CORNER BROOK — A play which took eight years to see the stage will now be performed next week by the Off-Broadway Players.
The play “True West,” by American playwright Sam Shepard, took a longtime to see light for the community theatre company. It was in December 2002 when director Stephen Perchard first read the play in a collection of Shepard’s work.
Perchard was travelling on a bus at the time and the play was the first in the book. He thought it was brilliant.
“It pretty much had me from page one,” he said.
“True West” is about the rivalry between two brothers who have reconnected. One brother is a successful Hollywood screenwriter, while the other is a petty thief. Along their reunion, a movie producer and the boys mother also make appearance. The play is a dramatic production, with plenty of comedy.
“We’re performing a play that’s kind of violent at places,” he said. “Some fairly disturbing scenes.”
Perchard brought the play to the theatre company’s reading committee in 2004 and 2005, but it wasn’t selected.
“The reading committee ultimately thought that other shows were better for that group, better for Off-Broadway, on that certain year,” he said. “In hindsight, the committee was probably right.”
Perchard said the play is pretty sophisticated and the maturity of the company makes it right to do at this time.
“Having the show (performed) this year, eight years later, the group’s a lot more mature and ready to tackle something like this,” he said. “It’s definitely the right time for us.
“Sam Shepard is kind of a quintessential American playwright — a lot of people describe him as being that,” said Pechard, also the president of the company. “It’s not where the play is from, it’s what the play is about.”
The play will be played in Corner Brook, but is also the group’s entry for the 61st Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Drama Festival.
The play will be performing “True West” Wednesday and Thursday at the Arts and Culture Centre in Corner Brook at 8 p.m. The group will then bring the show on the road to Grand Falls-Windsor for the Newfoundland and Labrador Drama Festival and will perform the play on Easter Sunday.
Austin: Mike Payne
Lee: Troy Turner
Saul: Danny Maloney
Mom: Anne Gregory
Director: Stephen Perchard
Stage manager: Joanne Martin
Assistant stage manager: Jordan Stringer
Set design/technical consultant: Neil Robbins
Lighting design/operator: Gregg Davis
Sound design: Elwin Murley and Troy Turner
Technical director/sound operator: Elwin Murley
Props: Sandy Wiseman, Erin Smallwood and Rebecca Pike
Running crew: Sandy Wiseman and Rebecca Pike
Costumes: Mary Keefe
Set construction: Steve Galliott, Neil Robbins, Gregg Davis, Jordan Stringer, Chérie Wheeler, Joanne Martin, Shannon Warren, Stephen Perchard, Chad Ford, Phil Robbins, Elwin Murley and Troy Turner
Program: Carolyn Parsons