Meet Jennifer and Bob. They’re the Joneses. Meet Pony and John. They’re also the Joneses. They’re next door neighbors. Keeping up with them can feel awfully familiar in this hilarious and humane look at how we live. Literate and slyly hilarious this award-winning play dives deep below the surface with subtle grace.
Shows featuring Ellen Walkley's work
“You know when a song starts and it feels loose and chaotic? But then the drums come in and everything makes sense. That’s what he was in my life. He walked into my life and everything made sense. He was the moment when the drums come in.”
Sara’s life is thrown into disorder when her husband, Chris, dies unexpectedly. Trying to cope with her loss she discovers a compilation tape, apparently made for her by him. The only thing is, by the time he died, Chris was profoundly deaf. With the help of a friend she begins to unravel the secret of the tape, hoping that it may be his final message to her from beyond. STATIC is a beautiful, vibrant play of love, music, movement, and the difficulties of connecting no matter the language. In a bold theatrical move, it is also written to be performed bilingually in both English and sign language.
Abby and Zack are newlyweds subletting an apartment in the Belleville area of Paris. She’s a yoga instructor and he’s a physician with Doctor Without Borders. Their life is idyllic, if not especially noteworthy. That is until Abby walks in on Zack with his pants literally around his ankles.
As she starts pulling at little threads having to do with how Zack spends his day, BELLEVILLE builds toward a climax that asks if we can ever truly know another person. This sexy, funny, scary, and tense pseudo-thriller from one of America’s hottest new playwrights will unnerve as quickly as it entertains.
Last year Third Rail made a splash at the holidays with our record-setting production of NOISES OFF, which many consider the funniest play written in the past 25 years. This year we’re at it again with perhaps the funniest American play of the past 25 years: Charles Ludlam’s quick change romp, THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP.
Two actors play all the roles in this hilarious send up of Victorian melodrama, farce, 50’s horror movies, Wuthering Heights, and Hitchcock’s Rebecca. With elaborate quick changes performed in mere seconds, wildly absurd characters, and an absolute distaste for anything serious, IRMA VEP should be the perfect gut-busting escape from all that holiday noise!
We open our season with a play Third Rail has been dying to produce since it was the hit of Portland Center Stage’s 2009 JAW Festival, MIDDLETOWN by Will Eno. The residents of Middletown lead lives that are probably not too different from ours. They wake up, go to work, say hello to their neighbors, fix the plumbing, seek advice on parenting, and try to live lives that are as rewarding as possible. It’s all fairly ordinary. And yet…ordinary doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of this quirky, word-frenzied, refraction of OUR TOWN. MIDDLETOWN is a quizzical fable about life in all its sweetness and pain, joy and wonder, beginnings and endings.