Brandon Moore reflects on selecting Eric Bogosian's subUrbia for Apprentice Players' third production.
"The main component of Apprentice Players is theater for young adults and theater that is edgy and contemporary," Moore says during an early afternoon chat at Common Grounds Coffee House. "That's exactly what subUrbia is. It sort of chronicles the lives of a group of twentysomethings who just don't know what to do with themselves."
Funny thing: The play is being presented by a group of teens and twentysomethings who know exactly what to do with themselves.
Apprentice Players is becoming something of a regular feature on the summer theater scene in Lexington. The group was formed in 2007 as a collection of high school students to present Dog Sees God, a twisted take on the Peanuts gang that had Charlie Brown, Linus and company dealing with teen issues such as sex and drugs.
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Last summer, the group re-formed — several members now coming home from college — to present Alan Bennett's History Boys.
Now, Apprentice Players is riding again, and there are new members coming into the group as some of the founders age out.
"I don't plan to be here next summer," says founding member C.G. Niquette, who plays Tim in subUrbia. A political science major at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Niquette hopes to be in Washington, D.C., next summer for an internship.
But high schooler Ellie Todd, 16, represents the group's future.
"That shows there's hope," Todd says. "These kids will reach a point they can't come back to do shows, but there are plenty of people ready to step in for them."
Niquette says, "It shows that this wasn't just a bunch of friends casting each other. It shows that this is important to our peers, and we are fully capable of doing this. It wasn't just luck or good timing."
The group points out that this is the first Apprentice show that will not be directed by co-founder Jacob M. Sexton.
The students have adult mentors, primarily Eric Seale, associate artistic director of Actors Guild of Lexington.
"He is the one I can call when we need anything," Moore says.
Says Niquette: "When Jacob and I first started this thing, we knew what we were doing, but we didn't know things like where you apply for rights" to present plays.
Now, applying for the rights and everything else is up to the students. At a Tuesday night rehearsal, Seale was the only professional in the room. Everyone else, including producers and technicians, were students.
"It teaches you the business," says producer Kelly Hieronymus, who just graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts and is going to Transylvania University in the fall. "It's fun, but it's hard."
It certainly isn't a group of young adults who don't know what to do with themselves.