The Orion

Local theater delivers raw, emotional performances in ‘The Outsiders’ adaptation

Jake Hutchison

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Blue Room Theatre’s adaptation of “The Outsiders” features, from left to right, Marcus Rutledge as Ponyboy Curtis, Jackson Indar as Johnny Cade and Garrett Miller as Dallas Winston. The show has its final performances 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25-27. Photo credit: Chelsea Jeffers.

Outcasts, freaks and misfits gained a voice through S. E. Hinton’s classic novel first, then through Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic film. Now the story of “The Outsiders” has evolved again, told through local director Frank Bedene’s play.

The play will close with 7:30 p.m. showings Sept. 25-27 at Blue Room Theatre.

On Saturday, the production’s second sold-out show, the performers did an outstanding job bringing the story and characters to life by projecting and remaining animated. Not once did passion leave the stage.

All roles were handled with care, but Marcus Rutledge’s Ponyboy Curtis and Garrett Miller’s Dallas Winston stood out the most.

Rutledge’s interactions with the audience felt authentic, even when he broke the fourth wall. Miller evoked an emotional attachment to his anti-hero character that was inspiring and tragic.

Props were minimal, which added to the personal touch of the experience. It also allowed the audience to focus on the actors’ and actresses’ performances without any distractions.

Meet the Director

The Orion sat down with Bedene, director of “The Outsiders,” to discuss the excitement of directing, creating edgy shows and why this adaptation is unique.

The Orion: What is the most exciting part of directing “The Outsiders”?

Bedene: I’m a creator. I love working with people who are creative that want to work as a team. There are parts of this show that I said ‘we’re all going to work on this together and create this.’ It’s fun to listen to (the audience).

The Orion: You like to hear the crowd talk about the play during its run?

Bedene: I love that, because I am not the only mind out there. Listening to the audience, you can learn what direction to give to the cast and make changes. Someone in the audience might say ‘I thought this was gonna happen (and) it didn’t happen,’ and I’m like, ‘what a great idea.’

The Orion: Do you like edgier shows?

Bedene: As a director, I don’t like to be put in a box. With this show, what we ended up doing was taking what we liked and creating our own version with the best of both. It’s not just like the book, it’s not just like the movie – it’s our own thing. If you have only read the book or have only seen the movie, you are going to see things you haven’t seen before in this version.

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Performance Details

  • Date: Sept. 25-27
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Blue Room Theatre
  • Price: $5 on Sept. 25. All other nights $12 advance, $15 door.

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Tickets can be purchased online or at Lyon Books.

Jake Hutchison can be reached at [email protected] or @poserpunk on Twitter.

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Local theater delivers raw, emotional performances in ‘The Outsiders’ adaptation