BWW Interviews: Jay Huling Talks World Premiere of Comedy THE SING SING SUITE at Washington County Playhouse
Most people have watched all of the great prison escape movies or heard the unbelievable stories about prison breakouts. But what about a prison that is so fantastic, people try to break INTO it, and none of the prisoners want to leave?
In the new Jay Huling comedy The Sing Sing Suite, premiering this Saturday at the Washington County Playhouse, the playwright explores a new idea for an original comedy which came from a usual fact of life.
"I've observed in myself and in other people how much effort we put into being lazy. And how people so often confine themselves to ties that aren't really binding them. At some point, all of that mixes up in my mind and I think, "How can I explore those ideas in a play?" And that was really the beginning of The Sing Sing Suite -- a prison that no one wants to leave." said playwright Jay Huling.
In The Sing Sing Suite, Huling created a utopian prison, where the doors are never locked, the prisoners have fantastic living suites and plasma T.V.'s and the warden is desperate for her inmates to love her. The world's greatest escape artist is imprisoned here and is frustrated because the prison is much too easy to escape from, and refuses to attempt a great escape until the security increases. Meanwhile, an obsessed fan of the escape artist tries to break into the prison just to be near her idol!
"It is a very unique, very funny play. The comedy in The Sing Sing Suite runs the gamut of humor. It's sometimes broad, bawdy, sophisticated, sophomoric, and subtle -- often all at the same time. It has some of the most in-your-face comedy I've ever written. The script is 90 pages long, and there is a gag or something funny that happens about every three lines, non-stop. So if you don't find one particular joke amusing, don't worry, another one is coming right behind it." said Huling.
In addition to the unique subject matter, this is also the world premiere production of the play at the Washington County Playhouse in Hagerstown, MD. Two of Huling's previous works, The Church of Diminishing Marginal Returns and Hard Luck Sings the Blues, have previously enjoyed productions at Washington County Playhouse, but this is the world debut for The Sing Sing Suite.
"I've had my plays performed all over the place, from Hollywood to New York. And the Washington County Playhouse is right there in the top of my favorite places. They have a lot of talented people involved with them. And their audiences always seem to be enthusiastic and responsive. I handed the cast the script, and at some point, I'll show up and see what they've done with it. The audience wants to enjoy it. So we all have the same goal. I just have to sit back and let the talented people do what they do and everything will click." said Huling.
Huling and the cast are very excited for the comedy to finally debut.
"This is the world premiere production. So whoever goes to see it will be the first ever to experience it before it goes on to subsequent productions. When a play gets published, they always list where it was originally produced. So the Washington County Playhouse will appear in the published editions when that time comes. Everyone in the audience during this run will be able to look back and say, "I was there when . . ." added Huling.
The cast of The Sing Sing Suite features Jason Hoffman as Hunk, Gene Gregory as Bert, Cassandra Redding as Warden Peck, Seth Thompson as Eli, and Amie Tweit as Wadsworth. The production is directed by Terry Moore.
The Sing Sing Suite will run May 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, and 24 and June 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21, with one Sunday matinee on June 22. Dinner hour will begin at 6:00 with the show shortly following at approximately 7:30 for evening performances and lunch hour for the matinee performance begins at 1:00 with the show following at approximately 2:30. For more information about the production or to make reservations, please call the box office at (301) 739-7469 or visit www.wcpdt.com.
Photo Credit: Washington County Playhouse