By Kelly Montgomery
Rewind to March 2020, when all live theater performances closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With those performances taken away, what once may have been viewed as a simple luxury was soon recognized as a needed entertainment.
The country went through a long period of wondering when the world would get back to normal and when their favorite pastimes would become an option again.
Now, despite there still being many restrictions, live theater is back, and audience members, production teams, and cast alike are ecstatic
That is no different from the cast of the production at Delaware County Community College, and later at Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, this spring.
“Tuesday” is a silent play that takes its audience through an ordinary day without a single word spoken. Taking place in Anywhere, the USA, the seven-person cast represents an entire city population showing the simplicity of everyday life.
From a street sweeper and newspaper deliverer to an old man sniffing a flower and recollecting memories, this play will bring back the nostalgic and often poignant moments in one’s life.
Marcie Bramucci, Hedgerow Theatre’s artistic director, says, “‘Tuesday’ is a nostalgic look at everyday America, from dawn to dusk. It is performed to music, without dialogue. It reminds me of the silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton–full of invention and creativity in each actors’ physicality. It is about paying attention to the details and finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
Stephen Smith, director, and Delaware County Community College professor, agrees with his “old” theater friend, Bramucci, whom he performed with at Villanova University. He said people should see this production because it “shows what you can accomplish without words.”
Smith added the play gives actors a chance to learn important movement and mime skills less commonly taught today. “When audiences see them done well, it can be very entertaining.”
Indeed, “Tuesday” was written and originally directed by Jewel Walker (1926-2020), a world-famous mime and movement teacher influenced by Charlie Chaplin.
Walker first staged the play at the University of Wisconsin. Later it was performed nationally and internationally. Walker received the Barrymore Award for Choreography and Movement for “Tuesday” in 2005.
As director of this production of “Tuesday,” Smith’s job involves showing the actors the physical parts they are playing and making sure they grasp certain concepts.
“Each movement is precise with its own beat that must be articulated correctly, so the audience sees it clearly.”
Smith is also in charge of building the set, organizing props and costumes, and programming the lighting cues. With the help of DCCC student crew members and work-study students, he is confident this play will be a success.
With “Tuesday,” Smith said his wish is becoming a reality. “I always wanted to establish a collaborative relationship with Hedgerow Theatre because it is one of the few professional theatre companies in Delaware County and it is so close to our campus.”
Both Smith and Bramucci agree that for a play to be successful, it must be memorable, draw an audience in, and make people feel connected through the arts.
Tuesday is bound to accomplish all of that and be a delight for people of all ages. Students and faculty saw the final dress rehearsals free at DCCC from March 28-29.
Performances continue from March 30 to April 9 at the college for paying audiences who can buy tickets online.
“Tuesday” opens at Hedgerow Theatre on Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. The show will run Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 1st.