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Back in Force: Chi-Rho Double Feature

DIM News has been silent for three months; but don’t think that DIM has been inactive in the meantime.  Far from it.  As you may remember from the July issue, the DIM writing team was to meet late that month to pen the sequel to DIM’s popular January 1999 production, The Chi-Rho Files:  Investigations of the Unorthodox.  The writing team attacked the task enthusiastically.

The resulting script was titled, The Assignment.  The story follows Nico, after Perez has joined Buck and the gang, and delves into the organization he and Perez worked for:  IU Central.  Nico has been assigned to the training unit, and he runs across someone particularly useful to his purposes.

Patty Cram, who played the lead role of Perez in the first installment, has taken the reins as director for the sequel.  And in a strange case of real life imitating art, Jenn Wright, Patty’s sister and the director of the first installment, takes the lead as Trainee Tira in the sequel.  Greg Wright reprises the role of Nico.  

And, in what may be a first in contemporary Christian theatre history, these first two episodes of an ongoing, serialized drama will appear on the same stage for three nights running!!  “What really makes this a unique opportunity,” says Greg, “is not just the opportunity to remount a tremendously successful show, but the chance to take it to the next level with a sequel, and to let the character development of the second script reshape the performances of the first show.”

Audiences who saw Investigations of the Unorthodox last January may be surprised at the added depth of the remounted show.  Jenn Wright, armed with a new surname after her August wedding to husband Greg, has retained the same production design she used in January; and most of the cast has returned to reprise their original roles.  (Matt Meany, who appeared as Norfolk in A Man for All Seasons makes a special appearance as Beno.)  But the dynamics have changed, and dramatically.

Coupled with the strength of the new script, and the stark contrast of Bucky’s and Nico’s worlds, DIM is set to open the new season with a powerhouse double feature of Chi-Rho Files episodes.  The two one-act plays run back-to-back from 7-9 PM on November 19, 20 and 21.  Call 206-241-6149 for more information.

The Redwood Connection

DIM regular Mike Brunk was recruited in late July to direct Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians; at Redmond’s Redwood Theatre.  Redwood Board Members Judy Schwanke and Michelle Tuck worked with Mike on DIM’s 1997 production of Saint Joan. 

They have been subsequently impressed with the work Mike has done directing In the Presence of Mine Enemies and This Rock for DIM.  Mike also served on the judging panel for Redwood last season.

DIM associate Lyla Moreland also appears in the production, acting on the Redwood stage for the second time.  Lyla also appeared in last winter’s Measure for Measure at Redwood.  The cast of Ten Little Indians also features John Marx, who appeared as Roper in DIM’s 1998 production of A Man for All Seasons.

Ten Little Indians runs through November 6 at Redwood Theatre in Redmond.  Call 206-525-3493 for more information.

Avant Garde at the College

DIM founder is beginning his second season on staff at  Puget Sound Christian College in Edmonds.  This fall, Greg has opted to mount a production of the modern classic one-act play, Christ in the Concrete City.  Written by a young Anglican priest, the play is a bitter, surrealist attack on modern complacency in the face of Christ’s crucifixion.

The actors in the play step in and out of several different characters while interacting with and confronting the audience.  Modern living-room conversations mix with scenes of Christ’s trial and death, in an attempt to confront the modern audience with the immediacy of those events.

With the exception of James Wilhoit, who appeared as Thomas More in DIM’s 1998 production of A Man for All Seasons, the cast of the play is made up entirely of enthusiastic college freshmen.  The talent is sharp and quick, as is the dialog in this witty satire.

There is also an interesting family connection in the production:  last year’s production of Who’ll Save the Plowboy featured Linda Woltz as Helen; her son, Evan, appears in Concrete!

What’s more, both Linda and Dave Stark, who appeared opposite her in Plowboy, will appear on the same stage in the second half of the PSCC double bill:   DIM will be presenting the remounted Investigations of the Unorthodox as part of the offering.

Christ in the Concrete City opens November 5 and runs through November 13.  All seats are five dollars.  Call 425-775-8686 for more information.

DIM and NCC Win Community Award

The cast of the July DIM production of King to Knight’s Pawn appeared on behalf of Normandy Christian Church in the Des Moines Waterland Parade.  Director Lyla Moreland was pleasantly surprised, with the rest of the DIM troupe, to learn that the cast was awarded the community award for Best of the Parade.

DIM appeared in the parade for the second year running.  Last year, the cast of Black Bart strolled up and down the street staging gun fights and rescuing damsels in distress.  This year, the image002.jpg - 13281 Bytesgroup’s medieval garb was a big hit with the children.  Lyla’s costume designs were fabulous, and the period armaments fascinated.  The favorite questions was, “Is that a real sword?”  The group is already making plans for a follow-up appearance next season.

(At left, the cast of King to Knight’s Pawn, from left to right:  Dave Stark, Mike Brunk, Jenn Wright, Greg Wright, Marybeth Moreland, Patty Cram, Brandon Brown.

Copyright (c) 2002 Greg & Jenn Wright