has a bowling lesson love scene.
I sure can't think of any! What do you think were some of the biggest challenge you've faced?
Rachael: One challenge has been the weather--we had to cancel a number of rehearsals! But we are overcoming that.
Matthew: This is a bad month to rehearse in.
Rachael: Another challenge has been to find a way to "convert" some realistic effects, like a freshly-dug grave, to a theatrical representation which will convey the same thing to the audience. I hope that the method I chose will be effective, but I'm not sure we can tell that until we have an audience.
Can you two tell me a little about the rehearsal process?
Rachael: The rehearsal process has been nothing unusual.
Matthew: We all had a very, "lets get this built together" attitude and were all conscious of the time constraints.
Rachael: One thing that we ran short of time and did not do was something that I really intended to do. The time in the play skips around and I wanted to run the scenes in the order in which they occurred, which is not the same order as we find in the play. However, we didn't get to do that and it might be just as well as it could have confused the actors!
Do you have a favorite moment in the show? If you can tell us without spoiling it, of course.
Rachael: I'm not sure that I can choose a "favorite moment" but at the end of the play there is a true surprise when we finally find out who Mr. Dyson is and why he is there. It is really quite unexpected and that turning point is certainly a favorite.
Matthew: My favorite moment is the Louis Twinkler story...you'll see what I mean.
Can't tell us more without ruining it, huh? Anything either of you'd like to add?
Rachael: The only thing I would like to add is that this is one of those plays which I keep liking more and more as I work on it... and that cannot be said of every play. I have learned a lot from directing it and that, it seems to me, is all that a director can hope for which choosing a play!
For more information about the show, go here.