An Other Theater Company treads into new water with a brand new devised work of theatre about the ways families deal with differing views on the big issues. The Rapture Happens at Midnight reunites an estranged, non-believing daughter with her father, a preacher who has amassed a large following due to his prophetic podcast, on the very night he has predicted the time of the rapture.
The piece was created collaboratively through a devising process. The story and characters were born in the mind of director Liz Golden, and the script written from the group efforts of the cast, guided by her. According to Golden, the process has enriched what she envisioned. “The interesting thing about the process has been watching the story become different, and more, than I imagined,” she says. “I mean, I come into rehearsal with an idea of how a scene should go, but then the actors take it in a direction I never could have conceived of. And then this new element of the story feels like something we never could have done without. It’s been magical.”
Actor Jessamyn Svensson, who plays the daughter Deborah (D for short), feels similarly: “As a devised theatre piece, the process relied heavily on intense trust and collaborative energy right from the very start. Having a director, Liz Golden, who trusts us to solve the problems we create within the constraints she gave us, really pushed us all as collaborators in unanticipated directions. It’s been a unique process to say the least.”
But the piece is about far more than just the process or the underlying story. Golden hopes the play addresses a common and widespread issue. “It has been disheartening to watch family relationships, mine included, suffer because we just don’t know how to talk about the big world issues, that we seem to be on opposite sides of. I struggle to find ways to let my family know that I love them even though I sometimes feel like I’m living in a different universe.”
Svensson adds: “It’s too much to hope art will change the world in an instant, but I do hope that we have created an experience that allows people to see reflections of themselves in the world we created and walk away with a better understanding of the complexities that exist in the people around us.”
The play runs Fridays and Saturdays April 12 through May 4 at 7:30 in the An Other Theater Company blackbox theater in the Provo Towne Centre. Tickets are $15 online ($12 for Students and $13 for Seniors) and $2 more at the door.
About An Other Theater Company:
An Other Theater Company seeks to provide a voice to many who are overlooked in the mainstream local theatre scene, including stipulations in its season selection process to highlight works by and about women and the LGBT community.