New Jersey Stage Issue 75 - Page 23

In addition to presenting their annual “ Tales of the Victorians ” in front of limited audiences and offering play readings online , they successfully fought for their most ambitious project of the year - a filmed production of Nothing Matters by Dave Geible to be made available online . What makes this project so ambitious is that it is one of only a handful of shows to be granted a contract with Actors ’ Equity to allow actors to perform during the pandemic . The setting of the play is journalist Ambrose Bierce ’ s apartment in Washington D . C . in 1898 . A poet merely asks his advice about poetry , and receives an insight into the Civil War , journalism , and politics . Bierce ’ s philosophy can be summed up in two words : “ Nothing Matters .” But of course many things mattered to him very much . If the term “ Investigative Reporter ” had been around in the 1800s , the name would have suited Bierce . And as a journalist , he was known for getting at the truth , no matter who was harmed , and many scholars believe he wrote one of the best short stories ever written , “ An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge .” ELTC ’ s artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth had been working on a plan with Actors ’ Equity since April that would allow the company to film a show if they couldn ’ t present it live . The only reason she sought a contract is because she ’ s in a unique situation . When the National Tour of The Band ’ s Visit closed in mid-March , James Rana , who has been with this show since the first day rehearsals began for the Broadway run , came to stay with Stahlhuth and her husband , Lee O ’ Connor , who is ELTC ’ s technical director . She contacted Dave Geible to see if he could make some revisions in his script , so that Rana and Stahlhuth could perform it .

In addition to presenting their annual “ Tales of the Victorians ” in front of limited audiences and offering play readings online , they successfully fought for their most ambitious project of the year - a filmed production of Nothing Matters by Dave Geible to be made available online . What makes this project so ambitious is that it is one of only a handful of shows to be granted a contract with Actors ’ Equity to allow actors to perform during the pandemic . The setting of the play is journalist Ambrose Bierce ’ s apartment in Washington D . C . in 1898 . A poet merely asks his advice about poetry , and receives an insight into the Civil War , journalism , and politics . Bierce ’ s philosophy can be summed up in two words : “ Nothing Matters .” But of course many things mattered to him very much . If the term “ Investigative Reporter ” had been around in the 1800s , the name would have suited Bierce . And as a journalist , he was known for getting at the truth , no matter who was harmed , and many scholars believe he wrote one of the best short stories ever written , “ An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge .” ELTC ’ s artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth had been working on a plan with Actors ’ Equity since April that would allow the company to film a show if they couldn ’ t present it live . The only reason she sought a contract is because she ’ s in a unique situation . When the National Tour of The Band ’ s Visit closed in mid-March , James Rana , who has been with this show since the first day rehearsals began for the Broadway run , came to stay with Stahlhuth and her husband , Lee O ’ Connor , who is ELTC ’ s technical director . She contacted Dave Geible to see if he could make some revisions in his script , so that Rana and Stahlhuth could perform it .

NJ STAGE - ISSUE 75

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