CRANFORD — Speed The Plow, written by the celebrated American playwright David Mamet, opens on Feb. 6 at CDC Theatre in Cranford. Located at 78 Winans Ave., CDC Theatre is the oldest community theater in New Jersey.
A satirical dissection of the American movie business in Hollywood, Speed The Plow focuses on two high-powered Hollywood executives who have come up from the mail room together, Bobby Gould, played by Mike Burdick, and Charlie Fox, played by Jonathan Fishman. Fishman is also directing the production.
“I have wanted to be in Speed-The-Plow since the indelible experience I had when I saw the original play on Broadway in 1988” said Fishman at a recent rehearsal. “The play felt like a touchstone representing the kind of brand-new visceral in-your-face theater I connected with and wanted to do.”
“The thrill of taking an audience on a journey through a performance where the characters are all in desperate pursuit of finding themselves, willing to fight for the thing that they believe in, and in doing so requiring them to give of themselves completely leaving it-all-out there on the stage floor,” said Fishman.
“I have picked up the script many times over the years, and my desire to do the play never diminishing with each read. Although no longer a new piece of theater, I find a fresh perspective and strong connection with the material every time.”
When asked about his dual role in this CDC production, Fishman said, “I have directed and performed in many shows but never before at the same time and I find there is certainly a big difference between directing the scenes I am in, and those I am not.
“When I am in the house, I can really take in what Kate and Mike are doing and offer suggestions that capitalize on the best of what they are bringing. Switching between listening from the perspective of my character, Charlie, providing performance energy and focus to properly be in-the-moment as the character in support of my co-stars, while also listening to them in order to provide feedback and guidance is very challenging, but can also be very liberating, he said. “Directing and acting in the same piece, this piece, is an exciting challenge that I am thoroughly enjoying.”
Speed The Plow will run weekends from Feb. 6 through Feb. 21. Visit www.cdctheatre.org or call 908-276-7611 for details and tickets.
Funding has been made possible in part by the NJ State Council on the Arts, Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.