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HCC Actor’s Guild The Pillowman

By • Feb 26th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
The Pillowman
HCC Actor’s Guild: (Info) (Web)
HCC-Black Box Theatre – Joppa Hall, Bel Air, MD
Through March 3rd
2:30 with intermission
Reviewed February 22nd, 2013

In a future or alternate reality, in some totalitarian dictatorship, a once-published storywriter has been taken into custody for questioning by two officers with little that they can’t do to get to the truth. To reveal anything more about the plot would ruin an awesome script full of twists and turns. The Pillowman teeters the line between black comedy and just blackness, and, if you don’t normally like that kind of uncomfortable darkness, you are still likely to be awed and amazed by this production.

From the moment, you enter the room, the piece really begins. There is incredibly simple and clean set that immediately places you in the interrogation room, and Katurian (Connor Shea) is already there, blindfolded, waiting for the return of the officers. The set continues to work well with some simple transitions to other locations.

Above all else, though, it is the performances that are incredibly stellar. Shea gives an excellent performance that covers a wide-range of emotions and forces him to reveal both what it is in the script and what is between the lines. He slowly shows more of his hand as the show goes on. As Tupolski, Josh Kradz is an equal match for Shea. He creates a really interesting character, who listens and reacts as intricately as he acts. There is a subtle absurdity to the role that he brings forth with careful choices in voice inflection.

Even beyond those two is the practical perfection of Tim Torre in the role of Michal. He portrays a character with a mental handicap. It is the kind of role that could easily lend itself to overacting, but Torre never crosses that line. Every moment, every nuance is completely natural. Torre has a gift that is bound to take him far, and his performance needs to be seen by anyone who can make one of the remaining performances.

While Miranda Litchford as Ariel is not quite as strong as the men she is working with, she is not bad in making the role work. She has a few strong moments and a lot of potential.

This is the show to see. Period. Find a way to get to Harford Community College and see this production.

Cast

  • Katurian: Connor Shea
  • Ariel: Miranda Litchford
  • Tupolski: Josh Kradz
  • Michal: Tim Torre
  • Hunter Lakota Baker, Tawney Hallock Sweet, Dominique McKenzie, and Jon Spivey

Production Staff

  • Director: Josh Fletcher
  • Producer/Set Design/Fight Choreography: Ben Fisler
  • Stage Manager: Sarah Tweed
  • Technical Director/Lighting/Props Design: Robbie Elliot
  • Costume Design: Linda Bratcher
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Josh Kradz
  • Sound/Projection Operations: Leanna Wheatley
  • Lightboard Programming: Ryan Johnson
  • Lightboard Operations: Dani Nicole
  • Props Master: Brian Fields
  • Production Crew: Entire Company and students in Winter “Introduction to Theatre”

Disclaimer: HCC Actor’s Guild provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has been involved in theatre in the state of Maryland and DC for most of her life. She has acted, directed, choreographed, stage managed, and held a million other odd jobs. She has a B.S. in English from Towson University, and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree to become a Reading Specialist. She is a Maryland State Certified English, Theatre, Elementary, and Mathematics Educator. After teaching English and Drama for many years, she now teaches 6th grade Language Arts at Magnolia Middle School in Harford County, Maryland. She wrote the curriculum currently used in Prince George’s County Public Schools for Drama I and Drama II. She now writes and directs plays and musicals for use in church.

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