The NOLA Project Show Archive

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows
By Alan Bennett
Directed By Alexis Jacknow
July-August 2007: Southern Rep Theatre

A.J. Allegra: Mole
James Bartelle: Badger
Sean Glazebrook: Toad
Will Connolly: Rat
Alexis Jacknow: Various Roles
Andrew Larimer: Various Roles
Kathlyn Tarwater: Various Roles
Pete McElligott: Various Roles

Evan Prizant: Costume Design
Peter McElligott: Sound Design
Alex Ates: Sound Technician
Kate Bartel: Light Technician
Joseph Riley: Scenic Designer; Properties

Adapted by Olivier and Tony award-winning playwright, Alan Bennett (The History Boys), the timeless classic tells the adventures of Mole, Rat, Badger, and the iconic Mr. Toad as they travel through the open road, the bucolic English riverside, the ominous Wild Wood, and the luxurious Toad Hall; enduring nature’s unrelenting elements all along the way. Combining mysticism, adventure, symbolism, camaraderie, and morality, "The Wind in the Willows," is a guaranteed delight for all ages.

some personal history…
“The Trip to Barnes and Noble”
My favorite performance of “Wind in the Willows” did not happen on the stage at Southern Rep, but instead in the children’s book section of one of the sexiest Barnes and Noble book stores I’ve ever had to pleasure of visiting.  Now to fully understand my enjoyment of this experience you have to understand one thing: I was dressed like a normal person.  My four friends (Sean Glazebrook, Will Connely, A.J. Allegra, and James Bartelle) were not.

 A quick note about costumes in the theatre: costume designers work very hard with the director and the rest of the design crew to ensure that their costumes fit the world of the play.  Now, the world of the play is not always our world.  Case in point your centurion costume may look amazing inside a production of “Julius Caesar”, but if you wear it to a court hearing you’re going to look weird and stupid.
 Now the costumes for “Wind in the Willows” were incredibly good.  On stage.  When viewed offstage, however, in the light of the real world, say a Barnes and Noble parking lot, they looked quite different.  Badger’s black-and-white fur top hat and classy cane suddenly makes him look like a 1970s pimp.  Mole’s coke bottle glasses and fingerless gloves immediately make him look like some sort of homeless British pedophile.  Toad’s green skin and mangled/webbed hands strongly suggest to the modern eye that he’s a very ill victim of some future war.  Fortunately, Rat’s long tail and yachting jacket can be seen through the light of any world and interpreted as intended.  He’s a giant rat that loves boating.
To put this all very simply, walking in with these four guys/creatures is the best entrance to a Barnes and Noble I will ever make.—Pete McElligott

2008 Storer Boone Award for Best Children’s Play
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