Welcome to Artist Features—an offering from Now & Then that provides depth and insight into the work of our artists. For show info and tickets, visit our box office.
Meet Christopher Patrick Allen
Christopher created the book, music, and lyrics for Reach/Recover, the next #newworkshop selection in Now & Then's 3rd season. Artistic Director John Perovich had a chance to speak with Chris about this work and its process. Reach/Recover by Christopher Patrick Allen—directed by Taylor Moschetti—will be presented to audiences Friday, March 6 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 7 at 11:00AM.
John Perovich (JP): Chris! Welcome back to Now & Then. I think the last time we saw you on our stage was 2018's Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco—still a timely, cautionary tale (unfortunately). We're excited to have you join us with your piece! How would you describe Reach/Recover for our audience?
Christopher Patrick Allen (CPA): In its current form, it is an acoustic musical about the point in our lives when we realize we lost—or are losing—someone who matters to us. It explores the grey area that surrounds emotional/physical distance and asks whether it’s better to hang on or let go. I think there’s something to relate to for everyone.
JP: I think so, too. The moments in my life when I had to make that choice tend to be defining moments—not necessarily doors I wanted to walk through at the time...but...life happens. I think many of us will be able to relate to your story and its themes. What inspired you to create this piece?
CPA: The show came about when I was wallowing in a creative and social slump. On a whim, I reached out to an old friend who I hadn’t talked to in ages (mostly for fear of awkwardness) and we were able to restore a meaningful friendship. I got to thinking about all the reasons we let life pull us apart, silly or not, and furiously churned out a collection of songs and poems that would later become Reach/Recover.
JP: That sounds deeply personal and profound. It's incredible that you were able to draw from that experience...that vulnerability...and create. I mean...I think that's what many of us strive to do...but we can't always do it. What goals do you have for this process at Now & Then? How does working and collaborating with a team of actors and a director impact your process?
CPA: I’ve been steadily adding songs and scenes over time, so I hope that this will help solidify what the piece is supposed to be. I’m working with a talented group and I know they’ll bring out the best in me. Hopefully, the next step is a full production!
JP: We do have a talented group! Reach/Recover features Lauren McKay, Natalie Andrews, Devon Mahon, Dawn Rendell, Anna Katen, Jordan Blanton, and Erin Coté—directed by Taylor Moschetti. Final question: Audiences have so many choices when it comes to seeing entertainment. Why should audiences check out Reach/Recover?
CPA: I believe it’s important to support new works, but I also think this show will get you thinking about how you can be more present in your own life and relationships. Our actors are great—as is the rest of the team. Take a chance on something a little different and see what happens!
Reach/Recover by Christopher Patrick Allen—directed by Taylor Moschetti—will be presented to audiences Friday, March 6 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 7 at 11:00AM For info and tickets, click here.