On May 23, 2013, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids presents the West Michigan premiere of the Jane Anderson’s play Looking for Normal. The play chronicles a critical time of challenge and change for a Midwestern family.
Roy and Irma have been married for twenty-five years. They have two children. Roy works in tractor plant in the heartland and both are active in church and their community. When Roy and Irma see their pastor for a marriage counseling session, Roy reveals that he's a woman trapped in a man's body and wants an operation to correct the situation.
Looking for Normal is a powerful, often funny play about an individual’s journey to personal truth, the cost of that journey on those he loves, and the hope that transformation brings.
Fred Sebuske, director of the production and founder of Actors’ Theatre, had this to say about the play:
“I thought Looking for Normal was a play about being transgendered when I was first given it to read by Actors’. Since I knew very little about the topic, it interested me. As I began to dig deeper into the text, it became a play about the broader topic of identity and how gender and gender roles define us and often limit us, putting barriers that close us off from one another. Now, as the play is about to open, I think the play is about ‘family’ and about how broadly we need to define that concept in order for us all to find our place.”
First performed as a workshop in the 1998 New Work Festival at the Mark Taper Forum, Looking for Normal received its first full production at the Geffen Playhouse in 2001 and featured Beau Bridges in the role of Roy. The Hollywood Reporter described it as “thoughtful and touching and full of wit and wisdom.” The play was subsequently adapted as the HBO original movie Normal (2003) and starred Jessica Lange as Irma, Tom Wilkinson as Roy and “Nashville” star Hayden Panettiere as the couple’s teenage daughter Patty Ann. The Actors’ Theatre production marks the first production of Anderson’s play in West Michigan and features a combination of veterans and newcomers to Actors’ stages, including Craig Hammerlind (Rabbit Hole, 2008) as Roy, Samantha Gauthier (Same Time, Next Year, Circle Theatre - 2011) as Irma, and Kitty Carrico Carpenter (Frozen, 2009) as Roy’s Grandmother Ruth. In the roles of Roy and Irma’s children, Rockford High School student Carlee Bleeker makes her Actors’ Theatre debut as Patty Ann and Calvin College graduate Andrew McClelland (August: Osage County, 2012) plays their son Wayne.
Looking for Normal
will be presented Thursday through Saturday on two consecutive weekends at GRCC Spectrum Theater, 160
Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, beginning on May 23, 2013 and
closing on June 1, 2013. All evening performances begin at 8PM.
Ticket prices begin at $24 for adults and $20 for students/seniors. Students with valid ID are eligible for $10 RUSH seating, based on availability, beginning one hour before the performance. Groups of ten or more are eligible for discounts. Tickets for Looking for Normal may be purchased online at http://atgr.org/looking-for-normal or by contacting the Actors' Theatre box office at (616) 234-3946.
Members of the media wishing to obtain interviews or special access may contact Jon Clausen, Director of Development and Marketing, at (616) 234-3817.