After three years, six productions, eight locations, many nights of improv, summer play readings, and a virtual improv festival, we have chosen to step away from Hearth and Mantel Theatre for the time being. We are so grateful for all of your support and constant encouragement as we started this company from the ground up. Through your patronage, we sold over 500 tickets as a brand new company, which allowed for five full length plays to have their world premieres right here in Jackson, Mississippi. So, THANK YOU! Thank you for coming to all of our quirky venues, sharing countless cups of coffee with us, and being a part of this process. Your belief in us and our vision has meant more to us than you can imagine.
“I love being in a creative room and watching something come together in an improbable way. Making discoveries you didn’t know were there or possible in a rehearsal room is an exciting process to me. “
Somehow, it is already halfway through August. Like many, we have been more or less hunkering down since March. We were fortunate enough to finish our run… Read more "In the Middle of the New Normal"
I like to think this play is for you, for any human wrestling to make sense of all the love and loss and suffering we go through, for the collective “us” as we try and claw past one another’s walls of insecurity and anxieties and, somehow, miraculously, connect with each other. This story is for that friend we lost we never expected to lose and that glowing light in their eyes we haven’t seen in so long.
I am so excited about this week’s Pizza and Play reading! Breaking from the weighty tone of last month’s selection – Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes – The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson is a clever juxtaposition of desperate historical characters and events with contemporary tones, hysterical one-liners, and casual frivolities.
“The Dying of Ida Greene” began two years ago with image and word, neither of which exist in the current drafts of the play. In fact, the only things that remain of the early drafts are the names of the characters. It wasn’t until Pavel turned his face to the sky and began talking about the stars that the play truly began to take shape. Even then, I wasn’t quite sure what the point of it all was. It wasn’t until I heard my wife describe the play to a friend of ours that I came to realize: more than anything, “The Dying of Ida Greene” has become an exploration of the ways in which people change.
I’m a firm believer in gut instinct. When my gut tells me something is “right”, I know I can trust it because it’s the product of my brain doing all sorts of work that I wasn’t even telling it to do!
For the final Pizza & Plays event of the Summer, we’re shaking things up a little. We will be doing a reading of “After We Become Rain” written by Mac Mitchell, yours truly. This play is a new play — it’s so new it hasn’t even been rehearsed or performed by anyone ever.
It’s an old story, the new neighbors move in and turn out to be a lot more friendly than we expected, or maybe they share a lot more with us than we wanted them to share.
It’s difficult to know what contemporary plays are worth picking up, and most new plays are not available to the general public. This upcoming event of Hearth and Mantel’s seeks to in some small way contribute to more accessibility of contemporary plays.