“And the violence that’s hidden in the everyday,” added Gardiner. “It’s a subtle thing.”
For much of the play, Keegan and Zampelli are the only people onstage. “I was dreading it but really wanted to do it,” said Zampelli of the first run-through. “Once you start, you can’t stop. . . . Before you know it, you’re done, and I feel broken. But fine! We just do it.” Still, she said, “it’s exacting.”
“The other thing is — this will sound a little precious-actor-y — but there is a third person,” said Keegan. “Peter is in the room, or Craig is in the other room, and one of the things we’ve found in rehearsal is that the other person has a lot of pull.”
Oct. 2 - Nov. 25, 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington, 703-820-9771, www.signature-theatre.org.
A very Catholic education
All right, John Going. You’re directing “Over the Tavern” at Olney Theatre Center. It’s a play by Tom Dudzick based on Dudzick’s experiences in Catholic school in 1959. A young boy faces off against Sister Clarissa, who, in a shocking twist, is a very strict nun. Let’s hear your Catholic kid cred.
“I went through 16 years of Catholic school,” Going said. “I went to Catholic University here in Washington. It’s all very, very familiar territory to me. I remember it all very, very well. Being taught by the nuns and all of that. I told the cast on the first day of rehearsal . . . ‘If you have any questions, let me know. Because I have all the answers.’ ”
That’s . . . okay; actually that’s pretty impressive as far as Catholic cred goes. You may continue.
“The church today is very different from the way the Catholic Church was in 1959,” said Going. “The play takes place right on the brink of a lot of these changes.”
Dudzick described the work as “semi-autobiographical,” which is why he almost didn’t write it. “I’d been resisting it! I think [it was] the Catholic thing about modesty — you should be modest, don’t shine a light on yourself — something about that upbringing made me want to keep my light hidden under a bushel. But I decided it was just too strong.”
The cast of seven features four teenagers (age-appropriate casting: quite the trend these days), and Rudy, the precocious protagonist, will be played by Noah Chiet, who has appeared in “The History of Invulnerability” at Theater J, “The Hollow” at Signature Theatre, and “Liberty Smith” and “A Christmas Carol” at Ford’s Theatre.
Going said he auditioned actors in their 20s for the kids’ roles, but “there was something really touching, a poignancy, about kids the real age playing these parts.”
Through Oct. 21, 2001 Olney Sandy Spring Rd., Olney, 301-924-4485, www.olneytheatre.org.