Nonsense and Beauty

by Scott C. Sickles
Originally produced at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
March 3, 2019 to March 24, 2018A

About the Premiere Production:

Synopsis: In 1930, the writer E.M. Forster met and fell in love with a policeman 23 years his junior. Their relationship, very risky for its time, evolved into a 40-year love triangle that was both turbulent and unique. Based on a true story, Nonsense and Beauty captures the wit and wisdom of one of the last century's great writers.

Artistic Statement: I am very proud that the Rep will produce the world premiere of Nonsense and Beauty, by Scott C. Sickles. This production is important to us for several reasons.

As part of our ongoing efforts to support the development of new plays for the American theatre, we try to produce at least one world premiere per season, emanating from our Ignite! New Play Festival. Nonsense and Beauty was given a public reading this past spring in Ignite!. The reading was successful on two fronts- it provided a strong platform for Scott to work on various aspects of the script and to identify larger issues that we hope to address prior to first rehearsal of the full production, and it was adored by our audience.

We are also proud of the fact that, as far as we can tell, this is the first major play about the great English author E.M. Forster. We believe the story’s connection to LGBTQ issues will resonate with a community that we would love to make feel more welcome at our theatre, and we believe that many traditional theatre goers who love Jane Austen will be excited to see another beloved English author come to life on our stage.

Finally, there is the script itself, which sings with an erudite, thoughtful and theatrical sensibility that, simply put, makes Nonsense and Beauty a terrific play. Nonsense and Beauty continues our efforts to bring great work, both new and known, to our very supportive and discerning audience. We hope it will be enjoyed here in the coming winter, and throughout the English speaking world for years to come.

Grant Statement: The non-continuous week of rehearsing Nonsense and Beauty in January 2019 will benefit the world premiere of this production in two ways. First, it allows the playwright a chance to iron out dramaturgical issues discovered during a recent workshop of the play, giving him time for rewrites before the continuous rehearsal period. Second, it allows the director and playwright to begin the work on establishing for the actors a sense of the time period and the relationships between the characters.

The second period of extra rehearsal, continuous with the regular rehearsal period, will provide the creative team with time to work through the inevitable challenges of a script that has not yet been mounted on the stage. Particularly the plan for an open, arena-style set will present unanticipated, practical concerns that the playwright, director and actors will need to confront. This week of extra rehearsal will allow the team to solve these issues without eating into regular rehearsal time.

Director:Seth Gordon
Set Designer: Brian Sidney Bembridge
Lighting Designer:Brian Sidney Bembridge
Costume Designer:Felia Davenport
Sound Designer:Rusty Wandell

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