The wait is nearly over - you get the chance to come see the workshop of Rain Follows the Plow by Rachel Nelson this weekend! To help tide you over the next 50-odd hours, here’s a small look at the three guest actors who joined us to make this play: Seth Conover as Jack, Adelin Phelps as Clara, and Eve Tugwell as Ingrid.
Who is your character?
Seth Conover: I would describe Jack as something of a self-proclaimed mystic/romantic. He hangs around the edge of a cliff, literally and metaphorically, searching for the rush of something subliminal. He's from the suburbs, obviously, because he's downright starstruck by nature. I can totally relate.
Adeline Phelps: Clara has a fire deep in her belly. She is impulsive, extremely smart, passionate, and ambitious. Full of convictions. And in tune with her sexuality.
Eve Tugwell: Ingrid is a strong women pinned down by time period and circumstance. She is a good wife who obeys her husband - until her sense of what’s right and their lack of sustenance pushes her to the brink of her mind - and then over the edge.
Do any parts of the script resonate with you personally? Which ones?
SC: I connect with the way the play investigates the American sense of 'hubris'. That old 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' adage we're so fond of; especially in regards to our country's rise to prominence. What got us here? What keeps us going? Why stay here? Those are great questions that the play explores. Socrates might say; 'the unexamined country is not worth fighting for'. I hope the gods don't smite me for paraphrasing that quote.
AP: I feel strongly about Clara's sense of ambition. She knows what she wants. I admire this quality and connect to it in the script. I feel connected to her most at the points of anxiety, honestly...when her hardness falls away a bit, and we see some cracks in her, we can see the pain she is feeling.
ET: Clara's loss of a place she loved rings very true for me. Be it a country or a family home there is a constant nagging in the back of my mind that reminds me I'm missing something. I think that rings true with every character, but is the most clear with Clara.
What do you think audiences will take away from the workshop?
SC: There's a wealth of inspiring images and poetic ideas in this play so I hope they translate to the audience's personal search for meaning and belonging. I think it's a treat to listen to and take in. I hope people will be entertained, too.
AP: Readings are an incredible way to hear a new story, to hear a new play. The audience will get to be invited into a working a story, a group of lives that are being worked on. I think that is really neat. These characters are alive and written, but are not finished. That involves an audience in an intimate way.
ET: I find all the characters easy to relate to in one way or another. I think that the audience will, too. This is a reminder of this era and bit of history, and representation of how far, or not, we've come as a country.
What has it been like working with Savage Umbrella?
SC: I've never worked with any company who conducts their rehearsals the way Savage Umbrella does. It's a physically investigative exploration of relationships between characters and themes. Whether or not I totally subscribe to all of the methods, it's clearly working well for them. I think having diversity in our approach to creating Theater is necessary and healthy. Plus they're all really great people.
AP: Working with this company has been wonderful. Every member I have met thus far is so smart. Incredibly smart. And they are open, willing and wanting to put new work out there. They work hard, they believe in their mission. It is sometimes rare to find people like this. I like it. I like it a lot. And I am thankful to be part of it.
ET: I have loved this experience. Working with some of the company and at times another person or two who has stopped by has revealed to me how much of a family Savage Umbrella is. I also leave rehearsals continuously impressed with the amount of knowledge bouncing around the rehearsal room walls. Everyone is so dedicated to the product it makes me feel like I'm working with a group that knows what it’s doing, and I find that very comforting. I have a harder time with improv exercises because I feel out of practice, but thanks to the ones we did in auditions and rehearsals I feel like just putting our ideas out there and doing the best you can helps with improvement in that respect in all areas.
See what Seth, Addie, and Eve are talking about this weekend: Friday March 9 & Saturday March 10 at 7:30 pm each night. At the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. Donations at the door.