The Indiana Festival Theatre presents Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center. There is a preview of the show on Wed July 20, followed by performances on Thursday and Friday. After that, it alternates with Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.
On a couple of occasions the alternation is pretty tight. The cast will finish one show, take a dinner break while the technical crew resets the theater, and then come back for an evening of the other production. We asked two of the actors if the quick switch is a special strain.
Abby Rowald plays the Abbess in The Comedy of Errors and Essie, as well as the Miller family matriarch in Ah, Wilderness! "I admit that I was a little nervous. This was my first time to do rep,'" she says. "But really switching characters is easier than we'd like people to think. The characters are so different, and I've worked very hard on the differences. So the change is pretty automatic."
Henry Woronicz plays Egeon, the father searching for his lost twin sons in The Comedy of Errors, and Essie's husband Nat Miller in Ah, Wilderness! He says, "Actually, I've done quite a bit of rep. Much of it has been Shakepeare, so in those instances the styles would be more similar than they are here. When people ask me about mixing up shows or roles, the analogy I use is school. You wouldn't mix up an algebra class and a French class any more that I'd mix up plays."