Classic Works with a New Twist at Bedlam Theater
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Edmund Lewis of Bedlam, a remarkable New York Theater company presenting classic works with a new twist!
"That's some wild stuff. That's from Bedlam? Yes. This is Edmund Lewis. Yes. Actor with Bedlam. Bedlam is a theater company? That's correct. Based where? Yeah, here in New York. We... it was founded in 2012 by Eric Tucker, who is our artistic director, he's also an actor in the company, and the director of all the productions, and Andrus Nichols, who's an actor, and our first production was George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" done with four actors playing 24 characters. Yeah I heard about that. And that put us on the map. How does that work? Wow. it's... you know, we... I have to... I have to give credit to Eric Tucker, our director, he really had an amazing vision, he had actually done the show with three actors in LA a couple of years previous to that, with... Play what roles? One woman, and the two men played all the men. No! Yeah, and so... and so this production, he said, "I'll make it a little easier, I'll add one more actor", so it was three men and and one woman. Andrus Nichols, who's amazing, and another guy named Tom O'Keefe who was the other actor in the show, and it was basically, you know, about stripped-down storytelling, and just telling the story as well as we could and with as much immediacy as we could and having the audience very close in, and everyone kind of moves around in the show, the audience... the audience... you begin the show kind of looking at the stage as you normally would a normal play, and then after that, people go... initially in our first production, people went to the lobby to have... for intermission, and we actually walk in, in our costumes for the next scene, and told people to just kind of "relax we're gonna do a scene here" and then we did a... Get out of here! Yeah, yeah. You did the scene while people were having a beer? Yes, yes and... yes because basically the first part of the play took place in France, and to transmit the idea that now we're in England, it was like we're literally in another... another place, and people just loved it, it was just something they'd never seen before. Ingenious. Simple but ingenious. And then... yeah, and then we brought them back into the theater and that... it had been transformed during the previous scene into the cathedral and it was a different place, and it was, you know... You know, what's fascinating to me is... theater... I mean, Georgette, our producer, who brought you in. That's great. I mean she's introduced us to so many people who are connected to Broadway. Right. Right, so many great actors and... Sure. ....after we had the young..."