Plano — We've expounded on the greatness of Jeff Swearingen and Bren Rapp's Fun House Theatre and Film many times in recent years, and they've won a Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum award for their innovation, not to mention being named Masterminds by the Dallas Observer this year.
If you're still skeptical that they can guide their youth theater through the treacherous waters of works by Shakespeare, Edward Albee and David Mamet (via a clever Glengarry take-off), you'll just have to go see for yourself. That chance is right now.
The current offering is one of Neil LaBute's early works, and perhaps his most-produced, The Shape of Things, featuring four high school actors—not too far off in age from the play's college-age characters. It's still pretty mature for 15- and 16-year-olds, but if you think about the theme of pressure over physical appearance, it's very much in the mind of a high schooler. This time, Fun House has also enlisted the help of an outside director, Brad Baker of Collin College.
They'll do it again in April for perhaps their most ambitious venture yet, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, featuring mostly the same cast from 2013's acclaimed production of Hamlet. It'll be directed by a local favorite, René Moreno.
TheaterJones spent some time at a rehearsal for The Shape of Things, and talked to each of the four actors, and director Baker, about the play and Fun House's mission. The performers are Madeleine Norton as Evelyn, the art student who decides to make a "project" of Adam, played by Doak Campbell Rapp; Chris Rodenbaugh as Adam's friend Phillip and Taylor Donnelson as Philip's girlfriend Jenny. Below is a video with portions of the interviews and some rehearsal footage. We'll be back to cover their progress on R&G Are Dead.
Video shot and edited by Michael Warner. The interviewer is Mark Lowry.