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Original Play Opens in McLean

A romance drama is the first production of the new McLean Drama Company opening at the Alden Theatre.

<bt>Romance, mystery and drama will soon unfold within the walls of the McLean Community Center. From June 24 to 27, the McLean Drama Company presents playwright Rachael Bail’s original play “Emily and I” at the Alden Theatre at the center.

“Emily and I” is the story of two American women who meet in Rome and befriend each other. When one of the women divorces her husband, the American consul, and marries the C.I.A. station chief, she disappears in McLean.

The other woman, a journalist, is determined to find out what happened to her friend.

The story behind the play is filled with just as much mystery as the play itself. Following the advice of the play's director, Bail will never divulge how she came up with the idea for “Emily and I.” Bail, however, did admit that her life experiences always factor into her writing. “Everywhere you go, everything you do has an effect on you,” said Bail.

NOT ONLY is Bail a playwright, but she also founded the McLean Drama Company. As “Emily and I” is the first play that the company will be presenting, Bail wanted to seek out a director equally excited about working on the play as she was. Having taken theater classes at Catholic University, Bail knew its reputation for having a great theater department. According to director Joe Martin, Bail called Catholic University and he was recommended for the job of directing the play.

Together, Bail and Martin conducted auditions to choose the cast. For five weeks, Martin worked with the chosen cast three evenings per week for about four hours each night, and four to five hours each day on the weekend. The result, said Martin, is a cast that is “able, willing, and creative.”

Martin enjoys working with a cast that is willing to take risks, which is one of the reasons why he believes that this cast is capable of “very interesting work.” For Martin, directing is all about “working with the actors and working with the tensions between the actors and what the text presents to them.”

THE MCLEAN DRAMA COMPANY wanted to make sure that the community is able to take full advantage of its production. Susan Baumel, vice president of the McLean Drama Company, said that the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner bought tickets for the Lewinsville Senior Citizens Center. It is vital “to get the community involved,” said Baumel.

In order to raise awareness of the play, Bail sent out close to 5,000 flyers to McLean. Bail is hoping that the community will support her play and the company.

“Emily and I” runs June 24-26, at 8 p.m. and June 27 at 2:30 p.m., at the Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students 16 years and older and $8 for groups of eight or more people. To purchase tickets, call 703-790-9223.