Articles about Will Eno


Last Chance for The Realistic Joneses

Closing weekend. The last few chances to sit in the theatre with 4 amazing actors and experience Will Eno’s hilarious, poignant story before it is gone. Last few chances to see Rebecca Lingafelter’s beautiful Third Rail directorial debut! That’s right, we are saying goodbye to The Realistic Joneses. Critics and audiences love this show, and frankly, so do we. We’ll be sad to see this one end – so get here this weekend to help us send it off right!

You’ll laugh. You’ll think about life and relationships and communication. You’ll hear language in new and exciting ways. But mostly, you’ll laugh.

…Third Rail has brought four top actors together for this little exercise in quiet heartbreak and existential whimsy, and Rebecca Lingafelter directs them with a firm but gentle hand…It’s tough not to like a play that finds this much wonder in the ordinary.Oregon ArtsWatch

The quartet of actors navigate this bittersweet prose effortlessly, seeming natural as they inhabit the characters’ idiosyncrasies. Eno and the actors show deep compassion for these couples, and it’s contagious.Willamette Week

The stage design was fantastic, using a projector to transform the one set piece into several different buildings, but sound designer Mark Valadez deserves…praise for his use of calming ocean sounds during set changes…The Oregonian


This week at Third Rail

October 26 – November 1, 2015

Do you want to know what Third Rail has up our sleeves for the coming week? Then you have come to the right place. It’s time for: This Week at Third Rail!

The Realistic Joneses is up and running and we have a hit on our hands. Audiences are loving it and leaving the theatre with tears in their eyes. Our guess is mostly tears of laughter, but there really isn’t anything like spending an evening with Will Eno’s words – especially words brought to life by Kerry Ryan, Dana Green, Michael O’Connell, and Darius Pierce. You have three weeks left to see the show. Tickets are available for purchase, or you could become a Member and see the show as many times as you’d like!

That would be enough for one week, but there’s more! This week, PETE: All Well opens! When was the last time you were truly in the dark? What creatures lurk? All Well is a sound-installation that will envelop audiences in the pitch black of an icebound ship, midwinter. All Well will travel through the hidden spaces of the Imago Theatre, on a journey inspired by the doomed Franklin Expedition of 1845-48. All from the comfort of a hammock. Space is quite limited, so get tickets early to this; or if you are a Member, call ahead to reserve your seat! Or make a night of it – see The Realistic Joneses and stay for All Well!

And that concludes This Week in Third Rail! To find out about next week, keep your eyes on this space!


October 19 – October 25, 2015

OPENING WEEK!

We start this week with tech rehearsals for The Realistic Joneseswherein we integrate nearly all of the show’s technical elements. We’ll follow that with dress rehearsals, which (as the name implies) adds costumes, the final piece of the theatrical puzzle.

Well, not the final piece of the puzzle. That comes with previews when we first bring you, the audience, in to see the show and be a part of the storytelling experience!

After the tech rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and previews – on Friday – we open Will Eno’s marvelous The Realistic Joneses! Have you got your tickets? Don’t wait. Be there with us!

Also, this week, we will be bringing Hamlet to Jesuit High School. As part of an increased effort to connect with young audiences, we are taking NT Live’s Hamlet – starring Benedict Cumberbatch – to the SW Portland high school for a student screening. But worry not, if you want to see this Hamlet – the fastest sell out show in the National Theatre’s history – there are still a FEW tickets left. To buy or not to buy…that is the question!


The Realistic Joneses Dramaturgy

The Realistic Joneses.

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 probing grace.

Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses opened on Broadway in 2014, where it won a Drama Desk Award, was named USA Today’s “Best Play on Broadway,” topped the Guardian’s 2014 list of best American plays, and was included in the New York Times’ “Best Theater of 2014.” We are deeply proud to be sharing it with Portland audiences. The show is an unconventional, unexpected, original and outrageous look at the people who live next door and the truths we think we know. The show is funny and banal and profound and intimate. Eno’s voice is one of the most singular of his generation.

I hope with all of these four characters, who have very different responses to the big, big things in life – I hope that people find one or the other or the other or the other of them or some mix of them to be something that’s very recognizable to how they go through their day and their lives.Will Eno

To be able to hear the play and be part of the play is transforming for me as a human being… I have the exquisite pleasure of standing backstage and hearing something that is cracking me up and changing my perspective on life… It comes so organically out of [Eno’s] heart and soul, that ineffable something, that always gets you in the stomach.Marissa Tomei (who starred in the show on Broadway)

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… [the show] brought me a pleasurable rush virtually unmatched by anything I’ve seen this season.Charles Isherwood, The New York Times


October 5 – October 11, 2015

This is a week of change at Third Rail as we move from one play to another! This weekend is your last chance to see Or, – the story of Aphra Behn that covers “the thoughtful and the madcap, the silly and sublime, the sociologically resonant and the fancifully theatrical” (Oregon Artswatch).

Or, is a spirited romp that also has a lot to say about the complexity of sex, gender, and being one of the first woman writers ever. Portland Mercury

The show has been winning over audiences for weeks, but you have just a few chances left to see what all the raves have been about!

Then, on Sunday, after the final performance of Or, we will transform the theatre once again into the set and setting for our next show, The Realistic Joneses. Much more information about this production will hit this space in the coming weeks. For now, know that we are thrilled to bring you a show about which the New York Times said, “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.”

But you better get your tickets to see Or, before it closes. Because THAT beautiful set is coming down Sunday! So what are you waiting for? Get clicking!


October 2015

October is shaping up to be an exciting month at Third Rail. Honestly, all of the months are exciting here but we really do believe October is going to be particularly special (and you can tell July we said that!). Why will October be so notable?

Or,

Closes October 10

So, we start the month with the last two weekends of this wonderful production. If you have not yet seen it, you are missing a truly excellent play about one of the first female playwrights, written by one of the great modern female playwrights, and starring two of Portland’s greatest female actors. It’s not too late to start your Third Rail October with us by seeing Or,!

The Realistic Joneses

Opens October 23

Not two weeks later, we open our next show, The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno – who wrote last year’s hit, Middletown. Directed by Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter and starring Company Members Michael O’Connell, Kerry Ryan, and Darius Pierce, along with guest artist Dana Green, who you may remember from her Drammy-nominated work in Gidion’s Knot. This is an hilarious and deeply human play that will gracefully and humorously grab the baton from Or,.

PETE: All Well

October 27 – November 1

Following the success of The Bylines: Meant to Be, October also bring us our second Wild Card! PETE: All Well looks to be a unique immersive experience: a sound-installation which will envelop audiences in the pitch black world of an icebound ship. Featuring a soundscape by PETE’s resident sound designer and Third Rail Company Member Mark Valadez, each performance will be limited to 25 audience members who will experience the piece from the comfort of their own hammock. With only 25 hammocks available each show, you’ll want to make sure you reserve your tickets as soon as possible.

Hamlet

October 18th

October also sees the beginning of perhaps our most anticipated NT Live screening ever – Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Our Hamlet engagement began with four scheduled screenings which sold out so quickly that we have already added four additional showings. Get tickets while you can, they certainly won’t be around much longer.

Bloody Sunday Reading (MEMBER ONLY EVENT)

October 25

As is true every month, we’ll also have a Bloody Sunday reading of a show we are considering for future production. Bloody Sunday readings are Members Only events and a unique way to peek inside the Third Rail process. In fact, October is going to be one of the best possible months to become a member – for under $30, you would have unlimited access to two Main Stage productions, a Wild Card production, and NT Live’s Hamlet – over $130 in programming! So the only question left is…

What are you waiting for?!?


September 2015

As you know, every week, Third Rail sends out detailed information about what exciting events and projects we have for the coming week. But! Every four (or so) weeks, we get to give you an overview of a whole month! This is an enticing way to see what you have to look forward to over the next few weeks and it is a good quick-glance at just how much is happening with Third Rail and how many different ways we all have to interact with each other, especially if you are a Member! So. Here is September!

Mentee Intensive Presentation (MEMBER ONLY EVENT)

September 6

We cannot wait for our new class of Mentees to get started! This is a dynamic and diverse group of actors, directors, and designers who have traveled from all over to work and train with us for a year. You may have met a few of our Mentees at the first read of Or,. Labor Day weekend, they begin their year with an intense three days of collaborative art making. Please join us as they present their work – and themselves – to the community! Expect surprises and high voltage energy from this talented group of theatre makers.

Or,

Opens September 18

Then! We present our fall show, Or,! 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 theatreThird Rail Company Members are all over this show with director Philip Cuomo, actors Maureen Porter and Damon Kupper, and designers Kristeen Willis CrosserMark Valadez, and Drew Dannhorn. Joining them are Third Rail favorites Amy Newman, Jessica Bobillot, and Owen Walz.

The Realistic Joneses – First Read and Design Presentation (MEMBER ONLY EVENT)

September 14

Even before we have opened Or,, we will have the first read for our next show, Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses! We are thrilled to be presenting another show by the brilliant Will Eno (Middletown) – the first show of his to have had a Broadway run. Be among the first people in Portland to hear this beautiful, hilarious text out loud.

Bloody Sunday Reading (MEMBER ONLY EVENT)

September 27

Finally, we have another Bloody Sunday play reading. Join us for a reading of a play that is under consideration by the company along with nibbles and morning appropriate cocktails. Who needs brunch when you have good theatre and Bloody Marys?

That is September in a nutshell! Keep an eye out for more details and more Third Rail goings on throughout the month. And we’ll see you around the theater!


August 3 – August 9 2015

Hello everyone!

Another week, another full slate at Third Rail, another new episode of “Chopped”, and another blog post keeping you updated and informed!

First, we continue to sell memberships and increase the number of people who can say “I am a Third Rail member!”

Then, after a few giant weeks for us, we have a rare moment when we can catch half a breath. But only half. This week, we have the first design meeting for our October/November show, which will follow Or,. We are excited and eager to share with you The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno. You may remember Eno’s brilliant writing from Middletown this past Fall. Eno has been an Oppenheimer Award winner, a Drama Desk Award winner, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He was quite open and communicative and present with Third Rail during the Middletown process, so are particularly delighted to be tackling another fantastic play of his.

The Realistic Joneses is Eno’s first Broadway play. It had a successful ran in 2014 starring Michael C.Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and Tracy Letts (so just imagine how extraordinary this will be when some talented actors get their hands on it!). It is an unconventional, unexpected, original and outrageous look at the people who live next door, the truths we think we know, and the secrets we never imagined we all might share. Here are three quotes about Eno’s script that we hope will begin to get you looking forward to this show as much as we are.

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.The New York Times

For all the sadness woven into its fabric, ‘The Realistic Joneses’ brought me a pleasurable rush virtually unmatched by anything I’ve seen this season. The New York Times

Eno’s dialogue is a marvel… there’s much to savor… Life in Enoland isn’t what you’d call realistic – it’s more real than that. Time Out New York

But! First, we have the hilarious and beautiful and liberating Or,! This week will be the final Set and Costume Design meeting before first read! First read will happen next week and there is nothing more invigorating than diving into a new show… but that is out of my prevue. Next week!

– Darius Pierce, Third Rail Company Member


Middletown Vaults to the Top of Third Rail’s Ninth Season

Will Eno's "delicate, moving and wry" play begins on September 26 at the Winningstad

We kick off our ninth 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 Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Middletown is a quizzical fable about life in all its sweetness and pain, joy and wonder, beginnings and endings.

  • Middletown by Will Eno
  • Middletown by Will Eno

Featured will be company members Michael O’Connell, Maureen Porter, Damon Kupper, Karen Trumbo, and Bruce Burkhartsmeier, joined by guest artists Amy Newman, Darius Pierce, Diane Kondrat, and Ben Newman. Direction will be by Marcella Crowson.

Performances begin September 24 at the Winningstad Theatre.