STL to Premiere Of Drama Desk Winner THE REALISTIC JONESES
REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS is thrilled to announce their upcoming production of "The Realistic Joneses" by award-winning Will Eno, presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. This production, directed by Edward M. Coffield, is the St. Louis premiere of arguably the best work yet from one of America's most clever and perceptive playwrights of the past decade. The event will run for three weeks, Thursday through Sunday, from July 26th through August 12th at the Kranzberg Arts Center Theater.
In "The Realistic Joneses," Eno connects two suburban couples who have so much more in common than their identical homes and their shared last names. As their relationships begin to irrevocably intertwine, the Joneses must decide between their idyllic fantasies and their imperfect realities and, ultimately, confront mortality. Eno explains, "It's a story about people doing what people do - you drive around and get groceries, and you do all this in the valley of the shadow of death. Really, you're just getting groceries. But really, you're also in the valley of the shadow of death."
The dynamic quartet features real-life married couple Alan Knoll and Laurie McConnell as Bob and Jennifer Jones, and Isaiah Di Lorenzo and Kelly Hummert as John and Pony Jones. Director Coffield and Producer Kelly Hummert are working closely with Eno on the first non-traditional staging of his work. Eno will be in St. Louis for rehearsals and a pre-opening reception, hosted in his honor by REBEL AND MISFITS.
The creative design team is comprised of local powerhouses Peter and Margery Spack (Set Design), Jon Ontiveros (Lighting Design), Ellie Schwetye (Sound Design), Alycia Martin (Stage Manager), and Jerran Kowalski (Board Operation).
Hummert, who is also the Artistic Director of REBEL AND MISFITS, has been creating immersive theatrical experiences for St. Louis audiences since 2016. Utilizing diverse and unusual locations, their productions invite audiences to enjoy a new, daring way to experience theatre. This production will be a slightly more traditional presentation but will still invoke REBEL AND MISFITS' unique influence on the Drama Desk-winning play. Hummert describes her decision to creatively shift gears on this project, "I chose to take a break from the Immersive format because when you have an opportunity to debut a Will Eno play, you DO it. Will's play has always been on my list of shows that MUST be done, and it felt like a perfect time to pursue it. "The Realistic Joneses" has a hyper-realism aspect to it that demands a different approach, and it serves the play better to treat it as an environmental piece rather than an immersive one. Will is a special writer - he lands somewhere between Albee and Beckett, yet is uniquely himself. We have a similar approach to storytelling in the sense that we both appreciate both the emptiness and the richness of a singular moment. Nothing is precious, however nothing is not nothing. You have to want to invest in the moment. We rely on our audience's desire to take part in the work to get the most out of it. And they are richly rewarded for the effort."
"The Realistic Joneses" was originally produced at Yale Repertory Theater and opened on Broadway at The Lyceum Theatre in 2014 with a star-studded cast featuring Tracy Letts, Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, and Marisa Tomei, and directed by Sam Gold.
"I was lucky enough to see Will's play at Yale Rep and at The Lyceum. I was blown away by its relevance and Will's ability to maintain his signature quirkiness about a very serious thing we all deal with," Hummert explains. "Mortality is an odd thing. It is forever looming, yet catches us off guard and in unexpected ways. It's deeply funny yet profound in its approach to the characters and the way they choose to confront it, or, for others, run from it. It's arguably his best play, and it fits brilliantly within our main goal, which is to leave the audience looking out of a different lens than the one they came in with."
Hummert's enthusiasm for this play can be summed up by Charles Isherwood of The New York Times, "...plays as funny and moving, as wonderful and weird as "The Realistic Joneses," by Will Eno, do not appear often on Broadway. Or ever, really. You're as likely to see a tumbleweed lolloping across 42nd Street as you are to see something as daring as Mr. Eno's meditation on the confounding business of being alive (or not) sprouting where only repurposed movies, plays by dead people and blaring musicals tend to thrive. Mr. Eno's voice may be the most singular of his generation, but it's humane, literate and slyly hilarious...He also burrows into the heart of his characters to reveal the core of their humanity: the fear and loneliness and unspoken love that mostly remains hidden beneath the surface as we plug away at life, come what may."
REBEL AND MISFITS will offer behind the scenes access inside the play's development through live social media content during the rehearsal process of the show. For links to their social media accounts, check their website.
Tickets for "The Realistic Joneses" will be on sale May 1st through Metrotix. Admission is $50 with a discounted price of $40 for college students with a valid student ID. This play is suggested for ages 18 and over, and cocktails and drinks will be available for guests 21 and older. Audience members will enjoy a "voyeuristic" view of the play from their lawn chairs and picnic blankets surrounding the playing areas. REBEL AND MISFITS' signature pre-show activities will start at 7pm, with show time at 8pm. More information is available at rebelandmisfitsproductions.com.
Will Eno Playwright
Will Eno is a Residency Five Fellow at the Signature Theatre in New York, which presented Title and Deed in 2012, and The Open House, in 2014. Following an acclaimed run at Yale Repertory Theatre, his play The Realistic Joneses was on Broadway in 2014, directed by Sam Gold and staring Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, and Marisa Tomei. The Realistic Joneses won a Drama Desk Award, was named USA Today's "Best Play on Broadway," topped the The Guardian's 2014 list of American plays, and was included in The N.Y. Times' "Best Theatre of 2014." The Open House won the 2014 Obie Award, the Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, and a Drama Desk Award, and was included in both the Time Out New York and Time Magazine Top 10 Plays of the Year. Title and Deed was on The N.Y. Times and The New Yorker magazine's Top Ten Plays of 2012. His play Gnit, a loving but aggressive adaptation of Peer Gynt, premiered at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville in 2013. Middletown, winner of the Horton Foote Award, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre and subsequently at Steppenwolf Theater and many other American Theaters and universities. His internationally heralded play Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He was recently awarded the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award. His plays are published by Samuel French, TCG, Dramatists Play Service, and playscripts, in the U.S., and Oberon Books in London.
More about REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS
Founded in 2016 by artist Kelly Hummert, REBEL AND MISFITS PRODUCTIONS is a professional theatre company dedicated to presenting life-changing stories in non-traditional ways which leaves their audiences moved, transformed, and inspired. REBEL AND MISFITS expands their vision with two branches of their Production Company, THE IMMERSIVE THEATRE PROJECT and AN INTIMATE THEATRE PROJECT. Immsersive work breaks the wall between actors and spectators and allows for an emergent, deeply personal experience for everyone involved. Intimate pieces take place in site-specific locations, where the focus is on a voyeuristic journey in a highly personal setting. REBEL AND MISFITS is also dedicated to premiering some of world's best plays here in St. Louis, inspired by Hummert's long tenure in the downtown New York City theatre scene. They are committed to taking great risks to bring their audiences a high standard of excellence for theatre in America. The name of Rebel and Misfits Productions is derived from the Steve Jobs quote, "Here's to crazy ones. The rebels. The misfits. Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." Their plays are chosen according to their mission, and in reaction to current events and themes.
Kelly Hummert Bio
Kelly Hummert is originally from Illinois and received her BFA in Acting at Webster University. She returned to St Louis in 2011 after spending eight years doing theatre in New York including playing Viola in Twelfth Night at Brooklyn Shakespeare Experience, Maggie in After The Fall at The Lion, Medea in Medea Precluded in The 24 Hour Plays at the Public, the New York Premiere of Kato McNickle's Swimming In The Ocean, and Helen/"Venus" in Warning: Adult Content at MCC. She participated at The LaByrinth as an actor during 2005-2008 alongside theatre legends such as Stephen Adly Guirgis, the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John Patrick Shanley, Michael Shannon, David Zayas, and Sam Rockwell. Other roles: Jack in Lord of the Flies, Hermione in The Winters Tale, Olivia in Sex With Strangers, Ophelia in Hamlet, Lula in The Dutchman, and Antony in Julius Ceasar. Upcoming: Kill Your Superstars, a newly commissioned work as well as writing a new series for television, The Final Twelve. Film Credits: The Devil Wears Prada, The Marconi Brothers, The Good Shepard, and Across the Universe. She is very proud to be a member of the Global Secret Theatre.