Articles about The Realistic Joneses


September 28 – October 4, 2015

Let’s see what’s happening this week in the land of Third Rail – a land, incidentally, to which you are always invited.

We are headed into our third week of Or, performances! If you have not yet seen the show, this is the weekend to do it. We close next week, so you have to see it this week in order to have time to recommend it to people after falling in love with it!

This is also an interesting week in The Realistic Joneses processWe have a production meeting, which is where the director, all of the designers, and the production manager come together to continue the discussion about the design of the show. Generally, at this point, the discussion is largely about how to finish implementing the designs and adjustments based on what has been learned in rehearsals. Then, at the end of the week, we have our first stumble through of the show. A terrifying and exciting moment for the actors, this will be the first time that we run the show on its feet from beginning to end.

It is lovely having two shows at these different phases working under the same roof! Hopefully, we’ll see you under that same roof soon, too!


The Realistic Joneses Cast and Creative Team

While Or, continues to delight audiences currently, our next show is Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. But who, you ask, will be working on that show? Who are the artists bringing this profound and hilarious show to life? Whose work will I be seeing when I get to the theatre? Well…you have a lot of questions, but we do know the answers. And here they are:

Director:
The show is being helmed by Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter! A talented and distinguished actor, director, and producer, Rebecca is an invaluable Company Member of Third Rail, as well as a founding member of the Portland Ensemble Theater Ensemble (PETE). So, in addition to seeing her directorial work in The Realistic Joneses, you will also see her when you attend PETE’s Wild Card production of All Well.

Designers:
Our Sound Designer will be Company Member Mark Valadez! We are always delighted when we hear Mark’s thoughtful work during our productions. He is also the resident sound designer for PETE. So, his work will be heavily featured in All Well. Joining Mark at the design table is PETE’s resident costume designer, Jenny Ampersand. We’re thrilled that Jenny’s work will grace our stage for The Realistic Joneses, her first Third Rail design. Look for more information about our design time here as the rehearsal process continues…

The Cast:

  • Michael O’Connell (John) has appeared in over a dozen Third Rail productions, including Drammy-winning performances in The Lying Kind and Recent Tragic Events. He also starred in last season’s production of Will Eno’s Middletown. A Third Rail Company Member from the beginning, we are always eager to see him on our stage.
  • Kerry Ryan (Jennifer) became a Third Rail Company Member in 2013, and performed with us in A Bright New Boise. She has spent the last ten years holding membership with Imago Theatre, Theatre Vertigo, and the Anonymous Theatre Company. Now, she is bringing her unique and wonderful talent to our stage for the second time!
  • Darius Pierce (Bob) is a recent Company Member, having joined early in 2015. He is a co-founder of the Anonymous Theatre Company and was previously a longtime member of Theatre Vertigo. Now, he’ll be speaking Will Eno’s exceptional words again after joining the cast of last year’s Middletown.
  • Dana Green (Pony) has a resume far longer than we have room for here. In Portland, she’s performed at Portland Center Stage in Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; at Profile Theatre in Dead Man’s Cell Phone; and here at Third Rail in Gidion’s Knot. We could not be happier to have her back on the boards with us.

All four cast members and the director of The Realistic Joneses are past Drammy recipients. Not too shabby…

These extraordinary artists are hard at work on this extraordinary script. In just a few short weeks, you – our extraordinary patrons and supporters – will be in for (you guessed it) an extraordinary night of theatre.


September 21 – September 27, 2015

We’re in the last full week of September (already!?!) and there are still two ways to join us at the theatre before we turn the page into October.

First – Or, is in full swing and audiences are having a fantastic 90 minutes! There’s poetry, espionage, laughter, sexy times, and cross-dressing (in both directions…)! The Oregonian says:

[Maureen] Porter, with lovers literally tugging at her sleeves to hit the sheets, gracefully centers the sexual shenanigans… [Amy] Newman and Damon Kupper, playing multiple parts, make impressive character transformations… You just wish plays had a replay button…

We hope you’ll join us for the “shenanigans” and if you’re a Member, you can hit a “replay button” by seeing the show for free as often as you’d like!

Second – On Sunday, we are offering another Bloody Sunday play reading. Join us for a reading of a play that is under consideration for production… and tuck into some nibbles and morning-appropriate cocktails. This is a Members only event. If you want to attend, and get unlimited access to any Third Rail event, you can become a Member at any time!

We’re also in the midst of rehearsals and production meetings for The Realistic Joneses, which opens in just about a month. Whew! Here at Third Rail World Headquarters, we’re keeping the good times rollin’!


The Realistic Joneses First Read

As Or, prepares to open this Friday, our Members joined us for our first read of The Realistic Joneses. This was the second opportunity for Third Rail Members to be a part of the production experience from the very beginning.

We were introduced to the project by Third Rail Artistic Director, Scott Yarbrough, who explained how we’ve come to produce our second play by the brilliant Middletown playwright, Will Eno. Yarbrough will be involved in this production as a kind of Tom Hagen figure (consigliere) to the Don (director) a la The Godfather – his words (more or less). The Don, in this case, is Third Rail Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter. While Lingafelter has been seen several times on the Third Rail stage, this marks her first time as a Third Rail director.

The night progressed with beautiful and evocative design presentations from the creative team. It is a rare privilege to witness these creative minds transform words on a page to a vivid physical universe. Finally, we were treated to a reading of the play by the cast: Michael O’Connell, Dana Green, Darius Pierce, and Kerry Ryan. It is at once a touching, hilarious and deeply human play sure to be a must see this Fall. Watch this space to follow this production’s development over the next month, and be sure to book your tickets! Performances begin October 23rd and run through November 14th.


September 14 – September 20, 2015

The season is in full swing! And if there is one season that really knows how to swing, it’s Fall. We have two productions in rehearsal, so the building is overflowing with Third Rail theatre.

On Monday, we have first read for The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno. This is always an exciting evening. We get our first look at design ideas for the show and our first listen of the play read by the full cast. If you attended the first read of Or, then you know how great an opportunity this is to begin your relationship with the show and to meet other Members and Company Members. First reads are Members’ only events!

Then, of course, we have Or,! This week, Or, will be in previews. Previews are an invaluable step in preparing a show. After the weeks of rehearsals, this is our chance to add the final, vital element of any live performance – the audience! A play in front of an audience is a different creature than a play in the rehearsal room. In previews, we have a chance to experience, experiment, and expurgate as we move towards opening the show.

Which is exactly what is happening this week! September 18th is opening night of Or,! There’s no need to tell you why you should join us for opening night, but we will because that’s what we do here in “This Week at Third Rail”. You can be among the very first people to see this hilarious and thought-provoking show! Starring Company Members Maureen Porter and Damon Kupper, and Third Rail favorite Amy Newman, Or, is sure to tickle your funny and thoughtful bones. See it with the unique energy of opening night and then celebrate with us afterward!

With our increase in programming, they’re all big weeks around here. But this one is a particular joy. In one week, Members can see the beginning of our process for The Realistic Joneses and the beginning of our run of Or,. So…we’ll definitely see you at the theatre!


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 24 – August 30 2015

This week, we send August out with a bang!

Our mainstage shows are in full swing. Or, will be having a production meeting. The Realistic Joneses will be having a preliminary design meeting about set and costumes. But! This week belongs to NT Live. Specifically, our NT Live Encore Festival! All of your favorite screenings from the past year in one weekend of theatrical excellence. See your favorites one more time and catch the ones you missed!

There are three ways to get in the room with us for NT Live…
1) Single tickets are $20 (with discounts for Students and Seniors).
2) Punch cards for 6 screenings are $96.
3) Become a Third Rail Member for the low monthly fee of $29.33 and receive UNLIMITED access to many events, including all NT Live screenings.

We have something for everyone this weekend. So, we’ll see everyone there!

Man and Superman
– Friday (8/28) at 7:00 pm – Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes stars in this exhilarating reinvention of Shaw’s witty, provocative classic.

Treasure Island
– Saturday (8/29) at 11:00 am – Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life in a thrilling new stage adaptation. Suitable for 10years +

Of Mice and Men
– Saturday (8/29) at 3:00 pm – James Franco and Chris O’Dowd star in this landmark Broadway revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck’s powerful portrait of the American spirit.

Skylight
– Saturday (8/29) at 7:00 pm – Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan star in David Hare’s riveting play about former lovers locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.

A View From the Bridge
– Sunday (8/30) at 2:00 pm – A stellar cast, led by Mark Strong, brings to life this ‘magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold’ production of Arthur Miller’s tragic masterpiece.

JOHN
– Sunday (8/30) at 7:00 pm – Internationally renowned DV8 Physical Theatre creates an intense, moving theatrical experience about a man’s extraordinary and touching journey. Suitable for 18yrs+.

All screening will be at Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Avenue, 97214.


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