Geoffrey Nauffts’ Next Fall takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. While the play’s central story focuses on the 5-year relationship between Adam and Luke, Next Fall goes beyond a typical love story. This timely and compelling new American play forces us all to examine what it means to “believe” and what it might cost us not to.
"...smart, sensitive and utterly contemporary."
—New York Times
SNAP! Productions is delighted to offer the Omaha premiere of the Tony-nominated play, Next Fall, by Geoffrey Nauffts.Opening August 26 and running through September 18, 2011, Next Fall paints a beautiful and funny portrait of modern romance, asking the hard questions about commitment, love and faith.
Luke believes in God. Adam is not sure what he believes. Next Fall portrays the ups and downs of this unlikely couple’s five-year relationship with sharp humor and unflinching honesty. And when an accident changes everything, Adam must turn to Luke’s family and friends for support... and answers.
Next Fall will run from August 26 – September 18, 2011 at 3225 California Street. Curtain times are 8:00 pm,Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 6:00 pm on Sundays.
The Sunday, September 18th show will start at 2:00 pm.There will be a Tag Nite Out/Preview performance on Thursday, August 25, 2011.There will also be a special signed performance for the hearing impaired on September 4, 2011.
The theater opens a half hour before curtain time.
(Click on photo to download High Rex Version)
(from left) Butch - Fred Slegers, Arlene - Sara Planck, Brandon - Michael Martinez, Holly - Liz Mulhern, Adam - Thomas Lowe, Luke - Alex Cass
Todd Brooks – Director
(in alphabetical order)
Luke - Alex Cass
Adam - Thomas Lowe
Holly - Liz Mulhern
Brandon - Michael Martinez
Arlene - Sara Planck
Butch - Fred Slegers
(in alphabetical order)
Producer/Director/Sound Design - Todd Brooks
Stage Manager/Booth - Brian Callaghan
Costume Design - Echelle Childers
Poster, program, web design - Mark Cramer
Light Design - Audrey Fisher
Properties Design - Rhonda Hall
Set Design - Shane Staiger
Backstage - Frank Insolera Jr, Gina Wagner, Todd Brooks
Set Construction - Shane Staiger, Todd Brooks, Brian Callaghan,
Tom Miller, Joe Basque
Sign Language Interpreters -
Gary Beck & Christine Lafinhan
Published Thursday September 1, 2011
Drama balances laughs in 'Next Fall'
By Bob Fischbach
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Luke is an evangelical Christian. Adam doesn't believe in much of anything.
Dealing with that difference fuels Geoffrey Nauffts' carefully balanced drama "Next Fall" after the two men fall in love and move in together.
The SNAP Productions season opener, which opened Friday, flies high on three major assets: a Tony-nominated script, a strong acting ensemble, and the thoughtful and sensitive exploration of a hot-button cultural topic.
Nauffts calls this a memory play, since much of it is told in flashbacks.
As the show begins, we hear a loud crash and a car horn stuck blaring. Luke (Alex Cass) has been seriously injured. Scenes alternate between a hospital waiting room in the present and those flashbacks that chart the course of Luke and Adam's relationship.
Things are complicated by the fact that Luke has not told his divorced parents of the relationship — or even that he's gay. Luke's starchy father (Fred Slegers) is a conservative Christian, his mother (Sara Planck) a talkative loose cannon. And Adam cannot be at Luke's bedside, or even learn of Luke's condition, except through those parents.
The play is tricky to pull off, and not only because of the subject matter. Nauffts has injected a lot of humor, to the point that this could slip into a sitcom kind of setup-punchline rhythm. Director Todd Brooks makes sure the dramatic moments balance the laughs, particularly in the second act when Luke's condition worsens.
Nor does Brooks let these characters devolve into familiar stereotypes of gays and Southerners, instead grounding things in a more complex sense of reality.
Perhaps most easily underappreciated are Michael Martinez and Liz Mulhern as Brandon and Holly, friends of Luke and Adam who barely know each other. They're often the buffer between Luke's parents and Adam as emotions run high amid the crisis.
Martinez's underplayed approach adds steely strength to the times when Brandon speaks out. Mulhern subtly infuses quiet moments with nuanced details, adding both humor and emotional heft.
Planck, at her considerable best, hits the comedic notes early, then sinks her dramatic hooks into a revelatory hospital-chapel scene in which she tells Adam of her troubled past with Luke. Grab a hanky. Slegers, as Luke's nearly humorless dad, is also moving when the stoic facade crumbles.
Cass has grown as an actor since last seen in small character parts and chorus roles. He gives Luke a winning combination of warmth, honesty, sex appeal and vulnerability.
Adept in shaping the character of feisty, anxiety-ridden Adam, veteran Thomas Lowe makes us believe even as he plays a man struggling to believe — in God or in unconditional love.
Shane Staiger's set and Audrey Fisher's lighting adapt to limited space, and the intimate setting enhances the story's power.
"Next Fall" doesn't preach, nor does it offer a sense of rightness or wrongness to the disparate spiritual paths on which these people find themselves. Instead, as the best plays often do, it leaves its audience to chew on where truth lies.
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Published Thursday August 25, 2011
Play will get interpretations by two local groups
By Bob Fischbach
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
While most of Omaha remains quietly unaware of Geoffrey Nauffts' play "Next Fall," two local theaters are spotlighting the story about religious beliefs and gay partnerships this week.
"Next Fall" opens the 2011-12 season Friday for SNAP, a theater whose mission statement is to promote tolerance.
Meanwhile, the Omaha Community Playhouse's monthly drama book club, part of its 21 & Over program, chose a year ago to read and study "Next Fall" this month. Club members will attend tonight's preview, discussing the play both before and after the performance.
"Next Fall" looks at unconditional love, commitment and faith in its examination of a gay couple. Luke, a fervent Christian, and Adam, an agnostic, have been together for five years when Luke is seriously hurt in an accident. Suddenly Adam must turn to Luke's family and friends for support.
SNAP! director Todd Brooks said he found the play online when it opened off Broadway in June 2009. Glowing reviews and sellouts led to a Broadway opening in March 2010 and a best-play Tony nomination, so it took a while to get the performance rights.
"What I found intriguing was that the playwright didn't tell us how to think," Brooks said. "He delicately balanced the arguments between two people trying to find their own identities. Here was a smart play that could serve as a catalyst for discussion. I knew SNAP had to do it."
Amy Lane, who leads the Playhouse's 21 & Over series, said a former student alerted her to the play when he moved to New York City.
"It was one of the first shows he saw, and he texted me at intermission," Lane said. "He said, 'You need to get this script. It's fabulous.' So I made sure it made our reading list."
Though Brooks and Lane reached the same conclusion, neither knew the other was choosing "Next Fall."
"This is such a hot-button issue," Lane said. "And the play deals with difficult issues very well, without taking sides."
Contact the writer: 402-444-1269, email@example.com