May 20th, 2011 - June 25th, 2011

at Viaduct Theatre

Can an entire life be a secret? An estranged brother and sister discover a cryptic journal that appears to be written by their silent father, a famous architect.  The journal seems to open a door to the life of the mysterious man, and yet it appears to be written in code.  It is just another secret.  This beautifully written and probing comedy moves backwards in time and raises the question of parental legacy, and asks us if we can ever really understand the lives of those who came before us.  Featuring Rebekah Ward-Hays, Tony Bozzuto and John Henry Roberts.

 

Praise

“Highly Recommended.”


“Matthew Reeder’s sinewy production for BackStage Theatre finds the wounded heart under Greenberg’s rat-a-tat, astringent wit, and John Henry Roberts is simply marvelous as both voluble Walker and his stuttering dad.”


- Kerry Reid, Chicago Reader (Read the full review)

“3 out of 4 stars”


“…this is a trio of very careful and interesting performances that are well worth watching…”


“This [production] is rooted in a space as real as its feelings are honest.”


- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“4 out of 5 stars”


“A thoughtful and spirited production.”


“…unfolds here with slow and humanizing melancholy, a love story focused on the beauty that time and circumstance destroy, not the destruction itself.”


“Director Reeder has a feel for mood and never lets a moment go to waste, while Brandon Wardell’s set and lighting move gracefully between eras. The knockout cast is uniquely dialed into the script and one another, its interplay the highlight of a show that proves the present is prelude to the past.”


- Ryan Dolley, Time Out Chicago (Read the full review)

“Backstage Theatre Company continues to excel in creating memories for theatergoers that are definitely unforgettable.”


- Jason Rost, Chicago Theatre Blog (Read the full review)

Cast & Crew

Jen Poulin

Stage Manager

Tony Bozzuto

Pip/Theo

Heath Hays

Sound Design

Jessica Kuehnau

Costume Design

Sean Sullivan

Technical Supervisor

Brandon Wardell

Scenic and Lighting Design

Rebekah Ward - Nan/Lina

Angela Campos - Props Designer

4 Responses to “2011 – Three Days of Rain”

  1. Shirley Lundin says:

    Three Days of Rain – raised questions about the historical validity of the characters, since the house and architects do and did exist. Is the story purely fiction or is there research involved? From my own family history, I can attest to generational misunderstandings between parents and children – but those portrayed in this play were exponential! Also, John Henry’s total personality change was amazing to watch, from Walker to Ned. AND, was Walker named to personify the nomadic character that Ned dreamed of being? Great show, Matt and All.

  2. Shirley–

    Thank you so much for starting the conversation!

    The story is pure fiction. Edmund Janeway, Theodore Wexler and the Janeway House are all figments of Richard Greenberg’s astonishing imagination. But, it was very important for us as a production team to make sure that the audience felt as if they knew Edmund Janeway and were familiar with the “Janeway House.” The house is such a overpowering presence in both acts, it is essentially a seventh character in the play. We took a very long time to carefully select the house we would “cast” as The Janeway House (really Casa Son Vida in Spain). The house needed to connect itself in some way to the modernist trends of the 1960′s and then explode them, turning Ned’s house into something that the 1960′s world had never seen before. The Casa Son Vida House is actually a massive 2009 renovation and re-imagining of a 1960′s villa, so the “bones” of the place are composed of exactly the same kinds of things that Ned and Theo’s contemporaries would have been working with.

    As far as Walker’s name: the cast and production crew all agree that Ned gave Walker his namesake based on his romantic notion of the “Flaneur.” But, like so many of the other puzzle pieces in this wonderful play, Greenberg never really confirms it, he simply leaves it up to you. In one of the more complex and moving confessions of Act Two, Ned admits to Lina that the life of the Flaneur is what “he would wish for someone better than myself.” Based on the information we have from Act One, we know that Ned gives his son the hopeful name of Walker. This “hope” and even the love that is inherent in that hope is completely lost on the grown-up Walker, and that irony and conflict is heartbreaking.

    Thanks of the comment, Shirley!

  3. Joe Ricke says:

    Lovely show. I’m exploring my own mother’s journals so it’s especially interesting in that light. Performances were deep and rich, a complement to Greenberg’s wonderful text.

    One difference of opinion. I’m not sure the “hope and love” bestowed in the name Walker is “completely lost,” though the disconnect is indeed heartbreaking. Walker has miles to go before he sleeps, and it’s a huge leap to say that small, almoset inarticulate gestures of hope and love are ever completely lost. Perhaps Pip knows more than he’s saying, for example.

    loved it.

  4. Jake H. says:

    I go to a good deal of Chicago theater and this was the best production I’ve seen in some time. Congrats to all involved in this moving experience. The performances were brilliant, uncanny, totally convincing. The play, in my humble opinion, is an unsung (or undersung) masterpiece. Like Shirley, I was fooled — I thought that these must be real people. The “casting” of the house was very shrewd and had the intended effect. (Thanks for the clarification, by the way, because I was perplexed by my lack of results when I later Googled “Janeway House.”) The situations and characters are not ordinary, but they spoke so clearly to universal themes, and I guess that’s what it’s all about. Thanks!

Leave a Reply