Theatre season shoves off with “Jack Goes Boating”

Scene from Jack Goes Boating

Maddie Cindrich as Connie and Ricky Parks as Jack

The students of the Department of Theatre and Cinema will hit the ground running this year with the season’s first production in the Hawes Studio Theatre, “Jack Goes Boating” by Bob Glaudini.

The New York Times called Jack Goes Boating an “immensely likable” play when it premiered off-Broadway in 2007 starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The title character is your average guy…a loveable goofball with a so-so job and a penchant for all things Rastafarian. His buddy, Clyde, tries to help Jack navigate the often-treacherous waters of love, hopefully without drowning in the process.

Scene from Jack Goes Boating

Zak Bacon as Clyde and Taylor Moore as Lucy.

Clyde’s significant other, Lucy, introduces Jack to her co-worker, Connie. No one in this play is particularly good at love, or beautiful, or talented, or rich, or lucky, and that is actually what makes them so likable. We hope Jack and Connie will be able to make it together, but we then remember that love can be awfully random and unfair.

The all-Virginia student-directed, designed and acted production opens Sept. 24. The intimate Hawes Studio Theatre offers the perfect setting for the play in addition to providing a blank canvas where student actors, directors and designers can hone their craft. Faculty supervisors are on hand to assist, but theatre majors handle all aspects of the production.

Director James Bristow, from New Kent, is assisted by stage manager Matt Shields of South Riding. Student designers Amanda Craig (costume designer) from Richmond, Matt Barber (scenic designer) from Richmond, Andrew Kiechlin (lighting designer) from Fairfax, and Ritza Pacheco (sound designer) from Springfield complete the student production team.

Bristow hopes that when the audience leaves the theatre, they will feel a sense of fulfillment. He adds, “I want them to walk away feeling ready to take on whatever is happening in their lives. A sense of ‘if they can do it, I can.’” Bristow is enjoying exploring the play’s natural characters and has noticed that the play “is wonderful at captivating the audience without having anything overly dramatic happen. You are just watching four people live in New York. However, you can't keep your eyes off them.”

The audience will get to know the four characters pretty well, thanks to performances by Ricky Parks of Centreville (Jack), Maddie Cindrich of Virginia Beach (Connie), Zak Bacon of Richmond (Clyde), and Taylor Moore of Clarksville (Lucy). On playing Jack, Ricky Parks says, “I think everyone can relate to Jack because he's so real and honest. Nothing he does or has been through seems unrealistic. He's made a lot of mistakes in his life and let them get him down, but he's ready for a change.”

Performance dates are Sept. 24-27 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee Saturday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. Free general admission tickets will be available in the Porterfield box office the week of the show as well as online at The show is intended for mature audiences only and contains adult language and content.

Sep 18, 2014