The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail
Written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, Directed by Karen Paisley
Students attending a talkback after a Matinee performance
The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre
Kansas City, Missouri
A strange combination of memory, dream and theory, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail details the life and philosophy of a young Henry David Thoreau in his pursuit of Transcendentalism. His stint in jail, spurred by a refusal to pay his taxes due to a disapproval of the Mexican-American War, is peppered with memories of his time as a student, his own journey as a teacher, connections with his brother and others that weaves itself in and out of a single night's timeframe with both acuteness and expansiveness that invite the audience into Thoreau's own mind.
The set sought to also envoke both these concepts, the immediate and the transcendental, working to serve as specific places but to also function as a sort of 'no-man's-land' of the mind, that could become whatever it needed at a moment's notice.
Director: Karen Paisley
Lighting Designer: Karen Paisley and Edward Hayo
Scenic Designer: Sarah White
Costume Designer: Shannon Regnier
Properties Master: Marc Manley