Photo Flash: First Look at Firehouse's AN OAK TREE

Tim Crouch's play AN OAK TREE is a unique performance experience that revolves around a traveling hypnotist who discovers that the volunteer he's called up from the audience for his show is the father of a girl he accidentally killed in a car accident. As Crouch explains, for the grieving father "nothing now is what it is. It's like he's in a play - but he doesn't know the words or the moves."

Crouch named his play AN OAK TREE after Michael Craig-Martin's famous conceptual artwork from the '70s. Craig-Martin's AN OAK TREE is installed in two units - a glass of water on a glass shelf on metal brackets 253 centimeters above the ground, and a text mounted on the wall. The text takes the form of a Q&A where Craig-Martin describes changing "a glass of water into a full-grown oak tree without altering the elements of the glass of water," and explains that "the actual oak tree is physically present but in the form of the glass of water." Craig-Martin's work originated in his belief that the artist has the capacity to "speak" and the viewer is willing to accept what the artist is saying.

In Firehouse's production of AN OAK TREE Landon Nagel performs the role of the Hypnotist. As Crouch requires in his text, the role of the Father will be "played" by a different guest actor at each performance. The guest actor will walk onstage without having any prior knowledge of the play they're now in. As Crouch says, "AN OAK TREE is a breathtaking projection of a performance given from one actor to another, from a hypnotist to their subject, from an audience to a person."

AN OAK TREE won the Herald Angel award when it premiered at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival. It was a sold-out hit at the Barrow Street Theatre in NYC in 2006/2007 and received a Special Citation OBIE award. It went on to break box office records during its run at Soho Theatre in London. AN OAK TREE has toured the world and over 250 actors have appeared in the role of the Father including Mike Myers, Alan Cumming, Frances McDormand, Roger Lloyd Pack, Joan Allen, F. Murray Abraham, Lili Taylor, Sophie Okonedo, Linda Bassett, Saskia Reeves, David Morrissey, and Kwame Kwei-Armah.

??Cast:
Hypnotist - Landon Nagel
Father - a different guest actor from this group will take the role for one performance. Guest actors are Aaron Anderson, Brandon Carter, Audra Honaker, Boomie Pedersen, Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Alan Sader, Foster Solomon, and Tyler Stevens.
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Production Team:
Mark Lerman - Director
Tennessee Dixon - Production Designer
Robbie Kinter - Sound Designer
Todd Labelle - Lighting Designer
Lori Seman - Stage Manager

Performance Schedule:
Wed April 4 @ 7:30pm (preview)
Thu April 5 @ 7:30pm (press opening)
Fri, April 6 @ 7:30pm
Sat April 7 @ 7:30pm
Sun April 8 @ 4pm
Thu April 12 @ 7:30pm
Fri April 13 @ 7:30pm
Sat April 14 @ 7:30pm
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Tickets:
$25-$10
www.firehousetheatre.org / 804.355.2001

Photo Credit: Bill Sigafoos

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