The Des Moines Community Playhouse play reading series presents Theresa Rebeck's "The Understudy," tonight, Sept. 10, at 7:00 PM. The evening is free; beverages will be available for purchase.
The Broadway premiere of Franz Kafka's undiscovered masterpiece is the hilarious and apropos setting for Theresa Rebeck's exploration of the existential vagaries of show business and life. Charged with running the understudy rehearsal for the production, Roxanne finds her professional and personal life colliding when Harry, a journeyman actor and her ex-fiancé, is cast as the understudy to Jake, a mid-tier action star yearning for legitimacy. As Harry and Jake find their common ground, Roxanne tries to navigate the rehearsal with a stoned lightboard operator, an omnipresent intercom system, the producers threatening to shutter the show and her own careening feelings about both actors and her past. Will the show go on?
The cast, under the direction of Paul Valleau, features Caleb Lubka, Brianne Magel, and Charlie Reese.
The Playhouse's play reading series is held the first Monday of each month on the new stage in the theatre's upper lobby. (September's performance is the second Monday of the month due to the Labor Day holiday.) Actors will read from scripts; there are no costumes or scenery pieces.
John Viars, Playhouse executive director, says, "The goal of this project is to offer audiences and volunteers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with upcoming productions, as well as offer insight into new scripts and possible titles to be mounted in the future. "
The Playhouse is Iowa's oldest and largest producing theatre. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.
For more information about The Playhouse and the script reading series, contact The Playhouse ticket office at 515-277-6261.