The Bloomington Playwrights Project’s Managing Director Gabe Gloden and a couple of members of it’s Ensemble of Artists, Emily Woodson and Tracy Bee, are on a ‘busman’s holiday’ producing Scott Organ’s comedy Phoenix in a Gunstar Production in the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center’s Rose Firebay January 12-14.
The idea for the show began with, Woodson and Bee attending the 2010 Humana Festival in Louisville. Woodson says that Phoenix was “one of the few that stuck with me.” Bee also loved the play and says, “it was about smart witty people who are a little bit uncomfortable.”
When Woodson shared her reaction and then the script with Gloden he was very positive. “It’s a fantastic play and it sounded like there were two characters that we could be good playing. They both have secrets that they don’t want to divulge about themselves There are theses two people who you really want to get together and they are trying to make it work. It’s in a very classic romantic comedy format.”
“Phoenix just clicked and we thought this is something that we can do and we can do well. We’re all roughly the same age as these characters so our insights are kind of age appropriate. And Emily and I have brought a lot from our relationship off stage into this show. And in the same way that when I did True West with my brother it’s been kind of cathartic in a lot of ways and I hope the audience will get a taste of that.”
Selecting the director was easy according to Woodson. “We actually chose Tracy Bee for a couple of reasons. She and I’d both loved the play when we saw it together. It sounds simple, but it was important to have someone who really liked the script and who liked and felt what these characters were going through. Phoenix is the first full length show that she’s directed, but she’s got great insight into the characters.”