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Bloomington Playwrights Project

Comedic shorts pair well with wine, food

POSTED AT 07:28 PM ON Jun. 24, 2012 


Wine, theater and good food were all in attendance at Oliver Winery on Thursday evening for the production of an all-new show presented by the Bloomington
Playwrights Project.

“Vintage Scenes,” written by Henry Greene and directed by Jim Hettmer, featured six comedic shorts inspired by Oliver Winery’s wine collection and history. Guests enjoyed a buffet-style dinner and wine tasting on the winery’s back porch at 6:30 p.m., prior to the entertainment at 7:30 p.m.

“Vintage Scenes” is the first play Greene has written for the BPP. Greene, an intern at the BPP and an IU student studying sociology and history, collaborated with Chad Rabinovitz, producing artistc director for the BPP, to brainstorm ideas for six original scenes based on wines.

“In each (comedic short) there was one part that I looked forward to seeing performed,” Greene said. “I also enjoyed seeing how the audience would react.”

Greene, who is accustomed to writing plays for an audience of college students, tried to incorporate humor that would cater to a more mature audience.

“Overall, they laughed at all my jokes,” Greene said. “That’s exactly what I was looking for.”

One short, “Cabernet Sauvignon,” focused on how grapes cannot be adequately grown in a Midwest climate. Another, titled “Expedition Permission,” featured William Clark of the famous duo Lewis and Clark.

After the two have a night out drinking, Clark returns home and talks to his wife about his plan to venture out and explore the unknown wilderness with Lewis. Clark’s wife is not pleased with the idea.

Each short was presented at one of the three designated stage areas on the back porch of the winery.

Greene said he wanted to create an intimate evening of theater, food and wine tasting. The porch and venue created a setup that he called “perfectly conducive to the evening I wanted.”

“It was really cool for me to see something I wrote being acted out on stage,” Greene said.

Carla Hedges, a Bloomington resident, said she enjoyed Thursday evening’s event with her husband, Tom. Carla has attended many BPP productions in the past and sees familiar faces at each of them. Carla’s granddaughters act in youth plays at the BPP.

“Theater really opens their minds,” Carla said.

Jessica Hane, human resources director at Oliver Winery, enjoyed the communal atmosphere that the event brought.

“It was such an excellent production and such a neat sense of community,” Hane said.

“We’re happy to share it with the BPP.”


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