“Bleed” and “Smudge” deal with parenting, too, and how your child, or your experience raising a child, can be radically different from what you expected.
The one person in our company who is a mother said she is not sure she would be able to make it through “Smudge” because of the whole idea of having this baby and not being able to bond with it. It is the nightmare that keeps people up at night when they’re considering or are imminently about to have a kid: What if there’s something really wrong with it? . . . With “Bleed,” it is the idea of: Is there something that can happen in your family that could change it so irreparably, you might not make it?
What’s surprised you the most about working on these plays?
A rep is always a big challenge to take on. You think it’s like producing one show, but it’s really like producing three shows at the same time.
Friday to May 19 at the Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda; 703-943-7656;
Up close with No Rules
No Rules Theatre Company built its first season in residence at Signature Theatre around its opener, “Black Comedy.” Keeping with the theme of the season — “laughter” — the second show is “The Personal(s),” a world premiere by Producing Artistic Director Brian Sutow that’s based on both the Stanley Tucci and Theo van Gogh films called “Blind Date.”
“We did think this was an important follow-up, in terms of showing the range we can do,” Sutow said. “Black Comedy” is a farce, and although “The Personal(s)” also deals with humor, “this is at the opposite end of the spectrum,” he said.
“It’s a story that is a drama about comedy. . . . For this central couple, comedy was such an important coping mechanism and piece of their survival. It’s also, unfortunately, become something of their undoing. So there’s a duplicitousness of comedy.”
Sutow, who grew up with “a parent who was very, very sick for as long as I can remember” has an innate understanding of silliness-as-survival-tactic. “From the time I was talking, I was immediately starting to use comedy [as] a means of coping and survival and making sense out of some of the mysteriousness of the world and some of the unfortunate, unknowable antagonism of the world.”
Wednesday to May 18, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; 336-462-9182; norulestheatre.org