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Today in Lansing: 'The A-Train Plays' at Riverwalk Theatre

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"The A-Train Plays"

8 to 10 p.m.

$12

Riverwalk Theatre

228 Museum Dr., Lansing, MI

Click here for event page

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 — Written solely on New York’s A-Train using its route time as a time limit, these bite-sized 20-minute productions detail the human experience of longing for connection when circumstances prevent it.

The idea to write plays within the A-Train’s route time came from playwright Lawrence Feeney in New York City in 2002 after seeing a homeless man afraid to put his bare feet on the train car floor. After networking with his theater peers, Feeney came to see 27 of these plays in production.

The task saw New York playwrights and actors work at light speed to write, rehearse and perform the work on stage within 28 hours.

The Riverwalk production will see seven of these efforts come to light. It will star six young actors out of the LCC theatre program. Veteran actor Doak Bloss will make his directorial debut. He has been in productions since 1976.

“They are a fearless group of people,” Bloss said. “I like to work with young people and there is an incredible generation of actors coming out of LCC the past five years or so. They aren't set in their ways, they invent things and they are adventurous.”

Bloss said he wanted to direct given his experience working with fellow actors toward a common goal.

“At first, I was afraid of the technical aspects and managing all the other stuff. But I was happy to do it in the Black Box Theatre where you create a blank canvas for the actors to play on.”

This blank canvas, with help of set designer Jeff Boerger, turned the Black Box Theatre into a Manhattan subway car. “I had an idea and wanted it to be incredibly simple, neutral in color as if the actors were on a blank canvas.”

The biggest challenge in directing this production has been making a coherent show with seven separate plays, Bloss added.

“Something from nothing starts the show and lays the foundation of everything else as a metaphor. It’s about people coming and going into each other’s lives, seeking connection with the impossibility of doing that.”

Additional performances include Feb. 16, 17 and 21-24.

“It is innocently hopeful and also very funny.”

More events in Lansing:

Small Parks, Drinking Mercury, Sleeping Timmy, Crystal Drive at The Avenue Cafe

9 to 2 a.m., The Avenue Cafe, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

Good Vibes Gallery Show with Artist Amy Phillips

6 to 9 p.m., Woke Mind Body Studio, 1133 S. Washington Ave., Lansing

Paint a Mug Night!

6 to 11 p.m., Cedar Street Art Collective, 1701 S. Cedar St., Lansing

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