Jessica Schuler and Brad Herr Rehearse.jpg

Jessica Schuler and Brad Herr rehearse a scene in "A Bright New Boise."

Philip Muehe said "A Bright New Boise" is a dark comedy that affirms the mission of In Heart Theatre.

"We're getting a reputation for doing shows that are small but mighty," said Muehe, founder and director of In Heart. The play will be presented by In Heart Sept. 5 through Sept. 15 in the upstairs black box space at Rochester Repertory Theatre.

The play, by Samuel D. Hunter, is about a man, Will, who is seeking to rekindle a relationship with his estranged son. There's mention of The Rapture and a scandal at an evangelical church.

"It's a very funny show about serious issues," Muehe said. "Not only will it make you laugh, it will make you think."

Muehe said he discovered the play in college. "I remember reading it and being absolutely moved by it," he said.

The play fits well in the Rep's black box, he said, because "it's intimate and has a smaller cast."

That cast consists of Brad Herr, Jackson Davidson, Jessica Schuler, Jake Sprafka and Cheryl Frarck. There's quite a bit of stage experience in the group, which is good because of the tight rehearsal schedule.

Muehe is a full-time member of the Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro.

"I work six days a week here," he said. "I go to Rochester on my days off and rehearse the cast at night. We only rehearse for three hours a week. "

To make up for that, rehearsals started way back in the first week of June. "They've been a great group," Muehe said of the cast.

Despite some of the references in the play, it's about more than religion, Muehe said.

"It's about a man who escaped a cult, and we've been talking about whatever a cult is, whether consumerism or political or religious dogma," he said. "It's really a cautionary tale."

"A Bright New Boise" is intended for mature audiences due to content and language.

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Life Reporter

Tom covers primarily arts and entertainment for the Post Bulletin and 507 Magazine. He also often writes feature stories about local history. He is a native of Milwaukee, WI, and enjoys reading and traveling.