Counter-Productions Theatre Company wraps up their tenth season with Steven Dietz’s Lonely Planet, an absurdist comedy exploring friendship and fear at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Directed by Michael Ducharme, who directed last season’s Frost/Nixon, the play features Jim O’Brien as Jody and Chris Plonka as Carl.
Set in “a small map store on the oldest street in an American city,” Lonely Planet is the story of two unlikely friends attempting to deal with an ever increasing number of AIDS related deaths within their circle of friends. Shop owner Jody becomes increasingly fearful of the world outside and the dangers it poses, refusing to leave his shop, even reluctant to open for business. Carl, his manic friend who claims to have a multitude of different occupations, begins filling the shop with a variety of chairs, each one from the home of one of their lost friends.
Jim O’Brien is a resident actor at the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket, RI. Past Gamm roles include Mick Down in A Skull in Connemara, Ray in Blackbird, Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler, Salter in A Number, Thomas Cromwell in Anne Boleyn, Max in Rock N Roll, Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, Richard Nixon in Nixon’s Nixon, Coleman Connor in The Lonesome West, Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, and Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar. Other acting credits include The Gentleman Caller in The Glass Menagerie with Portland Stage Company and Arthur Pape in Love! Valour! Compassion! with SpeakEasy Theater. Jim is a graduate of Trinity Repertory Conservatory.
Chris Plonka has appeared previously with Counter-Productions as Captain Thorson and Cassidy in The Final Voyage of X Minus One and David Frost in Frost/Nixon. Other roles include Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace with Priscilla Beach Theatre Company; Nathaniel in Unsafe with Boston Public Works and Cotuit Center for the Arts; Leonard in Seminar, and Branwell, Brontë, and Heathcliff in Brontë with Stonehill Theatre Company; and Geoffrey in The Lion in Winter with Caron Productions. Chris has also worked as a director on such productions as Bloody, Bloody, Andrew Jackson, The Zoo Story, Seussical, and Urinetown. Chris holds a BA in Arts Administration from Stonehill College.
AS220's Black Box Theatre
95 Empire Street, Providence, RI
April 28th, 29th, May 5th, 6th at 7:00pm
April 30th, May 7th at 2:00pm