As part of our ongoing Meet the Cast of Calendar Girls Blog Series, let us introduce you to John Middleton:
ROLE: John, 50s
AS DESCRIBED IN PLAYWRIGHT TIM FIRTH’S SCRIPT:
John is a human sunflower. Not a saint. Not a hero. Just the kind of man you’d want in your car when crossing America.
DIRECTOR MARY FINNERTY’S COMMENT:
John Middleton, whom I had also directed in Sexy Laundry, has an uncanny ability to burrow into the hearts of an audience quickly. In the stage directions, the playwright says that when John dies, a light should go off in the room. John only has less than 20 pages onstage to establish that character for us, and I knew he could do that.
QUESTION FOR JOHN MIDDLETON:
Your character, John, offers up the sunflower as the primary symbol of the play, but what is your favorite symbolism or metaphor in the play?
I’ve been considering your question, but I don’t think I can do any better than John in the play and his sunflowers. The world is feeling particularly dark these days, and we can’t ignore it. We need to acknowledge the darkness and fight against it. But we also need to look for the light, no matter how weak, just as the sunflower does. That, as John says, is such an admirable thing.
Park Square Romeo and Juliet, Sexy Laundry, The School for Lies, American Family, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Becky’s New Car
Representative Theatre Jungle Theater: Detroit; Theater Latte Da: C.; Torch Theater: Prints; Gremlin Theatre: Hedda Gabler; Carlyle Brown & Company: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been…; Girl Friday Productions: Street Scene