Maplewood Barn Theatre ends summer season with farcical comedy

‘Rumors’ was a comedy full of situational humor under the open sky.

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Maplewood Barn Theatre wrapped up its 2019 season with “Rumors,” a farce written by Neil Simon. The play started its run on the weekend of Aug. 22, and continued until Sept. 8. In comparison to the other shows of the theater’s 2019 run, “Rumors” uses simplistic humor to make the audience laugh at every line. Director Christopher Gould believes the writing does what it’s intended to do.

“The point of farce is to have the audience helplessly laughing, like laughing to the point where they just can’t easily stop. This is a kind of play that really does that,” Gould said. “There’s a lot of funny lines, [a lot] of funny motion, what we call business … and there’s a certain amount of the unexpected in the show as well.”

Being a unique play, “Rumors” works well with the Maplewood Barn Theatre’s unique venue. During the summer season, shows are performed outside unless bad weather occurs. Actors learn to roll with the punches that nature may throw, but for “Rumors,” the elements can add another level of hilarity. Actress Sara Lahr, who has performed in several different shows, learned what this could be like in her first performance at an outdoor venue.

“Really the biggest thing is … the weather. We’re a little bit dependent on that,” Lahr said. “In the past, I’ve never had to look at the radar to plan my evening.”

Despite what setbacks an outdoor venue may bring, the cast of “Rumors” had been rehearsing since the second week of July to ensure the play was the best it could be, regardless of the weather. This was Parker Ross’ first time stage managing and they attributed the play’s smooth running to the actors.

“This cast, in particular, has been really great. It’s not too big, and everyone really likes each other. They’re very hard working. It’s run along really smoothly, which is great. [It] doesn’t always go like that,” Ross said.

When the show finished its run Sept. 8, it signified the end of Maplewood Barn Theatre's 2019 season.

Edited by Janae McKenzie | jmckenzie@themaneater.com

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