Three by Terrence McNally start the new year off at RTR

WHAT:        TO PROTEST AND SERVE
WHEN:        Friday & Saturday January 11-12 2013 8PM

Readers Theatre Repertory ponders questions raised by Terrence McNally in his trilogy Apple Pie: Three One-Act plays on January 11-12, with Botticelli and Next and Tour, directed by Jason A. England. The production’s theme is “To Protest and Serve.”

“Terrence McNally asks us ‘what does it mean to serve,’” says England. “That’s what attracted me to these pieces, and what I want to explore.” All three plays take connect with military settings, and with America still engaged in wars worldwide, England believes the question is a good one to begin the new year.

Botticelli finds two soldiers waiting in the jungle to kill an enemy fighter, whiling away the time playing a game of high culture while preparing for the most brutal of acts. In Next, an unsuited draftee reluctantly reports for his physical, and is forced to face the truth that the meaning and purpose of his country have become bitterly and increasingly unclear. In Tour an American couple being chauffeured through Italy, imaging themselves to be ambassadors of good will despite their fatuous, patronizing chatter.  Mixed in with their inane comments are references to their son in Vietnam and to the carnage there, but somehow they remain unable to comprehend the reality of the world they live in.

Reflecting on a year of violence in the United States, England says “We need to ask ourselves who we are serving, and what we really want to achieve.” The director says the plays are not about answers, but about “asking the questions, and starting that conversation.”

The cast features Shan Applegate and Siobhann Caverly, Kevin Carroll, and Brian Burger

Siobhan Caverly and Shan Applegate in Next

Siobhan Caverly and Shan Applegate in Next

Kevin Carroll and Brian Burger in Botticelli

Kevin Carroll and Brian Burger in Botticelli

Shan Applegate, Siobhan Caverly and Kevin Carroll in Tour

Shan Applegate, Siobhan Caverly and Kevin Carroll in Tour

Shan Applegate, Siobhan Caverly and Brian Burger in Tour

Shan Applegate, Siobhan Caverly and Brian Burger in Tour

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