This and That

We don’t often get to see busy actor-writer Jessica Robblee on stage, and it’s a treat when we do. Now she’s lending her smart, vibrant presence to Melissa James Gibson’s ambiguously titled and much-lauded This, about a group of people approaching forty, being presented by the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company.

“The title is apt,” Robblee says. “It’s about characters who all have a different ‘this’ they’re grappling with, that thing people don’t talk about. Mostly, they’re dealing with middle age — the ominous arrival of a new age — and what you’re thinking about and what challenges life has thrown at you. It has a great sense of humor, and Gibson’s also really poetic. She loves language, and she’s attentive to it and opinionated about it. The play prioritizes why we care so much about certain problems: What’s a real problem, a problem worth wrecking your life over, big enough that you’re going to throw relationships away?”

Christie Montour Larson directs — her first time working with BETC. “She’s a very positive person,” Robblee notes, “full of belief in the project from beginning to end. She doesn’t stop until a problem is solved in the most elegant way. You feel really good in her hands.”

This opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and plays Thursdays through Sundays at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder, through May 18; for tickets, $15 to $25, visit boulderensembletheatre.org or call 303-444-7328.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 4, 4 p.m. Starts: May 1. Continues through May 18, 2014

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Juliet Wittman is an investigative reporter and critic with a passion for theater, literature, social justice and food. She has reviewed theater for Westword for over a decade; for many years, she also reviewed memoirs for the Washington Post. She has won several journalism awards and published essays and short stories in literary magazines. Her novel, Stocker's Kitchen, can be obtained at select local bookstores and on Amazon.
Contact: Juliet Wittman