'Story of Jack and John' in Spring City

'Story of Jack and John' in Spring City

February 21st, 2013 by Clint Cooper in Chattnow Art

IF YOU GO

What: "The Story of Jack and John"

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24

Where: Tennessee Valley Theatre, 184 W. Jackson Ave., Spring City, Tenn.

Admission: $10

Phone: 365-7529

Website: www.tennesseevalleytheatre.com

Jack and John may have lost their way -- and then some.

On a quest to save their grandmother, they discover they may not be in control of their own story.

What happens next will be fleshed out in the world premiere of "The Story of Jack and John" this weekend at the Tennessee Valley Theatre in Spring City, Tenn.

The family-friendly, two-man play was written by Rhea County native Quentin McCuiston and Sacramento, Calif., native Aaron Gaines. They also play the titular characters. Both collaborators are actors/playwrights in New York City.

The storytellers, says McCuiston, "end up as part of their story." In the meantime, they encounter characters such as a princess, king, queen, dwarves and a bear, he said, "but the way we've structured it, they're sort of turned on their head."

"They don't necessarily live up to their names," he said. "It's our little spin."

The work, McCuiston said, is not a musical but has music by a collaborator, Eric Damewood.

"It's a silly story," he says, "but we hope there are some poignant moments as well. It's accessible to all ages."

McCuiston, a Bryan College graduate, said the play is still a work in progress, so he hopes those who attend will stick around and talk with him and Gaines after the show.

"We want to get the audience reaction," he says. "We're still honing the piece. It's still growing, even as we're rehearsing."

McCuiston recently completed a stint in the title role of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's production of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist," wrapped filming on "Ripped," a spoof of a 1960s rock 'n' roll band and saw a film he made several years ago, "Under Jakob's Ladder," released on DVD and become available at LifeWay Christian Stores.

Gaines, among other things, has appeared in "The Crucible," "As You Like It" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" with Sink or Swim Rep theater company in New York City.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497.