After two years of following the lives of the Pinwright family, we sadly must bid farewell to Dirty Laundry. The show premiered in September of 2014 as a part of the Dynamite Series and was created and directed by Steve Kleindeler. Every month we peeked into what was happening with Connie (Kelly Jo Little), Bob (Rick Horner), their two kids Haley (Molly Scullion) and Marcus (David Donnella), and Connie’s sisters Elaine (Susan LaPalombara), Peg (Mary Eklund).
Since the show is coming to its close, we asked the cast what being a part of Dirty Laundry meant to them.
Kelly Jo Little
Being in the cast of Dirty Laundry has been one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had during my improv career. We had a unique form that allowed us to explore our characters, growing and changing them over time. We built a nice audience base that came month after month to see what was going to happen next. I want to thank the rest of the Pinwright/Connelly family, and Steve, who brought us on this journey together. I’ve grown as an improviser through this production, and will cherish the experiences I had on Dirty Laundry.
There are many things I will miss about Dirty Laundry, but the thing I will miss the most is the tenderness we had for each other. That tenderness took time to build and we cherished it both on and off stage. I hope the audiences saw and felt it, too.
Imagine, if you can, that you’re one of those perplexingly giving/insane people who eagerly brings into your home an adorable puppy in a service dog training program, agreeing to raise and love her for a year and then hand her off at year’s end, agreeing never to see her again because it would be confusing for the dog? Now imagine that the program makes a mistake and forgets to come collect the dog until two and a half years later, well after the bond between dog and human has grown into a deep, loving, sometimes complicated, but always fulfilling relationship. Each of you has grown into your potential as individuals and you know, in your heart, that you are truly a family. But the reality is that that dog needs to move on, and if you’re being completely honest with yourself, you know what you signed up for: you knew this day was going to come. And, really, there is great joy that comes along with the sadness in letting her go, because you are truly proud of the work you have done with her. You have made each other better and stronger and you have brought joy to the lives of others who have watched you cavort and support each other; revel in each other’s successes; and laugh at each other’s crazy antics. Let’s call that dog Dirty Laundry. Let’s face it, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. This is not a hypothetical situation. This is my life. And the truth is that when I went to pick up that dog, two and a half years ago, I fell in love with the whole damn litter and ended up taking all 5 puppies and their trainer home. When they arrived, they had puppy names, but my puppy trainer, Steve, suggested that everyone rename themselves in the spirit of creating a new family. Rick became Bob; Kelly Jo, Connie; Mary, Peg; David, Marcus; Molly, Haley; and I changed my name from Susan to Elaine. Bob, in a rare alpha dog moment (because we all realized early on that Connie was the alpha dog), decided that Pinwright would be our family name. And so, a family was born. But our two and a half years are up, and it’s time to let you go. I love you, my crazy, galumphing puppy. God speed.
It’s a weird feeling to be cast into a family and then actually feel like a family, but that’s what Dirty Laundry is to me. It’s been an honor to not only play with these talented performers, but also to feel so loved and taken care of on and off stage. I’m grateful for every second I spend with my family, and I’m going to miss them dearly. PS: I am still waiting for them to ask about Haley’s road trip.
Wow, what a gift to be asked to join the cast of Dirty Laundry!! I am the newbie with the least experience. It’s been an honor to be part of this. Glad I did not know how much experience everyone had-I would have been intimidated! Steve made it so easy to begin rehearsing and learning about the characters. What a great time in the summer of 2014 practicing and rehearsing. PHIT was very gracious to welcome the concept and host the show. Many thanks to everyone who supported the show and came out each month. We had great audiences.
Peg: My sisters hate my best friend (poor Madge!) IT’S SOOO UNFAIR! She’s the MOST fun to be with. Who else would I want to be in a jail cell in New Mexico with?
As the oldest sister, I see my job as looking out for everyone, BUT Bob and Connie’s latest discord has been wearing even for me. Who knew that I would HATE overseeing a household after Connie left. I just thought of myself as someone who gives and gives…But, really, these people do not have it together. Bob asking Elaine out; is he insane???? I really thought Connie would kill him.
Haley is growing into an independent young woman-good for her! She overcame her postal anxieties. The trip, though it’s still a bit unclear what happened to her while on the road, did her good.
Marcus is a great guy-he is also coming into his own with a job and lots of thoughtful ponderings about the world. Still love that he regularly asks me about my own dear Charlie. Charlie was full of opinions and interesting takes on the world. Still miss him every day, but Marcus helps to keep him alive with his questions.
Bob is really a great guy and I’m happy Connie realizes this-though she’s sometimes slow to wake up to the obvious! Bob is patient, a hard worker and a great dad. He does have his quirks: he cannot be without a tool in his hands, his glove collection is unrivaled and he obsesses over his special funds. If I could change one thing about Bob—no way would he have dated Elaine first. On the other hand, if he had fallen for Connie first, I guess Marcus would have been born a LOT earlier. That would have killed Mom, so I guess maybe dating Elaine first was better after all.
Elaine is always going to be rehashing the same issues-I want her to move on from dating the boss and moving in and out of employment too quickly. She has a good heart and does not realize how much she brings to everyone in her family. Until she finds herself and is happy, she won’t find the world a comfortable place to be. Being attracted to a priest is not a good first step to finding herself.
Connie is truly magical. She has this intuitive understanding of her kids and her husband. Yes, she is domineering; really, making a date to meet Marcus’ secret Irish pen pal in Dublin without his knowledge was a bit much (!). But she is always wanting the best for her family and I am always surprised at how she is dead on about what is best for each one. At other times, it is clear how much she needs them to be near for her own well-being.
What a great family!
Dirty Laundry is totally unique, and never will happen again. Thanks to Steve, Mary, Susan, K Jo, David and Molly for regularly exploring the world Pinwright. Cheers!
You can see Dirty Laundry in their final show this Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 pm.