Kind Of Half-Baked: Michael Rouches Blogs On THE GRADUATE

mhr headshotThat sounds kind of half – baked

The magic of growing up in the theatre wasn’t fully realized until I became a middle aged man.

From garage produced theatre in small town Wisconsin to Los Angeles and now Oregon I learned how to be collaborative, trusting and part of a community. I’ve always been tethered to the theatre community and the people who create art. I now feel this twisted, beautiful tetheredness with Bag&Baggage.

John Patrick Shanley said “Theatre is the safe place to do the unsafe things that need to be done.” Echoes of Mr. Shanley’s voice ring in my ears during the rehearsal process in The Graduate. The things that need to be done start with the story then move through the director and cast until the unsafe things push out to the audience bringing conflict, angst and the entire range of emotions truthfully.

Mr. Frank Braddock (the guy I’m playing) struggles with these emotions and with the same issues most parents of adult children struggle with. Against the back drop of the civil rights movement, Frank is searching for a touchstone to bring him back to the simplicity of the 1950’s while dealing with the overwhelming frustration his son Ben brings. Braddock loves his son but can’t quite get things right with him as the generation gap widens beyond Frank’s reach.

This production of The Graduate is more than the story and the play. This play is so much more than the other productions I have been a part of.  It is about how we experience life and our emotions in the theatre.  This theater company with Scott Palmer at the helm has crafted a very meaningful and connective production.

To have this depth of professional theatre completely accessible right here in Washington County is exceptional.  It is my hope that you will grab on to this play and continue to ride with Bag&Baggage through this great season of theatre.

Michael Rouches
Actor, Mr. Braddock

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