THE SUBMISSION Runs 4/4-19 at Theatre Memphis
The Submission, A Mid-South premiere by Jeff Talbott will take over the Next Stage at Theatre Memphis April 4 and run through April 19, 2014. Raw, unsentimental, and sometimes fiercely funny, this play exposes prejudices among young artists one might think more liberal and progressive. A white male playwright submits a race-based play to a national theatre competition, but when it is selected for production he is faced with producing the fictitious African-American female whose name he invented as the playwright.
Directing this recent Off-Broadway hit, Jerry Chipman has assembled a cast that has come together to perfectly gel as the script's characters. Chipman says, "One review of the New York production mentioned how the roles of Danny, the playwright, and Emilie, the actress, call for fearless performers who can 'act without a net.' This the Theatre Memphis production is blessed with two brave and talented and "fearless" actors taking on those roles." Danny, the playwright, is played by Gabe Beutel-Gunn, a recent Memphis transplant from Chicago, seen recently in Theatre Memphis' As You Like It. Jessica Johnson as Emilie, the ficticious nom de plume, makes her Theatre Memphis debut after appearing with Hattiloo Theatre and Circuit Playhouse, among other local stages. Kinon Kiplinger as the playwright's partner, and Evan McCarley as the playwright's best friend who becomes romantically attracted to the actress, complete the cast of this emotionally charged and verbally graphic play
With a cast of four, the intimate Next Stage setting creates an up-close environment that depicts various locations.
The Submission moves smoothly from light bantering to stark unpleasantness as it exposes how liberal minded individuals can resort to using words that hurl and sting and reveal bigotry about race and gender. Chipman alerts, "The play has the power to shock an audience in the way it suddenly depicts wounds in friendships that will likely never heal."
Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch talks about The Submission with no trepidation. She says, "It is important that we produce contemporary work to keep our artistic and patron base engaged with relevant topics. Even with the graphic language advisory, we felt this well written play told an interesting story that was about as current as it could get."