Quote of the Day: We have been able to continue producing theatre because of the tenacity and ingenuity of the people involved with Brainerd Community Theatre. Patrick Spradlin, Director of Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN.

What a treat to be invited out for the premiere showing of Scotland Road at Central Lakes College (CLC) in Brainerd, MN. Director Patrick Spradlin chose a show with a small cast (only 4 actors), that could be rehearsed and performed on their stage, with a single setting. The play by MN playwright Jeffrey Hatcher worked well as a play adapted for film. In the talk after the showing of the film, Patrick said it was a bit of a crash course in film. He had the help of CLC video department and instructors Mark Ambroz and Brent Balmer. Curtis Jendro was the video/audio engineer. Actors, director, and stage crew all learned new skills to produce this film. I hope they do more.

Macy Judd as the woman in Scotland Road, BCT at CLC. Photo: John Erickson

The setting for Scotland Road is a stark white room in some kind of hospital, in 1992. A woman (Macy Judd) has been discovered in a block of ice (I think), well preserved, as if she has just been flung from the Titanic, a survivor after the fact. Is she telling the truth? Who is she really? At first, she doesn’t speak. A medical examiner/interrogator John (Jesse Brutscher) tries every tact to get her to speak. He tries cajoling, talking at her, yelling at her, trying to make her so uncomfortably hot that she asks for air conditioning. He sets up a scene like she’s a first class passenger on the Titanic. She still does not respond. Dr. Halbrech (Maren Goff Martin) oversees the interviews, and often rises to the woman’s defense and insists on humane treatment. They learn of an actual Titanic survivor (Barb McColgan) named Kittle whom they bring in to talk with the woman.

Maren Goff Martin as Halbrech and Jesse Brutscher as John in Scotland Road, BCT at CLC. Photo: John Erickson

Local set designer and collector of all things nautical, Tim Leagjeld, provided many of the props for the show. George Marsolek designed set and was technical director. Sharon Hartley designed the costumes. I’m not sure why the woman is in a bathrobe most of the time, but when she does wear clothes, they seem like ones you would have seen women wearing in 1912, the year the Titanic sunk. 

Barb McColgan as Kittle and Jesse Brutscher as John in Scotland Road. BCT at CLC. Photo: John Erickson

It was fun to watch people I know up on the big screen with the cast and crew present. You’ll have a chance to watch it on your small screen this week, Nov. 4-7, 2020, live stream, so watch at your convenience, and more than once if you choose. I’ll watch it again at home and concentrate more on the storyline. Although it may look the the actors are standing close to each other, they are actually a good social distance apart. The camera angles make them appear closer. The actors made note of that after they watched themselves on the screen. They also said it was different from performing a play, where the story is told from start to finish in front of a live audience, to doing film where it’s filmed scene by scene out of order. Also, they learned patience, as they waited for the lighting and cameras to be adjusted, then jumped into a scene. They had to pull the emotions and intent from within and through the words, not building through the show as we do on stage.

You can learn more about the show in this article from the Brainerd Dispatch. For info and tickets, please go to CLC Box Office

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: Are you obsessed with The Titanic, or any other historical event, or phenomenon? Do you think a person could be frozen in a block of ice then brought back to life?