November 19, 20 and 21st, Red Bank Catholic will present “A Night of Christopher Durang,” a performance of six one-act plays, including the debut of new material, written by Tony Award-winning American playwright Christopher Durang. A graduate of Yale Drama School, Durang is known for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. His plays have been performed nationwide, including on Broadway and Off-Broadway. In addition to winning a Tony Award for Best Play in 2013, Durang has received Obie Awards, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Since he was in high school himself, RBC Theater Director and Honors Theater Arts teacher Mr. Keith Gissubel has been performing Durang’s works. Several months ago, he reached out to Durang to ask permission to write a second monologue for one of the characters in the show. He was more than thrilled when Durang offered to write the monologue himself. Mr. Gissubel recalls how, “two weeks later, I was holding an original monologue by a Tony Award-winning playwright written exclusively for Red Bank Catholic.”
The two have been collaborating together to rework some of the material to tailor it for RBC’s performance. Mr. Gissubel feels honored to have the opportunity to work one of his favorite playwrights. He says, “He even offered to speak to me over the phone about one major revision we were working on for ‘Nina in the Morning.’ We were also at one point renaming one of his characters to be a girl. He threw names at me over the phone and let me choose,” adding, “Come to the show and find out what it is!”
The students have been doing more than just rehearsing the show. Mr. Gissubel explains how the rehearsals have also been a teaching opportunity, explaining how they have been “digging into the life and works of Christopher Durang since day one. We've spent full rehearsals pulling apart the plays and characters and have spoken at length about the deeper meaning, symbolism, and the author's intent hidden within each piece. The students are enjoying it and tell me it's true educational theater. The goal is to help them become more well-rounded performers.”
Performances of this unique show will be at 7:00 pm on November 19th, 20st and 21nd in the Red Bank Catholic Auditorium, 112 Broad St., Red Bank. For ticket information please call 732-747-1774.