Set in Nebraska in the 1920s, during the era of Prohibition, Mr. Hart and MR. Brown tells the story of a volatile meeting between two men of mysterious backgrounds witnessed by a young newspaper reporter who smells a story. But is it worth his life to write it? (***This play is based on two famous historical American icons, the revelation of their identities is a major plot twist of the play. We request that any information regarding the character identities remain out of reviews and articles about the play.***)
Mr. Hart has traveled far from his Brooklyn roots to become the only lawman within 300 miles of Homer, Nebraska. When MR. Brown, a Duesenberg?driving antiques dealer from Baltimore, shows up for a visit, the grey area between good and evil becomes illuminated. Acclaimed local playwright, Bruce Graham says the story grew out of an interest in the nature of violence, and how people embrace violence in their life. Are violent tendencies ingrained or learned behavior? Drawing from the true?life relationship of two historical figures, the play examines the American mythology of how men constructed themselves at the beginning of the century. How larger than life personas could be invented in order to allow a man to turn to violence to get what he wanted.
Director Pete Pryor became inspired to bring this story to the stage when he attended a reading of Mr. Hart & MR. Brown 2 years ago. He was drawn to Graham's craftsmanship and superb storytelling. Pete says that his experience in working with Mr. Graham has been "nothing but educational and rewarding. Bruce is so prolific, but it is fascinating to see how different this play is than others penned by the playwright. "
A cast of talented People's Light and Theatre veterans, includes Richard Ruiz, Christopher Patrick Mullen, Michael Dougherty, and Peter DeLaurier. According to the director these actors were chosen for their roles because of their great range, quick wit, and their ability to be both comic and terrifying. The set designers utilized photo realism to create the sepia toned multi?dimensional set paintings of Midwest forests, which give the impression of the action taking place in an old photograph. Original music and sound enhances and supports the story using organics instruments and themes that evoke both the rural landscape of the Midwest setting as well as the hot city jazz sounds that were filling the speakeasies and clubs of that time.