Two-person cast takes on ‘John & Jen’

SEQUIM — “John & Jen,” a musical that honors brothers and sisters as well as parents and children, begins Friday at Olympic Theatre Arts.

The show will run through Oct. 1 with the curtain rising at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the theater at 414 N. Sequim Ave. in Sequim.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students. They are on sale now at https://www.olympictheatrearts.org/ and at the box office between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

“This is the story of Jen and her relationships with the two Johns of her life: her younger brother, sent to fight in Vietnam, and her son, who is trying to find his way in a confusing world,” organizers said.

“Jen and her younger brother, John, are growing up in the ever-changing world of mid-century America,” they continued. “As the country becomes divided over the war in Vietnam, so does the family, and battle lines are drawn between the once-close siblings.”

The show, set against the background of America between 1950 and 1990, has a cast of only two people: Bailey Loveless and Morgan Bartholick. Also on stage during the play is pianist and musical director Janessa Fodge.

Both Loveless and Bartholick are veterans of the Olympic Theatre Arts stage.

Loveless appeared as the Goblin Queen in “The Hobbit” and Rosa Bud in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” She writes and performs Gabriela and The Inn Between, a scripted fiction podcast inspired by the Olympic Peninsula.

Bartholick’s past roles have included Gary Grosso in “Lavender Lawlessness” at OTA, and others at Port Angeles Community Playhouse and Ghostlight Productions. He also plays principal second violin in the Port Angeles Symphony. He has performed such roles as Mark Cohen in RENT, Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz and was the concertmaster for the 2012 National Tour of Titanic the Musical.

Bartholick serves as chair of the Governing Affairs Committee at OTA and as a board secretary for Ghostlight Productions. By day, he is the business development manager for Serenity House of Clallam County.

“It’s amazing to think we have this talent in town,” said OTA Executive Director David Herbelin. “They easily are of the same caliber as professionals I had worked with.”

The play “is a powerful piece,” he said.

Directing the play is Kyle LeMaire, a director, actor and teaching artist, currently serving as the executive director of the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts. LeMaire has served as associate artistic director/education director for Open Arts Alliance, associate artistic director/business manager for The Victory Dance Project, associate artistic director for The Other Realm Theatre and education director for The Acting Space in New York City.

He has directed and acted at The Signature Theatre (NYC), The Cherry Lane (NYC), The Mint (NYC), Musical Theatre Factory (NYC), Soundbite Theatre Festival (NYC), Don’t Tell Mama (NYC), The Duplex (NYC), Virginia Rep (NYC), TheatreWorks/USA (NYC), Theatre Baton Rouge, Port Angeles Community Players and Olympic Theatre Arts.

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