First Batavia Players performance at new theater is a labor of 'love'
The Batavia Players present:
...an original play, written and directed by Patrick D. Burk.
Nikki Lanich as the Young Girl
Nick Russo as the Southern Preacher
Brittaney Lang as the Emily Bronte Girl
E. Jane Burk as Mrs. Davenport
Shellene Bailey as the Jane Austen Girl
Norm Argulsky as Mr. Fisher
Caryn Burk as Honourine
Tiffany Widrick as Nancy Reagan
Ben Liebrand as the Young Boy
Matthew Mayne as Russell
Amanda Taylor as the Dance Hall Girl
Burk as the Older Man
Jeffrey Fischer as the Movie Man and Pianist
and David Porter as Robert
See Gretel Kauffman's article, "A romantic debut for the Harvester Theater," for background.
This first Batavia Players performance at the new Harvester 56 Theater kicked off Valentine's Day weekend with a series of monologues on a variety of experiences with love and infatuation.
With memorable dialogue and well-developed characters, "Love Lines" takes a look at ideas about and experiences with love and lust across time -- from Shakespeare to Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, love letters from the 1940s and modern day text-messaging.
It also spans the age spectrum, from a teenage boy and girl -- who attend an all boys' and all girls' school, respectively, of course -- meeting on a bus to an old man whose marriage is "not the same anymore...but what the heck? It's still love."
As the play opens, all of the characters gather on the set, each taking a seat. As the show progresses, relationships among the characters are revealed, attesting to Burk's talent as an imaginative playwright.
The actors did a superb job, especially considering the short time they had to memorize lines and rehearse.
Just a couple caveats:
- The theater's three-quarter round space and black-box format require some getting used to, depending on where you're sitting. It isn't like the typical theater experience, where everything is laid out before your eyes no matter where you're sitting.
- As can happen with plays for adults, there are some moments, words and opinions (expressed by characters) in the show that might upset people's moral sensibilities.
All in all, "Love Lines" was a pretty impressive freshmen effort on the part of the Players as they settle into their new home.