READ TO ME
PORTLAND STAGE company
PRODUCTION PHOTOS: AARON FLACKE
by Brendan pelsue
Directed by Rory Pelsue
Scenic Design: Anita Stewart
Costume Design: Cole McCarty
Sound Design: Kathy Ruvuna
Lighting Design: Bryon Wynn
Stage Manager: Shane Van Vliet
Grace Bauer, Ian Carlsen, Lukis Crowell,
Tom Ford, Essau Mora,
Director Rory Pelsue has brought his playwright brother’s distinctively offbeat theatrical concept to life. Apart from the production’s embrace of special effects, though, it is the essentially thought-provoking and warmhearted poetry of the play, with a few laughs thrown in, that will likely stay with those who see it.
-Steve Feeney, Portland Press Herald
As the brother of the playwright Brendan Pelsue, director Rory Pelsue has an intimate understanding of the play:
"The adults in this play are made aware of their mortality by their proximity with a dying child, which heightens their desire to make their short lives more meaningful by connecting. Their connections are often awkward or even painful. Their fumbling attempts at meaning make Read to Me such a joyous, funny, wise play, despite its gravity," explains Rory Pelsue.
"Because Brendan is such a big fan of Thornton Wilder, Our Town comes to mind, in which the already-dead Emily Webb ruefully asks the stage manager: 'Does any human being ever realize life while they live it-every, every minute.' To which he responds, 'No. The saints and poets, maybe, they do some.'
"The adult characters in Read to Me are not, by any stretch of the imagination, saints or poets-they are too self-involved, busy, bumbling, and often opaque to themselves for those rarified labels. But, more than most, being thrust into proximity to a dying child, they are made to realize life just a little bit more. And that is a joyful thing."