February 2015 News

SPARE Mounts Successful Production Of New Play

The Cast of 'Jacks and the Fourth Wall'

The Cast of 'Jacks and the Fourth Wall'

Every SPARE production is exciting in its own right, but nothing quite lives up to the freshness of a brand new play.

The cast of this SPARE’s Jacks and the Fourth Wall got to experience the thrill of putting on a new play this past December and January. While the show had been performed one time before, that production was an academic one on a college campus and SPARE had the honor of performing the show in Binghamton for the first time.

Company president Brian Ives, who played Jacks the Jester, said the play was a great mix of fun and rewarding work.

“My character especially, since he never really goes backstage, was exhausting,” said Ives. “But at the end of the day, the whole production was just good, plain fun.”

Ives highlighted the fact that Jacks’s playwright, Alanna Smith, was able to come to Binghamton for the show, saying her visit and passion for the characters added to the play’s “new feeling.”

“It was so much fun to play with Alanna and her family during the audience scenes,” said Ives, whose character spent much of the play interacting with the audience. “One night, I even got to call her grandfather during the show while in character as Jacks.”

Director Erin Donovan said the play’s interactive nature posed some challenges during rehearsals. She said the entire cast had to learn to seamlessly mix improvisation and scripted performance, something not often found in modern theater.

But she added they rose to the challenge and made the show fun for everyone involved.

“I’m really proud of the work this cast has done,” she said. “It’s an amazing show!”

The show represented a step forward for SPARE on many accounts: it was the company’s first straight play, its first time premiering a show in Binghamton, and a big step up in performance venues. Thanks to the generosity of the Tri­Cities Opera Company, SPARE was able to perform in a well­-respected theatrical venue – something the company’s Board of Directors is working to continue in future productions.

Said Smith on Facebook after the show: “It was beyond amazing to see my obnoxious little brainchild running around again terrorizing another audience.”
Here’s to the next great SPARE show!