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Rope (March 23 to 25, 2006; LSPU Hall)


In a pitch-black opening, Brandon (Mark O'Brian) and Granillo (Paddy Torraville), two college mates are silhouetted loading and heaving a huge object into a chest.  The object is a dead body, and that of one of their fellow college students.  They have committed murder.

Rope was written by Patrick Hamilton back in 1929 but did not make huge acclaim until 1935.  When originally produced in London’s West End, the play was first called Rope’s End.  Most of the general public is familiar with the story because of a 1948 film adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock, also titled Rope, though Hamilton publicly strongly disliked the adaptation.

In a very interesting approach, the play is done in real time, therefore the intermissions provide no time lapse on stage and the play resumes exactly where it left off.  The audience is taken through the course of a dinner party, which Brandon and Granillo are hosting.  To make it more interesting, the boys decide to invite the father of the murdered college student, who also happens to be a member of the police force.  Sir Johnstone Kently (Robert Stokes) and his sister Mrs. Debenham (Catherine Snow) are two of the five dinner guests.  Mrs. Debenham, the victim’s aunt, is a proud woman who does not wish to be at the dinner party at all.  She is also narcoleptic and offers what little humor exists in Hamilton’s suspenseful script.

Leila Arden (Lora Campbell) and Kenneth Raglan (Shawn Parsons) are two other guests; they are young and also fellow students of the hosts.  Leila may also contribute to some humor, but only due to her blissful ambivalence about life in general.  Raglan is equally ambivalent and the two make a great pair as they try to discreetly flirt throughout the evening, though it isn’t discreet at all. 

The fifth dinner guest is Rupert Cadell (Mark Power), who is without a doubt a talker who talks for the sake of hearing himself speak.  He is the detective of the bunch and picks up on absolutely everything.  The guise under which Brandon and Granillo lure these five guests to their home is that they’ve just acquired a large literary library that is of interest to Sir Johnstone.  Then, because books litter across the dining room table, Sabot (Adam Hickey) their butler is forced to serve the meal on the chest in which the dead body was dumped!

Poor Super Man (May 19-21, 2005; LSPU Hall)


Meet David (Clint Butler), Kryla (Cheryl Jamieson), Shannon (Mark O'Brien), Matt (Mark White), and Violet (Krista Hann).  All very average people, well perhaps not average, but just like all of us in some ways.  Originally set in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Poor Super Man was written by Canada’s own Brad Fraser in 1993.  Since then the play has received much critical acclaim, becoming one of the top ten best scripts of 1994 according to TIME magazine and receiving a Governor General’s Drama Award nomination among many other accomplishments.  It has been seen worldwide, and all across Canada more specifically and made in to a motion picture, also directed by Brad Fraser in 2003.

David is a well-known artist, a painter who is stuck behind a block and cannot get something on to the canvas.  His roommate and close friend is Shannon, who is in the process of going through a sex change from man to woman because that is what he feels he truly is inside.  Combined with Shannon struggling to become a woman, he also has AIDS.  Because of health issues Shannon has to also fight with doctors to allow the final stages of his sex change.  Kryla is David’s best friend and works as a columnist for one of the main newspapers.

David decides to return to waiting tables to get past this rut his life seems to be in between no relationship and artist’s block.  His reasoning being that when he was waiting tables he felt the most creative.  Both Shannon and Kryla are cautious about his decision, and David insists on doing the job undercover so no one will recognize him.  He pulls out all the stops to keep Shannon and Kryla away from where he begins working.

Matt and Violet, a newly wed couple received the Monterey Diner from Violet’s parents as a wedding gift.  Being young and new to the restaurant industry, neither one of them know what they are doing, that is until David practically falls into their laps – in more ways than one.  The two desperately need David’s council and help in running the diner, but can barely afford to pay him.  Matt and Violet are shocked by how willing David is to work for next to nothing, without understanding that David’s true reasons for working there are not financial but in hopes of finding a muse.

What makes the script so strong is how real all of the characters are.  They are tangible, and what they experience is relative to almost anyone in some way.  The play is diverse enough that anyone can understand and empathize for all five of the characters.  There really is no villain other then reality.

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (Theatre at St. John's Lane)


Description coming soon.

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