Tuesday, October 23, 2007

John Henry by Mad River Theater Works

Our AlbemarleHomeschoolers group went to the Paramount Theater yesterday to see the educational performance of "John Henry" by Mad River Theater Works.

The educational programs at the Paramount are an hour-long performance of the regular evening show that is scheduled. Some of the groups we've seen have left time at the end for the audience to ask questions. Some talk to the audience during the performance, explaining musical instruments, for example. And some are just an abbreviated performance.

The two men who performed "John Henry" for us left time for some questions, and told us of their travels around this country (all but 3 states!) and several other countries they've performed in as well.

From their homepage:

Mad River Theater Works is a professional touring ensemble with roots deep in the flat farm country of the Midwest. We create plays that combine music and drama to tell stories about people from the back roads and small towns of America. We often reach back into history to cast a new light on the personalities and events that have shaped our nation. Our plays explore contemporary issues. We believe that theater can make a difference in the life of a community and our plays look forward to the choices we face in an increasing complex world. In particular, we focus on issues of community breakdown, the importance of individual cultures, racism and tolerance, and the changing role of women.

Every Mad River Theater Works production is a world premiere. Over the last twenty six years we have developed over 25 original plays that reflect the rich diversity of the rural Midwest and a core of professional artists who are committed to Mad River. Those actors, directors, and musicians have come to live and work in rural west central Ohio from all parts of the United States and have worked in professional venues from New York to California. Mad River is under the direction of Jeff Hooper. His experiences as a Founding Director of the Half Moon Theater, London, England, and work with Arena Stage, Washington, D.C., and Roadside Theater, Whitesburg, Kentucky, led to the creation of a professional touring theater growing out of rural America.

We really enjoyed the performance and the chance to ask questions of the actors. Thanks to the Paramount and their program supporters!

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