The Village Players say ‘I do’ to ‘Impossible Marriage’Written by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
thew Gretzinger has a specific way of directing plays.
“Every time you approach a play, you have to decide what story you’re telling,” he said. “A playwright has given you a series of words and characters; sometimes it’s not immediately clear what the most engaging story is.”
Gretzinger’s production of “Impossible Marriage,” written by Beth Henley, hits the Village Players Theatre’s stage from May 10-25. It will be the final production of the theater’s 56th season.
Gretzinger said the biggest challenge was figuring out the specific story to tell.
“You have to really do your analysis work,” he said.
The story he focused on follows the pregnant Flora, played by Marissa Rex, who is dealing with her sister Pandora (played by Ashley Gage) getting married.
“I guess the story I wanted to tell was what was going on with Flora and why she’s struggling with her sister’s impending marriage,” Gretzinger said. “And what that message means.”
Gretzinger said the cast includes people he has worked with before, but also new faces.
David Engel, who plays Edvard Lunt, has never worked with Gretzinger before. Lunt is a worldly author who is twice the age of the woman he is marrying.
Engel said the role is “a little bit daunting,” considering the age difference between the characters.
“Having three daughters, it was a little bit hard to take,” he said.
Engel said it was easy working with Gage. He said his daughter auditioned for the role, and if she had gotten the part, it would’ve been more awkward. At the time of his audition, Engel knew nothing about the script.
“Once I [read the script], I really liked the character,” he said.
He said when he auditioned he hoped for the chance to work with the people also auditioning.
Also included in the cast are Barbara Barkan as Kandall Kingsley, John DuVall as the Reverend and Jon Masters as Sidney Lunt, Edvard’s son.
“I knew the rehearsals and the production were going to be exceptional,” Engel said. “Matthew, our director, clearly has a passion and an expertise for directing theater.”
Gretzinger has directed Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” and likes the way “Impossible Marriage” is written. He enjoys plays that center on language, he said.
“When I read it, I thought it was quirky and funny,” Gretzinger said.
Eric Simpson, who plays Jonsey Whitman, also likes the way his character’s lines were written.
“There’s a swagger to him, a Southern charm,” Simpson said.
Gretzinger has been involved in theater since high school and currently teaches a theater class at Owens Community College. He’s mentioned “Impossible Marriage” throughout the semester’s lessons and asked his students to analyze it.
Tickets for the show can be purchased at thevillageplayers.org.