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For the week of January 17 through January 23, 2001

NTC stages plays with Wit

Express Staff Writer

The New Theatre Company has put together an intriguing and professionally directed, acted and managed production season this winter. The plays are also a bit zany, as well as thought provoking.

Firstly, they mounted A Tuna Christmas, an hysterical tale set in a small southern town. Two actors, David Blampied and Scott Creighton, played all 22 characters.

Currently, NTC is remounting the moving drama Wit, before taking it on the road for a three night stand at Boise’s Little Theatre.

Wit, the 1999 Pulitzer Award winning play, is for "people who think that theater is about ideas as well as entertainment," said The New Haven Register.

Local actress, Claudia McCain reprises her role as Vivian Bearing, an academic who is suffering from stage four Ovarian Cancer.

Because the play takes place in a research hospital there’s an educational aspect to it.

"I have an incredible amount of respect for Claudia, to go through this again," NTC artistic director, David Blampied said. McCain will have to shave her head entirely for the second time in a year.

"I commend Claudia’s professionalism. She is an inspiration to everyone in the cast."

Wit also features Patricia Conwell, Blampied, Larry Kelly, John Hayden and Anna Senechal.

He also called Wit a "very humorous show. Very real."

Judy McNichols, a friend of McCain’s in Boise spearheaded the campaign to convince St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise to underwrite a Boise production. They will be taking nine cast members and six crew members to Boise for the run, which is scheduled for Feb. 2, 3 and 4.

After each performance in both Ketchum and Boise, there will be a panel discussion with three experts discussing both the issues in the play and local resources. Audience members are encouraged to stay and participate.

Last June’s production was, Blampied said, "an incredible success, though due to the subject matter it kept some people away," who were unaware of the play’s humor and compassionate take on patient care.

Following Wit, NTC is moving immediately into production with Fuddy Meers by David Lindsay-Abaire, an absurdist comedy about Claire, a woman with possibly imaginary amnesia.

Every morning Claire awakes to find her memory wiped clean, where upon she begins all over again to learn and construct the details of her life despite the eccentric interference from the "curio-cabinet of alarmingly bizarre characters," she shares the stage with.

This play will feature Patricia Conwell as Claire, David Blampied, Claudia McCain, Anna Senechal, Larry Kelly, Adam Bohrer and Paul Wilson. Wilson is a working actor from L.A. whose wife Pat directed Wit, as well as Fuddy Meers for NTC.

In March, to conclude the winter season, NTC will present a joint production with Laughing Stock Theatre Company, of three one-acts by the playwright David Ives.

The critically acclaimed production of Ives’ six one-act comedies All in the Timing opened at Off Broadway's Primary Stages in New York over a year ago and launched the playwright to instant celebrity.

NTC has rented NexStage Theatre for the company’s entire winter season.

"It’s impossible to do four plays in four months without having a consistent space," he said.

Their motto, Blampied said, is: "Growth through performance."

"I say it with pride. Our objective is getting the right ingredients together to get the best possible performance."

Tickets for Wit may be purchased through Chapter One and Atkinson’s in Ketchum and Read all About It in Hailey, or at The Boise Little Theatre show tickets are available through Select-a-seat 208-426-1766 or




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