Call it an “apocalyptic comedy” — director Adrienne Nesbitt does.
The season-closer play, “Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille,” opens Friday for a two-weekend run at New World Arts in downtown Goshen. The play focuses on a bar and a bartender/writer, Shep, who’s waiting for the world to end down at the bar.
The play is something unusual for NWA because of its age, Nesbitt said.
“We normally do newer stuff,” she said. “This is unique because it was written in 1979.”
The play fits in with the theme of apocalypse and end-of-the-world scenarios for the 14th season at New World Arts, Nesbitt said. And the seven cast members offer a definite slice of life.
“You’ll only see ‘real people’ here,” she said. “We don’t have supermodels up on stage, or hokey characters. These are people the audience can relate to.”
Nesbitt’s cast has been great to work with, she said. They have spent the last five weeks memorizing lines and rehearsing for the show.
“They just have such great cast chemistry,” she said. “That’s not something you can teach. They either have or they don’t. They work so well together.”
Cian Deegan, who plays lead character Shep, said he also enjoys working with the cast.
“They made it very easy for me to feel comfortable with my first time stage acting,” Deegan said.
Deegan indicated that what makes performing in “Early One Evening” so easy is the similarity of his character to himself.
“In order to like my character, I have to like myself, because we’re very similar,” Deegan said. “He’s funny, and he’s got a sarcastic sense of humor... He gives off an air of being calm and collected in a bizarre time in the world.”
Nesbitt said work began on this play several months ago, with set construction happening even before she held auditions.
“Because of the small space we have to work with, as a director you have to have a good vision for what you want the stage to look like from the beginning,” Nesbitt said.
Nesbitt said she likes the flexibility of NWA’s space, giving her the freedom to rearrange and even remove the middle section of seating to fit her vision.
“I wanted the audience to feel like they’re in the bar,” she said. “The play is a really wonderful experience, and the message the play sends is to more or less trust yourself, and to eliminate preconceived notions.”
Deegan said everyone should enjoy themselves, and he expects a well-acted show from himself and his cast members.
“It’s a lighthearted approach to the end of the world,” he said.
Though “Early One Evening” may close out NWA’s regular season, more events are planned before the year ends. A “Christmas 24/7” event will be held Dec. 15, where Nesbitt and other NWA organizers will announce the plans for the 15th season, including upcoming shows. A final improv event is set for Dec. 29.
For more information on NWA, visit www.newworldarts.org or call 1-800-838-3006 for tickets.
If you want to go
“Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille” opens this week at New World Arts, 211 S. Main St., Goshen.
Performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 6, 7 and 8 and 3 p.m. Dec. 9. Students will be admitted for half-price Dec. 6.
For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit the website www.newworldarts.org.