Live Arts Theatre’s “Pocatello” will be presented at the Pinckneyville Community Center March 17-29 on weekends. Cast members back row L-R: Keith Franklin, Rodney L. Johnson, Thomas Jenkins, Shaye Davis, Justtyn Hutcheson, Blair Sanders. Front row L-R: Le Titia Sloan, Andre Eaton Jr., and Lory Cox.
Live Arts Theatre is one of Gwinnett’s most thought-provoking and tenacious theater companies, and although their next offering, “Pocatello,” is set in Idaho, audiences everywhere can relate to the play’s universal themes.
“’Pocatello’ is about community, family, and the places we associate with belonging,” said the play’s Director, Becca Parker. “I was drawn to this script because it explores the question ‘Why are our gathering places so essential to our sense of belonging to a community?’”
The play will be presented March 17-29 at the Pinckneyville Community Center. Performances are on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m.
A failing Italian restaurant in the small town of Pocatello, Idaho, celebrates “famigilia week” in an effort to drum up business and reconnect with its values — a bit contrived, considering the restaurant is one branch of a large and impersonal corporate chain. The plot revolves around the character of Eddie, the branch manager of this Italian chain restaurant in this unexceptional American city that is slowly being paved over with strip malls and franchises. But he can’t serve enough soup, salad and breadstick specials to make his hometown feel like home.
Eddie believes in the restaurant and in the town, and he refuses to give up on his home, even as businesses close and friends and loved ones move on to life outside Pocatello.
From acclaimed playwright and MacArthur Fellow Samuel D. Hunter, “Pocatello” is a comedic and heartfelt look into the changing landscape of middle America and the flawed and lovable people trying to build a home on shifting ground.
“Audiences can look forward to a play that is unlike anything they have seen before,” said Parker. “Oh, and I hear the breadsticks at Ulivetos (the play’s restaurant in Pocatello) are to die for!”
“It’s a funny, thought-provoking, immersive experience.” said Live Arts Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director Andre Eaton Jr., who also plays the role of Eddie. “The audience will experience theater in a completely different way, and I can’t wait to share it with them.”
The play is recommended for audiences 16 and up due to adult language and adult topics.
“Pocatello” is directed by Becca Parker, Live Arts Theatre’s co-artistic director. The cast includes Andre Eaton Jr., Shaye Davis, Thomas Jenkins, Rodney L. Johnson, Keith Franklin, Le Titia Sloan, Demmarie Boreland, Lory Cox, Justtyn Hutcheson and Blair Sanders.
Pocatello’s crew consists of TJ Sanson, assistant director, D Norris, stage manager, Andre Eaton Jr., set and lighting design, Michael Parker, sound design, Rodney L. Johnson, props, Austin Jenkins, Rob Bazarian, and Barbara Allen — run crew.
Gwinnett residents associated with the play are Sanders and Hutcheson who are residents of Duluth, Allen, who lives in Suwanee, and Cox, who lives in Berkeley Lake.
The Pinkneyville Community Center is located at 4650 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Berkeley Lake.
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