is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

He Went to Jared!

When Bluegrass Community & Technical College's Theatre and Film Coordinator Tim X. Davis decided to share acting and directing duties in A FEW GOOD MEN, he went to Jared.  (I've always wanted to say that :)

Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I'm given an inside glimpse of artistry like BCTC's students in action, they're so young, yet seem so well seasoned, and Sloan is one of the best. He delighted audiences as the very Gomer Pyle-Mr. Haney-esque Clem in MIDDLE AGED WHITE GUYS last fall at Talon Winery, and was also memorable in DARK OF THE MOON, another terrific BCTC show at the vineyard venue. 
A FEW GOOD MEN opens at the Downtown Arts Center this time around, though, and as I witnessed last night at rehearsal, this production is sure to knock the socks off everyone who will be in attendance.
Indeed, Sloan is a delight in every way on stage, but when this Dunbar High School alum puts on his director's hat, it's very cool to take it all in as he transitions from his character to taking the helm in a production.

When I arrived Wednesday night, Sloan was his usual amiable self, but he was also focused on set arrangements, careful adherence to script detail, and shushing some of the cast members who could not contain their offstage excitement as the play progressed.

At this stage of the proverbial game, the cast have worked their lines into their "muscle memory" (as TimX makes reference to when instructing his students and cast) which gives Sloan the freedom to tweak the specifics and thus enables the audience to glean even more enjoyment out of this master work of Aaron Sorkin. Of course, most will recognize Sorkin's name and trademark fast-paced dialogue from his brilliant television showsTHE WEST WING and SPORTS NIGHT, among his many other credits. 

Rehearsals for A FEW GOOD MEN began the second week of May, and the cast  continued rehearsals 5-6 days a week thereafter. "It has been an unbelievable experience with our design crew, and actors. Even more so since our set designer is actually living in London, and sending us everything via email! I really believe that the BCTC theatre program is going to once again set the bar high in the collegiate theatre community with A FEW GOOD MEN."

Sloan recently co-directed two 10-minute plays at the student-directed one acts event this past May with his MAWG's co-star, the invincible and always spot-on Zack Hightower, who appears alongside him in this effort, along with another fellow MAWG-er Kevin Greer, whose portrayal will have those in attendance shaking in their seats as he proclaims God's will in the event around which the plot revolves, a "Code Red" involving another marine that ends in tragedy. Directing the one acts served as an effective warm up for this summer's A FEW GOOD MEN, which, according to Sloan, "has been a completely different experience altogether. I was a little worried at first about how I would be received being a co-director and also in directing my peers (especially the renowned Tim X. Davis), but they have all overwhelmingly accepted me as a co-director and I am honored by that. When people ask me why I want to direct, it makes me smile inside because to me that question is the same as asking, Why is the sky blue? I just feel it in my heart, and in my soul. Some people are meant to teach, some to protect as a police officer, some to defend in the eyes of the law. I was born, and meant to direct in the theatre."

(*photos of Jared Sloan, Zack Hightower and stage combat choreographer Henry Layton are from rehearsals for Middle Aged White Guys at BCTC last fall)

He also offered insight on his role in the drama.  "I will be playing Pfc. Louden Downey, of the U.S. Marine Corps, and one of two Marines being charged for the death of Pfc. Santiago. Downey is not the brightest crayon in the box (and no I will not always play the dense characters…hahaha), but I think he has the most heart out of everyone is the show. He has a strong sense of honor, he has made this unit his family, and I think back home, he probably wouldn’t have been able to make much out of himself."

I told him he was definitely the 'scene stealer' in Middle Aged White Guys (there's one in every show:), but asked him who he would say is the scene stealer in this show? "Scene stealer huh….wow you humble me with that remark. Truly, I thank you. I will say that I am completely BLOWN away by Ms. Hayley Williams in this show. She is playing Commander Joanne Galloway, and I think almost all of my favorite scenes in this show involve her. I think she is so honest with her acting, and really captures some of the more beautiful moments in this show. We are all so lucky to have the opportunity to work and learn from her, and I will admit that I am a little star struck with her." 

When I asked him what it was like to have a pro like Tim X. working beside him, he explained his awe for his guru. "This will be my first time ever acting with Tim and I will say that I have enjoyed every minute of it. I know that Tim is very dedicated in teaching the theatre craft, and that he also likes throwing you into the deep end whether you swim or not. To have a mentor who thought that given this task I could do it above and beyond any doubts that I have in myself is also quite humbling. I am so incredibly lucky, no blessed with having a mentor, and friend like Tim X. Davis. He is truly inspiring."

Sloan emphasizes what he feels is the message - or messages that A FEW GOOD MEN contains that will resound with today's audiences. "There are so many messages in this show it is ridiculous! I believe that one powerful message is that no matter how tough the task, you never give up. If you believe in something you fight for it, you fight until you can’t fight anymore, and then you take a breather, and fight even harder. But I can guarantee you, no I will bet you, that Tim X. Davis will tell you one major theme in this show is …(wait for it)…Redemption! LOL got to love that X!"

Yeah, gotta love Tim X. Davis...after all, he went to Jared!  (sorry, I know I already used that joke, but I really dig it).

A FEW GOOD MEN opens next week at the DAC - stay tuned for more profiles on the talented cast that X has assembled for this next great production from BCTC.

(photos taken during BCTC's rehearsal of Middle Aged White Guys courtesy of Tom Eisenhauer;  Tim X. photo taken during AGL's rehearsals of Long Time Travelling, courtesy of Erin Cutler; and Katie Cox took the fabulous shots of A Few Good Men rehearsals - thanks, Katie!)


Co-Directed by Tim X. Davis and Jared K. Sloan

A Few Good Men, written by Aaron Sorkin, tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, United States Marines accused of murder.

Cpl Dawson- Kevin Greer
Pfc Downey- Jared Sloan
Lt. Sam Weinberg- Charles Bruin
Lt Daniel Kaffee- Zack Hightower
Lt Cmdr. Jo Galloway- Hayley Williams
Capt Whitaker- Katie Jo Cox
Capt Matthew Markinson- James Brown
Pfc William Santiago- Carlos Pelayo
Lt Col Nathan Jessup- Tim X Davis
Lt Jon Kendrick- Jeremy Gillett
Lt Jack Ross- Ryan Hastings
Cpl Jeffery Howard- Alex Saunders
Judge Randolph- Vincent Harris
Dr Walter Stone- Bret Ripley

“Swing” players
(playing multiple MP’s/ Marines/ Lawyers/etc…)
Christina Duong
Angel Beltran
Chris Webb

ASM’s- Laura Burton, Leah Dick

Ticket prices are $12 for general admission
LexArts Box Office
Downtown Arts Center (DAC)
141 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40507

Performance Dates

Jun 24th-26th at 7:30 pm
Matinee performance- Jun 27th at 2pm

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