, Newburyport, MA


October 11, 2012

Full of 'Doubt'

Locals take stage in Firehouse production of Tony Award-winning play


“It’s so well-written, you’re not blaming anybody,” Bryan said. As the play unfolds, the audience learns the frameworks around the perceived incident, she added, and are introduced to the perspective of each character. As the audience listens, they likely will be swayed by each, she added.

“I think this play will really spark conversation, and that’s what we do in theater,” Bryan said.

With a limited budget, Wilkinson said the Firehouse received an anonymous donation to help fund the show — which the same donor has done in previous productions for the venue, including “Proof.”

“We’re building a really nice reputation for strong theater,” she said, noting that in recent months, the Firehouse has staged “Gin Game,” “Spring Awakening” and several others.

“Over the last 2 1/2 years, we’ve really come back to doing full productions,” Wilkinson said.

Newburyport’s Ted Simpson designed the set for the show, returning to a role he used to be quite familiar with. After completing graduate school in Boston, Simpson served as the designer for about eight Firehouse productions before moving to New York City.

Returning to Newburyport after securing a position at Tufts University recently, Simpson was approached by Bryan, who asked if he would work on her latest production.

“The theater itself is quite easy to design in,” Simpson said. The sight lines are “forgiving,” and the size of the venue is intimate, he added.

Still, the production does come with some challenges.

“The challenge, of course, is doing it for the dollars that they have” and within the time constraints, Simpson said.

Wilkinson called the set, which was constructed by Fred LaRouche, “magical.”

“It’s really going to be wild,” she said.

Bryan praised the “extraordinary support” she’s received from Firehouse staff, the board of directors, donors and the community as a whole.

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