Articles about Mr. Kolpert


Strangest Dinner Party

Mr. Kolpert certainly escalates a dinner party to a level that we dearly hope you have never personally experienced. That said, many of us can relate to one of its basic premises – the Strangest Dinner Party Ever! So, we asked patrons to share their Strangest Dinner Party stories. And WOW you delivered!

1980 – We were a very young couple invited to the new boss’s home for a fancy dinner and then a night out at the opera. The meal was more than fabulous and the chocolate truffles were amazing…but sometime during this very very fancy dinner party, my napkin quietly slipped off my lap and onto the floor. I, however, continued to wipe my hands on my lap thinking my dress was my napkin (messy chocolate fingertips from those darn truffles!). We all stood up to leave for the opera and the front of my dress was a giant shmear of chocolate – horrified, I ran into the powder room – but wait, it was actually the hall closet – when I finally got to the bathroom, I doused my dress with water because THAT certainly wouldn’t look bad, right? The boss’s wife cheerfully lied to me that she could hardly tell that my grey dress was brown in the front. To top off the evening, halfway through the performance at The Keller, all the wine from dinner kicked in and my husband and I fell asleep. Funny, we were never invited to their home again…

Thank you for sharing your story Bernadette McCullen-Carrick!

And no matter the drippy details of your Strangest Dinner Party, we assure you that it is a drop in the bucket compared to the chaos, hilarity, and horror of Mr. Kolpert!


The Dramaturgs on Mr. Kolpert

Here are some thoughts about Mr. Kolpert from our superb Dramaturgical team, Brian Myers and Ellen Walkley:

“Startling, jarring and unexpected, the antics in Mr. Kolpert have had a worldwide appeal. Since the first production in 2000 in London, Mr. Kolpert has been produced in 24 countries, from Iceland and Romania to Israel and New Zealand. The play was originally written in German, while Gieselmann was a resident playwright at the Royal Court, and first performed in English. In addition to this comedy, Gieselmann has written a translation of Edward II, a libretto for The Onyx Hotel and an award-winning play for children, About Boys. His blog, Popticker, follows popular music.”

Mr. Kolpert shares with many absurdist plays a silence about the causes of or the remedies for the characters’ predicaments. As in Waiting for Godot or The Birthday Party, the action begins in an unexplained present and proceeds without arguing for a particular resolution to the characters’ underlying problems. In Mr. Kolpert, the characters become increasingly extreme in their efforts to put their world right, but Gieselmann allows the audience to relieve whatever discomfort it may have at these extremes through laughter. That discomfort may linger, however, leaving us to wonder about what makes us laugh and what makes us stop.”

Come find that wonder! Mr. Kolpert runs February 5- 27 at our home in Imago Theatre.


Getting to Know Mr. Kolpert

As we approach the opening of this production, let’s get to know a bit about the people bringing us this highly anticipated and highly twisted comedy. To start, here is Company Member Stephanie Gaslin who is playing Edith in Mr. Kolpert.

Song you rock out to for getting pumped up?
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now

Song you put on when feeling a little blue?
The Beatles – Let It Be

Song guaranteed to get you on the dance floor?
Macklemore – Thrift Shop

Superpower you wish you had?
To stop time in order to get the mundane tasks done and then start it again so that I won’t miss any fun activities or events OR to be able to think myself anywhere in the world and be transported there instantly.

Talent that surprises folks?
I am a singer and unfortunately I tend to keep it to myself. Maybe I should share it sometime.

Funny Third Rail memory?
During dress rehearsal for The Lonesome West we had two pilates balls in the basement of The IFCC, (a blue one that about 9 months later I was sitting on when my water broke and an orange one that was donated to the company). I dared Tim True to hold the orange pilates ball in front of him and I would hold the blue pilates ball in front of me. We then would both run at each other as fast as we could. I made this dare not considering the size difference between us. As our pilates balls crashed into one another I was sent flying into the corner of a cement wall. I hurt my back and had the largest purple bruise for weeks.

Mr. Kolpert runs from February 5 – February 27


Mr. Kolpet First Read

On Tuesday, December 29th, we finally had our first read of Mr. Kolpert! We are extremely excited to finally get into the rehearsal room!

The reading was well attended with a mix of Members, Mentees, and Company Members. Food and beverages were heartily enjoyed as the dramaturgs and designers shared information from each of their perspectives, which was inspiring and gave everyone present excellent framework to embrace the play imaginatively. Whenever we hear a play out loud, we cannot help but begin to imagine how it might translate to the stage. Hearing the thoughts and plans of the designers help us to all imagine the show in the same world as we listen!

Then, after a brief break, the beautiful and passionate cast took to the tables for a read of the play. We were tickled and titillated, and there is clearly great anticipation to see the project come to fruition! Mr. Kolpert has been kicking around the company since before our first production…so it’s only been 10 years in the making. With this team and this script, it promises to be a memorable night!


December 28, 2015 – January 3, 2016

There are three big events this week at Third Rail!

On December 29th, it’s the first read of Mr. Kolpert! First read is possibly the most exciting night of a production (except for opening, of course). We get our first looks at the design of the show and our first chance to hear the script out loud. It’s inevitably a fun, energizing night – and is open and free to our Members!

Then, on January 3rd, our weekly company meeting will be our Quarterly Check-in. We’ll look back at how these past months have gone and how we can continue to improve and grow moving forward.

Sandwiched in between, on January 1st, will be the premiere of humanity’s next big project: the year 2016. Get your tickets soon, so far we have about 7.3 billion reservations. Space is getting tight!

Everyone have a healthy and happy New Year!


December 21 – December 27, 2015

This Monday, we had a meeting about the final costume and set designs for Mr. Kolpert – which is right around the corner!

The rest of the week, we will be focused on wishing you a positively marvelous ending to your year! Whether you are celebrating Christmas, spending time with family, cooking up a storm, having some time off of work, or watching Die Hard… have a beautiful week!

(If you are looking to celebrate the holidays in a theater, Company Member Chantal DeGroat is performing in Twist Your Dickens and Company Member Darius Pierce reprises his role as Crumpet in The Santaland Diaries – both at PCS. But make sure to tell them Third Rail sent you!)


Mr. Kolpert Cast and Creative Team

You’ve waited long enough! Time to unveil the creative team that will bring you the unique world of Mr. Kolpert!

First, let’s meet the director. You know him, you love him, you’ve seen his masterful work – Mr. Kolpert is being helmed by our own Artistic Director Scott Yarbrough. He will be assisted by a member of this year’s Mentership company, Alan Cline. This is just one of the many ways that our Mentorship company members have an opportunity to both learn and actively contribute to Third Rail!

The Team:
Dialect Coach: Company Member Stephanie Gaslin, who has performed on stage and has coached our dialects countless times.

Lighting Designer:
Company Member Jennifer Lin, who is not only a lighting designer, but also quite recently – a new mother!

Production Manager:
Company Member Kristeen Willis Crosser, who excels at essentially all of the jobs that are needed to make a show happen.

Costume Designer:
Emily Horton, who we are happy to have designing for us again, after numerous shows, such as Static and Noises Off.

Dramaturgs:
Brian Myers and Ellen Walkley, who have each worked on shows over the past couple of seasons, but joyfully join forces to try to untangle the complex Mr. Kolpert.

Props Master:
Charlotte Wallis, who we thankfully met as part of the Stage Crew on The Realistic Joneses and now we’re never letting her go!

Scenic Designer: Larry Larsen, who has designed sets all over town, including Third Rail’s A Bright New Boise.

Stage Manager:
Kelly Cullom, who is a widely experienced Stage Manager and recently directed Theatre Vertigo’s The Drunken City.

The Cast:
Company Member Stephanie Gaslin (Edith), who you may remember as our Dialect Coach from earlier in this blog post. It has been a few years and we are thrilled to have her back on our stage.

Company Member Rolland Walsh (Ralf), who has performed with us many times, most recently in Static and The Night Alive.

Leif Norby
(Bastian), who we welcome back with open arms after his roles with us in The Mystery of Irma Vep and his Drammy-winning turn in Grace.

Kelly Godell
(Sarah), who is becoming a familiar face at Third Rail after her roles in Static and Noises Off.

Chip Sherman (The Pizza Man) who makes his Third Rail debut with Mr. Kolpert!

This is a fantastic team tackling a wild, darkly funny play. We cannot wait to show you their creation!


December 2015

We are fully into the holiday season. But among the carol-singing, cider-drinking, dreidel-spinning, and merry-making, there will also be a lot happening at Third Rail!

NT Live: The Beaux’ Strategem

December 5

A wild comedy of love and cash. Two charming, dissolute young men have blown their fortunes in giddy London. Shamed and debt-ridden, they flee to provincial Lichfield – to marry for money. “Fresh, relevant and unstoppably entertaining” – Observer

NT Live: Coriolanus

December 6

Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, featuring an award-winning performance from Tom Hiddleston (The AvengersWar Horse).

Unfailingly vivid – intelligent, brisk and brutal.Metro

Bloody Sunday Reading (MEMBER ONLY EVENT)

December 13

We don’t tell you what play we’re reading beforehand, but we guarantee you’ll hear a play we are considering for production – and you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a conversation with us about it afterward.

Mr. Kolpert – First Read and Design Presentation (MEMBER ONLY EVENT)

December 29

All month, we will be having production meetings leading up to the start of Mr. Kolpert rehearsals. We’re giddy to be finally producing this show and we’d love to have you with us from the beginning. Hear the actors dive into this electric text and enjoy the designers’ presentations of their concepts for the world of the play. This is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes peek into Third Rail’s process.

December brings you three Members Only Events! So if you’ve been considering becoming a Member, December is a good month to give yourself this gift!

Best wishes and happy holidays to all!


November 16 – November 22, 2015

This week at Third Rail, we have more screenings of NT Live’s Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. If you have not yet gotten a ticket (and assuming there are still tickets available), we highly recommend that you find time to see this production! It’s nearly four hours of Benedict Cumberbatch. In minutes, that’s almost a full season of Sherlock.

We are truly excited this week to also be bringing Hamlet directly to high school students. We have another screening at a local high school where hundreds of teens will be seeing this world class show. We love bringing theatre to young audiences!

Finally this week, if you’ve been reading about our weekly exploits, you know that we almost never rest at Third Rail! We closed The Realistic Joneses last weekend and production meetings are already in progress for our next Main Stage show, Mr. Kolpert. This Sunday, the rough drawings for the set and costumes are due. The design process is well under way and rehearsals are not that far behind! And the beat goes on…


Announcing our 10th Anniversary Season!

We’re movin on up to the Eastside…no really!  Third Rail is honored and excited to announce that our 10th Anniversary Season will be our first in Residence at Imago Theatre.  The artistic opportunities available to us in this new partnership with Imago are myriad, and we’re pleased as punch to be able to bring ALL of our programming to one location.  Mainstage Productions, NT Live, Mentorship Productions, Readings, and much much more will all now be housed in one artistically thriving location.

Speaking of Mainstage Productions, we’re thrilled to announce the four energetic, hilarious, thrilling, visceral, titillating, and unmistakably “Third Rail” plays that will make up our 10th Anniversary Season:

The Angry Brigade
by James Graham

*AMERICAN PREMIERE*

Against a backdrop of Tory cuts, high unemployment and the deregulated economy of 1970s Britain, a young urban guerrilla group mobilizes: The Angry Brigade. Their targets? Embassies. Police. Pageant Queens. A world of order shattered by anarchy. An uprising has begun and no one is exempt. Part history play, part police procedural, part comedy of manners, part thriller, part documentary, part social satire, The Angry Brigade is perhaps the most compelling show we’ve ever programmed to open a season.

Or,
by Liz Duffy Adams

Set over the course of a single evening, Aphra Behn – poet, actress, spy, and one of the first professional female playwrights of the Restoration – has the opportunity to land her first commission for a professional company if she can deliver her play by dawn. Complicating this task are an array of lovers and rivals, from a rogue-spy to a blossoming ingenue to the king himself, vying for her time and affections. With echoes of Restoration comedy, quick-change farce, a dash or two of Tom Stoppard, and the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, Or, is a little valentine to love in the theatre.

Mr. Kolpert
by David Gieselman, translated by David Tushingham

What do a mysterious trunk, an Orwellian pizza ordering system, architectural design, tiramisu, Marilyn Monroe, Goofy, Bill Clinton, chaos theory, ropes, gags, and the world’s worst boss have in common?  You’ll find out in a play that Variety described as “a wicked treat for the morbidly inclined — a bonbon filled with arsenic.” One part Albee, one part Hitchcock, one part Tarantino, Mr. Kolpert is a play we’ve been dying to produce since day one. Comedy doesn’t come much blacker or better than this.

The New Electric Ballroom
by Enda Walsh

Meet Breda, Clara, and Ada, three sisters trapped in a remote Irish town filled with gossip and fish. Breda and Clara obsessively relive the time when, as 17-year-olds, they were nearly seduced at the New Electric Ballroom by Roller Doyle, the hearthrob singer in a touring band. Meanwhile Ada, the youngest, tries her best to fend off the romantic overtures of the local fishmonger.  Funny, tender-hearted and at times pitch dark, The New Electric Ballroom is a coiled, glitter-dusted fable about the stories that come to define us.

Exciting stuff, right?  We think so, too.  So what are you waiting for? Subscribe now and join us for the next 10 years…and the 10 after that!

Third Rail Season 10 2015/2016