BWW Previews: DANCING LESSONS at Ensemble Theatre Company
Ensemble Theatre Company's 40th year began with liveliness and color (School for Lies and The Legend of Georgia McBride, both featuring drag queens) and later balanced their season's energy with heavier works of drama, such as Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Everything is Illuminated, a dark comedy about a man seeking his grandparents' village, destroyed during World War II. The company is going into their summer break on a lighter note with Mark St. Germain's Dancing Lessons, a story of self-discovery through new motion, directed by Saundra McClain.
Ever Montgomery (Trevor Peterson, last seen onstage at the New Vic as Biff in Death of a Salesman) needs to learn to dance in a hurry for an upcoming event. Senga Quinn (Leilani Smith) is a professional dancer who's spiraling into emotional chaos after a career-ending injury. Ever, who has Asperger's Syndrome, needs more than tips on footwork--he needs a crash course in overcoming his discomfort with physical and emotional connections with other people.
"He's literal," says Peterson of his character. "He says everything he thinks, so he creates this weird place of honesty in the room." Ever and Senga, though very different, find connection through their shared lack of prioritizing empty politeness. However, both characters live solitary lives and recognize the benefit of community through their interaction. "He's drawn to Senga because Senga doesn't change in front of him," says Smith. "She yells and gets annoying, she isn't a coddling person. She's very brash, very harsh, very up front... She doesn't change because [he's] is different."
June 15-June 30