James Still is going to be here hanging out by the railroad tracks. Who the hell is James Still?
It's quite clear that James Still is a perfectionist with a hell of an output. A long-time playwright-in-residence at Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis, the Kansas-born, Seattle-dwelling writer has produced over a dozen plays, a screenplay or two, plenty of children's television (our twenty-and-under readers have almost certainly experienced his work on Nickelodeon with the Little B's-Bill and Bear), and he has encountered, in the process, much critical acclaim.
Last year he premiered three new dramas. One of which was commissioned by Ford's Theatre (Yes...that Ford's Theatre...) for a grand re-opening and to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Attended by the Obamas. No biggie. Another of last year's fruits was The Velvet Rut, a two-man drama about an existentially out-of-control high school English teacher with a penchant for poetry secret, and a curious Boy Scout.
Here, you can see what James Still looks like, and what his play looks like as interpreted by somebody else, but with a much lamer promotional poster than the Station's
This is fresh, piping-hot drama served up with a side of savory author.
Under the direction of Joi Hoffsommer, our own Station Theatre, that tucked-away depot in downtown Urbana that makes our Broadway at least something like the other "Broadway" (since lord knows the Save-a-Lot wasn't pulling its weight in that department), will play host to the man and the work this Sunday. After a performance at 8:00, Still will talk-back with the audience about craft, process, the Mid-West, his play, Parcheesi strategies, or maybe even his favorite kind of Thai food. It all depends on what you ask him. Because you get to ask him things!
Otherwise, The Velvet Rut runs through March 20th, Wednesday through Sunday at 8:00 P.M. sharp!