World Premiere of We Are the Body by Red Deer playwright Andrew Kooman runs at Scott Block Theatre May 5-9
Psychologically thrilling drama features Rosebud Theatre actors Heather Pattengale and John McIver and Tim Bratton, an alumnus of Red Deer College’s Theatre Program
The highly anticipated new play by Red Deer born playwright Andrew Kooman will have its World Premiere in Red Deer May 5-9 at the Scott Block Theatre. We Are the Body is a psychologically thrilling drama that explores the lives of three prisoners of conscience in Communist Europe in the 1950s.
“I look forward to offering my home town audience another compelling night of live theatre,” says the award winning playwright of She Has A Namewhich received critical acclaim both when it premiered in 2011 and toured Canada in 2012, frequently playing to sold out audiences.”
Andrew Kooman, Playwright, We Are The Body
Imprisoned in solitary confinement behind the Iron Curtain of post-war Romania, Elsie’s (Heather Pattengale) only companions are two other tortured prisoners Richard (Tim Bratton) and Micah (John McIver) whom she cannot touch, speak to or see in person.
From the confines of their lonely cells, as they await their nearly daily punishment, Elsie, Richard and Micah secretly tap out messages to each other in Morse Code. These sounds trigger memories from their lives before the war so that the past and present collide in a heart-wrenching and occasionally humorous way.
“The characters in We Are the Body, though they remain confined in subterranean cells, go on a spectacular journey. Traveling in and out of time, they are caught somewhere between the terrible facts of their imprisonment and the beautiful memories of better times as they are pushed through their suffering towards the truth of who they are and what they ultimately believe,” comments Kooman.
As the narrative throttles toward its shocking conclusion, the forbidden communication among Elsie, Richard and Micah becomes a survival strategy as they cling to the faint hope of escape or release.
Stephen Waldschmidt, Director, We Are The Body
“We Are the Body is based on real events from the recent past. The decisions the characters must make and the realities they face are devastatingly relevant,” says Stephen Waldschmidt the play’s director, who was struck by the subject matter of Kooman’s newest play. Waldschmidt also directed She Has A Name.
For Elsie, Richard and Micah, the choice presented to them by their captors is to turn in their friends, give up names and betray people they love in order to end their very real and terribly visceral suffering. But in order to enjoy a future of freedom—without torture—they must imagine a life without their very personal faith.
Tim Bratton who plays the male lead Richard is an alumnus of Red Deer College’s Theatre Program. The theatre community in Red Deer played an important role in the early development of this play. In 2012, Kooman ‘workshopped’ a draft of the script in a Scripts At Work Playwright Circle.
“Audiences in Central Alberta have been incredibly supportive of my work and I’m happy that the play will have its World Premiere in Red Deer before hitting the road to Calgary and Saskatoon,” says Kooman.
(l-r) John McIver (Micah), Heather Pattengale (Elsie) and Tim Bratton (Richard)
We Are the Body, a play by Andrew Kooman
2015 World Premiere Tour May 5 - 31
RED DEER May 5 – 9 - Scott Block Theatre
CALGARY May 13 – 23 - Pumphouse Theatre
SASKATOON May 26 – 31 - Studio 914 Theatre
Performances are 7:30 PM nightly with 2:00 PM Matinees.
TICKETS on sale for $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
Tickets are also available online at www.burntthicket.com
Burnt Thicket Theatre has been telling enlivening stories since 2007. Past productions have included HOCKEY DAD: A PLAY IN 3 PERIODS, TWINKLE, SOLO JOE and the cross Canada tour of SHE HAS A NAME. Committed to the creation of new theatre work, Burnt Thicket Theatre strives to lead artists and audiences to live more engaged lives. www.burntthicket.com@BurntThicket
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