Upon opening the program for The Rimers of Eldritch, audiences find a director’s note centered on a quotation: “Have you ever turned a stone over in damp soil … and when you turn it over there are worms crawling on it … and it’s damp and full of fungus … that which is exposed to the exterior is smooth and dry and clean.” Well, Rimers is all about that underside and the slimy story it tells.
Rimers is the opening performance for the 2013-2014 season at Pomona College’s Seaver Theatre. The play takes place in the withering ghost-town of Eldritch, Mo., and the plot focuses on the events surrounding a fatal shooting of the local Boo Radley archetype, Skelly Mannor (Ian Gallogly PO ’13), at the hand of would-be do-gooder Nelly Winrod (Cybele Kappos PO ’17).
The play is stocked with the usual small-town figures—town gossips, religious fanatics, good ol’ boys, rebellious teenage girls, and even a combination priest and magistrate, Eldritch’s one-stop shop for all its judgment needs. Their individual stories intertwine and overlap, blurring the lines between scenes in the same way that their tales blur the lines between fact and fiction, right and wrong.
Director Art Horowitz, Associate Professor of Theater at Pomona, keeps the complete ensemble onstage for the entirety of the performance, with the focus shifting from storyline to storyline in a tangled web of truth and lies. No matter who has the spotlight, the rest of the town is always watching—a constant reminder of the ever-present judgment and gossip that plagues the small town. Naught can be said of the set design, as it is nonexistent. The lack of set highlights one of the unique and exciting elements of this production: Rimers will move location from night to night.
The play will be performed in different non-traditional theater spaces on campus each night. Opening night, Oct. 10, was staged at the Harvey Mudd College Oak Tree Outdoor Amphitheater, and tonight’s performance will be held at the Motley Coffeehouse on Scripps College’s campus. Saturday’s and Sunday’s performances will be staged at Pomona’s organic farm (and if Mother Nature has other plans for the townspeople of Eldritch, as was the case for Wednesday night’s rainy preview, the performances will take place in the Allen Theatre). The only way to make sure you’ve seen all that Eldritch has to offer? Go see the show at all available locations! And not to worry about busting the bank—entrance is free and unlimited.
The Rimers of Eldritch will be performed at 8 p.m. tonight at the Motley and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the farm near the hut. Entrance is free and open to the public. Contact the Seaver Theatre box office for more information.