by Nat Frothingham
In “The Idiot’s Tale”—an old, curmudgeonly—indeed a delusional actor whose name is Horne—and who is a nursing home resident confined to a single room—gets it into his head that he’s onstage and facing an audience.
“That’s the conceit of the play,” said writer, director, and producer Tom Blachly, whose play will open on Thursday evening, November 2, for a two-weekend run at the Plainfield Town Hall Opera House.
Blachly, who grew up in a theater family and has spent most of his life absorbed by the experience of live theater, sees his “The Idiot’s Tale” as a personal exploration of the medium of live theater—and his way of accounting for theater’s power as an interactive art form. In American society today, there is no want of entertainment and diversion. Often, we pursue entertainment alone. We sit in front of a computer screen and sample an almost infinite array of choices. Sometimes we pursue entertainment along with others at a live concert, at a sports event. But as Blachly says, “There’s no live relationship between a film and the audience. It’s a passive experience.” By contrast, being in a theater with a live actor who is responding to you is a special kind of experience.
“I want to inject new life into theater,” Blachly says bluntly. “I am interested in how theater survives in that challenging environment.”
“The Idiot’s Tale” stars actor Bob Carmody as Horne, Susannah Blachly as the Nurse, Vincent Broderick as the Orderly, Lila Stratton as the Young Woman, and Ellie Blachly as the Violinist. Horne, the retired actor, who slips in and out of delusion, believes he’s onstage talking to an audience. “It’s kind of surreal,” said Blachly. “There are fantasy sequences. He is constantly talking about theater, although it’s not always clear what’s real or unreal.”“Really what drives the play,” Blachly said, “is the character’s relationship with the audience.”
“The Idiot’s Tale” will be performed on November 2, 3, 4, and 9, 10, and 11 at 7:30 pm at the Plainfield Town Opera House in Plainfield. For more information and for ticket reservations, call Tom Blachly at 229-5290 or go online to firstname.lastname@example.org