Friday, March 15, 2013

Heartland Has its MIDDLETOWN Cast in Place

Will Eno's Middletown is a bittersweet slice-of-life, showcasing the citizens of a small town on ordinary days in their lives. There's birth, death, curiosity, pride of place, casual cruelty, longing for connection and... A good deal of humanity.

Because of the ensemble nature of the show, the size of the cast has varied from production to production. After auditions last week, director John Kirk has announced his cast for the Heartland Theatre production coming in April. For Heartland, the Middletown ensemble will contain twelve players, ranging from IWU student Geena Barry to Heartland past-president Ann B. White, who is also the program director and founder of Young at Heartland, the theater's senior acting troupe.

Barry will play three roles -- Woman, Female Tourist and Music Host -- while White will be take on the roles of Tour Guide, Aunt and Attendant.

The other denizens of Middletown will be played by Lynna Briggs (playing Sweetheart and Ground Control), Dean Brown (Public Speaker, Landscaper and Janitor), Aric Diamani (Male Tourist, Freelancer and Male Doctor), George Freeman (Cop), Karen Hazen (Mrs. Swanson), Richard Jensen (Mechanic), Kathleen Kirk (Librarian), Devon Lovell (Female Doctor and Cop Radio), Rhys Lovell (John Dodge and Science Host) and John Poling (Greg and Man).

It looks like a powerhouse cast for a complex, thoughtful and poetic play by a major new voice in American theater. Will Eno received the Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play in 2010 for Middletown, the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award, and numerous other awards and citations. His play Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Performances of Middletown begin April 18 at Heartland Theatre. Follow these links to see showtimes and reservation information.


  1. Looking forward to this one!


  2. John Kirk was one of the founders of the theatre department at ISU. Kathleen Kirk is his daughter and a wonderful actress. Dean Brown was most recently in RED at Heartland (playing artist Mark Rothko) and before that, he played the father in PROOF in a terrific production directed by his wife, ISU professor Cyndee Brown. Rhys and Devon Lovell are both excellent actors and it's lovely to see them on stage together again. It's really a terrific cast all-around.