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The NOLA Project Show Archive

JB


J.B.
By Archibald MacLeish
Directed By Andrew Larimer
November-December 2007: Nims Blackbox Theatre at NOCCA|Riverfront


A.J. Allegra: Nickles
James Bartelle: J.B.
Kathlyn Tarwater: Sarah
Sean Glazebrook: Mr. Zuss
Elizabeth McCarthy: Rebecca, et al
Emilie Whelan: Eliphaz
James Yeargain: Bildad
Nancy Schmitt: Ruth, et al
Richard Alexander Pomes: David, 1st Messenger, Zophar

Andrew Larimer: Scenic Design
Davis Barron: Lighting Design
Evan Prizant: Costume Design
Marleena Feehery: Stage Manager
Sarah Jackson: Production Assistant


How much crap can we take and manage to hold on? When our protectors stop protecting, where do we turn? Masterfully updating the biblical story of Job for modern audiences, Archibald MacLeish tilts at the windmill of The Big Questions: Why do good people suffer? How do we face pain? In an empty circus tent, a balloon salesman and a popcorn vendor bring the story to life, hitting comedic highs and tragic lows in an epic style rarely attempted by American playwrights. This Pulitzer-Prize winning play is a great play for any time but is especially relevant in New Orleans today.
some personal history…
I wasn’t actually in this show, but I saw it twice so I feel like I have a right to comment.  One of my favorite stories of unfortunate blocking.  James Bartelle plays the role of JB and delivers a very dramatic speech downstage center.  His life is in ruins, his body is horribly burned and blistered, and his wife has just left him so he falls to his knees and shouts at the heavens.  Or rather, due to unlucky blocking, he shouts at the nine year old girl who has unfortunately sat in the one seat in the audience that is “uncomfortably close” to James at this moment.  The girl clearly not wanting to throw James off tries to use her program to hide from him. James clearly not wanting to upset the girl shouts louder.  Fun was had by all.—Pete McElligott 
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