A local group of performers called the FairWind Players will bring a comedy double feature to the Kodiak stage this week. Jared Griffin, who teaches English at Kodiak College, stars in the first performance: “Two across,” a “comedy of crosswords and romance.”
“It’s a story of two strangers who love crosswords. They find themselves alone on a train in San Francisco. It’s really, really early in the morning. And they help each other solve each other’s puzzles and help each other solve each other’s life puzzles.”
Griffin directs the second feature, which focuses on a mother and son relationship and is called “The Outrageous Adventures of Sheldon & Mrs. Levine.”
“That show is really interesting because it’s the mother and son reading letters to each other over the course of a few years and their journeys of self-discovery and self-actualization and other fancy, psychological words.”
Griffin says, as a director, he tries to create a safe environment to let the actors experiment. Laurie Murdock plays Mrs. Levine, and she describes Griffin’s method of positive reinforcement – probably the one most desired by comedy actors.
“He laughs at things, and that encourages the actors, because he laughs. He’s really good at – when he knows there’s something funny, he laughs and of course, that makes me in my case want to be funnier and it’s reinforcing and we just want to be funny because we know we want to make him laugh.”
And she says while it’s a funny play, it might not be suited to children.
According to KMXT’s Pam Foreman, who’s involved in the group behind-the-scenes, the FairWind Players are all about exploring their options. In funny and serious ways.
“We wanted to do some stuff that was a little tougher theater than the art council does. We like tackling those tough subjects – theater that makes you stop and think. A couple of the first shows we dealt with, one dealt with the holocaust, one dealt with a pretty dramatic and difficult show about death from cancer. And then conversely, we do these goofy things.”
Like the upcoming performances.
The two plays begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the auditorium drama pod. You can buy your tickets at the door when you arrive.
And to hear even more about the plays and the people involved in them, you can listen to Tuesday’s Talk of the Rock here.