Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lori Adams and "Falling" Headed Off-Broadway to Minetta Lane

Lori Adams
Last year, St. Louis Post-Dispatch critic Judith Newmark awarded ISU's Lori Adams "Best Director" honors in her 2011 list of St. Loui's best theatrical endeavors for her work on the play "Falling," by Deanna Jent. As she talked about the play and why it stood out, Newmark wrote, "'Falling' comes endowed with a keen mind, a warm though troubled heart — and a future. There's hope to bring it to New York, probably Off-Broadway; productions at other theaters around the country are virtually certain."

Newmark knew whereof she spoke, as is reporting that "Falling," with Lori Adams once again at the helm, will receive its Off-Broadway premiere at the Minetta Lane Theater in the West Village. It's a wonderful theater, the launching pad for plays like Moises Kaufman's "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" and Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays With Morrie."

"Falling" is scheduled to begin previews on Thursday, September 27, with its official opening night scheduled for Monday, October 15, 2012.

Jent's play involves parents trying to balance the needs of their teenage daughter and their austistic son. Or, as Playbill's listing and the banner above frame the issue: "Family is not the most important thing: it's everything. Who will be there to catch you?" Jent herself is the mother of an autistic son and Newmark noted in the article linked at the top of this piece that "Falling" is based on Jent's own family. Along with being a playwright, she is the Artistic Director of the Mustard Seed Theatre, where the play was produced in St. Louis.

For its New York production, "Falling" will feature the work of scenic designer John C. Stark, who is also Adams' husband and Head of Production/Design at Illinois State University's School of Theatre and Dance; costume designer Tristan Raines; lighting designer Julie Mack; sound designer Raymond Schilke and fight choreographer Rick Sordelet.

Adams is the head of the Acting Program at ISU, and she also directs and acts in local productions. Last season, she directed William Inge's "Picnic" as part of the ISU theater season and the annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. She has acted in many local plays, including taking on the titular woman in Alan Ayckbourn's "Woman in Mind" at Heartland Theatre and playing Fanny Kemble in the touring one-woman show "Shame the Devil! An Audience with Fanny Kemble."

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