UPPER JAY On Oct. 11 a new production of the Richard Dressers Below the Beltwill open at the Recovery Lounge, known during daylight hours as Upper Jay Upholstery. The performance space is on Route 9N.
The production, directed by Scott Renderer, features Bob Andrews as Merkin;Terry Young as Hanrahan; and Brad Hurlburt as Dobbitt. Young and Hurlburt are checkers at the factory where the play is set and Andrews is their boss. All three actors appeared in last winters one-act play The Fisherman based on Russell Banks short stories. Young was also seen in David Mamets American Buffalo at the Recovery Lounge.
Below the Belt is located in a claustrophobic industrial site where individuals are beset by unidentified menaces. Whether the players are at a real factory or the play is posing a more surreal structure is brought up at one point by Dobbitt, (the new worker), who says to Hanrahan, (the old hand): I feel we may be in prison.
Standing on a bridge, looking out over a polluted river, Dobbitt and Hanrahan reflect on the difference between work and prison through a sharp series of questions and answers. Dresser gives us no concrete answers, but asks his questions through such absurdist repartee that they linger in the mind long after the play ends.
The set, designed and constructed, by Renderer, enforces the otherworldly aspects of the play. Seatingenough for fifty per performanceis arranged on three sides of the set.
The play will run from Oct. 11-14 and 17-21, at 8 p.m. each night. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling Upper Jay Upholstery at 946-8315. The play is produced with the imprimatur of Samuel French & Co.