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Kindred Spirits and/or Happenstance Friends

(Transcribed from a conversation with Nicole)

Hello! My name is Nicole Tuthill and I play Janie in Dandelion Theatre’s production of Everything In Between, running for two more nights. This Tuesday and Wednesday (Aug. 28 and 29).

I’ve been asked to talk a little bit about how I know Reilly Willson, who’s my scene partner in the production, and our process and so on and so forth. So here it goes.

Reilly and I met a few years ago when Dandelion Theatre did their first production, Body Awareness. We had one scene together that was, for me, a lot of fun so I’ve been really excited to work with Reilly again. Reilly came into the process for Everything In Between late in the game because he was originally supposed to be moving to New York, so he had to say no. But then he didn’t move to New York when he thought he would be. So when it turned out that Reilly was available, we said “Hey, you wanna come play?” And I think because Reilly and I had worked together before, it just seemed a natural fit to put us together. So that’s how we know each other.

When working together in those early days of Everything In Between we kind of gave him a little bit of, “This is what we’ve done. We’ve been playing theatre games and figuring out what we want to create. And right now we’re in this process of throwing some improv scenes up there and seeing what characters come out.” So that’s where Reilly and I started. Just putting people up there and seeing what happened. From that we got these little bits of information of Janie and Bill and kept putting them in the situation where they live next door to each other. And they were sort of friends. And they grew from there.

l-r: Reilly Willson and Nicole Tuthill Photo credit: Shirley Nannini

It’s been a lot of fun because Reilly has lots of improv work and experience, so I know I can throw anything out there and he’s just going to run with it. For me it’s just a lot of fun. What’s great about the relationship between our characters, Janie and Bill, and, for me, working on Janie and being in the point in my life where I’m like, “Auugh, I’m forty-something! What the hell?” is having the surprise of this relationship with this young man that’s not sexual, it’s not mother/son-ish in any kind of way. It’s just these two people who happen to be, in a way, kindred spirits or just happenstance friends. And to not give too much away, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet since you are last minute peeps, it’s a surprise to Janie to realize that this person, who she doesn’t feel like she wants to impose on or to ask for help, is where she gets the help.

That’s what I like about this show, is it is those moments in between those big life events that we find out what a relationship is and who your friends are, and who you don’t want to be your friend anymore, and what family is. Those tiny little moments, those little insignificant conversations that reveal so much. That’s what I really like about the show. For me it’s about connection, and missed connections, and struggling for connections, and the surprise connections that you didn’t see coming that all of the sudden are there. I think about the relationships in my life: the ones that I thought would last forever, the ones that have lasted forever that are surprising to me that I’m like, “How is this person still in my life and why do they mean so much to me, but holy crap I’m so thankful for it,” and those little in between ones that were so meaningful in the moment that no matter where I meet that person again in my life, or if I do or don’t, that they’re always going to be that important person.

So, yeah, those are some things about the play that I like. That I’m excited to share. Working with Reilly is so much fun, keeps me on my toes. So come out and see our show. Two more nights!

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