NEW BRITAIN â€“ Hole in the Wall Theaterâ€™s latest production, Completeness by Itamar Moses, will run the next two weekends for all to see.
The next showings will be Friday and Saturday and then again on October 1 and 2. The show opened last weekend. All show times will be at 8 p.m. There will be a matinee this Sunday at 2 p.m.
â€śOur opening went well,â€ť said Terrane J. Peters, director. â€śWe had an actress who had to step in for a role for the opening weekend which is never ideal, but it speaks to the resiliency of the cast. We were all extremely proud of her. She was able to take this really high dramatic scene and make it her own in this short time span.â€ť
The play follows the journey of two graduate students, Molly, a molecular biologists, and Elliot, a computer scientist. They slowly develop into both an academic and romantic relationship.
â€śIt explores the two enabling a relationship as well as the actual research that kind of brought them together,â€ť Peters said.
A major key for Peters was making the topics interesting and relatable.
â€śWeâ€™re using these monologues from these science and medical communities to tell a story about these two people coming together,â€ť he said. â€śI think itâ€™s the flavor of the scientific approach that makes the show unique that really keeps you hooked and makes you interested. The show has a really incredible way of making you not just care about it because theyâ€™re interesting topics but because you learn how these characters are feeling, how they kind of talk to our own lives and ability to move forward in things weâ€™re uncertain about.â€ť
Peters said putting the show together was intricate, but a fun process and many components made it a success.
â€śThis show was ultimately the product of all the talent, the cast, our entire workforce of the crew, that was able to bring this cool set to life â€“ a computer lab, a biology lab, two bedrooms, a street apartment and go from one to anther in 30 seconds,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s one of the more tech intensive shows Iâ€™ve done recently because there such an emphasis on it in the play. Our lighting designer, Hilary Lang, was able to pull a miracle in making this all work out. I think the last time the theater tried these techniques was about 10 years ago with about four times the manpower and she worked single-handedly on making these cool visuals.â€ť
The team rehearsed for two and a half months, three or four days a week.
â€śRehearsal for Hole in the Wall was intense and chaotic mainly because there were a lot of incredible creators in the space, some not even in our show though, so it meant a lot of times getting creative with how we do a rehearsal,â€ť Peters said. â€śA lot of our early rehearsals werenâ€™t even at the theater, we would go to parks nearby, we staged scenes that would take place in an apartment in an actual apartment and kind of felt them out the way these characters might do it in a real space.â€ť
The experience highlighted the flexibility of the entire cast and crew who constantly would be improving, working on the fly, thinking of ideas on how to make things come together when variables of the rehearsal were constantly changing
â€śThe result from the actual rehearsals and stuff comes from the incredible talent we got to work on the production. Primarily our biggest contributors, by how much effort they put into the show, are Stephen Koehler (Elliot) and Katie Kirtland (Molly),â€ť Peters said. â€śThey are just absolutely phenomenal. The chemistry helps by the fact they are an actual couple that Iâ€™ve wanted to work with for a while. There is such a believable amount of joy and passion that they bring to these characters.â€ť
Lauren is played by Natalia Lopez; Don is played by Luis Marrero (producer); Franklin is played by Paris Sideris; and Nelle is played by Emma Holden (understudy for Lauren).
â€śOur cast really did become a small little family. Rehearsals were happening over lunches and dinners at peopleâ€™s houses, we were constantly staying together at the theater the times we did have it. It meant really keeping each other close and safe, checking vaccinations, keeping an eye out for exposure cases,â€ť said Peters.
Completeness is directed by Peters with John Garvey as assistant director.
â€śMy reason for wanting to do the show is a little bit of a vanity that Iâ€™m actually a grad student of computer science and to be a part of this very human story taking place in that realm of academics has always been one that appealed to me,â€ť Peters said. â€śI got extremely lucky with our incredible assistant director who has such knowledge and talent and really helps to wrangle it. I believe ultimately theater is a collaborative process and the idea of proposal and imagination and discussion and sometimes debates and then finally compromise and resolution are really what makes these shows come to life.â€ť
Hole in the Wall Theater is located at 116 Main St. General admission tickets are $23 and senior tickets are $20. Visit hitw.org or call 860-229-3049 for tickets or more information.