Sun Mar 5, 2023 – 12:00 pm | Visit Beloit
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Directed by Nicole Rodenberg
United States | 101 min | 2021
While performing two-person low-budget children’s theatre out of a minivan across the frozen Upper Midwest, two aimless thirtysomething strangers — a repressed gay man and and an enigmatic woman with a wild streak — struggle to overcome their fears of inadequacy and intimacy in order to survive that lonely tundra called life.
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The Film Stage
As a young girl growing up before access to the internet in North Dakota, my first exposure to the theatre was onscreen, watching Mary Martin perform as Peter Pan. The first play ever in person was when I was four, which also happened to be Peter Pan. I distinctly remember the wires in my brain crossing, trying to make sense of how something I had only ever seen on screen was now in front of me, supposedly live. Afterwards, I immediately set to work trying to put together my own production, which I decided would be filmed in front of a live audience. While I had the kids at daycare hard at work making tickets and costumes out of paper, I ultimately cancelled the production due to my mother being unwilling to dangle me off the balcony so I could fly.
That was the first time I tried to combine the literal high-flying act of live theatre with the permanency and reach of film, as I desire the best of both in each other. I’ve chased the precision of film in the theatre and GLOB LESSONS has been my chance to try to bring the startling aliveness of the theatre to film.
My collaborator Colin Froeber and I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and became best friends after being paired together in drama class to write a sketch duraing our sophomore year of high school in 2002. We quickly realized that our brains worked almost frighteningly in sync, and we began making short films together on Colin’s old DV camera. These weird, soundless productions set to music (we couldn’t figure out how to get good sound, so we gave up) brought us the most joy of our young lives, but when it came time for us to graduate and look beyond the isolated scope of the tundra we grew up on, we did not see a path forward to making movies.
Theatre, however! Doing a play is the same process in kindergarten as it is on Broadway. I ended up acting onstage in New York City and Colin and I were reunited in 2013, after he returned from doing a two-person traveling children’s theatre tour out of a minivan … very much like the one our characters are on.
Originally hailing from Fargo, North Dakota, Nicole Rodenburg is an actor, writer and director based in New York City. Her work onstage has been described by the New York Times as “priceless.” She’s known for her work developing new plays with our most groundbreaking and lauded contemporary playwrights, starring in Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Flick (dir. Sam Gold), as well as Baker’s latest play The Antipodes (dir. Lila Neugebauer), Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale and, most recently, Ming Peiffer’s hit play Usual Girls at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Her screen credits include the starring role in What Children Do, alongside John Early and Josh Ruben, Lifetime’s Amish Witches, Inside Amy Schumer, The Shivering Truth, Tenderly, TIC, Good News For Modern Man, and The Girl’s Guide to Depravity. Glob Lessons, written with her longtime collaborator Colin Froeber, is her directorial debut.