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That Hopey Changey Thing
photo by Owen Carey
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Photos by
Owen Carey
That Hopey Changey Thing
by Richard Nelson
October 5, 2012 through October 28, 2012

It’s Election Day, 2010 and what begins as a simple visit by the Apple siblings to their uncle transforms into an examination of 21st Century American politics. Chekhovian in spirit, HOPEY CHANGEY is the first play in a planned four-play cycle that annually reunites the Apple Family during events of national importance. In an exciting and ambitious project, Third Rail is delighted to be the only company in the country (besides the Public Theatre in New York) to present a new play in this series every year for the next four seasons, each featuring the same cast of Third Rail actors!

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Bruce Burkhartsmeier
Isaac Lamb
Rebecca Lingafelter
Jacklyn Maddux
Mike O'Connell
Maureen Porter
Director - Slayden Scott Yarbrough
Production Manager - Don Crossley
Production Manager - Cameron McFee
Scenic Design - Tal Sanders
Lighting Design - Kristeen Crosser
Sound Design - Cameron McFee
Technical Director - Demetri Pavlatos
Scenic Construction - Lunar Theatrical
Costume Design - Emily Horton
Props Master - Drew Dannhorn
Dramaturg - Larkin Sackett
Stage Manager - Clair Callaway
Master Electrician - Jason Stanley
Light Board Operator - Jennifer Lin
Sound Board Operator/Steward - Jen Raynak
Run Crew - Ken Potts

'That Hopey Changey Thing' opens Third Rail Rep season with subtlety and skill
"“Hopey Changey” is the sort of talky, naturalistic show where it can seem that nothing much is happening, unless you track the cues and clues to the wrenching changes taking place beneath the surface of everyday affairs. “Chekhovian” is the word theater folk will use, and it’s a tricky thing to pull off well. But the complex and nuanced performances here, under the direction of Scott Yarbrough, bring out all the humor, poignancy and depth of a story that might in lesser hands feel incomplete." - The Oregonian

Going rogue in Rhinebeck, N.Y.
"As an isolated production, Hopey Changey is perhaps too muted. But as a prelude to a four-play cycle, it’s a compelling introduction to a family worth knowing. When the next dinner invitation arrives, I’ll accept." - Willamette Week

Four More Years
"Happily, director Slayden Scott Yarbrough and his cast keep the Apples bright and alive. Jacklyn Maddux is particularly sharp: you may feel concerned that Third Rail has tricked a non-actor into coming on stage, so eerily unaffected is her portrayal of the family's elected peacekeeper. Every actor here is given something to work with, although only Bruce Burkhartsmeier's substitute patriarch gets to describe a full arc." - Portland Mercury

Third Rail's That Hopey Changey Thing
"The script balances potent humor with more subtle drama, finding its tensions in Nelson’s astute depictions of the awkwardness, resentments, and occasionally loving breakthroughs of a slightly dysfunctional family." - Portland Monthly

A Masterful Harold, A Hopey Changey Tickler
"Burkhartsmeier’s performance is a model of emotional economy: at first we think Uncle Benjamin’s just relaxing in his own head. Then it occurs that he’s incapacitated, probably by Alzheimer’s. Then we learn it’s not that, after all: it’s amnesia, essentially an injury to the brain, and at times he’s capable of extended and sophisticated rational argument...Some of this production’s most affecting scenes are between Benjamin and the much younger actor Tim (in a sweet and understatedly comic performance by Isaac Lamb), on the nature of acting and the desirability of forgetfulness, of simply entering the moment when you’re onstage." - OR ArtsWatch

Third Rail Rep's 'That Hopey Changey Thing' opens season, and a multi-year play cycle
"So Third Rail’s challenges include striking just the right subtle tone without leaving things feeling insubstantial, and getting us invested in character arcs that we know won’t even be close to completed by evening’s end. But those sound like just the sort of challenges that should suit Yarbrough, perhaps the city’s most scrupulously thoughtful stage director, and Third Rail’s uniformly excellent actors." - The Oregonian

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