Boise Contemporary Theater

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A new original play opens Saturday at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT), and there’s a chance the actors might be handed new lines between now and then. I’ve been following the creation of The Uncanny Valley for nearly a year, ever since I had a chance run in with BCT’s Dwayne Blackaller last April. He told me about the new play he was writing with BCT artistic director Matthew Cameron Clark.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Carie Kawa awkwardly holds a beat-up, framed poster showing earth-seen-from-space to face the mostly empty seats at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT.) The first week of rehearsal is ending for the original play The Uncanny Valley. The poster is a stand-in for a painting which is an important linchpin in the plot. The story turns on this prop, but the prop itself is too big for Kawa to turn around to show another actor as she’s supposed to.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater's new original play, The Uncanny Valley opens in less than three weeks and the script isn't yet finished. The new original play is a work in progress we’ve been following for a few months.

Just last month actors gathered for their first table read.  This was the first time writers and co-directors Dwayne Blackaller and Matthew Cameron Clark showed all the actors the play. Clark is also acting in this show.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Rehearsals start this week at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) for a play that opens in three weeks. For a professional company like BCT, three weeks is a slightly tight, though fairly normal rehearsal schedule.

Three weeks is usually plenty of time for experienced actors to memorize lines, work on their characters, and learn what they’ll be doing on stage. But for the play, The Uncanny Valley memorizing lines and actions has an added challenge. They're still being written.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater’s Artistic Director Matthew Cameron Clark and Education Director Dwayne Blackaller sit at separate computer screens in a basement office. A passing eavesdropper would find their conversation impossible to follow because it’s part spoken, part typed and all about a fictional world evolving somewhere between their two brains and two keyboards.

Andy Lawless / Boise Contemporary Theater

Boise playwrights Matthew Cameron Clark and Dwayne Blackaller have a little more than three months to curtain on their latest work-in-progress.  The Uncanny Valley, mixes science fiction with Idaho's landscape.

Co-writer Blackaller says most people will likely think the title refers to where it takes place, a valley in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. But it’s actually a reference to the themes in the play, not the setting.

You can listen to Blackaller explain what the title means by clicking on the audio player.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) has earned respect producing works by nationally-known playwrights. The company is also demonstrating it can create strong original work in-house.

Early in 2013, BCT debuted A Nighttime Survival Guide. It was written by Artistic Director Matthew Cameron Clark and Education Director Dwayne Blackaller, and it was a hit for the theater.

Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) is selling tickets for a play that opens in April, but that play hasn’t yet been written. For the next few months, I’ll be following its progress as it goes from idea to rehearsal to an audience.

Andy Lawless / Boise Contemporary Theater

Los Angeles actress Lauren Weedman is thinking about moving to Boise. At least that’s the premise of her new one-woman play that opens Saturday at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT.) It’s called Boise: You Don’t Look A Day Over 149 and it’s part of Boise’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Graphic Depictions is a new play that opens Wednesday at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT.) Cleveland based playwright Eric Coble created this one-character show. Coble tends to speak in metaphors. Ask him why a nationally known playwright would premier new work at Boise Contemporary Theater. He calls a premier a birth.

Boise Contemporary Theater

It’s a news story that, in Idaho, has become a legend. A conservative senator arrested for soliciting sex with another man in an airport bathroom. In video from C-SPAN from 2007 Idaho Senator Larry Craig apologizes just after the story broke.

“While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away," he said. "That was a mistake and I deeply regret it.”