Buffalo Theatre Ensemble performs ‘Drawer Boy’
By Randall G. Mielke For Sun-Times Media July 5, 2012 10:34AM
Left to right: Robert Jordan Bailey (Angus), Jacob Abbas (Miles) and Jonathan Kraft (Morgan) are in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s production of “The Drawer Boy.” | Courtesy of Galen G. Ramsey, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble
‘The Drawer Boy’
♦ July 13-29
♦ McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn
♦ Tickets, $25-$33
♦ (630) 942-4000
Veteran actor and director Kurt Naebig, who is directing the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s (BTE) “The Drawer Boy” at McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, knows what captures an audience’s attention.
“In some plays, the razzle dazzle might be a big set or some crazy lighting,” said Naebig of the three-person play he is directing. “Here the razzle dazzle is the actors.”
The BTE production of “The Drawer Boy” will be presented from July 13 to July 29.
Written by Michael Healey, “The Drawer Boy” is set in 1972 in Ontario, Canada. The play examines the relationship between two farmers, Morgan and Angus, whose lives are turned upside down when a young actor, Miles Potter, visits their farm to gather research for a play.
“The play takes place on a farm where two long-time buddies in their 50s share a house and are farming,” Naebig said. “One of the guys has a terrible memory and does not remember certain things in his life. An actor wants to observe farmers’ lives, so he asks to stay with them. It is a fish-out-of-water play, so there is some comedy, and it’s a mystery about why and how these two guys ended up together.”
“The Drawer Boy” features Jacob Abbas as Miles, Jonathan Kraft as Morgan and BTE actor Robert Jordan Bailey as Angus.
With no crazy lighting or large ensemble cast, Naebig knows he must keep the show compelling via the three actors.
“You have to make it real and exciting,” he said. “You have to dictate what happens next from moment to moment and find the comedy. I’m a big believer in making things physical. Something has to be happening on stage to create conflict and excitement.”
Naebig believes the play will appeal to audience members on several levels.
“There are a lot of different things people will like about this play,” he said. “It is funny, but then there is a twist and it takes you into the mystery of the piece. It keeps you guessing in a dramatic way.”
And just as the audience can enjoy the play on several levels, Naebig derives satisfaction from the staging of the show in several ways.
“First, you are putting things together with a number of artists, from the set to the acting to the lighting,” he said. “You are trying something; playing around with it. By the time the show opens, I have in my head each moment of perfection that I saw in rehearsal.
“Then, it is exciting when you get the audience into it,” Naebig continued. “You see people lean forward in moments of suspense; they jump when there is a surprise or break out in laughter. That is satisfying.”
And the escape for the audience is the payoff for Naebig.
“If you can feel that you took them somewhere else for a couple of hours,” he said. “Then you can feel that you did your job.”