Debriefing one of the hardest theatre experiences of my life

Me playing Matt in The Marriage of Bette and Boo
Matt speaking to the audience in The Marriage of Bette and Boo – photo by Jon Jordan

I recently participated in one of the most wonderfully challenging theatre experiences of my life. It was the role of Matt in the show The Marriage of Bette and Boo by Christopher Durang. It was AWESOME!

The show was put on by Ignite Community Theatre. It’s a smaller theatre in the Spokane area and The Marriage of Bette and Boo closed their 8th season of shows. It’s kind of been under the radar for a few years now but it’s starting to pick up some steam and get some traction with the local theatre community. I’m extremely excited to see how their 9th season goes.

The reason this show was so hard was because of the journey Matt went on. Matt is on a journey of self-discovery. He’s trying to reason why his life is the way it is and how he got to that point. He starts the show devout in his belief that reason and logic will give him his answers and then his life will make sense. He stands very aloof, at a distance, as the narrator of the show. As he tells the story of his parents marriage he becomes more and more involved in the stories, and his ability to reason becomes less and less. Eventually he gets to the point where he admits there are things in his life that don’t make sense. He accepts that life isn’t always logical and that there has to be something more to it.

The story is told as a chronological story, meaning Matt is several different ages in several different scenes, as well as a story of changing values and beliefs. Matt starts out as part of a catholic family but slowly loses his faith to the point where he admits to his mother, Bette, that he doesn’t believe in prayer anymore. He eventually does find his faith again which was another dimension to add to the character. All in all it was a great character to play and a great show to be a part of; But that isn’t the real reason I need to talk about this show.

I need to talk about this show but the experience of being with this cast and crew and incredible. I can’t say enough about how much fun and enjoyment I had sharing the stage with some amazing talent. The cast that brought Matt’s story to life was one of the best cast’s I’ve been apart of in a long time. Across the board, some quality actors and some quality people. They were the kinds of actors that made me rise to their level every day. Each day I had to work hard to bring the performance to life. I love having to play catch-up on stage sometimes because that’s when you know it’s going to be a good show. And this was a great show. A GREAT show. I’m glad I was a part of it. While I won’t necessarily miss the material of Bette and Boo, I’m glad for the experience, and glad to have shared the stage with some of the best actors, and best people, I have ever worked with.

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