Philip Muehe is ready for the roller-coaster ride that can be a life in the theater.
So it’s appropriate he’s directing the play “2.5 Minute Ride” Friday and Sunday, May 13 and 15, at the Rochester Art Center.
The play, by Lisa Kron, tells the story of a woman’s trip with her father, a Holocaust survivor, to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and of their family’s annual summer trip to an amusement park. The title refers to the length of a roller coaster ride. Reviews of previous productions have said the play mixes humor and sadness.
It is the first play Muehe has directed locally since the John Marshall High School grad earned a degree in acting at the University of North Dakota. He worked the past two years at the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro and the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.
After those experiences, he said, “I needed to find out what I wanted to do next.” Muehe will direct the summer show in July at the Rochester Repertory Theatre, but until then, he decided to jump start his career with “2.5 Minute Ride,” produced under his own company, In Heart Theatre.
“It’s a show I really like and it’s a good show for the community,” he said.
After asking Cheryl Frarck, a long-time actor and director on local stages, for advice on casting, Muehle ended up casting Frarck herself for the play.
That was the easy part. “The hardest part has been finding a place to perform,” Muehe said. He was finally able to rent a space at the Rochester Art Center, but only on Friday and Sunday — Saturday was already booked for a wedding, and there simply wasn’t room for even a metaphorical roller coaster ride.
If you go
What: “2.5 Minute Ride” by In Heart Theatre
When: 7 p.m. Friday and Sunday
Where: Rochester Art Center, 40 Civic Center Drive SE
Tickets $12, sold at the door starting at 6 p.m.