Virtual Event: East Lynne Theater Company presents “Nothing Matters”
This performance by East Lynne Theater is entirely virtual! Enjoy this fully staged Equity production from home. It was shot with three cameras and edited for online viewing. Your e-ticket will be for a designated date and time. A link to the stream will be in your email receipt from TicketLeap. The play’s running time is one hour, twenty minutes.
Tickets: $15.00 each
The setting is Ambrose Bierce’s room at the Army-Navy Club in Washington D.C. in early July 1898. Seeking Bierce’s advice on how to be a better writer, Mrs. Charles Wentworth intends to merely drop off samples of her poetry and stories but ends up having tea and learning a great deal about the fascinating journalist. Bierce’s philosophy was “Nothing Matters,” but of course, many things mattered to him. He was known as “the wickedest man in San Francisco” because he pursued the truth no matter who was the target of his journalist wit and humor. Having fought in the Civil War, his stories based on the experience are especially poignant, and “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is considered by many scholars to be one of the best short stories ever written. His most famous book, The Devil’s Dictionary, was named one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature” by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration in 1976, and “Wall Street Journal” columnist Jason Zweig wrote that it is “probably the most brilliant work of satire written in America. And maybe one of the greatest in all of world literature.”
Taking on the role of Bierce is James Rana. The director is Gayle Stahlhuth, who also portrays the fictitious Mrs. Wentworth. ELTC premiered Nothing Matters in 2000 before playwright/performer Dave Geible took it on the road with The Wyoming Shakespeare Company. Geible has revisited the script for this current production.
Nothing Matters is a fully staged Actors’ Equity production available exclusively online. It took ELTC’s artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth, three months (and around 50 hours) to negotiate a contract with Actors’ Equity Association so that Nothing Matters could be produced during a pandemic.
James Rana, the actor/playwright, has performed with theaters throughout the country, including ELTC, and in film and television. In 2017, he performed in Off-Broadway’s The Government Inspector starring Michael Urie. In the fall of 2017, he began rehearsals for Broadway’s The Band’s Visit and performed several times in the role of the Band’s Leader, originally performed by Tony Shalhoub, and other roles. When this Tony Award-winning show closed on Broadway in April 2018, he began performing in The National Tour.
Gayle Stahlhuth has performed Off-Broadway, in regional theaters, and in film and television. Since 1999 she has been Artistic Director of ELTC, producing over 100 different plays and musicals for this company, and directed most of them. Her work has been praised in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.