Workshop Theatre is returning in the New Year with a musical about family ties as John and Jen takes the stage. The curtain rises on John and Jen at 8:00pm on Friday, January 13th and runs through Saturday, January 28th.
When Workshop Theatre decided to produce John and Jen in 2012, they offered the show to critically acclaimed director Chad Henderson, known for his recent productions of Spring Awakening and Assassins at Trustus. He gladly accepted. “It certainly is an honor to get to work at other theatres in Columbia this year,” said Henderson. “The Workshop production of John and Jen is an exciting and artistic project on their line-up this season, and this process has been challenging in a satiating way.”
John and Jen introduces the audience to a brother and sister who live in an abusive home in the 1950’s. After Jen discovers marks on her brother’s neck she vows to be his protector until the end of time, and they make a pact to leave home at the first opportunity. Time passes and Jen moves to New York after high school to become part of the non-violent hippie movement, while her brother Jon joins the Navy to fight for his country in Vietnam. When the two re-convene over the Holidays a fight breaks out leaving their relationship sour. John ships out overseas to become a casualty of the war. Losing her brother leaves Jen devastated – however when she has a son, she realizes she has a new opportunity to honor the promise she made her brother years ago. She names her child after her brother and even makes him wear his old clothes – what follows is an examination of family ties and learning that sometimes part of love is letting go.
Director Chad Henderson knew his cast would need to be "extraordinary" for this show. “This show is a two person vehicle – so you’ve got to have actors who can take on the challenging material that spans decades,” said Henderson. “They’ve also got to be able to meet the vocal demands of this piece – which is a challenging score to say the least.” Popular local actors Kevin Bush (The Producers) and Linda Posey (Urinetown) were cast as the title characters. Workshop patrons will be enthralled by their nuanced and moving performances as they take the stage.
John and Jen opens Friday, January 13th at 8:00pm and runs through Saturday, January 28th. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Workshop Theatre Box Office at (803) 799-6551 or they can be purchased online at www.workshoptheatre.com.