Alleycat Al’s Interviews: Rapture, Blister, Burn Director Mike A’Dair


Director Mike A’Dair sat down recently with WCT ultimate insider Alleycat Al to answer questions  about the timeliness of  “Rapture Blister Burn”.

Hey Folks, Alleycat Al here, bringing you a rundown with the Big Cheese himself, Mike A’Dair. We’re sitting out back in my favorite hangout, the Green Room,  for the Q&A, and whoa…this play is the real shocker cradle-rocker.

Q: What attracted you personally to directing a feminist play about women?

A: It’s a very intelligent play. It’s explores how a woman can be a feminist and also have a personal life that involves men.

Q: For a confirmed alley prowler like myself, that  act sounds sort of tricky?

A: Well, I think a lot of women have faced trying to balance a rewarding career and professional life with having and maintaining a family.

Q: Is the play about living opposite realities?

A: It’s about having to make choices. The women realize that they have to live with what they have chosen for themselves.

Q: So what’s the moral crux of this caper?

A: For one, Catherine the professional ends up having an affair with Gwen the homebody’s husband.

Q: Isn’t that somewhat  shocking content for the WCT stage?

A: The play has a certain shock value. Depending on your point of view, it could be appalling or equally funny, depending on how you see the outcome. By the way, the outcome is positive.

Q: But an affair sounds complicated and catty.

A: It’s a rather torrid affair.

Q: What do you mean by torrid?”

A: The lovers stay up all night.

Q: Doing what, pray tell?

A: Watching Ingmar Bergman movies.

Q: Okay, gimme something I can sink my teeth into here. What’s the basic conflict?

A: The two women have to deal with the reality each has created for herself. In so doing, when they confront their situation, Catherine and Gwen end up experimenting with opposite roles and what unfolds for each woman, before she arrives at her ultimate realization, is an expression of what constitutes personal happiness.

Q: I’m seeing you got some WCT newcomers in your cast, joined by  veterans. Any comment?

A: First of all, in the role of Catherine, Maheanani Phillips is tremendous. She’s a sensitive and intelligent actress. She’s perfect as the professional woman.

Q: Didn’t Maheanani  appear previously as the nurse in “The Sunshine Boys” and also as the wife of the doctor in “The Vibrator Play”?

A: Yes, Maheanani knows what’s going on.

Q: What about your brand new faces on board for the show?

A: Yes. Crystal Nezgoda plays Gwen, the stay-at-home mom. She’s done an incredible amount of theater elsewhere, including acting roles down in Healdsburg. She’s hard-working and great at playing the sneaky woman who has lots of tricks up her sleeve.

Q: Who gets to play the porn-addicted husband?

A: Colby Friend. He’s been a standout character actor in previous WCT productions. He handles the role in stride. He’s Brando-esque in his range, playing a man with issues who has fallen to the dark side in life.

Q: There’s another new face?

A: Yes. We have Ilena Pegan playing Avery, a feminist college student. Ilena’s one of the bright stars of Reid Edelman’s theater program at Mendocino College. She provides a real sauciness and courage as the voice of youth, a young woman impatient with any kind of compromise.

Q: Anchoring the cast is someone very special?

A: Virginia Hanley. She’s a veteran of numerous WCT productions over the years, most recently as an actress in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and then stage manager for last year’s hit, “Grace and Glorie”. She brings a wonderful sweetness and closeness to her role as Alice, the voice of the older, pre-feminist woman.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: The show is quite an experience, and like a lot of our productions, one that I think will play really well with our audiences.

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