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Dreamwell Theater presents Baby with the Bathwater

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | APRIL 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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Rachael Lindhrach is quite willing to get into the drama trenches with her actors. The director of Dreamwell Theater's production of Baby with the Bathwater sits on a bench with two cast members and the script in hand.

She reads the role of an actor who could not attend rehearsal, and she knows the part cold. In the cast of seven, several of the actors said they auditioned for the show just to get the chance to work with Lindhrach.

Becca Wright, who is double-cast as Cynthia and Susan in the play, said working with Lindhrach is extraordinary.

"She is the reason I wanted to do the show," Wright said. "She always has good ideas that I wouldn't normally think of as an actor."

Dreamwell will showcase Baby with the Bathwater as a part of its Here I Stand season at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Society, 10 S. Gilbert St. Performances will continue through April 28. Admission is $10 for students and seniors, $13 for the general public.

The comedy tells the story of John and Helen, a hapless couple who don't know how to deal with their new baby. They decide to make some unusual decisions about how they are going to raise their child, and when the audience meets the child later on in the play, they see the effects of those decisions.

"It does have a hopeful ending," Lindhrach said. "That is one of the things that makes it a favorite of mine."

The theater troupe is bringing this production back from Dreamwell's second season, around 12 years ago, but the people in the production have not made any adaptations to the text.

"We brought it back because of the play's message, and it fits so beautifully with this season," Lindhrach said. "It's about people who stand up for what they believe in despite their obstacles, and that is really what this play is about."

In this wacky comedy, many of the actors play two roles that are extremely different from one another. Despite how over-the-top they might be, each character believes her or his parenting style is right.

Annette Rohlk, who has worked with Dreamwell for several years acting and serving on the board, plays the roles of Kate and the Principal. Kate is what some may call the "perfect mother," but the Principal is "crazy," she said.

"With the Principal, everything is big, and there is a lot of movement and gestures," Rohlk said. "It's the work of playing someone who is insane, but portraying her as someone who is not insane."

It's always fun to play someone "not normal," she said, because the challenges allow her to grow as an actor. She also finds it entertaining when her fellow cast members find their characters, and she said sometimes, it's hard not to laugh.

Lindhrach said she has a very talented group of actors, and she thinks because they all enjoy the material, they are able to bring a lot to the play.

"They are helping me realize the play in a terrific way, and I'm eternally grateful to them," she said. "I think we are very prepared, and we can't wait to have an audience."


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