Dry winds sweep across the plains. The dust swirls and smothers. Without hope, folks rely on tenacity and superstition to see them through. Can one small boy save the town? Oregon Children’s Theatre presents The Storm in the Barn, April 28–May 20, 2012 at the Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway (Saturdays at 2:00 & 5:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm).
Eleven-year-old Jack and his family struggle to survive the Dust Bowl. With no clouds on the horizon, the future is grim. Bullied, not big enough to work, and a disappointment to his father, Jack feels useless in the face of hardship – until he discovers a sinister figure with a face like a thunderstorm. Is it just “dust dementia?” Or has he found a way to pull the town out of desperation?
The Storm in the Barn is written by nationally-recognized playwright, Eric Coble, based on the award-wining graphic novel by Matt Phelan (Scott O’Dell award for historical fiction, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book selection, and a 2012 Oregon Readers Choice Award nominee).
Heartbreakingly beautiful, the play uses original music commissioned from Portland band Black Prairie to capture the spare, muted, ethereal mood of the book. The band will release their own album of the music on May 5th. Actors, who are also musicians, will play the music onstage to underscore the action. The playing of the music becomes as important in telling the story as the spoken words.
“When Stan Foote approached me about adapting Matt’s book, I knew immediately what my answer was,” says playwright Eric Coble. “I have only seen amazing things come out of OCT, and each script I’ve worked on here has brought its own unique challenges and delights, which I’ve come to look forward to. The chance to create a piece this time with very few words, where much of the story is told through music (from such brilliant musicians), to tell this epic tale in a simple yet spectacular way… How could I say no?”
The cast features Jack Clevenger as Jack; Steele Clevenger as Mabel; Melanie Joy Hall as Ma; Damon Kupper as Pa; Ashlee Waldbauer as Dorothy; Daniel East as Ernie/Doc; Connor Delaplane and Michael Cline as Frank/Ray; and Meghan Nestor Coil, Anton Van Oosbree, and Fletcher Nemeth as musicians.
The creative team includes: Marcella Crowson (Director/Scenic Design), Christopher Rousseau (Scenic Design), Don Crossley (Lighting Design), Jeff Cone (Costume Design), Melanie Joy Hall (Musical Director), Cameron McFee (Sound & Projection Design), Sara Mishler Martins (Choreography), and Drew Dannhorn (Props Master).
Recommended for ages 10 & up.
We are so excited to be giving away a family four pack of tickets to see a Storm in the Barn performance of your choice! Enter below…
About Eric Coble (Playwright)
Eric is thrilled to be working with OCT again, where his previous plays The Giver and Sacagawea both premiered. His other scripts include Bright Ideas, The Velocity of Autumn, Natural Selection, and For Better, and have been produced Off-Broadway, throughout the U.S., and on several continents, including productions at Manhattan Class Company, The Kennedy Center, Playwrights Horizons, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, New York and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, Alliance Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, Asolo Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Coterie Theatre, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Stages Repertory, and The Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Awards include an Emmy nomination, the AT&T Onstage Award, National Theatre Conference Playwriting Award, the AATE Distinguished Play Award for Best Adaptation, an NEA Playwright in Residence Grant, a TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Grants. Visit www.ericcoble.com for more theatrical mayhem.
About Black Prairie (Composers)
Black Prairie is a five-piece bluegrass-influenced band from Portland, Oregon. The band formed in early 2007. Their first album, Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, was released on April 6, 2010 on the Sugar Hill label. The band began when The Decemberists’ Chris Funk (dobro) and Nate Query (bass) had some time off from touring and decided to put together a side project. Other members of the band include The Decemberists’ accordion player Jenny Conlee, singer and violinist Annalisa Tornfelt of Bearfoot and The Woolwines, and guitarist Jon Neufeld of Dolorean and Jackstraw.
About Oregon Children’s Theatre
Founded in 1988, Oregon Children’s Theatre is Oregon’s largest non-profit professional children’s theater company and a resident company of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Performances are held weekdays for school audiences and on weekends for family audiences. OCT serves more than 120,000 children of all ages each year. OCT offers numerous school services including study guides, teacher professional development opportunities, in-school workshops, and an extensive outreach program. In partnership with Kaiser Permanente, our Educational Theatre Program provides free touring productions that promote healthy living. OCT’s year round Acting Academy offers theater classes for children ages 4-18.
The Storm in the Barn is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support provided by Umpqua Bank, Hugh Mackworth and Josie Mendoza, Regional Arts & Culture Council and Work for Art, and the Oregon Arts Commission. Travel sponsorship provided by Alaska Airlines.