'Next Fall' looks at faith and family

By Alyssa Firth

It was the honesty in the script of Geoffrey Nauffts’ “Next Fall” that drew the attention of Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. artistic director Chad Badgero when he saw a performance of the play in New York last year.

“I felt like there was a lot of truth in the way that it´s written and in the way that it approaches relationships and the struggle to be in a relationship with anyone that doesn´t have the exact same views as you,” Badgero said.

"Next Fall" revolves around a same-sex couple, Adam and Luke. Luke, played by Russ Jameson, believes in God while Adam, played by Jonas Greenberg, is an atheist. When an accident occurs, Adam seeks support and answers among friends and Luke’s family. The play centers on the discussions of characters in a hospital waiting room and an apartment.

“I personally think it’s more powerful because it’s dealing with things that are going on in our society today,” Jameson said.

Co-star Brad Rutledge, who plays Luke´s father, Butch, agrees.

“It starts with the words,” Rutledge said, “and when you find words that you like and that you can relate to, it challenges you as an actor to live out whatever vision — first the playwright and second the director — have. So it´s a very satisfying experience.”

Jameson said that the realities presented in the script and his personal familiarity with some of the same issues helped to create his portrayal of Luke.

“I just started bawling (after reading the script) because I know people who are going through this,” Jameson said. “Whether if they´re homosexual or not, they cannot be truthful because people will judge them and they can´t live through that judgment.”

Greenberg said he hoped that audiences come to the play with their guard down.

“I think this play, with the themes that it´s already promoting, can really tend to get people on the defensive and it´s not that kind of play. It´s really trying to be fair and honest, so it would be nice if people could, you know, let their guard down, and appreciate that,” he said.

‘Next Fall’
March 22-31

Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Creole Gallery

1218 Turner St., Lansing

8 p.m Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays

$15; $10 students and seniors

(517) 372-0945