Members of The Assembly, presenting “That Poor Dream”

The AssemblyThe Assembly was last on the podcast with an episode that, sadly, went live long after the show had closed (and damn, you should have seen that show…Home/Sick remains one of the best productions I’ve seen—take a listen to the episode about it, it’s well worth your time).

The company’s back with their devised adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, entitled That Poor Dream, bringing the story of Pip to the island of Manhattan via Connecticut, and this time I’m actually posting this with time for you to catch the show, so get out to The New Ohio if you can!

Joining me on the mic are actors Edward Bauer (Pip), Ben Beckley (Drummel), & Emily Louise Perkins (Jaggers), along with Production & Scenic Designer Nick Benacerraf and Dramaturg Stephen Aubrey—listen in as we discuss giving voice to a voiceless issue, capitalism, vulnerability, being content with your lot in life, and privilege, beauty, & money.

“…we encounter people with radically and contradictory visions of what class means, and how to behave in this world, and that’s, I think, the most interesting thing for us—to put all these contradictory ideas together, because that’s how the world is, so that we can look at them together, and try to hold more of it at the same time…”

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Matt Opatrny, Damen Scranton, and Jessi Blue Gormezano of Blessed Unrest’s “A Christmas Carol”

Blessed Unrest's "A Christmas Carol" photo by Alan RocheA Christmas Carol is produced everywhere, every year; so often that most of us in the theatre world could recite the lines along with the actors. We know exactly what we’re going to see, and willingly submit to having our heartstrings plucked by the familiar story of one man’s awakening to the Christmas spirit.

Blessed Unrest‘s A Christmas Carol is not one of those productions — though the story is familiar, the way of telling it is not. And this Scrooge’s awakening…well, let’s just say it doesn’t end the way you’re used to. It’s emotional, and beautiful, in a way you probably haven’t seen.

Listen in as adaptor/playwright Matt Opatrny, multi-character actress Jessi Blue Gormezano, and the show’s Ebenezer, Damen Scranton, discuss how easy it is to change, building trust within the cast, bringing in a Lady Gaga dance number, why Blessed Unrest would do a play most of the company didn’t like, and what happens when Scrooge goes home, alone.

“I’m really glad I came. It’s always a risk with A Christmas Carol…”

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