‘Getting to Know The Edge of the Universe Players 2’s ‘Pullman, WA’ 11/13-20 at Woolly Mammoth by Bill Goodman

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Getting to Know the Play Pullman, WA by Young Jean Lee

Reflections by Producer Bill Goodman, The Edge of the Universe Players 2.

Artist Alex R. Hughes's conception of 'Pullman, WA.'
Artist Alex R. Hughes’s conception of ‘Pullman, WA.’

During the process of producing Pullman, WA, I’ve come to appreciate it far more than I did when it was first selected—even though I was responsible for approving it. As a script, Pullman is strange to say the least. It defies classification and contains a few mysteries that suit it.

Three “helpers” announce they can guide us to better lives, but the nature of the situation is unclear—it might be a planned talk or a spontaneous event. As the three helpers have vastly different beliefs about how to live, it seems unlikely that they’ve planned their efforts jointly, yet there are hints that they’re already acquainted–and might possibly be working together. Eventually, they break into rhythmic chant in either an obscure language or gibberish—the nature and meaning of this development aren’t immediately obvious. Other strange developments follow.

Pullman is ridiculous, hilarious, and, if you ask me, deeply philosophical.

While all plays are a little—or a lot—different in action as opposed to on the page, this one is far, far different—it’s much more alive, some subtleties of the script become clear, and an alteration between hostility and compassion becomes well realized.

As producer, my main contribution to artistic aspects consists in choosing the director, then trusting that person to select the cast, designers, and interpretation. So as the play emerges, I can sit back and enjoy it, occasionally providing some feedback to the director—protocol forbids me to directly engage anyone else.  Occasionally, a director may even use one of my suggestions.

I feel fortunate to have attracted the group of artists we have, starting with award-winning Director Michael Chamberlin, who has been a fan of Pullman for a long time and suggested it to us in the first place.

Tia Shearer. Photo courtesy of Edge of the Universe Players 2.
Tia Shearer  (Helper #1). Photo courtesy of The Edge of the Universe Players 2.

Tia Shearer, who will portray “Helper #1,” has considerable background in children’s theatre, but has proven to me that she can be outstanding at an adult role, and a complex one at that.

Jenna Rossman ( ). Photo courtesy of Edge of the Universe Players 2.
Jenna Rossman (Helper #2 ). Photo courtesy of The Edge of the Universe Players 2.

Jenna Rossman, who will play Helper #2, has demonstrated that she can make the role come alive and then some.

Drew Kopas (Helper #3). Photo courtesy of Edge of the Universe Players 2.
Drew Kopas (Helper #3). Photo courtesy of The Edge of the Universe Players 2.

Drew Kopas (Helper #3), the sole male actor, comes highly recommended by our director.

Naturally, I hope you’ll join us for a performance; I’m sure you’d enjoy it. The play is so experimental that we’re calling it a workshop and asking just $10, but I think you’ll find that this presentation is worth far more.

Artist Alex R. Hughes's conception of 'Pullman, WA.'
Artist Alex R. Hughes’s conception of ‘Pullman, WA.’

The Edge of the Universe Players 2 presents Pullman, WA by Young Jean Lee November 13-20, 2016 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company – 641 D Street, NW, in Washington, DC 20004

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For tickets, go to UniversePlayers2.tix.com.

For more information, see UniversePlayers2.org.

Pullman, WA is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.