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As featured in American Theatre Magazine: A Haven for Directors, and a Stepping Stone

Director’s Note:

In the early 1950's, William Inge -not yet the famous playwright he would become- taught English at a local Kansas college. Feeling increasingly purposeless in this job, Inge would often take the overnight bus into Kansas City often to see a psychiatrist. At the beginning of what would be a long relationship with psychoanalysis, Inge wrote his therapy journal in the form of short one acts. One of these plays was People in the Wind, which was inspired by a real encounter he witnessed one night on this bus. The one acts on the whole focus on forbidden desire and failure to be a successful person, anxieties which were overwhelmingly powerful in Inge's life at the time. They live somewhere between fantasy, memory, and nightmare. You can find Inge in this play as the Professor, an academic who does not know how to make use of the knowledge she has. 

Inge eventually re-wrote People in the Wind, and in an effort to make a box office hit, removed some of the sadness and danger to create the romantic comedy Bus Stop. I wanted to bring to life his original work because I feel that this one act has perfectly preserved a moment of coming of age in the playwright's life. The play is the shattering that occurs when when we realize, for the very first time, that we had the real power to help someone, yet did nothing. It the story of realizing your actions matter to others, and that in life, no one is an audience member.

People in the Wind

By William Inge

Presented by Haven Theatre as part of Director’s Haven 2018

A girl bursts into a roadside diner, panicked. Something on the greyhound bus she has been riding cross-country is not right. But everyone else is also on the run, fixated on the hope that this Kansas wind will blow them as far west as possible. So what’s a girl to do? William Inge’s one act, which would eventually become the first draft of his play Bus Stop, explores the chaotic effects of the American Dream, and how the quest for a perfect life can make us blind to the pain of others.

CAST

ELMA: Kristen Alesia  

GIRL: Kylie Anderson 

PROFESSOR: Lynne Baker 

OLD LADIES Grayson Heyl, Hillary Horvath

DRIVER: Gregory D. Hicks 

GRACE: Amy Hunt 

MAN: Andrew Rathgeber 

UNDERSTUDY ELMA: Sophie Neff

STAFF

STAGE MANAGER: Liz Larsen 

PRODUCTION MANAGER: Angela Salinas  

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Josh Sobel

SCENIC: Will Tople  COSTUMES: Amanda Rabito 

LIGHTING: Blake Cordell PROPS: Emily Boyd 

SOUND: Sarah D. Espinoza OBJECT DESIGN: Jurrell Lewis 

CASTING: Nik Whitcomb  DRAMATURGY: Abhi Shrestha