Wednesday, July 6, 2016

First Day of Rehearsal - The Invisible Hand

By AnnaBeth Crittenden
Marketing Intern

On Friday, June 24, the staff of the Playhouse filed into the Sheffer rehearsal studio to meet the cast and production team of our third show, The Invisible Hand, by Ayad Akhtar.

The play depicts the lives of a captive and his captors. When Nick Bright, a Citibank employee, is kidnapped and held hostage in Pakistan, the only way for him to earn his $10 million ransom is to teach his abductors how to play the stock market. The Invisible Hand centers on the power of the dollar to affect those who use it. It was a fitting coincidence that reharsals began only hours after the Brexit decision was released. 

(Back R-L) Fajer Kaisi (Bashir), Jameal Ali (Dar), David Kennedy
 (Associate Artistic Director)
Front (R-L) Eric Bryant (Nick Bright), Rajesh Bose (Iman Saleem)
 The show has a cast of four, directed by Associate Artistic Director, David Kennedy. Rajesh Bose (Imam Saleem) recently won the CT Critics Circle Award for his portrayal of Amir in Disgraced (also by Ayad Akhtar).  Fajer Kaisi (Bashirhas also played the role of Amir at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. Jameal Ali (Dar) was recently in the original off-Broadway production of The Invisible Hand and Eric Bryant (Nick) appeared at the playhouse in 2013 in Room Service.

Artistic Director Mark Lamos
Artistic Director Mark Lamos talked about the significance of The Invisible Hand in light of the recent Brexit decision. “This is a big day for the world. A moment of many upheavals and scary times for, basically, everyone on the globe…this is a moment for this play to speak to all of us,” said Lamos.

Associate Artistic Director David Kennedy
David Kennedy, Playhouse Associate Artistic Director, and director of The Invisible Hand, talked about the show; particularly Akhtar’s depiction of separate worldviews brought together under the umbrella of financial loss and gain.  “[The] Invisible Hand dramatizes these competing narratives about globalization.  It doesn’t seem to affirm our prejudices, it doesn’t seem to deny them, it merely holds everything up to question,” Kennedy said.

Scenic Designer Adam Rigg

Scenic designer Adam Rigg showed the cast and crew the scenic model and concept for the set of The Invisible Hand.  The show is set in the near future in Pakistan. 

The scenic model allows the designer to convey his vision before the set is built. “[I wanted] a forensic, realistic approach to the space we’re in for the entirety of the show. It was important for me to discover a space that was real…it breaks the assumptions that we have of what a holding cell is,” said Rigg.

Following the remarks, the artistic team and actors began their first table reading of the show.

The Invisible Hand, the third show in our 2016 Season, opens on July 19. We hope to see you there!

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