There has been no shortage of interesting and thought-provoking theatre in West Michigan over the last year. In fact, as pointed out a few months ago in an
, Grand Rapids is in the middle of a not so quiet theatrical revolution as area stages are packed with contemporary dance performances, intimate and punk-inspired musicals, and even the big Broadway version of Legally Blonde
at Civic Theatre.
But for the programming committee at Actors' Theatre of Grand Rapids, they chose Jane Anderson's Looking for Normal
, a play written 11 years ago surrounding a topic that makes for rich theatre.
"We chose Looking for Normal
because, first and foremost, it's a great play with great characters that hasn't been seen previously in our area," says Actors' Theatre Director of Development and Marketing Jon Clausen. "Secondly, though, Looking for Normal
explores subjects that we haven't really dealt with before in our main stage work -- namely transgender experience and impact. It emerged late in the selection process last year from our artistic selection committee, and it became a piece that that they (and we) really wanted to see done. It's a serious, yet also witty and fun play that approaches its serious subject with grace and humor."
The story revolves around Roy, a husband who comes to the conclusion that he is a woman trapped in a man's body. Over the course of the play, not only will Roy have to share this news with his wife, Irma, but they will eventually have to "come out" to their children and their local minister about the changes coming down the road. The play will be directed by Actors' Theatre's Fred Sebulske.
Given its setting in the Midwest and the timeliness of this topic's relevance to today's shifting landscape of sexuality, Looking for Normal
's debut lands right on time and is sure to spark plenty of lively dialogue over post-show drinks.
I've read the script and it is a dynamite page-turner; the theatrical staging will open up the author's words, giving them complexities through voice and movement to create a memorable theatre experience.
Admission: Starting at $24