Photo Flash: B Street Theatre Presents THE FOREVER QUESTION
As part of an ambitious inaugural year in The Sofia, B Street Theatre raised the bar in its commitment to new works by presenting the first annual New Comedies Festival. Four plays were selected from an entry pool of 70, one of which would receive a slot in the 2019 Mainstage season. Now, last year's selection, The Forever Question by James Christy, is poised for its debut.
Christy's The Forever Question is about a couple debating whether or not to have a second child. In their discussion the couple, Carolyn and Mike, weigh the pros and cons with plenty of input from their respective parents and flashbacks to how they became a couple with a first child to begin with. Played by company members Peter Story and Dana Brooke and directed by Associate Artistic Director Lyndsay Burch, The Forever Question is a heartwarming comedy that examines the small and not so small occurrences that build our lives.
Life comes at you fast. For young couple, Carolyn and Mike, life has been a series of questions that have led them to the biggest one yet: should they have a second child? In this hilarious and inventive new comedy, winner of the inaugural B Street Theatre New Comedies Festival, playwright James Christy examines the small and not so small occurrences that build our lives and lead Carolyn and Mike to a question that could affect their lives... well, forever.
It was after their third child that playwright James Christy started to wonder, 'how did I even get here?' "I realized I have no idea why I decided to have kids," he said. "I always knew I wanted to have a family in the abstract, but I never questioned why that is." He said writing The Forever Question was his way of examining how becoming a parent comes with permanent changes. Changes like it being impossible to imagine a world without them. Those experiences led to a deeper understanding about how parenting stems from one's own experiences as a child and how it works as a bridge between generations. I think the fact that the [B Street] Theatre has this family focus makes them well-suited to this play," he said. "I hope audiences will recognize things they've experienced and felt but haven't thought about in quite the same way. I want people to laugh (loud) but in an empathetic way."
When he submitted this play to the New Comedies Festival his script was one of 70 entries. Becoming a finalist meant a flight to Sacramento for a week of rehearsal and workshops to continue to develop the new work. When his play was selected for production in the Mainstage 2019 season, Christy said it was the first time he's ever had a play produced through a festival or contest. "Last year's festival was a pretty special experience for me," he said. "I was so proud and humbled to win. Full productions of plays from really well-run theatres like B-Street are rare so I'm profoundly grateful."
When B Street Theatre launched the New Comedies Festival the goal was to further our commitment to new works and development. Last year we selected 4 winners from a pool of 70 entries with the guarantee that one play would receive a full production in the 2019 Mainstage Season. Christy said the experience from the New Comedies Festival was significant, from meeting the other playwrights to working extensively with the B Street creative team. "Just a great raw energy and passion for doing good work comes across from everyone I've met there," he said.
Christy was able to attend rehearsals, submit rewrites, and see two staged readings of his play during the festival. Since then, he said the festival helped him shape the play and he's excited to see it fully realized on the Mainstage.
During the run of The Forever Question, B Street will host the 2019 New Comedies Festival in Upstairs at the B. This year we received over 800 submissions, which we'll once again narrow down to four finalists to be presented during the festival. Finalists TBA.
James Christy - James is thrilled to premiere The Forever Question at B Street Theatre. Recent plays include: A Great War, nominated for a Barrymore Award for Best New Play in 2015 in a production directed by his brilliant father; Egyptian Song, finalist for the O'Neill Conference in 2016; and Love And Communication, currently being produced as a feature film. This play is dedicated to my wife Mary, who's been making comedy out of my efforts at child-rearing for 16 years and counting.