The Primary English Class

"The Primary English Class" begins performances on Friday.


Rob Hunt, director of Chesterton's 4th Street Theater's "The Primary English Class," gives kudos to some cast members who have more on their plate than simply learning their lines in his production.

"Some of them do not speak the language that they are saying on stage," he said. "They are learning two things at once, a brand new language, and blocking and trying to get their cues. And that's hard because they don't know the language many of the other people are speaking."

"The Primary English Class" opens Friday and runs through Nov. 19. The show tells the tale of Debbie, an enthusiastic new teacher given her first assignment: teaching a class of adult students basic English. Not only are the students new to English, but they are unfamiliar with everyone else's language of origin.

The play is penned by actor and playwright Israel Horowitz, whose resume includes acclaimed works such as "Faith, Hope and Charity," "Hopscotch and the 75th" and "Captains and Courage."

"No matter how different we think we all are, we're linked to each other in a lot of ways," Hunt said of the play. "I think (audiences) are going to leave thinking 'Wow, that was so cool and funny' and thinking 'I really had a great time.'"

4th Street's cast for "Primary" is made up of Allison Davis, Luke Bouman, Mike Johnson, Dean Johanson, Rea Robinson, Donna Rowland and George Maslankowski.

"We're at the point where we have to say 'We have to stop laughing because we have to do the show so the audience can laugh,'" Hunt said. "We all just keep laughing."

Next up for 4th Street Theater is a production of the musical "Ordinary Days," scheduled to open March 9.

FYI: "The Primary English Class" runs at  8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Nov. 10-11 and 17-18 and 3 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 12 and 17 at 4th Street Theater, 125 N. 4th St., Chesterton. Tickets are $20. Call 219-926-7875 or visit