Open Stage of Harrisburg performs in different venue

HARRISBURG — If a play is set in a movie theater, what more appropriate place to stage it than in a movie house?

Open Stage of Harrisburg’s current production of “The Flick” is not staged in its usual home base, but off site at the Midtown Cinema movie theater, 250 Reily St.

The decision to mount this challenging production at the Midtown Cinema was made by OSH’s artistic director Stuart Landon, who is also the show’s director.

“I’m elated to bring to my two homes, Open Stage and the Midtown Cinema, two of my passions, theater and film,” said Landon. “Having the performance in an actual theater no doubt creates a different atmosphere.”

Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize winning comedy-drama’s remaining playing schedule is limited to Sundays only with 7:30 p.m. performances on April 15, 22 and 29.

For the first time, Open Stage of Harrisburg partners with Midtown cinema (where Landon has been employed for the last five year) to present this acclaimed piece of “environmental theater”.

The setting is a run-down movie house called “The Flick,” one of the few remaining theaters in Massachusetts that still project 33-millimeter films.

The characters sweep stale popcorn and mop dried soda from the aisles of the Cinema as the audience is immersed in the conversations of these underpaid employees working around them.

Although billed as a comedy, Landon describes “The Flick” as a “heartfelt cry for the authentic human connection we all want, but we are a little afraid of it.”

As the Midtown Cinema is an actual movie theater, there is a screen facing the audience, which Landon effectively utilizes by showing a series of shorts, further enhancing the audiences’ perception of being moviegoers.

Basically the three person cast of Rose, Avery and Sam discuss, debate and occasionally argue their fate and hopes while doing the humdrum work in this rather mundane setting.

Admittedly, the show requires some patience as it is neither action-filled nor fast moving. The script calls for the movie theater’s employees to often pause before speaking — but this is exactly how people really talk!

Despite its lengthy running time (nearly three hours), the ushers’ and projectionist’s dialogue is entertaining by being nuanced, raising but not always answering the questions posed by the three “misfits” to each other.

As the first few Sunday evening playing dates were “sold-out,” there is limited tickets available for the remaining performances.

A Subscription Series attraction, “The Flick” is recommended for audiences 14 years and older.

For tickets and more information call 717-232-6736 or visit www.open stagehbg.com.

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