Students perform love, sex, drama

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November 16, 2007

1:30 PM

Second Season will present “Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love” tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theater of Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall.

p. “This is not your standard William and Mary theater fare,” Director Laurie Wolf said. “It is definitely a Second Season type of show. It’s in the studio, in the round and in people’s faces, including all of the sex, violence and mind games the characters play with one another.”

p. While the show’s plot is too complex to boil down into a quick summary, it focuses on the two themes of love and violence, which weave together the individual characters’ stories.

p. To illustrate this concept, Bess Kaye ’08, publicity director and master lighting technician for the show, designed posters with the slogans: “How far can pleasure go before it becomes pain?”
“It’s about trying to negotiate relationships of all sorts in the post-modern world — love, friendship, sexual partners,” Wolf said.

p. This is not your typical love story, as shown in the character of Candy, played by Brittney Walker ’10, who experiments liberally with her sexuality. In one scene, both the man and the woman she has been dating show up uninvited and are surprised to find that Candy hasn’t been honest with either of them.

p. In the midst of its themes regarding the chaos surrounding love, the show is framed by a story about a serial killer who preys on the town and infiltrates himself into the lives of the other characters.

p. “We live in a world where violence touches us,” Wolf said. “Catastrophic events exist around us, just like the serial killer in the play, but how do they touch us? Are they eventually gone again? If they’ve touched us personally, they might have lasting effects. How do we have the strength to go on?”

p. The show was written by Canadian playwright Brad Fraser in 1989 and has a relatively short history of performance. In the same year, Time magazine named it one of the “10 Best Plays of the Year.”

p. The cast roughly compares the play to the movies “Crash” and “Requiem for a Dream,” because of its emotional intensity, as well as the eventual coalescence of the individual characters’ stories.
Rolfe Shiflett ’08 plays the main character, David.

p. “David is an everyman in that he has a lot of hopes and dreams and not all have been fulfilled,” Shiflett said. “He has to figure out what to do with his life when that all goes away.”

p. The seven performers have a tight bond and are proud of their work.

p. “Everyone has really pulled their own weight,” Shiflett said. The other featured performer is Keegan Cassidy ’10.

p. The show is scheduled to run approximately one hour and 45 minutes. Audience members are warned that there is no late seating for the play due to the intensity of the opening scenes.

p. Tickets cost $5 at the door, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Profits from a silent auction of Broadway posters will be donated to the same charity.

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