Rock ‘n’ Roll
by Tom Stoppard
Director Joseph Gilg
Scenic Design by Jerry S. Hooker
Costumes by Alexandra B. Bonds
Lighting Design and Technical Direction by Janet Rose
Sound Design by Michael Beardsworth
Cast: the Piper/Milan/the Waiter: KYLE WALLACE, Esme (act I)/Alice: EMILIE MATRZ, Jan: DYLAN GUTRIDGE, Max: RUSSELL DYBALL, Eleanor/Esme (act II): SOPHIE ELEANOR KRUIP, Gillian/Deidre: LIV BURNS, Interrogator/Policeman/Stephen: JEFFREY LAROCQUE, Ferdinand: KYLE LEIBOVITCH, Magda: SARA SEBASTIAN, Lenka: MAGGIE MAY STABILE, Candida: SHANNON MCINALLY
Director’s Notes: In 1987 my cousin from Nebraska re-established contact with a branch
of our family that we hadn’t heard from in years who were still living in the “old country”- Czechoslovakia. We knew very little about them and even less about that country. It was part of the Soviet bloc, located behind the Iron Curtain; there was very little news about those countries and even less travel access. After the fall of Communism and the opening of the borders several of us have been to visit with that branch of the family and many of them have traveled to the United States to visit, study and work. It is still rather exotic for us to have foreign relatives.
In all these years I have never had a conversation with any of them about what life was like with the Soviets in charge. I suspect that they do not want to go there and I would not presume to ask.
Working on Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll I feel like I have a window into that world and have gained a greater understanding of that life and those times for the ordinary citizens- for my family. I remember one of them about my age mentioning that he was in a rock band when he was young and my thought was “Weren’t we all”. I had no idea that being in a rock band was a subversive activity in his country. Before the Velvet Revolution most of my “cousins” were assigned work in factories and businesses and had no stake in the growth and success of those enterprises. After the Velvet Revolution each of them struck out on their own and became very successful business people. I am sure my “cousins” would agree with Jan when he says “Life has become amazing.”
So my work on this play has been a gift of understanding for me about my roots and my heritage. I am, along with the cast and production team of Rock ‘n’ Roll, excited about passing this gift on to you.