Catching up with Jordan Whalen: Alumni Blog 2012 #5

Hi again! Just wanted to update you on what I’ve been doing since my last blog post. Things have been going extremely well as of late! I closed Mary Stuart and found myself with just a week off before I started my next show…this time in another state. I had the great fortune of playing Paris in Romeo & Juliet at Great Lakes Theatre in Cleveland, OH for seven weeks. I met a lot of great people there and, as always, learned a lot about the profession. I had the great fortune of staying with a host family while I was there. Jeff and Sue Hastings found it in their heart to put me up in their home for the seven weeks. After about an hour there I already felt like part of the family. Again, people’s generosity continues to amaze me.

After I got back from Cleveland, I had a week before I started back at Greenfield Village playing Orville Wright (notice how my Cleveland contract fit in PERFECTLY between Mary Stuart and Greenfield Village…kismet!). I then decided to do something that I wanted to do for a while: direct a full-length play. The play is Gruesome Playground Injuries and was written by Rajiv Joseph, who recently had his first play appear on Broadway called Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo starring Robin Williams.

This process has been incredibly challenging but gratifying. I’ve also taken on the Producer title, which I’m learning a great deal about…and I’v been hounding Janine Pixley for information on exactly HOW to produce something. I cast my dear friends Peter Prouty and Kelly Komlen-Amadei, who you may remember from years past at the Hilberry and Bonstelle. Sara Hymes, Brian Scruggs, and Devon Davey are also working on this project with me, which gives us an all Wayne State ensemble!

Peter Prouty and Kelly Komlen-Amadei during a read through of Gruesome Playground Injuries.

We are in the thick of rehearsals and it’s going FANTASTIC. Directing is everything I wanted it to be and I couldn’t be happier with the results I’m seeing. I owe all of my success to Tony Schmitt, who directed me in The Beaux’ Stratagem and Of Mice of Men and who also taught here at Wayne State for quite some time. He’s been a great mentor through this process, answering any questions I’ve had and warning me of pitfalls that he went through as a young director. I truly can’t thank him enough for his constant guidance.

I want to invite you all to come down to the The Park Bar’s Elizabeth Theatre (located at 2040 Park Avenue, right behind the Fox Theatre) and see the show. Tickets are only $12 and, as it’s a bar, please feel free to grab a drink and then relax and enjoy the performance…you might even recognize the bartender (it’s me).

If you’d like more information about the project, please check out our fund raising project page at:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1002843212/gruesome-playground-injuries-at-the-park-bar?ref=email.Through this site you can also support our project through donations. You’ll notice there are rewards for various levels of donations too, in case that entices you.

Show times for Gruesome Playground Injuries are:

Friday, July 27th @ 8pm
Sunday, July 29th @ 2pm
Thursday, August 2nd @ 8pm
Sunday, August 5th @ 8pm
Thursday, August 9th @ 8pm
Sunday, August 12th @ 2pm

Thank you all so much for your constant support, even after graduation. Hope to see you at the show!

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