Matthew Ivan Bennett’s A/VERSION OF EVENTS receives its world premiere March 5-15, 2015 at Plan-B Theatre, featuring Carleton Bluford and Latoya Rhodes under the direction of Christy Summerhays. Click here for more information and tickets.
Carleton Bluford’s version of A/VERSION OF EVENTS
Carleton Bluford has previously appeared in Plan-B’s WALLACE, SLAM, MARRY CHRISTMAS and THE THIRD CROSSING; he appears in A/VERSION OF EVENTS through March 15. His play MAMA premiered in February at Plan-B.
It’s hard to say what my journey is/was with A/VERSION OF EVENTS. Grief can come from many places and events in our lives. I find that as an actor, to access those emotions, you have to relate and connect somehow to the material. Although I’ve never had or lost a child, I do know what it’s like to feel loss and despair. I have been on my own personal journey this year dealing with old demons within my family, my career and as a person. it’s been a very reflective year.
So when asked to do A/VERSION OF EVENTS, a show in which I’m forced to drudge up these emotions, its a very fine science of walking that line between character emotion and real emotion. That being said, as you can imagine, it’s been a bit hard. I will tell you what makes it easier though: working with such a talent as Latoya. She is bold and courageous and beautiful. very insightful and giving on stage. And it has also been a blessing working with Christy as a director. I’m sure we bugged and irritated her with all of our questions and promptings, but she was very knowledgeable and flexible and dedicated to the piece. Playwright Matt Bennett has really out done himself in such a good way. As actors, it’s a challenge and a good one at that. Other actors are most certainly going to want to test their skills against these roles. What an opportunity to stretch and grow. Very cool.
And of course none of this would be possible without Jerry Rapier and Cheryl Cluff and Jen and Kris and Jesse and Phil and Randy. It’s nice to be able to relax and know that the people in charge have your back and your best interests at heart and are going to make you look amazing. I don’t even remember tech! That’s how Plan-B works, smoothly and seamlessly. It’s a blessing and a half to be there on stage again. I did put a lot of undue pressure on myself, I wanted to redeem myself from the last time I was on stage for Plan-B and do better. But once I opened myself up and realized that the story is so important and what is being said is so important, it made all of that not matter at all anymore. I just want to serve the work of the playwright as much and as beautifully as I can. What a crazy amazing show!
I’ve never played a Mormon before, but the cool thing about that is, it didn’t matter if I was Mormon, Baptist, Buddhist, or Catholic, they are just people. People trying really hard to get through this thing called life. And that I can relate with. This journey, this road I’ve been on has not been easy. It has been very difficult. Ask Jerry, I’ve still got some growing to go but I’ve come a long way from that kid in college. The audacity to try to make it in this profession…takes some kahunas doesn’t it? We do the hard things and push ourselves to be better because we want to be better. So I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do so.I love working at Plan-B, always have and always will. They don’t settle, they push, and that’s something I want to always be doing in my life and in this play.