Dancing in the Mist: Rogue 2015

Feb 21, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Theatre

by Kurt Fitzpatrick,
Xan Scott,
& Marcel Nunis

Here is another Rogue 2015 performer article. We will be posting several more over the next fews days until Rogue opens. After it opens, you will also find many Rogue show reviews. To learn more about this year’s event check out our Rogue 2015 preview article, and check out our Rogue Performer event page to learn about more of the performers this year. You can find all of the Rogue articles as they go up in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Enjoy this interview with those involved in the Rogue Show Dancing in the Mist. Dancing in the Mist was written and directed by Marcel Nunis, featuring Xan Scott and Kurt Fitzpatrick. The show is produced by Theatre J’Nerique.

What is Dancing in the Mist?

KURT: It’s a play about a son caring for his mother who has Alzheimer’s. Wait, don’t run away! There are fantasy scenes, a tango, a mystery, and an ode to Casablanca. And pudding. Some people may be hesitant about seeing a play involving dementia, but everyone loves pudding.

How did you come to Dancing in the Mist?

XAN: I actually came to the project asking to be in it! Kurt mentioned that Marcel was working on the piece and I knew I wanted to work alongside both of them. What I didn’t know was if Marcel was going to cast the role of the Mother age appropriate or not.

KURT: I was doing the Rogue Festival in 2010 when Marcel – who started the Rogue years ago – told me a couple ideas for plays he had. I really connected to the idea of a play he wanted to write about the care giving he did for his mother when she had dementia. I was interested in the idea of taking on different characters in a dramatic setting. His mother would think he was her nurse, father, brother, etc. I liked the idea of becoming all those people on stage. I kept touring and performing and every year I’d come back and do Rogue and ask Marcel, “What’s happening with the play?” Finally at the end of last year he said he was ready to do it. I had come off a summer of doing Best Picture, and I was attracted to this play, which I knew would be a radical departure for me.


Xan & Kurt

Since the three of you come from different corners of the U.S.A., how did you piece the show together?

XAN: After I had the green light that I would be in the play, my own research began. We all exchanged various videos and things on Alzheimer’s. Surprisingly there are quite a few things out now on the subject. I am most taken by the power of touch and music as a way in to the wandering minds.

KURT: Xan is my girlfriend so we’ve been in Seattle together for the past month or so. Marcel lives here in Fresno, and he wrote a script and we eagerly waited for it to come. He sent it and then came to Seattle for a week and we started rehearsing. We did a private reading for friends and got some feedback. As I write this, Xan and I are at Marcel’s home for two weeks rehearsing and learning the play.

This sounds like a personal project… Is it?

KURT: Certainly for Marcel it is. This is the first play he’s written in seven years, and much of it is from his own experience. I’ve never cared for an elderly person, so part of the rehearsal process for me is learning how to handle an elderly person.

XAN: This story is very personal to me right now. Not only do I work with elders in, in home care but my own mother has been quite ill herself. Knowing the hardships of care giving and the amount of responsibilities that ensue are different when it’s your mom. In fact I almost passed on coming to Rogue, not wanting to leave my mom, but she wouldn’t hear of it! Theatre is something my mom and I have shared throughout the years.

MARCEL: It certainly is… but more so to perhaps encourage a shift in attitude. While care giving, I did a lot of research. Yes, there is tons of useful information on the subject but a lot of it also comes off sounding so dire. I then saw how a potential caregiver can easily be overwhelmed even before they began. So it also came to no surprise to learn that Dementia is often treated with shame and family members afflicted are hidden away. Obviously dealing with any malady is a challenge… but with a shift in attitude, it can be a surprisingly rewarding experience. By the end of my own experience in care giving for my mother I looked on it as a privilege.

What are the plans for the show after the Rogue?

KURT: We plan to do it in the Indianapolis Fringe Festival in August. For me as an actor, right now I am focused on getting the play up and running for Fresno. Once that is achieved, I can approach it more from a producer’s standpoint.

XAN: After the Rogue we will also hopefully produce the show for my mom and her Senior Foundation.

Theatre J’Nerique’s production of Dancing in the Mist will perform as part of the Rogue Festival,
9:30 p.m., February 27, 5:00 p.m., February 28, 8:00 p.m., March 2, 8:00 p.m., March 6, 8:00 p.m., March 7, 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and performances will be at the Fresno Soap Co. 1470 N. Van Ness Ave., Fresno, CA. Tickets can be purchased at the door and online at roguefestival.ticketleap.com/jnerique/dates

Check out our article on Kurt’s other show Best Picture, here in this issue.



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