This Isn’t What It Looks Like is part of a summer of “Made In Telluride” productions, which include Telluride Playwright’s Festival showcase performances, July 11-12, and the Rep’s Shakespeare in the Park series starting Aug. 18. This summer’s play collaboration was initially conceived by TPF Artistic Director Jennie Franks and Rep Theatre Chairman Dylan Brooks.
Franks discovered This Isn’t What It Looks Like amongst submissions she received for inclusion in this summer’s TPF programming. She was immediately captivated by Gerson’s fresh, inventive play and sought to find a way to stage the work for the Telluride community. She approached Brooks and the Rep to see if they might be interested in producing the play as an extension of the Telluride Playwright’s Festival and they agreed.
“We try to create balance by producing edgy, modern plays, in addition to the classic theater for which the Rep is well known,” says Brooks.
Gerson is a renowned television writer who has turned his unique eye to the stage to create a zany comedy about the struggles of living and loving in modern America. It is a contemporary topical piece full of relevancies to life today. This Isn’t What It Looks Like will be a staged work-in-progress, in keeping with the goals of TPF, which seeks to help playwrights transition their works from the page to the stage. TPF gives selected playwrights the opportunity to develop their works in an intensive week-long program with professional actors and directors, including some local actors. TPF then presents the plays free to the community, in the form of a staged reading, followed by an audience discussion, which provides further feedback for the playwright.
“This collaboration is a natural progression for both organizations,” says Franks, “and gives us a chance to further each other’s mission and showcase theatre that has been nurtured in Telluride.”