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'Yankee Tavern' coming to Backdoor Playhouse

By Reanna Young
On January 30, 2014

  • Senior Claudia Harke delivers a home pitch during last weekend’s match up against Southeast Missouri. Harke’s pitching helped the Golden Eagles take both games from SEMO and one from UT-Martin. James Dillion

"Yankee Tavern", a play by Steven Dietz, will be coming to the Backdoor Playhouse stage for seven nights in February. Students Josh Rapp and Joe Clark will direct the play.

Mark Creter, artistic director, said Yankee Tavern is a thought provoking performance. "Dust falls from the ceiling and a man walks into a bar and orders two beers, yet he's alone," Creter said. "He starts rambling on about things like, 'Were there multiple shooters involved in the Kennedy shooting?' 'Did NASA really land on the moon or was it all a hoax?' 'Was there really a terrorist attack, or did the government set up 9/11?'"

All questions to which most think they already know the answers, but, after watching "Yankee Tavern", audience members may think twice.

The Backdoor Playhouse performers are preparing the dark comedy thriller to leave audiences rethinking such conspiracies. Rapp and Clark both said they are excited to direct this show under the sight of Mark Creter.

Creter said the play is modern piece to which audiences can relate.  "'Yankee Tavern' is a modern play set in the bar of a larger condemned hotel and run by a grad student named Adam," Creter said. "Adam puts up with his dad's friend, Ray, who is full of all kind of conspiracies about anything and everything. Adam and Janet think Ray is off his rocker, until the conversation progresses with a man named Palmer who walks into the bar."

"Palmer begins to shed light on the conspiracies Ray has been talking about and Adam and Janet start to wonder if Ray is actually crazy," said Creter.

Creter said he suggested the play to the student directors.

"I read the play this summer and really like it, so I suggested Rapp and Clark read it," Creter said. "They thought it was a good play, as well, and it would really give a challenge to our actors. It's a complex play that is contemporary, dark and a comedy at the same time."

Rapp said the play has a significant quality that makes it stand out.

 "There is a lot of reality and current topics discussed in this play, but what makes this play shine is it completely driven by conversation," said Rapp. "As the conversations build, it will take you on a turn and leave you wandering what is coming next."

Creter said the mystery of the show is what makes it a must-see for audiences.

"This is a very different play with plot twists and gaps that will draw you in," said Creter. "If you're into the shows "Blacklist" and "Homeland", you will enjoy this play."

"As the mystery continues throughout the play, it ends leaving the audience wanting more," said Rapp.

"Yankee Tavern" will be presented at the Backdoor Playhouse Feb. 6-8, 11, and 14-15. Shows start at 8 p.m. A late show will be presented Feb. 13 at 10 p.m. A matinee will be available to audiences Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. For ticket information, contact The Backdoor Playhouse box office at (931) 372-6595.

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