July 2016

BY JIM REYLAND

Photography by Taylor Thomas

“There are moments in all of our lives where gargantuan choices are hurled at us. It is in these moments that we must decide to grapple with life or crumble away and hide from it. Giant Squid explores the hope present in choosing the unknown. Giant Squid makes me laugh, question, and investigate my own thoughts and worries.”
—Director William Kyle Odum

Don’t you love the process? You wake up one day and think, I might like to write a play. You already live and breathe Theatre, and storytelling will be your own special place in it. What then? You educate yourself, take in everything around you, and put it down on paper. You gather your talented friends, start a theatre company, and together you bring your vision to the world. Then, still tired and poor, you sit back and relax, having done everything there is to do. Wrong. You’re just getting started.

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(From left to right) Lady Alex (Nina Kern) argues with Male Alex (Jake Wallace) and John (Seth Kays) about the importance of going to their friend Claire’s funeral, who recently overdosed; Photograph by Taylor Thomas

Giant Squid, written by Miles Gatrell, a former Belmont student and current MFA candidate at the University of Iowa, is at the starting point of this amazing process. He and his artistic friends are collectively known as the Woven Theatre.

Giant Squid follows two sets of young people in their late teens and mid twenties as they struggle to find acceptance and happiness in a modern world. As the play progresses, society, responsibility, and life-changing decisions pound at the characters’ doors, forcing them not only to confront the harsh realities of growing up but of simply living. Filled with laughs, witty dialogue, and tense moments of conflict, both internal and external, these characters must make choices that will alter the course of their entire lives.

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(From left to right) Lady Alex (Nina Kern) and John (Seth Kays) discuss their childhoods and their inability to ever return to the “home” they once had; Photograph by Taylor Thomas

I hope you’ll support the Woven Theatre in their efforts to create new and exciting theatre for Nashville. Giant Squid marks the inaugural production of Woven Theatre and is the first of three shows being produced over the coming months. After Giant Squid, Laramie Hearn will direct Decision Height in conjunction with Verge Theatre Company in Belmont’s Troutt Theater. Next up will be Lungs directed by Sam Lowry in the Belmont Little Theatre.

Giant Squid by Miles Gatrell runs July 7–10 at 7:30 in the Belmont Little Theatre under Hail Hall on Belmont’s campus. Tickets are $10 at the door or email wkyleodum@gmail.com to reserve tickets.

Jim Reyland’s new book, Handmade: friendships famous, infamous, real and imagined, is available at Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle. jreyland@audioproductions.com

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