Friday, October 10, 2008

Helen of Tempe

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

I'm just back from an evening out with friends. We have been to a play in Tempe, an intense production by the Stray Cat Theatre Company entitled Everything Will Be Different: A Brief History of Helen of Troy. The playwright was Mark Schultz and his work was directed by Ron May.

This was a gem of a play, tight and smartly written with a cast that stirred it to brilliance. Charlotte, the central character, was a high school girl struggling with acne, adolescence, and the death of her mother. She needed love and searched for it in the wrong places, spreading chaos as she drove her teen angst through other people's lives. She was needy, aggressive, pitiful, and repulsive - but most of all, she was hurting.

This play belonged to a very talented young actress named Willa Darian who starred in the role of Charlotte. She was on stage throughout the entire performance, gliding seamlessly through an array of situations, emotions, and challenging dialogue. Two other standouts were Cale Epps who played Charlotte's father (who was also struggling over the death of her mother), and Aaron Wester, a male acquaintance from high school whose principles and privacy fell victim to Charlotte's unleashed fantasies.

This was one hell of a fine play! I have now seen two Stray Cat productions and have the highest regard for their work.

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