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My experience seeing Jim Parrack in “Terre Haute” at The Blank Theater

My experience seeing Jim Parrack in “Terre Haute” at The Blank Theater

Last night I was happy to be Jim Parrack’s guest at his new play, Terra Haute. Jim is co-starring in this two man play with Mike Farrell of “Mash” fame.

I arrived at the prescribed time to pick up my tickets at The Blank Theater in Los Angeles and was happy to notice that also attending this performance was the lovely Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica). I had met Deborah before when I attended her boyfriend EJ’s Improv event at the iOWest in June. That was also where I met Jim Parrack for the first time.

When I noticed Deborah I went up to her and reminded her of our last meeting. She immediately remembered me and asked if I was sitting with anyone. Since we were both alone, she asked if I would mind if she sat with me. Would I mind? It was a thrill for me. Deborah is a lovely and charming woman who is fun to be with.

We entered the tiny theater and sat very close to the stage. While waiting for the play to begin we chatted about True Blood, what she’s been doing since the show’s hiatus and that she is looking forward to the vacation she will be taking with EJ very soon. However, before she can start her vacation she will see EJ run the Chicago marathon blindfolded. Imagine that!

When we entered the theater, I immediately noticed the very stark set. It represented a visitor’s area in a prison and was designed by Matt Turner. The costume design is by Bethany Jane Bohatila, the lighting design is by Cameron Zetty, and sound design is by Warren Davis. The production stage manager is Christopher Harrison, and the producers are Noah Wyle, Daniel Henning, and Stacy Reed Payton.

 

 

Then, the play began. Mike Farrell in the writer’s role was first on stage. After a brief monolog from Farrell, Jim walked out. He plays the Timothy McVeigh role and was dressed in an orange prison jump suit.

 

 

The play revolves around the possible meeting of Timothy McVeigh and Gore Vidal. The two men corresponded in real life and the famed fiction writer Edmund White, who wrote the play, imagines what their conversations would have been like if they had ever met in person. The play consists of four prison house conversations between the nation’s deadliest domestic terrorist and one of the world’s most famous and opinionated gadflies. And, while the names have been changed, the ideas have not.

The two actors played well against and with each other and kept me fascinated until the end. It seems to me that being in a two person play is a very demanding part; staying in character all that time.  I said to Deborah when it was over, “how did Jim learn all those lines?” She said, that learning the script is the easy part; it’s getting your “soul” into it that’s hard. Well, in my opinion both actors did that well.

 

 

While I’ve seen lots of live theater in the past, it is a rare experience for me now a days which made this even more of a treat.  And, in this intimate theater, the audience has the ability to see every nuance of the actor’s performance, and I can only imagine what performing in front of a live audience must bring to the actor’s experience. The only other example I have of Jim Parrack’s acting has been his role playing True Blood’s Hoyt Fortenberry. Thinking about Jim now playing a deadly terrorist seemed to me that it would be difficult for him, but I was wrong, he did it well. I was riveted by his performance and late in the play, when his character becomes angry at his co-star, I was genuinely startled; Jim really seemed to have become the man he was portraying.

After the play, Jim talked about acting with Mike Farrell and said that he was learning a lot from him.  It is apparent that he is impressed by not only Mike’s acting abilities, but with him as a man. I was impressed with both actors and glad to see Jim getting this great part and being able to work with such an experienced actor.

 

 

I enjoyed the end, when the two attempted to touch through the clear plastic barrier and showed a true and emotional bond with each other; a mutual respect, as it were as they said goodbye for the last time.

 

 

When the play ended, Deborah and I waited outside for Jim to come out. When he did, he came up and hugged us both. It was really sweet. We both praised him for his performance and started discussing the play. Immediately a young man came up to Jim saying, “I know you, you’re from that show…” and Jim responded, comically, “Vampire Diaries?”  And the young man replied, “Yes!” We laughed. Jim introduced Deborah and me to him and the young man immediately recognized Deborah, but he looked confused by me. I revealed to him that he didn’t have to worry, I wasn’t on the show. That was cute and when he walked away, I said to Deborah and Jim, “Gee, it’s so much fun to hang out with True Blood stars”.

It was a wonderful experience and evening. I am so glad to be able to have seen the play and to get to know both of these two lovely people better. As I said before, I think Jim was great in his part and I wish him the best of luck with his acting career.

Thanks Jim and Deb for a lovely time!

Terra Haute continues through Sunday, November 14 and you can buy tickets here.

 

Photo Credit: Rick Baumgartner

source: broadwayworld.com
source: theblank.com

 

Lynnpd
Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at http://lynnpdexclusives.com.

14 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    October 07, 2010

    Great review Lynn. Sounds like a production that should be on Broadway.
    I’m sure it was fun to hang out with Deborah and Jim as well.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    October 07, 2010

    Wow.Lynn ! How wonderful for you to meet these two talented and attractive actors ! Lucky you ..

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    October 07, 2010

    Thanks Lynn for sharing your evening with us. And some great photos too. Wish I was in LA and could see it too.

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    October 07, 2010

    Thanks, Lynn, for sharing your evening at the theatre. The play sounds very compelling and from your report, beautifully acted by both Jim and Mike Farrell. The pictures are wonderful. And you got to sit with Deborah Ann, and you both met up with Jim afterwards. What a great evening … and we get to share it with you.

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    As Russell Edgington would say “fantastic!” This sure sounds like such a fun night. Both Deborah and Jim sound like down to earth, wonderful people. We need to get you your own show called Vamping With The Stars.

    I’m glad you got to attend and had such a great time. Do you have any pictures? Did you get yourself all gussied up?

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    Wonderful report, Lynn, it sounds like a great evening. How cool to see Jim, who plays our sweet Hoyt so beautifully, playing a cold-blooded terrorist. Sounds like he and Mike Farrell were a fine acting pair. And how sweet of Deborah! Loved reading this, thanks.

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    So glad that you’ve been able to take advantage of being in LA and your True Blood connections, Lynn. Sounds like an interesting play, and it was lovely that you were able to share the experience with Deborah Ann Wohl, courtesy of Jim. From what you’ve said, they always treat you with consideration.

    I like AB’s idea for your own show.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    Lynn……great writing and I’m so happy you got were able to attend this play. Sounds like fun was had by all and how wonderful you got to hang with Jim and Deborah.

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    Lynn how wonderful for you to be able to not only attend a great performance by Jim and Mike but also to enjoy it with the lovely Deborah. They seem so genuine and charming. Thanks for sharing your evening with us.

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    Lynn, thank you for sharing your wonderful night with Jim and Deborah — they are really very sweet. I’m glad you had a good time. Next we’ll be seeing you in TB — I also like AB’s idea for your own show.

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    How fun Lynn! So wonderful you got to talk with two wonderful people as well, and enjoy a great play. Kudos!

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    Lynn, You re-iterated what we all seem to know already, TB is lucky to have such a talented & genuinely nice cast. Sounds like a special evening. Thanks for sharing your account with us.

    Reply

  13. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    Sounds like you had a great time! :-)
    I love live theatre.

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    October 08, 2010

    Thanks for the report, Lynn. It sounds like you had a wonderful time, seeing the play and meeting up with Deb and Jim. I always like to hear how friendly and accommodating the TB stars are with the fans.

    The play sounds terrific.

    Reply

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